Tuesday, March 9, 2021

still digging out from 2020

Can I just say for a second how freakin excited I am for daylight savings this weekend? Like.... A lot of things feel like they're getting better after what was undeniably a global shit show from March 2020 through to March 2021 (and it's still not over yet!), and daylight savings feels like a proverbial "light" at the end of the tunnel. 

this picture gives me flashbacks to charlie grazing in the same spot back in 2017 at his second horse show.... gosh he was so skinny then!
There's a lot of good news happening, and glimmers of hope and relief and all that. Like, my parents and grandfather have all been fully vaccinated --- a huge relief. All that good news combined with warmer weather and the promise of longer days soon are really helping improve my mood right now lol.

lol clearly so gud at #haircare. pictured: mud dreads
Which, it turns out, is a good and welcome thing, bc.... Guys. My mind game is TRASH right now. Absolute garbage, wow. 

snip snip, mother fuckers!! 
lol and yea... quite obviously i didn't even bother to wash the tail before trimming ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Amy and I signed up for Loch Moy's final cross derby of the season, and, frankly I'm lucky Amy was there. Bc it's highly unlikely I would have even ended up going --- the vague feelings of existential doom were that strong. 

charlie is so helpful haha -- wondering if Amy needs assistance zipping her vest!
Even once we got there, I just had this sorta deep seated feeling of "Nope." Just general bad juju, ya know? And it didn't get any better after we strolled around the arenas eyeballing the courses while Intro ran. 

punky looking exceptionally chill! with his green bow on for St Patty's Day <3
We had basically the best ride times in the world --- late enough that Charlie actually got to go out into his field for a little while in the morning, and I didn't have to wake up at any god awful hour. We'd also be riding in the warmest part of the day when footing promised to be the best -- while still promising to be home before dark. 

and there's maryland man!
Idk, tho, I just wasn't feeling it. This past year I've tried to adapt my mentality to just go with my gut and only do things I want to do. It works out well when my gut check says, "Yes, Absolutely!" like it did to the idea of schooling at this exact same venue with these exact same arenas and jumps back in December. 

literally jumped these four fences. and like, two warm up jumps. mega intense, yo
So I guess I was kinda surprised my gut would be so fickle and decide to 'nope' out on this day. But. Idk. Barring anybody standing there with an actual cattle prod forcing me to Do The Thing, I just decided to scratch. 

will write about an earlier lesson later, but based on charlie's reactivity i decided to add a rein converter, so one rein activates both curb and snaffle -- rather than just having one rein on the curb (or two reins, like i used to do way back in the day). note we also still have the leather curb strap
Which, ya know, I can objectively agree that this is pretty stupid. But whatever, it is what it is. In the meantime, Amy did her schooling round (which was fantastic!) and then her own timed run (also excellent -- tho a little slow from walking in a couple places, plus a rail). 

And while we waited around for her results to be tabulated, I started thinking that I wouldn't even do my schooling session either. Like, what's the point, right? Plus, it was looking like we might actually be able to get home in time for the horses to get turned out before PM feeding --- wasn't that more important to me anyway??? 

Amy disagreed with that position tho, and ended up getting her way when the scoring software server went down and they were delayed in posting results. Obvi I'm never one to stand in the way of someone potentially collecting any satin, so we obvi had to wait for the results. 

And at this point, the window for getting the horses home in time for turnout closed anyway so... Eh, I got on my freakin horse and rode him around during the schooling session. And it was fine

this might actually be a new fence for us -- we jumped the BN back in december
I chatted with a few friends and acquaintances as we sorta slowly milled around, and opted to stick in the least busy arenas to just sorta do as we would. Charlie walked trotted and cantered around like he's done this a zillion times before (he has), and then I aimed us at a few jumps. 
have jumped this lattice literally a million times, including with isabel
Like, criminally few jumps. First a tiny little log, then a BN roll top. And, then, a quick serpentine across the big ring catching four of the N fences on course. All of which went exactly like you'd expect them to go for Charlie: perfectly fine

have also jumped this fence (and every version of it) tons and tons
And ya know, that was it. The schooling session wrapped up and we left the arena to go back to the trailers, untack, and go home (Amy's results had since been posted). 

very simple little roll top
I know it sounds so stupid to write it out like this -- to pay money to enter an event, drive all the way out there, and then not even want to ride... But eh, idk, it's just where my mind is right now. 

This past year has been such a grind that, for a lot of people, I think, the grittiness reserves are pretty much on empty at this point. 

they always park us in so tight at loch moy --- it's a busy place! 
I could try to find a million excuses or justifications or rationalizations for why I wasn't feeling it on this day..... We haven't had a truly serious jumping lesson in months.... Haven't had an xc lesson in over a year... It's been cold and wet -- the ground only just this week actually firmed up for riding... Ooh, and I wrecked my ankle *again* by dismounting directly on top of a jump pole bc apparently I'm destined to be crippled for life.... 

But. Eh. It's hard to tell how much of that is "real" vs just trying to wave away the general slump and stagnation of a year spent in a pandemic. Esp when you compare it to the year prior --- like in 2019 when I took literally every single riding lesson and clinic known to man. I rode with everybody that year, and felt the strongest and most capable in my riding as I had in ages. 

lol charlie didn't even break a sweat. good boy with your fluffy cute mohawk <3
On one hand, it's hard to compare my riding now to then. On the other hand, tho, reminding myself how much homework went into that riding helps make me feel like it's completely reasonable that we are where we are right now. 

Which, again, "where we are" right now is basically a good place. Charlie's doing really well and is the absolute bestest most reliable packer around novice fences.   

So, eh, I'm gonna give myself a pass on the day lol. Basically my plan / hope for the year is to just go out and do ALL the things -- try to make showing feel mundane and routine and normal again, focus on the parts that are the most fun (doing it with friends! riding courses that feel easy!) and not really worry too much about anything else. 

the sweetest <3
From that perspective, it was honestly a pretty nice day. Beautiful weather, good horses, incredible facilities -- and the little bit of riding I *did* do was quite pleasant. Good 'nuff for right now haha. I'm satisfied with at least feeling like the general environment is improving. 

Anyone else feeling ready for daylight savings, spring, and the promise of an eventual return to normalcy?? I know I'm not the only one still digging out from the mental fallout from all the fuckery of 2020.... Anyone discovered any helpful coping techniques to feel like you're getting your riding back on track? 


  1. Thank you for writing this. I think sometimes we all deserve to nope right out of something if we need to, even if technically the day/event/thing is actually set up for success. Daylight Savings Time is so so soon, we can make it! I, too, am hoping it somehow changes everything and makes it better!

    1. for sure. i honestly think it's really important to be kind to ourselves when we just don't want to do something.... the flip side is that sometimes we do need to push through, and i almost never regret it when i push myself over the hump. but.... eh, there's time for all that later haha! when the days are loooonger ;)

  2. 100% yes to all of this. Thanks for writing it. I too feel totally fried mentally from the past year. I'm not riding, but that feeling is still the same - not really trusting myself to push things too much...just in case... lol It does sound a bit funny written out, but still. I think a lot of us are feeling nervous and tentative about life in general.

    So great that your family is getting vaccines. Things are rolling out quite slowly up here for that...

    1. And yes 100% to daylight savings! lol Forgot to add that part!

    2. yes --- that's exactly it. like i just straight up don't trust myself. and then if even one little thing goes wrong, i'm like, "SEE THIS IS WHY I KNEW I SHOULD DO THIS!" or some nonsense like that. nervous and tentative was 100% the Mar2020-Mar2021 mood, but i'm hoping (for everyone's sake!) that it keeps getting better!

  3. Blegh I had Daylight Savings, I don't mind the more daylight bit but the swing back and forth of time really just bugs me and gets me fucked up in the brain. Last years transition was smoother because of the pandemic starting, but I feel busier than ever now and I know this years transition won't be as smooth lol I guess I could start going to bed early now.

    Sorry you are feeling the blahs, hopefully DST is the fix you are looking for!

    1. lol you remain the lone dissenting voice among the ranks of my friends who actually LIKES the winter time settings haha. i'll never understand it! but still hoping it goes smoother than you expect all the same!

  4. Feeling all of this. I'm just struggling to push myself right now and for me, not feeling well isn't helping either. Of course, Nay is a little crazy having had so much time off which makes me want to ride less... but right now I just don't care. I'll be ok eventually...

    1. in our area especially with the slightly more-intense-than-usual winter (esp with precipitation) i'm honestly thinking it's kinda part for the course to just be worn all the way down by now. it's gonna be 70 this week tho (omg!) so hopefully that gets all our blood pumping a little quicker! (except for the horses, in which case i hope it calms them right down out of their spring sillies LOL)

  5. Eh, some days the thing just isn't meant to be done. I am glad you got on and did the schooling though.

    1. realistically, i'm glad i got on and rode him around anyway. it's good to get any reps in, even in just basic rides!

  6. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. If you're not feeling it, don't do it. You'll be motivated and excited again in the future, just let yourself feel bleh about it now. I go through the same phases, and I know I'll always swing back out of an "eh" slump.

    1. yea basically i'm right there with ya -- as someone who loves to overthink and dissect everything, sometimes it's honestly a relief to just go with my gut, and trust that i'll be more excited about stuff again on a different day!

  7. I definitely feel the same way, I skipped several horse trials this year that I would have killed to go to in 2019, just because like I didn't really feel like packing up the trailer, and driving over there, and tacking up my horse 3 times, and then untacking him, and then driving back, and then unpacking...

  8. I think that's actually a hard thing to say "okay" to - to just nope out of whatever it is that is giving you a bad feeling. I think many of us are so used to thinking we HAVE to get it done because either you spent the money, or any number of things, but I think it's way more important to listen to your gut if it's telling you something doesn't feel right. Those are usually times we should've said no, but didn't and the result wasn't good. So you don't have to explain yourself! It still seemed like a good day was had - there's always another time!

  9. I have 100% been where you're at. And I have no idea why I felt that way, or if looking back, I made the right decision. But, I totally get it. And I ALWAYS say, trust your gut.
    i'm super psyched for daylight savings. I don't realize how important LIGHT is in my life. The only bummer is that for the first month or so I'll lose AM daylight and I have been trying to run before work so I can ride after work. But soon we will have enough light to do that again.
    Happy to hear how good Charlie feels :)


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