When a good day hits, I often think of Disney Princesses. The sun shines, the birds sing and helpful forest animals pop by to clean the house and dress me…
Of course, the forest animals is a lie. As a horse owner, it is me cleaning up after, feeding and making presentable my four legged friend. But you get the gist.
After listening to some hippy dippy music last night to get an easy and relaxing sleep, I slept 9 hours (with an alarm set so I didn’t get the dreaded oversleeping headache) and awoke feeling wonderful!
That’s a lie too. I woke up like a person awaking from cryo-sleep. It was an long and arduous task, fuelled by coffee and cookie crisp, but once I got going – I really did feel great.
I left my house to see 10K runners jogging past (I had forgotten it was the city 10K today) and tamed the overwhelming temptation to join them…that’s a 3rd lie. I watched them idly and vaguely considered childishly running alongside them yelling “WHAT ARE WE RUNNING FROM?!” but my lift was waiting and I am 26 years old – I need to act my age.
So I met my lift and off we went to yard, I waited for the ache that is there all the time to start being a bit more forceful…it didn’t, it stayed barely noticeable with occasional pangs of discomfort but nothing worth worrying about.
I trundled off to the field to collect Prince, still waiting. Still nothing. I barely dared to hope!
I groomed him, cooed over him (as I always do), did some stretches, some trick training, re-plaited his mane and tacked up. Still no pain!
In recent weeks Prince has shown signs of needing a break, a little holiday. So this week just gone he has had a summer vacation, today was the first ride in a week, so I expected fireworks of some sort.
I won’t say he was an angel…but all things considered he was well behaved. Listening was not his forte today, instead he preferred to walk and trot around the arena craning his head to stare at uninteresting things in the neighboring fields and pull faces at the horses exercising with us. Ah well, it was nice to ride pain free and by the end of the ride he was a little more inclined to pay me a modecum of attention.
To cool off I decided to take him for a walk along the track that encircles the yard’s fields, we haven’t done this route in a while so I thought it would be fun for him, relaxing. This was bad judgement on my half. Clearly I had not realised that a number of scary and apparently invisible horse eating monsters had taken up residence along the track. And so it was we walked around with a stop every minute or so and an ensuing discussion about what perils lay ahead:
“Prince there is nothing there…”
“Prince, what are you looking at? Are you kidding me, it’s a poo. It’s just a poo in some long grass…”
“OMG Prince it’s POO, just POO. I know you know what poo is, I personally remove the copious amounts of poo that you generate!”
And so this went on for around 20 minutes before I accepted this was neither fun nor relaxing for either of us. Plus I was a little concerned that the track does run along bushes, the other side of which is a public footpath…I doubt anyone really wanted to hear my loud and frustrated discussions (which were by now becoming a bit sweary) regarding the threats posed to Prince by a pile of droppings. I walked him passed one more horse eating poo pile and turned back to the yard.
After hosing him off, doing a few more stretches and taking him back to his paddock, I joined my friend who was riding the horse she started loaning last week.
Unfortunately my friend suffers her own health issues and the decision to begin loaning a horse is a huge step for her as she has obstacles in her way, much the same as me. Unlike me, her condition should improve with strength, so we hope continued determination will have her fighting fit in no time! Unfortunately today was not the day for her though and so it was I offered to ride for her whilst she took a break.
I rarely offer to ride for people, I struggle to ride my own on a normal day, so as much as I used to enjoy the experience of riding various different horses, these days I stick to my boy. However, with today being a good day, it was with no hesitation I offered. The horse my friend is loaning is lovely – a beautiful mare with lovely movement who is just in need of some schooling, and I love schooling. Since riding her prior to my friend trying her for loan (to check suitability) I have been thinking of all the ways I personally would school and train this gorgeous girl, so I was excited to have a little go and see how she responded.
She was amazing and it felt wonderful to feel her respond well. My friend got back on, I offered advice and revelled in the feeling of having been able to ride two horses pain free!
With both horses ridden and cooled off, yard chores done and plenty of chatting to other liveries completed, we called it a day.
I returned home still full of beans! Got some jobs around the house done (including one I haven’t felt up to in ages), cooked tea and settled down to watch a film with G – the film is now over and I still feel great!
It’s awesome to be able to post about a good day!
There is always a downside to days like today though.
I love my hobby – I love all elements of horse care and riding. I spend many a night scouring the internet for articles on various training techniques, horse anatomy, best products, best tack, alternative methods, feeding etc. It is my passion through and through, it always has been.
Throughout the years I have often considered obtaining qualifications in the industry, to do what I love full time. Last year following my surgery, I began looking into it, making plans. I contacted the college I was interested in, I found the perfect course – for which I was qualified. I began believing I could do my dream job.
And then my symptoms didn’t ease, I was waiting for post op pains to go, but they didn’t. They got worse. I decided to leave application until I had seen my specialist to get everything under control. I saw her in October 2017 and if you have read The Dr giveth and the Dr taketh away… you will know, it didn’t go to plan.
Throughout my research following this appointment, it has become clear to me that my condition is likely to go unmanaged for quite some time. And even once it is managed, it is unlikely to stay so for long.
So, in this last year I have had to come to terms with the fact, I will not get my dream job. To start, I doubt I could complete the course which includes riding assessments, yard work and experience on yards never mind anything else. G has suggested I look into what allowances may be made for studying with a Chronic Illness but my response is “Then what?”.
There is no special consideration in the real world. No extenuating circumstances. And especially not in the industry I am interested in. I have to accept a physical job, a job that requires standing for long hours, hard graft, a job in which you deal with big animals that can pull you or shove you, a job that requires reliability and will greatly be impacted by reputation, well, that isn’t a job I can do.
Mentally, I am prepared for the hard work of the equine industry. Physically, I am not, my body lets me down. Not in ways I can improve it – such as in strength or coordination, but simply in its ability to do what I need it to, without causing crippling pain and symptoms.
So days like today, they remind me of what I could do. They remind me of the days I used to ride 4 horses a day, 1 my own and the other 3 I was paid to ride. They remind me of when I didn’t think twice about offering help to people, when I would muck out another 4 horses and still worked a full time job. The days I could come home from a long day of tiring work and be able to cook, clean, go out with friends. They remind me what it was like to feel normal and have no daily obstacles in the way of my life. In the way of my passions.
Apologies, on a good day, it should be a positive post! But I always want to be honest about what this life is like. Everything is taken with a pinch of salt, it is not as clean cut as “Good days are good, bad days are bad” – I have had great bad days and good terrible days.
All my moaning aside, today was a good day. I live for days like these and frankly, were it not for my condition – maybe today would have been a merely “mundane” day…