A Bit on Love

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

Hearing this a million times while everyone was reading The Fault in Our Stars, and then a billion times more as the movie came out, I always sort of thought it was sort of a ridiculous way to view love. You don’t fall in love slowly; it’s not a gentle sleepy feeling. It’s rock hard, immediate, bam! You see them and your world changes. You’re going about your day with no idea that something spectacular is about to happen, and then you turn and your heart never beats the same way again.

At least, that’s what love was to me up until about a month ago. Because up until about a month ago, I’d only ever been in love with my horses. I never dreamed I’d feel love for a person the way I love my babies. I breathe for them. I live for them. They’re the most beautiful, perfect things in my life, and without them, I’d be nothing. At the worst times in my life, my horse was there to pick me up, even when everyone else kept kicking me down. At my darkest moments, when I was actively deciding what would be the best way to go, and debating whether I wanted slow and painless: a bottle of pills, or fast and unknown: the gun in the closet, my horse was there to ground me, and more importantly, my horse was there to stop me.

When my first best friend died, and I was the one who had to make the decision to let him leave peacefully and nobly rather than force him to live unhappily just to save my selfish self, my world changed. My life was black and white, and I was lost, drowning, until the ghost of my gray horse found me the next love of my life. Suddenly, I saw color once more. I saw Her, and my bruised and battered heart started to beat once again. She was bruised and battered as well, and we clung to each other, needing each other to survive, although I needed her more than she needed me. Four years later, she was still my single solitary lifeline, until she and I welcomed three more into our herd of two, and my family grew to five. I never thought it was possible to love so much. I thought there could only be one absolute obsession, but apparently, hearts grow, because I now live and breathe for four four legged angels. It seems only fitting that two of my herd came to me with the names Lucky and Destiny.

To me, they are family. They are the definition of love. My wires were twisted, and humans had hurt me so badly that I could never trust one enough to let them into my family of five.

I accepted the fact that I was on my own, and more than that, I enjoyed it. I delighted in not having a partner/boyfriend/husband/other. I loved being on my own, and I assumed I would die that way.

Enter Boy.

He was different right from the beginning. I couldn’t chase him away, as hard as I tried. After six months of living with him, I still didn’t love him. I could still see myself leaving, wandering away, not because of a huge fight or because we were different from each other, but just because I’ve always been alone. I never expected anything different. I’m well suited to live by myself, and being with someone else- even as loosely as our “being together” was; living together peacefully, but not acting like Boyfriend and Girlfriend, not putting a name to our togetherness, not even making plans around each other, just doing our own thing and seeing each other whenever our paths crossed- was foreign to me.

I liked him, but still never had I felt anything that could rival what I had for my family of five.

Another month or two passed, and I’m not sure when things changed, but suddenly, I realized my plans that I oh so carefully made for my future included him. They didn’t exist around him, and they didn’t change for him, but suddenly, my daydream of looking out the window at my horses included him making coffee, his dog next to mine on the couch.

And I realized that I did fall in love with him slowly, and then all at once. So slowly at first that I didn’t even realize it was happening, and then as soon as I had an inkling of a feeling, bam, there it was, over and done with, I think it’s cute the way he snores and it’ll hurt if he leaves, love. And I realized that all love is not equal. My love for him is not the burning, beating, life or death love I have for my herd, but rather a gentle, slow, reassuring kind of love. I don’t need him, but if I want him, then he’s there. And that’s probably a healthier, happier kind of love if we’re being honest. It’s not a firework, it’s a candle. Not an explosion, big and loud and wild but over too soon, but an everlasting light in the darkness. Something that maybe isn’t as wildly exciting as that firework, but will last for a hell of a lot longer. Even forever, if carefully tended to. No one wants to hear that about love. They want the romance novel. They want the fireworks. They want the highest highs and to get that, settle with the lows being more frequent. They want hard and fast.

Me?

Well, I’m no expert, since my only idea of love is what I feel for my family of five, but I’m pretty happy with slow and comfortable instead. I like my candle. Too much of an explosion would probably scare me away. But what I like most isn’t the big moments that a movie would show, but rather the little ones, like how he can make me laugh and is friends with my best friend. How he’s a little selfish, and not all that humble, but he asks how my kids are every day, and tells me to give them a kiss for him. He’s imperfectly perfect, not quite a romance novel hero, but a perfect addition to my own book.

I still have commitment issues that would make Christian Grey look like a model member of society, and I don’t trust easily, if at all, but he doesn’t ask for more than I can give him, and that’s just right for me.

A Bit On Horses

As I sit here with my colicking horse, constantly interrupting my veterinarian while he’s on a date with his beautiful wife, having gotten a babysitter to watch their newborn for the first time, I remember when I wanted to be a vet. I remember when every single person in my family thought I would/should be a vet.

I remember the day when I realized I love my horses too much to be a vet.

Throughout my twenty years of horse-ownership, I have met a lot of veterinarians. I’m talking dozens. At least fifty. Perhaps more. About ten have worked on my horses, another ten showing up at barns where I’ve been gainfully employed, another ten at the multiple racetracks I’ve been to, half a dozen more at the rescues I’ve worked at. For three years of my childhood after my parents’ divorce, my mother and I actually lived above a veterinarian’s garage. All of these being equine vets. I’ve met a dozen more small animal vets, but for some reason, I’ve never been as close to them. There just seems to be more that can go wrong with a horse, and all my late night emergencies have been in a stall or a pasture. And when I have late night emergencies with any of my other myriad animals- the dog eating an entire bag of wrapped jolly ranchers, the dog’s paw swelling to three times its normal size because she cut herself and I wrapped it too tightly, the dog eating an entire bag of chocolate, the dog eating an entire bag of raisin bread, the dog’s spine suddenly went out of alignment because a goat attacked her, causing her to have a miniseizure, (all but the last happened to the same moronic border collie, too)- I end up texting my equine vet instead of calling an animal hospital.

I’ve been through a lot of vets. I mentioned that before. I’m picky as hell and demand specific treatment of my babies. I never liked my childhood vet because he wasn’t a big talker. He wasn’t big on affection (not that I regularly hug my vets… although I do… but when I have a horse who’s colicking or bleeding heavily or panicking for some other reason, I like a soft spoken someone who’ll pat her on her neck and tell both of us that it’ll be okay), and was old enough that some of the care he performed was outdated, or not as good as it could have been. I used one vet for a single appointment, hating how he treated me like I was stupid and insisting the only way to fix my horse was to use corrective shoeing on her. I swapped between quite a few other vets- women, men, young, old- for another ten years until I found The One. The One is the vet I call (or text, if it’s not a horse and it’s two in the morning) in all sorts of occasions. In emergencies, he’s my man. In minor situations, he gives the best advice. If I’m watching something on television or read something in a book and have a question about it, he gets a text. I keep up to date on all equine medical procedures and new sciences, operations, supplements, saddle fit, saddle pads, correctional advice, pros and cons of barefoot and Bitless, pros and cons of corrective shoeing, drugs, holistic care, whether or not magnetic therapy is a thing, massage, acupuncture, everything. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. At least ten percent of my life is spent researching things in the horsey medical world. And I like that he keeps up to date on it all as well. I like that he answers all my questions respectfully and honestly, and I like that if he doesn’t know something, he’ll admit it and then get back to me with the answer. I really like his bedside manner, and so do my horses. He’s calm and quiet, and can work quickly in an emergency without seeming to rush. He doesn’t ever get angry or frustrated at the horse, no matter how poorly they’re behaving. He’s the first vet I’ve ever had who will stand there and stroke my horse while he’s talking, rather than give her a pat or two when we’re finished.

That being said, in the past year, I met another vet who taught me so much more. While I was working at the breeding farm, I saw the farm vet a lot. Usually every day, and at the very least, he was here minimum of three days a week. With eighty horses, we always had someone getting themselves hurt or sick or something else, and as an operating breeding farm on top of that, he would sometimes even stop by twice a day- we would be his first stop in the morning and his last stop on his way home. He was awesome. He was funny and assertive and taught me more in a year than in all my other years. I learned how to take care of everything myself, so much so that I stopped worrying about it. If a horse was colicking, I had dealt with it a hundred times. I’d shoot him with banamine and wait a few hours before I even bothered calling the vet at all. I could hold together gaping wounds and mutilated muscles, I could lance things that no one should ever have to lance. I could use a skin staple to fix a horse’s massive head injury. I could foal out a mare on my own, I could fix a baby’s fever, I could feed a baby who wouldn’t drink by sliding a tube down its nose to its stomach. I helped him cut apart a baby that was still inside its mother in the worst screwed up foaling of my life, when the baby had turned all the way around and there was no way to get it out alive and the mother only had a fifteen percent chance of living herself. After that, there was no such thing as an emergency any more.

I both loved and hated Kurt. I loved him for everything he could do and for everything he had taught me and for everything that he thought I could do (whether right or wrong- he expected me to save lives, so I had to woman up and learn to handle a situation). And I hated him. I hated him for the way he treated the horses. I hated him for the way he treated me. I would never have let him touch one of my own horses, and I was the only person who would stop him from beating a horse. The first day I walked in and saw the aftermath of his anger, when I had to take care of a baby whose eye saw swollen shut because he had beaten her so badly, I cried. The first time I witnessed him beat a horse, I stopped him, and in the end, that was what got me fired.

Veterinarians are an odd breed. They have to be. They have to be distant, at least a little bit, and they have to not care so much about the horses. To protect themselves, they have to see the horses as a job. They cannot become emotionally invested. And that’s why I would never be able to make it as a veterinarian. I care too much. Wrong or right, I love horses more than people. Horses have always been there for me. Horses have never failed me. My horses are the reason I get up every morning. And to be put in the position where I would have to become callused to their suffering, just enough that I didn’t break down at their pain after seeing it day after day, I couldn’t do it. I would either never grow those calluses, or I would, and I don’t know which would be worse. To hurt constantly or not at all. To lose that empathy I have for my best friends would be like losing myself, since so often, I don’t have empathy for anything else. So often, I feel like horses give me emotions, the same way they give me peace and happiness and freedom. I don’t think I could ever live without that.

So, here’s to veterinarians- I appreciate everything that you do. I would not be able to do my job nearly as well without you. I need you. But I would never want to be you.

Tiny House Nation

I seem to be the only one in my extended family of actual relatives, friends, and fellow horse addicts who is not bemoaning the beginning of winter. This was the first day that snow actually accumulated, and I spent the morning standing in my bare feet in the open doorway, awed over how snow can even make the ugly apartment complex Boyfriend and I currently live in beautiful. Boyfriend spent the morning cursing the snow and the cold and me for standing with the door open.
I’ve always loved winter. And not “I love being inside with a cup of cocoa and a fire” winter (although I love that, too). As a horse owner and a farm worker, I spend my winters working outside. For at least twelve hours a day, I am outside breaking ice out of water buckets, blanketing horses, cleaning stalls in a freezing barn, hauling hay, skidding full wheelbarrows over ice, working unruly horses… Everything that I do every single day of the year, except with additional layers of clothing. And I still love winter.

Winter would be my favorite season if it didn’t go on so long. Here in northeast Ohio, it sometimes feels like six months are dedicated to snow. And too much of a good thing always makes it bad.

The only thing I hate about winter is driving. I hate driving to begin with, and driving with snow and ice on the roads is even worse. Last year, I had the benefit of living on the farm where I worked and kept my horses, and I never drove once. I didn’t even have a functioning car all throughout winter. That’s the life I’m striving for at some point in the future.

My first few posts of this blog were dedicated to my hunt for a new house/farm, and while that search hasn’t ended, it has sort of changed.

At the beginning, Boyfriend and I were looking for a regular house with five or more acres. We planned to live there for a few years and then upgrade to a larger farm. But I was greedy. I wanted the larger farm immediately. I didn’t want to put a ton of effort into a place we would only live in for a year. I wanted more than five acres. We found a house that had twenty acres and a cute little barn. But the house was in bad shape and so was the land. It was a foreclosure and the previous owners had destroyed it before they left. There were problems with the electric and a well that didn’t work and miscellaneous pipes were missing from the walls and various other problems that made the property undesirable. Boyfriend and I wanted a fixer upper, but it needed more fixing than we could handle.

In that time period, as I wondered how we could make it work, I considered living in a trailer while we were rebuilding. Then, I found the Tiny House Movement.

The Tiny House Movement is all about- you guessed it- tiny houses. Most of the houses I found were about two hundred square feet. Some, of course were bigger- up to six hundred square feet and sometimes even more- and some were smaller. I saw a Tiny House that was ninety six square feet. I loved each and every Tiny House I found, and I felt my plan changing. Not only did I fall in love with Tiny Houses, I fell in love with what the movement was all about. The houses all leave a much smaller ecological footprint. They’re environmentally friendly. Some are even made with one hundred percent recyclable materials. They’re about living simply and not needing stuff you never use. They’re about everything having its place.

My plan has changed drastically. I am now looking for the perfect twenty plus acres to build a Tiny House. I want to live simply. I want to homestead. I want to live off my land. I’ve always been an advocate in horses living more naturally, and how it makes them healthier and I think that living in a Tiny House and raising my own food will make me healthier and happier as well.

Boyfriend thinks I’m nuts. But I’ve never been so excited. I’m already drawing out my house plans and researching building materials. With every Tiny House I find, my own house plans are added onto, changed to include some new aspect. I’m picking out paint and looking at clever storage options, composting toilets and how many solar panels I would need to go entirely off grid. I’m reading about harvesting rainwater and growing plants and canning. I’m subscribing to so many homesteading blogs it’s ridiculous. But I’m excited for this adventure. I’m excited to start it and see where it leads me.

Personally, I Think That Romeo and Juliet Could Have Handled the Situation Better

There’s something about love stories that have always gotten to me. And not necessarily in a good way. The general bullshit of man meets woman (or man meets man or woman meets woman, or any variation of such), and they lived happily ever after. As if there is nothing else that is important besides the happily ever after at the end of the story. As if, with one kiss, or one ring, or a few words, or a baby, or a promise, the main characters are over, the story finished, never to hit a road bump or have an argument or change their minds ever again. And this is coming from a published romance novelist.

As mentioned in my previous post, What A Girl Wants, I’ve always been a very independent person. Independent to a fault, really, as my happiest day is the one where I literally do not speak a single word to a single person. A day when I do not even see a single person. I pretty much have three close friends, total, and I can go weeks without speaking to any of them and still like them. I have a few friends whom I will avoid like crazy when I see them, simply because I don’t feel like talking.

Middle school and high school was ridiculous to me because, while I used each class period to write under the table, or read a book while the teacher’s back was turned, my fellow classmates seemed to be in school for one reason only- to find a mate. And while I could reason out having a fun fling now and then, these girls didn’t know the meaning of fling. Relationships were deep and meaningful, and each and every one of the boy they dated were the one. Marriage was imminent. Breakups were the end of the world.

I never understood this way of thinking. This, I am only worth something if I am worth something to SOMEONE. The Romeo and Juliet-esque view of I’d rather be dead than be without him.

If The Boyfriend left me tonight, I’d get over it. I’d be sad for about a day, then I’d shrug and say it wasn’t meant to be. As I’ve said before, I’ve never wanted a boyfriend. Half the time, I don’t want one now, and in Real Life, we are not Boyfriend and Girlfriend, but simply, “We’re roommates who kiss and have sex and stab each other with a fork when they’re hogging the bed.” When someone asks what the title of our relationship is, I usually just tell him or her that we have no title; we’re just living in sin together. About once a week, I decide I don’t want to be tied down to someone and wonder if I should leave, then I remember that he pays half the bills and I decide to wait another week.

Friends have mentioned to me before that that isn’t a healthy way of viewing life- that the only reason for a significant other is to cut down on bills- but the way I see it, they’re the ones who have a sketchy view on relationships. I’m happy alone. I suck at compromising. I want what I want, when I want it, and then I get it, no matter how much work “it” is. I suck at living with another person. I suck at sharing. And that’s all perfectly fine with me. I make myself happy first. I also make myself happy second and third, and then I might start thinking about someone else. You may call me a selfish bitch, but really, I am the only person in the world that I can make happy. I am not in charge of anyone else’s happiness, and neither is anyone else. No one is in charge of mine, and that’s the problem I see so often in the world. The belief that you are “half” a person, the desire to find “your other half.” Bitch, I am more than complete on my own, and if I find someone who compliments me, great. But I don’t need that. One plus one makes two. There is so much more to life than trying to find that one special person who’ll put up with you for the next fifty years. I don’t think there is only one person. The Boyfriend is good for me now, but I am constantly changing, as is everyone else. In a week or a month or a year or a decade, he and I might decide we’ve changed too much for each other. We might no longer bee happy in each other’s company. And when that happens, we’ll go our separate ways, and I’ll be off to find my next adventure, never needing anyone to come with me, but eventually, I may find someone whose journey agrees with mine, however temporarily. No one should have to be miserable as a result of being with someone else.

This is a great big world and I have a great big life. We all do. And I’ll never pause my life, or postpone my own joy. And you shouldn’t, either.

What a Girl Wants

I’ve always dreamed of having a huge farm in a small town. One of those tiny towns where everyone knows each other. The kind of country living where your neighbor helps you out for no reason at all. Where maybe people aren’t very scholarly or college educated, but they know everything there is to know about their profession, whether that may be growing crops or breeding horses, and there are more wide open fields than houses.

As a kid, I hadn’t ever thought of what I wanted my house to look like. I could draw you a detailed map of my dream barn and dream acreage, dream pastures and outdoor arena and cross country field and the riding trails within riding distance. I spent my school days designing my future farm and daydreaming about my life as a horse trainer (when I wasn’t reading under my desk).

As I grew up, my farm plans dwindled from a hundred acres with multiple fields and at least twenty five stalls of varying sizes, the barn shaped like a U, to a smaller scale farm, with maybe just enough room for ten horses.

As it stands now, I only want a pasture for my four kids and enough space for an outdoor riding ring. A run in is necessary, a barn is not.

I am so sick of looking at houses that right now, I want to lease a field and pull up a camper. I would be happy in a tiny space- it’s less to clean, anyway. I’m actually seriously considering it, but I don’t know if I can convince The Boyfriend that putting all the stuff we don’t need in a storage locker and living on a seriously small scale is a good thing.

Opposites really do attract, and not only is my man materialistic, he also has a tendency to go for the most expensive. He lives literally paycheck to paycheck, paying his half of everything and then totally blowing the rest within days while I sit on my money like a dragon guarding her pile of riches.

But I’ve had everything I own in storage for the past four months, and other than seriously missing having my books right in front of me, I’m no worse for wear. And we hardly use anything in the apartment anyway. We never sit on the couch, ever, we use the dining room table as a place to pile our laundry, and the only use the desk in the bedroom gets is from the cats sunbathing on it. My couches and dining room table and chairs and bed set and EVERYTHING is already in storage, and we hardly need two sets of everything. So maybe we sell some things, but then when we do get that house, we’ll just have to go furniture shopping and spend more money on new furniture than we got from selling the old.

So my next line of thought… The thought I should not be thinking… Is even if Boyfriend doesn’t agree with my camper plan, should I do it anyway? I can support myself- I always have- and I’ve always been happiest living alone. To tell the truth, he’s my first ever boyfriend. I’ve never wanted one before, and never thought I would have one, but he was so stubborn for so long that I just sort of gave in. And I love him, I do, but I’ve always been the kind of independent bitch who puts her career waaaaaay before any man. So do I put my desires before his? The answer is yes… But if my answer is yes that quickly and unequivocally, then does that mean I shouldn’t even be with him in the first place? Would we both be better off if I could go back to my solitary style of living? It’s not like we argue- we’ve actually never had an argument before- or fight. We get along better than any other couple on the face of the earth, and I think it’s sometimes because I just lack the feelings towards him that other people have for their significant others. I don’t get jealous or possessive or clingy because I literally do not possess those feelings for another human being.

As happy as we are, I sometimes feel like we can’t possibly be headed anywhere. As often as he talks about marriage, and I go along with it, I can’t even really see us lasting nearly that long. Sometimes, I think I just stay with him because it’s simpler. He’s like a roommate I sleep with. I probably shouldn’t even post this, especially since I have gone waaaaay off topic from what I had wanted to write about, but no one who’ll ever read this will ever know me, so why not, I suppose.

The Moment

I recently found myself having a moment. You know the kind. Total breakdown, freakout, screaming at the top of my lungs kind of moment.

I’m lucky my significant other wasn’t home at the time of this moment of mine, because none of it is his fault, at the same time that he caused it. So let me rephrase that- it’s totally and completely his fault, but it was utterly accidental.

I came home from an already meh kind of day knowing that he was going bowling with his friends. I had wanted to be alone all day (and was therefore kind of avoiding him) because the evening before, we had gone to see a “move in ready, needs a little work, but completely liveable” twenty acre retired farm. The Realtor assured us it was ready to go, and the owner was willing to lease it for a year so that we could fix it up before applying for a loan. We showed up to find twenty acres of disaster. The house had holes in the walls, a sagging ceiling, an uneven, torn apart floor, insulation coming through the ceiling, busted out windows, etcetera. And the barn needed to be burnt down. The entire place needed to be condemned, and I’m not kidding, because the entire way through, Boyfriend and I were both trying to see the bright side- we can fix this, we can fix that, this isn’t so bad… Until we got back to the car, covered in mosquito bites and prickers, and he put his hand on my shoulder. That’s when we knew we would never be going back, let alone buying the place.

After that failure, I woke up just wanting to be somewhere else. I left for the barn before he even woke up, and spent the entire day there, just sitting in the run in in my pasture. And then I went to my mom and her partner’s house for dinner and a movie, and I made sure to stay until I knew Boyfriend was gone before I went home.

I walked through the door at nearly midnight to find everything cleaned and tidied and vacuumed. And the pictures from my old apartment hung on the walls. The desk in the bedroom was clear for the first time in months, and our stuff was clearly separated, his jars of coins and lighters, pens and golf tees on one side and a little box filled with my comb and aspirin, peppermints and hair ties and mismatched bridle pieces on my side. He moved the shotgun over to his side of the bed, since I had just that morning bitched about it being on my side after I dropped my phone and couldn’t get to it with the gun in the way.

None of this sounds like cause for a moment. In fact, it sounds like cause for one of those movie sappy sweet smiles with the aw-he-loves-me music playing in the background.

It wasn’t.

I was angry.

Pissed off. Furious. Hurt.

And it’s good that he wasn’t here to witness me throwing things at the walls, but he didn’t mean to hurt me or make me angry or piss me off at all. He just thought he had a free day to finally clean like he wanted to (he’s the cleaner in our relationship- I’m the slob. I only clean at the barn).

I wanted to rage at him- why are you trying to make this shithole apartment seem homey when I’m trying so hard to find us a place to move?

Who gave you permission to hang my paintings?

Why the fuck aren’t you helping me find a place for us to live?

And why did you separate my things on the desk? Hide them away in some stupid sparkly box- where did you even get a sparkly box? We both know it’s not mine- like you’re trying to put me in some tidy little neat quiet corner and control me.

That isn’t even your gun! It’s mine! Who gave you the right to move it?

Great, you cleaned the fucking television. Since you love that television so damn much. You leave it on all night long and I have to go sleep on the couch because I can’t stand having a television in the bedroom, it’s so ridiculous, I can’t deal with the noise and the flickering lights and also, the next time I have to sleep on the couch because you and your fucking dog take up so much room, I am going to shove you both off the side.

I sound crazy. I feel crazy. I definitely shouldn’t post this online to prove how crazy I am, but I don’t know anyone who’ll be reading this and I’d much rather rant at a stranger I’m never going to meet than rant at my unsuspecting boyfriend who didn’t do anything wrong. Ranting makes me feel better. Mentally screaming as I write is much better than actually screaming and starting a fight over something stupid with someone who didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

Missing Autumn

I feel like I’m missing autumn.

First of all, the trees. Here in wonderful Northeast Ohio, the trees are green… Until you blink, which is when they turn that yucky yellow-brown half dead sludgy color. Where are my reds and oranges and lemon drop yellows?!? I haven’t taken a single fall picture yet, when usually, by this time in October, I’ve taken roughly a thousand.

Second, the weather. Autumn is my favorite season, not only for the beautiful colors, but also for the weather. As an equestrian, I love being able to work a horse without either of us dripping in sweat or dripping icicles from our noses. I like the feeling of going for a gallop without worrying about my horse suffering from heatstroke or freezing her lungs. Autumn is the perfect season, where there are no warnings- don’t ride if it’s hotter than this or colder than that doesn’t apply in autumn.

Except this year. This year, it’s freezing one day and hotter than hell the next. My horses started growing their winter coats early this year, because it was so cold, and now they’re spending the day sweating. Especially Destiny the draft cross, with her shaggy draft coat. She’s the only one I never have to worry about blanketing in the winter, since she turns into a bona fide wooly mammoth, but until it gets cooler, I can’t ride her faster than a walk.

And the rain! I blame the rain for the yucky trees. It’s like spring, all over again! My pasture is muddy, the arena is soggy, and all trail riding is on standby until I don’t have to fear losing one of my horses in what I swear is quicksand, neck deep muck. Slippery muck.

So, with half the trees dead and my favorite season canceled, this is clearly not my year. This is also not my week. The Boyfriend’s dog injured herself and I used a self-tightening equine bandage to wrap her leg… Only to wake up a few hours later to a border collie with three normal sized feet and one balloon. After a distressed-but-trying-to-hide-it-so-Boyfriend-doesn’t-have-a-heart-attack call to my horse vet at four am, I was able to tell Boyfriend that I did not actually maim his dog, and she would be fine a few hours after I loosened the bandage. Apparently, a dog’s leg isn’t the same as a horse’s leg… Whoops.

But the dog still has all four feet and it never even slowed her down, so there was no harm done, except maybe to Boyfriend’s nerves…

I’m really looking forward to next year.