Monday, January 4, 2021

Back in the Saddle

The long awaited moment finally happened this weekend. Quest and I did our first real ride after nearly 10 months and it was the perfect way to start the new year. 

W was wonderful enough to watch C in the car while I did my ride without worrying. He really is the best husband. The extent that he understands how much riding and my ride goals mean makes me so grateful for his complete support <3 

Mareface was foot perfect and awesome. We did about 30-40 minutes of walk-only since I'm still healing from the incision and didn't want to do anything that would set my progress back. I felt great though and it was tough not to keep going or be tempted to do more than just a walk. Quest was definitely feeling good as well and she asked politely to trot at a few points during our little jaunt. 

I guess it was a good thing I didn't do too much since I felt a little sore later that evening- definitely need to build up those riding muscles again haha If the weather stays decent, I'll probably be going out to the barn most weekends and might try to fit in a longer trail ride at some point! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020


A few weekends ago, we did a barn trip out as a family of three for the first time! 

C was super during the drive (lots of sleeping) and woke up briefly to check out his new surroundings. W stayed in the car with the little guy while I went out to the pasture to go fetch Quest. 

During the winter months, the upper pastures are closed to the main herd so thankfully I didn't have to slog through a ton of snow-laden terrain in order to get mareface. I was also still technically on medical leave and have been trying to be good about not overextending myself so I could heal...and get back to riding sooner!

I found Quest dozing happily in the morning sun with a nice fluffy winter coat going on. After doing my usual look over (cleaned/checked feet and ran hands all over), I did a quick grooming session before leading mareface over to the fence for the highly anticipated meeting. With C still a newborn, we made sure to bundle him up for the outdoors. The temperature difference in the pasture vs at home is big enough so we played it safe with winter wear. Poor kid's jacket was super oversized but at least he was warm haha 

As expected, Quest was just amazing. Always ears up, she was quietly inquisitive, gentle, and seemed to "check in" with me from time to time. There was lots of praise for her and we made sure to snag plenty of photos together. 

I wanted to stay at the barn longer but the weather was pretty cold and I didn't want to risk C getting sick. Good news though is that as of last week, I had my final post-op appointment and got full medical clearance from my health care providers so saddle time will be happening. 

With winter in full swing and a baby in tow, it might be a bit hard to get in those focused rides that I was used to doing but all in good time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Baby Boy C

My little guy arrived on November 9 at 10:14am, weighing a solid 8lbs 6oz. After a 3-day hospital stay, we have been recuperating and bonding with lots of newborn snuggles at home since then. 

The weeks and days leading up to C's delivery were super tough on me emotionally as I struggled to come to terms with a scheduled c-section due to C being breeched at 32 weeks. For two months, W and I tried everything to get him to turn but he was stubborn to the end (...maybe perhaps much like me in a lot of ways.) The procedure itself was textbook perfect though and recovery has been relatively smooth thankfully.  I'm still mentally coping with how things ended up but in this process, I got a jumpstart on learning one of the biggest lessons in parenthood: Things rarely go according to plan. 

It's been three weeks since we got home and I'm surviving motherhood so far. The feedings at 3-4am are the toughest part but all in all, C has been a good baby. I have my final post-op appointment with my health care team in about 3 weeks and if recovery continues to go well, they will give me the all clear to return to full activity...which will definitely include some much needed saddle time with my best mareface.  

Nine months away certainly feels like an eternity. Though as much as I want to rush back into the swing of things to make up for the time lost this past year, I'm trying to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the moment- which includes giving Quest the winter months off as I've done so in the past and pick things up in late January/early February. I've been chatting with a few equestrian moms on FB and their experience has said the same. So as the nights grow longer and the temperatures colder, I'll enjoy the newborn days before they come and go in a blink of an eye. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Big Changes Ahead!

It has been incredibly tough not to completely spill the beans on this big news for the past couple months. but...I'm expecting and found out yesterday we're having a boy! And fun fact, the little one and I may possibly be sharing a birthday too.

Obviously with insanity happening in the past couple of months, I've been especially careful since finding out we were having a kid. With a lowered immune system right now, the hospital is the last place I wanted to be so I have only bummed around bareback on Quest one time and stayed within eyeshot of my husband. Mareface was totally perfect though and probably bored LOL

I'm sure I could continue riding until I physically can't but in these times, its better to be careful and to be honest, I've been enjoying my time on the ground with Quest. She's still doing well at the new place and I'm yearning for the day when we can hit the rail trails again.

But for now, I'm enjoying being a mom-to-be and looking forward to what this next adventure in life will bring (:

Monday, March 16, 2020

New View, New Adventure

This was a decision in the works since the end of last year during the long winter months when I took some time to think hard about what was best for Quest and for us. While I am still figuring out the finer details, I knew the time had come for us to return to the trails we had left nearly four years ago. 

About a month ago, W and I made the 1-hour trip westward and visited a new-to-me barn. The barn is owned by a family, and owner himself gave us a tour and I felt comfortable that he had the amenities and simple necessities I was looking for: an indoor arena, trailer parking, ample pasture, good horse care, and miles of trails. The owners were kind enough to let me haul my trailer and my tack box in a weekend earlier prior to the scheduled move-in date. That trip was an adventure in itself but we made it. 

This past weekend was our move-in day. I got to OF about a half hour before the owner's daughter, C, and her husband showed up with the trailer. It was a bit cold in the morning but knowing that it had been awhile since Quest had hauled, I decided to take off her sheet in case she got lathered from the ride over. The trailer was a step-up 3-horse slant gooseneck with stock styled windows covered by plexiglass. Mareface did give a wary side eye but loaded up without another hesitation (good girl!) and we were on the road in less than 5 minutes. 

The drive over was uneventful though when we arrived at the barn, I could tell that Quest wanted out. I could see her legs beneath the divider before C opened it and it looked like someone had doused my horse in buckets of water. She was lathered from head to toe. Despite her immense nerves, Quest behaved for me to clip the lead line on and unloaded without running out like a deranged wild animal. 

I knew she needed/wanted to move though so we walked together to the pasture barn where my tack was stored to get a cooler on and we headed into the indoor arena to chill out and dry off. Quest calmed down pretty much immediately and was soon more interested in snuffling the ground, looking for a comfy place to roll and get rid of all the dried sweat. By this point we had the entire arena to ourselves, so I took the cooler off and unclipped the lead. I totally expected Quest to jettison off on her own but instead she stuck by my side like glue haha Wherever I went, she followed. If I stopped, she did too. I eventually sat down on a mounting block in the middle of the arena and she finally found a nice place to do a thorough roll on both sides. Mareface looked much more content after that. 

C eventually came over to take me to the office to do paperwork and asked if I wanted to put Quest in a stall temporarily. Knowing Quest, I requested if there was a turnout paddock instead and C was able to accomodate. Leaving mareface to socialize with her paddock neighbor, we wrapped up details and soon headed back out to introduce Quest to her new pasture and horse friends. 

The pasture only had two other horses that day (a mare and a gelding) vs the 5-6 horses I saw a month ago which made me a bit more comfortable. The winter/drylot pasture that the horses get was absolutely enormous, not even counting the grazing pastures they have during the summer. Following C's lead, I showed Quest the perimeter, the run-in shed, feed troughs, and water. Mareface took it all in stride and the two other horses looked on blandly while I took off Quest's halter and let her say hello. The mare wasn't too happy about seeing a newcomer at first and tried to chase- Quest was quite a bit more lean and agile so she just trotted away. And that was pretty much it for drama. 

I stayed for about an hour or so afterward with my packed lunch to keep an eye on things but it was very uneventful from there on out. The mare tried to assert her dominance only once again but it was very short lived- Quest just skipped away and does not pay her any extra attention at all. After mareface got in a nice roll in, I grabbed my grooming stuff and brushed her in the pasture to help her look somewhat less shaggy and wild. 

I haven't gotten any emergency calls from the barn yet and this morning an update from C said Quest is doing fine- she figured out her meal spot, though not really buddy-buddy with any particular horse yet but she looks content. So here we are, new barn and back to our old trails. I'm looking forward to enjoying the more sedate pace of barn life and seeing what the future brings us. 

Social distancing at its finest