I am determined to get my bikini body back by the time I go to Vegas in May. To further that cause, I decided to give Zumba a try. I get bored easily when working out and I love to dance so I thought this was the perfect solution.
My first class was last night and it went something like this:
I totally felt like I looked hot doing all the Latin dance moves. Instead I caught a view of myself in the mirror and realized I was a total spaz.
I'm not sure what happened to the super-sexy dancer that used to frequent all the clubs back in her 20's but she is definitely no longer with us. It was kind of embarrassing. But then I looked around and realized we all looked pretty bad and so I just went with it. Talk about a good workout. I could barely walk to the car to drive home.
This morning I am definitely sore so I think I'll be continuing on with the class. Next time, though, I will not be standing in front of the mirror. In this case, denial is best...
Bow is looking to buy a horse. So far she has had 2 good prospects fail the vet check. Apparently this horse buying business is a lot more detailed than I had first thought. After all, I don't actually buy horses... they just kinda show up in my life and expect me to start feeding them.
You gotta problem with that?
(for those of you who don't follow the blog regularly, this is Goodwin. he is now fat and happy after having been rescued from a round pen that held no food... and probably hadn't held food in a while. unfortunately for me, he is also growing up while he's growing out)
Anywho... back to horse buying.
Bow has been very diligent about trying to find the best horse for her needs. She even did a detailed spreadsheet that involved assigning values to traits based on how important those traits are. And still she is horseless. How is this possible?
She's looking at a nice Quarab this weekend and I went with her to look at a cute Appy last weekend. The Appy has promise, but is a tad narrow (even by my standards... and I ride a fence rail AKA Flash).
But this search for a horse got me to wondering... if I was to actually go out and buy a horse what would I buy? I'm pretty sure I would stick with Arabs (I love them) or perhaps I would go with a Morab. Either way, I would want a horse that can be versatile but also do endurance, since that is my first love.
I decided to scope out Craigslist and see if there were any potential candidates...
14 year old unregistered (of course) Arab mare
Holy crap there is a whole lot of ugly going on here. Plus, look at those rear legs. I'm pretty sure that the pasterns aren't supposed to drag on the ground. I think I'll pass...
Morab Mare (no age or registration listed)
Is it just me? Or do the front end and the back end belong on different horses? Plus, not sure if it's just the angle or what but those back legs look funky. And not in a good way...
Approx. 16 year old Arab gelding
First of all, this horse looks a lot older than 16. Check out that sway back. Plus, you don't see many Arabs that look like they are a limo. And as an added bonus this poor gelding is super skinny. Great. Another hard keeper. Um, no thanks...
4 year old Arab filly
OK... this one isn't too bad. Her feet are a smidge small for the rest of her, but if they are sound then I can live with that. However in the ad the seller mentions that she was shown halter (oh boy, so no brain left) and that she is impatient (another real selling point... not) and that you can "kinda" do her feet. Um... who needs the headache?
I guess it's a good thing that I'm not actually looking for a new horse. Because it's tough to spot the diamonds in the rough. And there is a lot of rough out there...
We are exactly 1 month away from the first race of the season. Flash is coming along great and is training well with lots left in the tank when we get back. I've been riding about 20-25 miles a week and doing a lot of interval work which seems to be the way to go.
The only downside? It is now coming Spring and Flash insists on shedding enough hair to form a Yeti.
Round 1 of trying to get all the loose hair...
The "finished" product...
Although he is still quite hairy. Let's just say that during the shedding season I try to avoid fleece at all costs.
This weekend Flash and I did a quick 5 mile ride on Saturday. Then I proceeded to tackle the camper. I forgot how much crap the Ex-hub had in there. It took me about 3 hours to actually get it unloaded and all of his crap stacked in my little shed off the deck. He's coming next weekend to pick it up.
After all the hauling and stacking I was too tired to actually get into the cleaning part, so instead I took myself out to sushi. PT has been MIA lately so I went alone. And it was delicious!!
On Sunday, I met up with Hanna (that I met on the endurance FB page). She has a 6-year-old Arab that is just starting to get the hang of endurance. Hanna's daughter also came along riding a tank of a Mustang appropriately named Frank. We had a good time. Well, Flash and I had a good time anyway. Vanna and Hanna spent most of the ride dancing and prancing (oh yeah, I remember those days). But Flash could have cared less. Which was great to see because we've been doing most of our training alone and it was good to know that he would behave even around other horses that might not be.
Man, I love my horse :)
Hopefully Hanna and Vanna will come and ride with us again. It was a lot of fun having someone to talk to on the trail.
I want to be in love in the movies. Or a fairytale. That would work too...
My new favoritist show is "Once Upon A Time".
I'm ready to jump into a fairytale...
The premise is that the evil queen has cursed all of the fairytale inhabitants to live a dull and unhappy life in the real world with time never moving forward. As the evil queen says "The real world is where happy endings go to die".
That, my friends, is a depressing thought. And judging by the divorce rate, may not be all that far off. Kinda sad, actually.
So what's a hopeless romantic to do?
Well, as BFF put it so succinctly last night... if I had my happy ending already then it would be the end.
Ahhhh... good point. I definitely don't want it to be the end. I want to be somewhere in the middle where I am enjoying my fairytale romance... with plenty still to come.
And in some ways I am in the middle. I'm at the point in the movie where all hope seems lost but I have no idea what is just around the corner. And this is always true because none of us knows what is coming up tomorrow or the next day.
Nothing is forever. And those who have figured that out shift from one thing to the next wringing the most out of whatever it is that period in time has offered them.
The trick, I'm learning, is to enjoy this day for what it has to offer and to welcome tomorrow with open arms... and shockingly enough, happiness is right there waiting.
No, not mine. Although looking down I probably should be paying a little more attention to what is attaching itself around my mid-section.
I'm actually talking about Flash.
He isn't just a horse anymore. No, no, no. He is a finely tuned athlete that needs the very best of everything, including supplements. Right? Right.
Who cares that the alfalfa/grass hay mix that I've been giving him all winter makes him fat and happy. There must be more that I should be feeding my star athlete. There has to be more, right? Right.
And before you know it I've been sucked into the black hole that is equine nutrition.
First it starts off pretty benignly. My star athlete is sweating quite a bit when we train so an electrolyte would be a good thing to add to our little feeding regime. However, Flash is a butt-head and won't do the tube variety of electrolytes (which would make things so much easier). Oh no, this horse just waits until my back is turned and then proceeds to spit out the offending (and very expensive) supplement. And then proceeds to grind it into the ground with his hoof for good measure.
*take that you stupid (and very expensive) electrolyte*
So, I have to get the kind of electrolyte that you either put in water or sprinkle over grain. In and of itself, this doesn't seem like a big deal. However, you forget that this is Flash we're dealing with. My darling prima-donna of a horse is a very picky eater. It's not my fault. He came that way. So when I tried adding the electrolyte to a bucket of water (and per the instructions I removed all other sources of water) he promptly took one sniff of the bucket and tipped it over.
*take that you stupid yucky-smelling bucket*
I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons I'm giving electrolytes is to boost water intake, so clearly putting it in the water is counter-productive, since he had no desire to drink at all.
Back to the drawing board.
Next I would try putting it in with the grain. Wait a second... I don't feed grain. So then begins the hours and hours of research to make sure that I get just the right kind of grain. Can't have too much protein. Needs to have a lot of fat. Calcium and selenium and all the other iums have to be in perfect balance so as to not upset my star athlete's stomach or make his muscles cramp or any of the other bad things that could happen from a poor grain choice. Oh, and it has to taste good, too.
Holy crap. The pressure.
And it seems the farther down the black hole of equine nutrition you go the more information (and college degrees) you need. It's intimidating. After all, I don't want to screw my horse up. And have everyone at our first endurance race telling me what an idiot I was to do this and not do that.
OK, OK... no need to panic. Deep breath. Where was I? Oh yes. Grain.
I found the grain that I like, ingredients-wise. Flash seems to like the taste of it. Success!! Well, not quite. It was now time to add the electrolytes. Which were met with a luke-warm reception but still (for the most part) got eaten. Success!!
And what Flash doesn't finish the dogs polish off. Win/win. Right? Right.
And now I see on the endurance page that I stalk that others way more knowledgeable than myself are talking about way more complicated things than grain, electrolytes, hay and water. Things like adding additional fat. Or over-electrolyting (oh crap, I didn't know that was even a possibility). Or how to keep gut sounds good throughout the ride. Or what type of hay to feed while on a ride. Or how much grain and stuff to feed the morning of a ride. Or how much grain and stuff to feed during the ride. Or how to keep your horse drinking. Or, or, or...
Holy crap. The pressure.
Then came the words that I needed to hear... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Is he healthy? Check.
Is he drinking adequately? Check.
Does he handle the workouts fine? Check.
Does he recover quickly after the workouts? Check.
Is he sound? Check.
Is he happy? Check. Check. Check. (Flash really loves to get out and go)
OK. I think I haven't screwed anything up too badly. I guess I'll just keep on going the way I have been and try to sift through the massive amounts of information out there to make the best decisions I can.
After all, Flash will tell me what's working and what isn't. If I listen to him, we should be just fine...
There is a blog I read frequently called Wootube. The Foodlady has 6 dogs. Yes. 6. And after the past 2 days I have no idea how she manages 6.
Right now, I have 4. That is 2 too many, in my opinion. Keeping track of 2 dogs is easy. Keeping track of 4 while you're trying to feed critters? Damn near impossible. This morning I finally gave up trying to keep an eye on all of them and figured if a dog were in trouble I'd hear some howling or something. And eventually they all wandered back to the house. Eventually...
That's a lot of work, folks. At this point I think 3 would be my max. And I'm kinda thinking 1 of those 3 would have to be a cat. They are so much more self-sufficient than dogs...
In other news, I almost killed Daisy last night. Well, not really almost killed her, but definitely pushed my aging girl too hard. After all, she's 12. She doesn't act like it most of the time but I saw the effects of age for one of the first times last night.
As you know, I've been prepping Flash for our first endurance race coming up in a few weeks. Last night it was time to up the amount of trot time. DD and Noelle handled the increased distance with no problems. Daisy, on the other hand, was struggling. And when I stopped to walk Flash after about 20 minutes of a steady 7-8MPH trot she almost passed out. She was doing circles trying to stay on her feet and I had to rapidly dismount my horse and force her to lay down and rest for a few minutes. It scared the crap out of me!!
She recovered just fine, but from now on anything over a few miles of trot and she's going to have to sit the ride out. It's going to break her heart, too.
It was a crazy weekend. Well, maybe "crazy" isn't the right word. Quick. It was a quick weekend.
It started out with a long day on Friday. A lot of changes are happening at work. Good things, so far. Things I'd like to discuss, but can't. But I will let you know what's going on when I can.
After that it was off to the doctor for a 2nd opinion on my options for bad cramps. I'm not having kids and I really don't want to have to deal with crazy pain every single month for the next decade. The first doctor I saw wanted to do a partial hysterectomy (which I am not against) but I wanted to get a 2nd opinion and see if there were any less-drastic options. Turns out there is. So tomorrow I will be getting an ultrasound to make sure there aren't any unseen problems going on then I will be having a quick little procedure the following week and I am set. No pain. No periods. CAN'T WAIT!! In fact, I'm sure when it's done I will be kicking myself for not getting on this sooner...
On Saturday I took a quick ride on Flash and then it was time to pack up the dogs in the truck and head to Farmer's place. The drive up to his place was great. I had a stiff tailwind that kept my gas mileage up and made for a quick trip.
And the rest of Saturday was a pretty pleasant day, as well. We ate some very good steak (freshly butchered out his personal herd) and chatted the night away. It was good to catch up again.
On Sunday it was time to deal with the camper...
The truck sans camper...
Success!! The truck and camper are reunited...
Of course, it didn't just hop on by itself. It took some effort to get that camper on the truck. By the time it was loaded I had bruised hands, a wicked scratch and bruise on my thigh, a bruise on my shin and I was covered head to toe in dust. However, there were no rodents to be seen. Yay!!
Then it was time to head back home. At Farmer's place there was no wind so I figured I'd have a pretty decent drive back to my place...
First the wind started.
It's windy out here mom...
Hurry up so we can get back in the truck...
Then the weather started to turn nasty.
Heading into the storm...
Snow falling hard and fast...
And did I mention the wind? It was windy. Very. Windy. And coming straight at me for most of the drive. Needless to say, my gas mileage was much worse heading home than it was heading to Farmer's.
After I got home I took Flash out for another quick ride and then it was time for food, shower and a nap.
I forgot to mention that I got a new mattress on Friday, as well. I love it. I couldn't wait to take a nap. And it was a good nap. I didn't get up again until around 8pm. At that point it was time to feed the critters and round up my doggie charges. I'm pup sitting for the next few days.
DD was thrilled to be sleeping over...
She settled right in...
Noelle was less-than-thrilled to have DD spending the night
and trying to share her doggie bed...
Bosco was just confused. So he did what any confused dog would do.
He pooped in my bedroom...
And seemed to have no shame about it...
No shame what-so-ever...
At least when I got up this morning there were no more presents for me. Hopefully tonight will go a little smoother than last night.
It was a very interesting read. And really made me think.
I definitely have a short fuse when it comes to some things. The older I've gotten the longer that fuse has gotten but I've been known to lose my shit a time or two. It's happened with the dogs. It's happened with the horses. It's happened with my family (sorry Flip Flop).
I am not a perfect person by any means. And perhaps that's why the universe saw fit to not give me any kids. Perhaps I just didn't need the temptation (although by that reasoning, crack whores wouldn't have kids either... but that's a whole 'nuther blog).
But this article really made me think about how I treat others in general. Not just kids. There are fragile individuals all around us that could use some encouragement vs. a smack down. Often I'm just too damn busy to offer the olive branch and instead bring out the paddle board (figuratively speaking, of course).
This article has encouraged me to do something that's been on my mind for a while... and that's become a mentor. There is a wonderful program just down the street from me that pairs rescued horses with at-risk kids. I think I will go down there next week and see what I can do to help out.
In this way I hope to hone my skills at lifting others up rather than just slapping them down...
I belong to a couple of horse blogs and Facebook pages. And for the most part, I find everything I read pretty helpful. But once in a while, I just want to slap someone...
Well, I actually want to slap someone more often than just once in a while, but usually for much different reasons than I'm talking about today.
I posed the (rhetorical) question a few days ago about horse shoes vs. horse boots. If you are not Horsaii, then you probably didn't give a hoot. However, I also posed this question on the Facebook forum too. That might have been a mistake. The nutters decided to ooze from the wall and spout nonsense and drivel about how their way is the only way.
Anyone who tells me there is only one way to do anything (I don't care what it is) is trying to sell you something. Seriously.
Every horse is different. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. The same goes for dogs. And kids. And emus.
You get the point.
It just angers me when people are so insistent that I should use their way. I have no problem listening to what their way is. I may use it. I may not. I will file it away in the ol' brain under 1 of 3 categories: 1. Definitely worth trying... looked very useful 2. That might work in a certain situation 3. I will never try that. It looked like a train wreck in the making...
And guess what? I get many compliments on how well-behaved my animals are. So I must be doing something right...
OK. Rant over. You may go back to your regularly scheduled program now...
My first endurance race is coming up in a short 6 weeks (yipe!!). As far as training goes, Flash and I have it in the bag. He's legging up nicely and other than needing to hit the hills a little harder, he's right where he should be in the fitness category.
My fitness is another story for another day. But I will say that my first ride back after a few days of snow (where we couldn't ride) and then the flu (where I couldn't stay upright) was brutal. Flash breezed through the 7 mile ride hardly breaking a sweat. I, on the other hand, was wheezing like a 10-pack-a-day smoker. It was brutal...
So, we have the riding part down. Now to get everything else rounded up for our first ride. And that is starting to become quite the list...
1. Get the camper from Farmer's. It's been in his barn since the "Great Move of '10" and hasn't moved since. I'm picking it up this weekend (much to Farmer's delight). I have 2 hopes for my camper when I am reunited with it again... a) that there will be no rodents who have made it their permanent home (with a thousand of their closest relatives) and b) that the hydraulic jacks still work. However, if the jacks don't work then Farmer will just have to McGuyver it. I'm pretty sure he's motivated to get that damn thing out of his barn already.
2. Get the camper ready. Seems simple enough, right? Ha. First of all, Ex-hub's boxes are still using the camper as their storage area. I can't quite remember how many boxes that is... but it's a few. Those will need to be dealt with (and no, I won't just be chucking them in the garbage even though that is very, very tempting). Next I will need to clean it. This alone could take weeks (depending on the unforeseen critters running around and all of the stuff that I have forgotten are in there and now need to be thrown away). The LP tank needs to get filled and the stove needs to be checked to make sure it still works. I need to fill the water tank (assuming it still actually, you know, holds water). I need to get the bed made up (after ensuring all 4 and 8-legged critters and creepy-crawlies have been evicted). And I need to get some non-perishable food in there. Did I mention this might take weeks? *sigh*
3. Get the trailer ready. I cleaned it out about a month ago, but didn't really give it a good washing. So I need to pull the mats and really scrub it out. Then I need to install water bucket hooks on each side and I also need to install the HiTie. I haven't decided if I'm buying one or if I'm building one. Either way, it needs to be on the trailer before the first ride.
4. Get the horse ready. Well, the horse is pretty much good-to-go. But I do need to round up all the crap that we might need/use while at the ride. So far this list includes: hay, water buckets, hay net, halter, lead rope, saddle, saddle pad, sponge, leg boots, water bottles, grooming kit, bridle (both bitted and little-s hackamore), saddle bags, map case, gps, heart monitor, pitch fork, big buckets for poop, fleece cooler, horse blanket, grain, electrolytes... and, oh yeah, the horse.
You look like you're stressed out, Mom...
5. Get me ready. This might be the toughest part. I'm not in the best shape, but it's getting better. I've been trying to get out and walk in the mornings, which is helping. But I also need to get a few things before I'm ready to race, as well. I need some new riding boots (this is proving to be a challenge) and I also really need some new riding tights. What I have will work for the shorter distances, but I'm going to need something a little more geared to the sport once I bump up to the longer rides in June.
Basically as I'm reading back through this list all I hear is "cha-ching, cha-ching". I need to win the lottery. Is that too much to ask?
OK... if you are not Horsaii at all, you may just want to skip this post. Because in all likelihood you will probably have no idea what the hell I'm talking about anyway.
Right now, Flash and I are preparing for our first endurance race in April. I have been stalking a local endurance Facebook page in the hopes of doing right by my horse and not killing him in our quest for a good time. In the past, Flash has always had to have shoes on because his feet are complete crap and his heels wear off and disappear if I don't. However, this year we have access to awesome pasture that is easy on the tootsies, so I've been considering losing the shoes and going with hoof boots instead.
At endurance races I have seen both. So I don't think there is one way that is better than another, per se. I think it's just a matter of figuring out what works and what doesn't.
My conundrum comes from this: do I just stick with what I've done for this year and experiment in the winter months? Or should I try something new now? This is kind of a rhetorical question. I don't really expect anyone to actually answer that. Just kinda throwing the idea out there to let it mull around the universe for a bit.
Mostly, the reason for thinking about a change is because of my goal for Tevis. If I stick with traditional shoes, I will have to have a farrier come with me to that race in case we lose a shoe while out doing the grueling 100 miles of trail in the Sierra-Nevadas. However, if I make the switch to boots then I would be able to just carry an extra in case of a "blow-out".
For now, I'll stick with what has worked in the past... traditional shoes. This winter I may start experimenting. I'll have to keep an eye on the horses in boots and see how they go...
In light of Rebel & PT going off and just doing whatever the hell they feel like doing, I feel like I need to reexamine what I'm doing too.
Don't worry. I'm not selling everything off or traveling the country in a horse trailer. More, I was thinking about the book I've been working on and trying to actually get that finished. I would love to be a successful enough writer that I could actually do that full-time. I guess it's time to buckle down and try to make that happen.
Yes. I do love my job.
No. I don't want to do this forever. I want to have the flexibility of working for myself again someday. And I want to do that in the capacity of a writer.
Time to get serious. My goal is to have a rough copy to Ally by the end of April for editing.
So from now until then I'm going to be like the little train that could...
I have a movie that crops up at appropriate times throughout my life. It seems every time I need some clarity on a situation, Sleepless in Seattle mysteriously appears on TV.
It first happened back in my very early 20's when I was engaged to a guy I loved but we were definitely bad for one another. We fought like cats and dogs. It was not good. This first time I was with my then-fiance and we saw it in the theater. The whole time I watched that movie I realized that I was going to have to call off my engagement.
And it's been like that ever since. Once I would start dating someone I would watch that movie and see if it passed the SIS test. Some didn't make it. Some did. But it's been a pretty good guideline as to how things are going to go.
The SIS test...
So imagine my surprise when that movie came on the other day. And I realized something that I really hadn't thought of before. I was Rebel's version of Walter...
A sad realization, true. But just like Walter, I don't want to be someone that anyone settles for.
So it's best that we went our own ways.
And hopefully someday I'll find my Sam and I'll be his Annie...
The next mid-life crises I experience had better be mine. Just sayin'...
First, it was Rebel. I know no better way to describe his recent actions than as a full-blown, five alarm mid-life crises. I mean normal people don't just sell every damn thing they own and move to Central America (even though they don't actually know anyone in said country). If that isn't a mid-life crises, I don't know what is...
Plus it makes me feel better about the break-up.
Would it be wrong for me to mention that I miss him?
Next, PT informed me this past weekend (before the retched flu set in) that he's quitting his job here in Central Oregon and taking his practice on the road. A mobile Physical Therapist. He's selling his house and going to live in his (very nice) horse trailer. Oh, and he's taking the horse with him. He will golf and ride in the nicest parts of the country all while only working 2 to 3 days a week for what he makes working 5 now.
Really? How do I get on that program? Because that sounds like a hell of a deal. Just sayin'...
But again. Someone I care for up and leaving. WTF?
Enough!! The rest of you better stay put or I will have to kick some serious ass.
This discussion has come up a few times relating to a few different situations.
The question: Would you rather have time to say goodbye but have that person (or animal) suffer or would you rather they went quickly but you got no time to say goodbye?
I'm still up in the air on this one. My grandfather lingered on for months longer than he probably should have. His quality of life was not good and the strain that his illness put on my grandmother was readily apparent to all who entered their house. However, she was able to make her peace with him dying and got to say goodbye.
My parents had a beloved dog that went to sleep one night and didn't wake up the next morning. It was a painless and quick death for the dog but my parents were devastated over his passing and never got to tell him goodbye.
Selfishly, I think we all want the time to say our final goodbyes...
I have been waiting all winter for it to snow. And, stubbornly it refused to do as I asked. So I finally gave in and resigned myself to the fact that Spring was coming and planned my schedule accordingly. That included not having snow pads put on Flash.
Because a few days ago, this started happening...
Um... what is this?
I was ready for Spring...
Not seeing Spring just yet...
So training for our endurance race is kinda out (until the trails melt). But the pups and I are enjoying the white stuff while it lasts!!