Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Head Above Water

A photo at the back of the property.
I took this a while ago - if you look closely you can see Ella.
I have a back log of posts that I never got around to typing up prior to Ella's passing. I hadn't sat down and hammered them out, simply because I was busy riding and enjoying spending time outside. And then all this terrible stuff happened, and I didn't feel particularly compelled to write about happy stuff. I do want to share those moments though, because they ARE happy moments and remembering the happy moments is what inevitabley gets us by.

Before that though, I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to everyone who has reached out and offered kind words, a shoulder to cry on, a story of their own tragic loss, and for seeing if I'm okay. I appreciate each and every one of you guys - I am slowly but surely pushing myself past the feelings of guilt and remorse. It hasn't been an easy feat, and the funny thing about grief is that it comes and goes in waves.

Watching funny videos of Ella hurts, but it
also makes me smile.
I am trying to understand the SO's grief and sense of loss; as I feel despite helping me with the horses and being a cheerleader on the sidelines during shows, he does not fully understand horses and how they work. Which, I can understand and appreciate to some level. And despite it being an accident of epic proportions, I imagine there is the human need to blame someone or something. And well, the horses are the easiest ones to fit that mold.

So I'm navigating a bit tricky territory - trying to balance myself as well as understand the emotions of others.

I do hope before long, the SO will come to realize just how truly and purely accidental this situation was and that there isn't always the opportunity to bubble-wrap those you love. Which it's not to say I didn't feel those powerful emotions, because not long after the situation transpired, I was motivated by the fire in my eyes to do everything I could to prevent anything like that from ever happening again. And it certainly included hanging up my bridles as well as not owning another dog past this.

The most hilarious little dog ever.
It's ludicrous and doesn't make any sense, but that's what grief is. I try not to pull myself down into the darkness because when it grabs a hold, it doesn't let go. What other people feel in their own grief is valid and even if I have a hard time accepting or understanding it, I'm doing my best to respect it. I imagine men are quite different in dealing with tragedy, compared to someone like myself who finds it best to talk about it and about the real, raw thoughts and emotions.

I have my head above water most days, and on the very good days I push my boundaries a little bit. So much so that I managed to clamber up onto Annie and head out for a low-key ride around the neighborhood. She must've known I was fragile still, as she was on her very best behavior. Small spooks yes, but moreso at the changing scenery (a children's playground is being erected now so things have changed on our route since we last rode). I was proud of her - I had done pretty much nothing with her for almost two weeks - and she came out very level headed and calm.

It was just the ride I needed.

We walked, trotted, and cantered briefly throughout the subdivision where the footing allowed it.

I haven't been on her back since that day, as monsoon season has abruptly arrived. With precipitation estimated in the 20-30mm range daily, it makes outdoor activities borderline impossible.

The chores at the horses are never-ending and although there are days I have admittedly avoided them and left them for a "better day", I have taken some happiness in returning to the routine. I am a creature of habit and even when I feel glum, it's important to get out and go do the things that need doing.

Treats for the best baby bean who took
such good care of me <3
The horses are doing just fine, and are a bit more cuddlier than usual. I have taken to treating their hooves a few times a week to battle the small amounts of thrush both of them have (thanks to the rain), as well as did some ground-work with Annie for a few minutes the other day.

We're slowly putting one foot in front of the other, and over the next few days I'll cover the blog posts I intended to write a few weeks ago.


  1. Glad you're getting back to your routine. These things take time. <3

  2. Good girl, Annie, giving you just the ride you needed.

  3. I am glad that you are back to routine. I am sorry that your SO is feeling angry. I get it. I still have a visceral reaction to seeing a particular type of Husky and when one is posted as missing I check where that dog went missing. It's harder not knowing exactly what happened I am sure. I know that Ed sometimes thinks of the horses as big dogs and it's hard to change his mind on that.