Monday, December 5, 2022

The Year of Change

It's been a while, Blog Land.



A lot has changed since I last blogged nearly twelve months ago.

My day to day has changed.

My herd has changed.

My goals have changed.

I am still transitioning from a state of high pressure, impossible deadlines, 3am electrical wiring and drywall installations to a calm and quiet sea and it's... weird. My clock seems to tick on endlessly, reminding me that I finally have time to do things other than rearrange gravel and rock or measure and remeasure cabinets. And a weird part of me is almost perturbed at the idea that spending 14 hours a day at the barn isn't on the docket for my weekend plans yet again. 

The past 365+ days of barn building have been emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting. I remember thinking that the day we brought the horses home that things would almost feel magical, but I think we've been running off of adrenaline, hot dogs (so many hot dogs) and lack of sleep that I haven't had the chance to really let it sink in yet.

Case in point - wiring electrical by flashlight.

I am enjoying it, though, and allowing myself to feel thankful to finally have my own space. There is still a lot left to do, but the bulk of it is complete and we can finally breathe a little bit. As we transition back into the warmer months (ie. Spring 2023), we will be creating more paddocks and subsequently more room for the horses to enjoy their new home. 

If this entire process has taught me anything, it is that anything worth having doesn't come easy and if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.

This build took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears - literal and copious amounts of each and I could not be any more prouder of my partner than I am now. When I approached him nearly six years ago with drawings and plans of what I wanted for a barn, he simply said, "Oh that's easy."

It was anything but easy, but it's here and it's all mine.
It still looks a little derelict given that there is no siding, but
good things come to those who wait (or something like that).

And not once did he complain, even when we had to shovel snow and ice out of a 4ft deep foundation. Not once did he say, "This it out of our element" - we simply forged onwards and figured it out. And not once did he turn down an opportunity to work on the barn - even when it was rain-slushing sideways or it was a balmy -20C.

This is singlehandedly one of the biggest project's we have taken on as a team, and as we draw a close on the year, I am thankful he has always been my biggest cheerleader and biggest advocate of the entire process. 

Of course, the year did not come without its own bouts of sadness as I laid my sweet Moo to rest. I'm still not ready to talk about it or acknowledge how angry I am that I had to say goodbye. 

But maybe one day. 

Forever three years old.
Forever the very best three year old.
I had sat on her precisely once before this day.

Maybe one day I won't be so angry, and I'll share her story right to the end.

One day, but for now I hold the memory in my heart and in my mind and I hope that wherever she is she is finally free.

Over the last year I've learned that horses hold a special place in my heart, but they are not my entire life. Part of me feels grief over that, but part of me feels relief that there are no external pressures to ride and compete. 

With Annie's COPD worsening over the last few months, I've had to learn to adapt to the health of my horses yet again and although things look a little more bleak and uncertain once again, I feel weirdly humbled to know that whatever comes my way, I can and will deal with it the most graceful and appropriate way possible. 

They already love the new place and immediately
took to snoozing in the soft sand every single night.

I am simply enjoying my horses - eager for warmer days to ride (or drive) or simply hand-walk and be in their presence. I still love them with a fierceness that only a horse-person can understand, but I am also letting go of that part of me that longed for competitions, new tack, early morning lessons and braiding the perfect button braids.

I don't know what the future holds for my special black war horse, and although a large part of me is very nervous to see such serious changes in less than a year, I am reminded yet again that I know my animals better than anyone. And for now, I'll do what needs to be done to protect, nurture, and keep her as well as I can. 

The same goes for a silly little potato pony, who never ceases to keep me on my toes and reminds me to laugh even when I really, really don't want to.

Things are chugging along as they always have - a bit of triumph and a bit of tragedy. Horses are one of the most frustrating yet endearing animals I have ever had in my life (and if anyone has any insight into feeding a cube-only diet, please comment below so we can connect!) and yet, I cannot imagine life without them.

Looking at the back of the property, which will
eventually be grass for her to munch on to her heart's
content.

2022 has been a whirlwind of emotions and change, both good and bad. I'm still sitting with and processing a lot of these big feelings, but I finally feel like I can catch my breath.

For the bad that came out of 2022, I am still thankful, and I am still here - learning to let old dreams die in place of what is best for not only my animals, but for me. 

One day there will be a return to the show ring and one day I may miss the feeling of a really good centerline, but for now I am content. For now, I am happy and so are my horses.

14 comments:

  1. omg that is just so much pain. I am so so sorry about your filly. She turned out gorgeous so even more heartbreaking that you lost her :( Hugs. I love your new place and am so glad you blogged again. Spud is still the cutest and I hope you figure out Annie's issues. Thank you for sharing your love for all with us. I am truly humbled knowing what you have been through and you are still positive. Makes my nitpicking seem very shallow. The barn is GORGEOUS and can't wait to see it once it warms up and you get siding on it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words <3
      It was something I had always knew was going to happen - I just wished I had had more time.

      Annie is teaching me patience if nothing else lol. She will certainly be the death of me - but one day at a time. COPD is not easy and I'm learning to forgive myself as I navigate through some unknowns.

      Thank you!! I am so proud of it. It's still a mess on the inside with tools and materials everywhere, but it's up and they're home and that's all that matters.

      Delete
  2. Good to see you back! I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet mare. What a pretty girl she was. I'm glad your barn is mostly done, I can't imagine how much work that took!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was very hard to lose her.

      Oh man... it was a PROJECT and a half, haha. I am glad we are on the "home stretch". Still lots to do, but it feels a lot more reasonable now.

      Delete
  3. I hope with some time and space amidst your slower life pace you will be able to fully bask in and become enveloped by the comfort and satisfaction that is having your own barn. I'm wishing you all the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am already learning to now.
      With each day I am finding that life is so much easier and simple than it was before, and I am so thankful for that.

      Delete
  4. Your new barn is beautiful. Here's hoping to a positive 2023 where you can relax a little more and enjoy your lovely barn and equines <3 You can message me re: cubes if you like, I'm transitioning Bridget to them, and there are a few horses at the therapeutic riding barn that are on a cube only diet and thriving.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My heart broke for you and Maizie. Life isn't at all fair. But I'm glad you're still able to feel positive. Loving horses can be so incredibly hard, but also so wonderful. Congratulations on having your horses home with you finally! The barn looks beautiful (even without siding)! Nice to hear from you again <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to be as positive as I can. I did everything I could possibly do for Maizey, but at some point it becomes about the welfare of the horse (or whatever animal it may be) and sometimes we have to make those really tough choices.

      Thank you - I am so happy with the barn.

      Delete
  6. Glad to hear an update from you (although sad to hear about some parts). Sounds like you have a great partner by your side, it sure makes everything (even the hard stuff) a little bit easier when you. Your barn is amazing <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. The barn is beautiful and what a project for you two!

    So incredibly sorry for Maizey-Moo and about Annie's worsening COPD.

    What a year....

    ReplyDelete