Aug 1, 2010

Pushing Back

There was about an eighteen month period between 2004 and 2005 that I consider The Worst of Times. It started with McCain falling from the hayloft and breaking his femur resulting in almost 4 weeks of hospitalization. A few months later, my father-in-law passed away and a few months later than that, my own mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died the next spring. If that weren’t enough, I broke my ankle from a horse related mishap and the last of those dark days concluded with the loss of one of my geldings in a pasture accident.

I reminded myself many times during that time that it can only go up from here. It eventually did, but sure took a long time to get there. I’m actually surprised I didn’t take up smoking again or hit the bottle. As always, horses were good therapy from broken hearts and broken bones.

This year, though not in the caliber as that lost year, has been challenging in its own way. The boys are growing up and have a lot more obligations it seems. The homework is getting harder for all of us! I wasn’t a scholar when I was their age and I certainly didn’t get any more book-smarter. Having a teenager with a driver’s license and a less-than-perfect car adds another layer of stress. We gulp, say a prayer, write another check and go on. And if you were following my blog last winter, you will remember we had one of the worst winters I have seen in a long time.

Ride season couldn’t come fast enough. I was making plans for camping weekends, an out of state vacation and to perhaps try a limited distance endurance ride. But nothing seems to have gone as planned. Spring did come; finally. And brought with it much appreciated rain. And more rain. And more not so appreciated rain. And before we knew it, the dog days of summer were here with much unwanted humidity. If you read all those articles about temperature and humidity and heat indexes and when NOT to ride your horse; those are our days. It can’t help but get depressing.

The search for a new trailer and finding the perfect one has been a real upper. But having a nice trailer is only good if you have a truck that will get you there and a horse that will get in it. Although we are working on the latter, the truck, aka Hi-Ho Silver, has not been the most reliable mode of transportation over the last few years and I am afraid it’s getting worse instead of better. How many $1,000 fixes can we afford to put in it? Sure, seems cheap compared to a truck payment, but fixing it does not eliminate its unpredictability. Will the next $1,000 fix guarantee to get me and my horse to the next destination or will we be left stranded? I am very independent with regards to pulling a rig, but I am helpless when it comes to anything mechanical beyond a flat tire or checking the oil.

My horse goals have dwindled with the lack of nice days. I have logged over 300 hours of riding time each of the last two years. This year? I’ve barely broken 100 hours. The advantage of having my horse fit is I am ready for anything, be it a long weekend or a competitive trail ride. Windy looks good and riding her the few times I have lately, she feels good. I don’t think I have to worry about her becoming a pasture pony with a hay belly just yet, but I don’t like taking this much time off either. Productivity produces motivation. I read that somewhere and it sounded backwards, but in thinking about it, it’s true. How many times do we dread starting a project, but once we get going on it, we are much more motivated to see it through?

For me, it’s time to step back and regroup. If the weather breaks, continue riding the local trails pulling my bumper pull trailer with my SUV. I’ll ponder what to do about the truck situation tomorrow or the next day or the next week or maybe next year. The only “can’t miss” camping trip I have planned is our annual Cowgirl Weekend, and I can most certainly bunk with a friend. It hasn’t been a year from hell like it was back in 2004-2005. It is just frustrating at a different level. Hopefully the next half will be better.


  1. I appreciate this blog, it sounds bad. If we all look at our lives it seems that we have good and bad times. Mines now.
    In May, my wife fell off her horse, no injury, on the outside. However, a week later, she developed a aevere pain in the abdomen.
    Then in June, she had a heart attack, and another in the same day. Both non fatal.
    They sent here home after the treatment. But the previously mentioned abdo pain still lingered.
    The doc`s couldnt put there collective fingers on it, but in the end of June she fell seriously ill with an infection in the upper abdomen. They diagnosed an infected Gall bladder.
    Later that month, after getting treatment for that, no op!
    She was back in hospital again, same thing. Then in the first week of July, she passed out at work, and was rushed to hospital. Seems the infection was back. this time the took out the Gall bladder, and found she had a stone in her bile duct, they op`d on that!
    Then she went into some kind of trauma shock or something.
    She came out of hospital two weeks ago, and was on the mend.
    Today, she is back in, having acquired a hospital infection in the internal organs!!!!!

    She is at her wits end, and I can only sit here and wonder if the anti-biotics will work, as the last ones didnt.

    It seems that going into hospital these days is no guarantee you`ll come out.
    Sorry to ramble on. Great pictures.

  2. I hear you, about once you start a project, than you're motivated and excited to work on it. It's the start that gets me. I understand. I'm on the same chapter of the book. My horse life was a downer for a long time since last fall, and I started riding, and the excitement came. I just know that when you start riding this fall, you will feel so much better! I wished it had been cooler so we could have ridden this weekend. Maybe an evening this week won't be so humid, but I'm not holding my breath!

  3. I don't know why anybody lives here. There are about six perfect days a year weather wise - and it's usually a Tuesday when that happens.

    Hang in there Tammy. You've been through worse so you can have confidence that "this too shall pass."

  4. I did not know the blogging community back have been Blogging your life and rides for a long time.
    I am so sorry to hear of that fatal year. Bless your heart!

    Hang in girl...I know it is hard to live in the moment sometimes..but that is the best way...when I get into the planning stages..I sometime miss out on the moments before and in between. And sometimes, I can hype up the plans and they fall flat...even when I am doing them!

    So..moment by moment living, being present and logging in heart and memory the good, great, and lovely things that happen(sunsets, loving husbands, mercy, horses snorting and farting and being horses, a 20 minute sit upon a horse, family, your creative heart) that we may normally not notice for long...make note of these things-counting them for blessings.
    Riding times may be few and far between...and compared to the many miles of the past...oh, it can be a don't do it!

    I am having a birthday soon...getting older always makes me want to be wiser...I am trying to learn what to focus upon! Sorry I ranted!

  5. Sorry about the downer moments. We all have them and it's ok. I've been feeling down for several months because my hubby is working in Philly and living in his truck. He's been there since April and it's getting old. He's not been able to get back home for over two months now. The kids miss him, I miss him and the house is literally falling apart....leaks, broken stuff, weeds up to my shoulders, tractors broken. We've had no A/C this summer because of the plumbing and eletrical usually because we don't even need A/C. But it's been hotter and more humid than normal this year, and we try to just keep the blinds close....but when you're hot you have no motivation to get anything done. And you feel irritated and down.
    Thank goodness John pays all the bills from Philly, so I don't have that to worry about that. And I seriously have no right to complain. He is sleeping in and living out of his truck. At least we have the house and all it's comforts.

    You know, I always think it's ironic how, when we are in the middle of winter, how we can't wait for summer to arrive. But we seem to forget that summer brings it's own challenges: heat, humidity, weeds, mud, outdoor chores, rain and bugs.

    Hang in there. It will get better eventually,


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