Basement Beginnings

Greetings from my new home state of New Hampshire!

I will take a moment here to take a big sigh of relief and let all the stress of the past several weeks to just find their escape out my extremities and hopefully never return. Some of you have been following my updates for the past year now and I do believe I will re-publish them on this site so that everything can be neatly packaged up in brown paper and tied up with string… of my favorite things! I will begin where I left you last.

I was pretty wary of what my future would hold and a bit scared to leave the community I had encountered in North Carolina. Braeburn was beautiful with it’s simple, small barn, horses living peacefully out of doors, and the hundreds of acres of rolling green hills beckoning me to ride their slopes ’til the sun set. I had made some really great friends there and the thought of leaving them was heartbreaking, but hey, they are just a phone call away and now I have a reason to go back and visit NC someday.

Once I had accepted my departure and was making plans regarding my move to NH, juggling around Danae’s graduation, what horses are going where and how they are going to get there, and striking up my resolve to begin packing my belongings, another hitch revealed it’s big, ugly head to add more challenge to my already challenging situation. Just as I’m starting to get filled with glee because I can actually jog and skip a few steps on my recovering ankle, Pepper decides it’s wise to get into a kicking fest with another gelding to establish his authority right before my very eyes and after all the flailing limbs and humpback whale-like squeals cease, he’s standing there in the middle of the paddock with his left hind leg lifted, refusing to put it down. Perfect. These horses are apparently not going to co-habitate together and I’ve got nowhere else to put him. And now it appears he is injured! I go waltzing out there, inspect his leg, find no source of injury, and attempt to lead him out of the paddock. Well, he does not want to move. Somehow, and I’m not sure how looking back on it, I managed to coax him into the barn and into a stall. Still seeing no source of what is causing this apparent great pain, I settle him in for the night and resolve to see how he is faring in the morning. Maybe the initial pain will wear off and he will be fine in the morning. That was the case one time before. I did call the vet to describe the situation and she agreed with me.

I come down the next morning and he has not moved a single step all night. His manure is piled up in a nice, neat pile directly behind him. Oh boy, this is more serious than I thought! I immediately get back on the phone with the vet and within a few hours I’m suited up in one of those heavy, metal, over-sized robes holding a very expensive plate up to his leg while the vet shoots radiation through it. I hear him say, “Well, it looks like he popped it good!” Oh, that can’t be good. “Yup, he fractured his splint bone.” My heart sank. Trying to fight back my immediate reaction to burst into tears, slump on the ground, and wallow in the misery my horse must be feeling along with my own, I pull myself together and finish the professional conversation with the vet, acquire the various drugs needed, and continue to work out the rest of that weekend by myself since my coworker was gone for the weekend.

Monday came around and I finally get the news that this fracture is still in alignment, no surgery is needed, and he should have a full recovery and still be able to reach his full athletic potential, in plenty of time of course. Well, this was the best news I heard all weekend but it was coupled with the news that I cannot move him up to NH with me at the time that had already been previously determined. Great, how am I supposed to start this new job up north with my horse not even able to walk and I can’t bring him with me? What am I going to do? Thankfully, my good friends lived only a couple miles down the road and they had a barn with an empty stall and agreed to take care of my infirm horse while I had my obligation to move up north. So, he is boarded there for a few months until later in the summer when it is safe to transport him the many miles here to be with me.

So, I moved up here with no horses, leaving all three behind in NC. Now that Danae is out of college and living her dream of being a teacher, she has more resources to take her horse back. All has been arranged to transport Cody to Idaho to be with her, and Gunner will wait until I come back down for Pepper to also join me in NH. Although, I have to say with the lack of horses and extra burden of a full trailer behind my truck, the move up here was less stressful and my mother and I decided it would be fun to drive the urban route up north. We were able to bypass some of the populous cities and skirt through others with little traffic. We saw the Capitol building and the Washington Memorial from a distance and we certainly couldn’t miss the skyline of Manhattan as we ended up driving more through the heart of New York than we thought the roads were going to take us. Having never been to the Big Apple we were fueled by the high of seeing it, until our progress was dampened, and we entered into the molasses of road construction season, and halted in Connecticut. Unfortunately, it was very dark and late when we pulled into our destination, despite the fact that we left at 4:30 am. Maybe it was a good thing we didn’t have the horses, ’cause that would have not been fun.

Being as exhausted as one can imagine, I was under the impression that I was expected to work the next morning. Thankfully, Mary, my new trainer, gave me the next two days off to get settled in. Thank you, Lord, that is exactly what I needed. She showed us to my new digs of her basement and I was pleasantly surprised of the niceness of the space. Although lacking in storage space and ceiling height, it did not smell like the rest of the basement, was equipped with heaters, and had great potential to be a place I could call home. My mom crashed on the hard mattress for the night and I snuggled into a sleeping bag on the basement floor. Yeah, neither of us made it through the night very well, but at least we could spend the following day moving all my stuff down the “death” stairs, purchasing anything I needed for my apartment, and turning the basement into a space all my own. We were up ’til midnight that following day putting things in their new place and hanging pictures. It’s perfect. I love it! I have one tiny window, which conveniently has a plant growing in front of it, letting in very little light and allowing me no way to see how the weather is before I go out in the mornings. It makes things interesting. The kitchen consists of an old toaster oven with most of the numbers worn off the dials and a hot plate which will only cook things if you turn it on and ignore it for several minutes before you even dare to put food in the pan. Even then, my stir-fries end up more like steamed. Oh well. There is an operating microwave and a full sized refrigerator which makes me chuckle because it’s way too big for just one person, while the rest of the appliances are mediocre. They all work with much patience and I’ve already been successful at making several tasty meals from them. The shower head only comes to about my shoulder blades, but I can work through that too. All in all, i’m all moved in and it’s working out great.

My bed and only window

My bed and only window

Having been here for a week now and working in the barn and riding, I think this place is exactly what I was looking for and I know it will serve me well for the time I am meant to be here. So far so good. I think I will be learning a lot in my riding. That’s what I came here for, right? Some of the things she is telling me in my riding seems to be the opposite of what I was being told at Braeburn, but for different situations requires different techniques and every rider and horse is different. So I will be trying to figure that out. I can’t wait until my horse can join me and I can get him to a place where I can start riding him again. That will be the cherry on top! And I’ve already located a great church that conveniently is just 6 minutes down the road and the pastor is exactly what I want in a spiritual leader. There is a young adult bible study I will be attending and hopefully I can start making friends through that avenue. I haven’t taken any pictures yet since every day I’ve been here it has been drizzly. So, keep your eyes peeled and I will add some soon.

Pepper is doing great in his recovery and he is convinced that he is not injured and can go outside. Sorry, buddy, but this is pretty serious and I can’t have you making it worse. He can walk sound to go out and hand graze but anything beyond that is still too far from his grasp. It’ll take time, but he’s a strong, little guy and I know he will recover fully. He has a pretty good sense about his leg and is careful with it. He’s a smart one.

Missing this boy right now

Missing this boy right now

That’s my update for now! Stay tuned for more adventures from New Hampshire!

2 thoughts on “Basement Beginnings

  1. Hey Bethany,
    Sounds like you are doing pretty well so far. That’s so wonderful about your new church and pastor. Pepper misses you, but he’s still doing very well. Our students all like to visit him and pet him a little while before starting their lessons. We miss you too!

  2. Missing you in handbells and choir. I loved reading your blogs. Spent a week in FL visiting my Dad and Stepmom with Dave, Stewart ( my son) and Rebecca ( his girlfriend). We had a great time on the boat and deep sea fishing even though we didn’t catch any fish. The girls shopped and spaed one day while the guys played golf. We have been busy trying to find a truck for Stewart which we did on Tuesday. I am so glad that we have that behind us. Keep riding and keep in touch. Let me know when you are planning to get your horse and will be in town. Lynne Dillard

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