A New Chapter

I initially wrote this April 19, 2014 and am just re-posting it here for reference.

Greetings all!

I have some big news that both elates and depresses my mood depending on which aspect my mind decides to dwell. Ok, well here goes: I’m moving. Again. Yup, it’s time to pack up all my belongings, horse included, and relocate to a strange, new land with no friends…again! The timeline? May 20th is the fated day I roll out the driveway of this beautiful farm, away from my home for this past year. So here’s how it happened:
After my giant relief to be back here at Braeburn Farm following my not so great experience in Florida, thankful for being able to ride my horse and take lunch breaks, I was as happy as could be. But, things were not the same here either. Eliza had her son and was back to riding again. The only upper level horse on the property is out of work for she is pregnant and due next month and all the other horses in training are the youngsters getting started. So basically, besides Pepper, there is no one for me to ride. That leaves me with babysitting duty for a few hours each morning so Eliza could ride and all the normal barn work. I noticed this was the case but didn’t really make a big deal out of it. Well one day Eliza approaches me and starts asking me some questions regarding if this career path is still something I want to pursue. Oh no, am I not showing enough enthusiasm? Am I not good enough? Do I have no potential whatsoever? I told her it was and she continued on to say that I am without a doubt the best working student they have ever had. Whew. And here comes the big” but.” With the birth of her son and her cutting back on the amount of horses in training she can no longer afford to have a working student and has no horses for me to ride. She told me I am at a place in my riding where I need to be riding as often and as many horses as I can. She can not provide that. Therefore, it is in my best interest to find a another place to go and work with a trainer who has upper level horses to advance my riding and pursue my training career. Wow, didn’t see that one coming so soon! But, she’s right. All I have is Pepper, he’s doing splendidly but can’t help me with my riding goals at this time. But, I don’t want to leave! What about my friends and all the roots I’ve put down here! Ahhhhh! It was a tough thing to swallow, but swallow it I must. So, I found myself in the same position I was last year, finding a job….anywhere. Although, this time I have the help and recommendation of Eliza to find a good position!

I will miss the good hacking grounds

I will miss the good hacking grounds

After several weeks of sending emails, browsing, and sending some more, I received a job offer just this past week from a woman in New Hampshire. Yeah, you heard me: NH. Everyone down here thinks their winters must be terrible, but I’m not concerned. Wisconsin seasoned me some and this place has an indoor arena! Winters are bearable if you’re equipped for them. This situation is a great one, though, with plenty of riding opportunities and several lessons a day! You see, the trainer has stopped riding because of chronic back issues and so every horse that comes through her barn, whether in training or for sale, her students ride and she teaches them! And of course, Pepper can come with me and there is housing. What a great deal! I’m excited for this new opportunity, I just pray this barn is as laid back and drama free as she claims because I do not need a repeat of Florida. And it’s in New England! How thrilling is that?! I hear it’s gorgeous up there! Can you imagine all the history? The town it is closest to was established in 1638. Neat! Oh, and it’s only 45 minutes north of Boston!
On the sad note, I have made some great friends here and every time I think of how little time I have left with them and how far away I will be going I don’t know when I will see them again, just like so many of you on this list. I hit it off immediately with these people that it was a sign to me that I came to the right place. But why so short lived? And once again I had to express my resignation to the church choir and handbell choir, and everyone is insistent that I can’t leave. Sorry, you’re going to have to find a way to hit the high notes without me! So, the search begins anew after my migration to locate some friends and another church. Time to transplant those roots….again!

Ponies grazing peacfully

Ponies grazing peacefully

As I vacillate between excitement of this new opportunity, sadness of what I leave behind, bravery for taking on this new challenge, and fear and worry of the uncertainty of my future, I’m juggling coordinations regarding the move, locations of my horses, the healing of my broken ankle (now there’s an entirely different story), and a slight lameness issue of Pepper that has prevented me from riding in two weeks. Pepper, please get better so I have a horse to ride!!
Shortly after my return from Florida I went ice skating with a few friends. Boy, I haven’t done that in years! I was staying on my feet well, shuffling though I was, fighting the wobbliness of the ice skates. I have this issue every time: my calves are so skinny that no matter how tight you try and tie the skates they are still rather unstable on my feet. I was at a good clip around the ring and while trying to navigate between the traffic with my so little experience, I fell. No big deal, I don’t mind. Well, the darn ice pick on my right skate grabbed onto the ice halting the forward progression of my foot while the rest of me pitched forward. Ouch. I have twisted my ankles in the past, and this just felt like that, so I hopped up on my feet and continued to skate around a few laps to work out of it. Well, it wasn’t working. Ok, so not just a twist, a sprain then. I exited the ring and limped out to the car. After a week of icing, elevating, resting, and anti-inflammatories, the swelling had ceased enough I could put a boot on and do minimal barn work. This continued for another week and a half and the pretty colors, lack of flexibility, and limp still persisted. Ok, well, I guess now is the time to get it checked out to see what’s going on. I strut into the doctor’s office, explain the situation, get an X-Ray taken, and overhear the technicians saying, “And she’s been walking on that for 2 1/2 weeks?!” Oops. Well, I broke it! I have a spiral fracture on the base of my fibula. The doctor looked at me like I was some super human with a high pain tolerance being able to walk, work, and yes, ride with that ankle. But, you know, it never really hurt. Only when I got up after resting it for a period of time and asked it to stretch and bear a little weight. A few steps later, pain free. The doctor decided he did not want to cast it because that would be taking a giant step backwards for me and so just gave me a brace to wear under my boots and out the door I went back to normal barn work. The limp ceased about a week later. I saw him again in 3 weeks, marking exactly 6 weeks since the injury, and he comes in the door saying, “Well, 6 weeks. This is usually when I tell people it’s ok to walk on it! You are the exception!” While there is still some bruising and lack of range of motion, I am fine, I still cannot run, leap, or skip which saddens me, for if you know me at all, you know that I love to do all of the above.
Among my week of infirmary in the bunkhouse, I woke up to no power and about a 1/4 in of ice on every imaginable surface outside. I’m sitting there in my altered state hearing branches and trees fall all around me hoping that none will come through the roof. Thankfully none did. The ice doubled throughout the day and that night, bundled up as I was, was the coldest night I have ever spent. I couldn’t even breathe the air. My ankle was only comfortable in one position, so without the ability to curl myself up in a ball or do any physical activity to stay warm, I had very little sleep, waking on several occasions to find myself even more uncomfortable and cold. I was extremely relieved when I poked my head out from under the blanket and saw that the sun had risen. I made it! I’m alive! I proceeded to force some shoes on and limp outside to stand in the sun and find some semblance of warmth. The damage was astronomical. We are still chipping away at clean up.

Bundled up and still cold

Bundled up and still cold

The ice on my super awesome truck!

The ice on my super awesome truck!

So, that has been my last couple months and now all that is on my horizon is the impending move. I keep forgetting that I have a birthday coming in about  a week, it’s not even on my radar. I am grateful to be seeing my family in a few weeks as we meet up in Idaho for my sister’s graduation. That will be a nice rendezvous before my relocation. And thankfully my mother will be attending me back to NC from ID and accompanying me on to NH to help with driving and the much needed emotional support.
Yes, life goes on and things change. This, I feel, will be a beneficial thing for me and I have to consider it as the beginning of a new chapter and not the end of a previous book. It was hard to leave family and friends as we drove away from my childhood home in Oregon. It was even harder to move out of the house and go out on my own away from all family and in an entirely different part of the country. And once again, it will be hard to vacate a place where I have made some phenomenal friends and learned so much. But hey, I do get to see more of this beautiful country that we live in, and now I have acquaintances in numerous states! That could come in handy someday! Well, I’m off to make to more friends and have more adventures!
Stay tuned.

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