Life Choices

This article recently popped up on my Facebook news feed: http://horsejunkiesunited.com/?p=86233. It really struck a chord.

"...A few of us were there eating and after a moment an auditor asked if she might have some advice about her horse situation. With a nod from the clinician, the auditor said she had come into some money and finally imported the horse of her dreams. The gelding arrived and within a few months developed some sort of nebulous lameness that vets had not been able to diagnose. That was 4 years ago, the horse was still not sound. No cost was spared, no opinion ignored. The auditor asked what she should do next.
The clinician barely looked up from her plate. “Dump him,” she said, “You’re not getting any younger.” Stunned silence. I hoped she meant to say retire him. She continued after a bite, “It’s gone on too long, get another horse.” It was like the clinician had pulled out a gun and shot the horse herself. The mid-life auditor had tears streaming down her cheeks. She managed to choke out something in an almost-adult voice. No one was fooled.
I took it personally. I had a horse at home with a layered and obscure health concern that I had not been able to help, even after several vets and thousands of dollars. I wanted to shoot the clinician. Even if she was right."
While a bit brash, I get it. It took me a while and a lot of tears, but I get it. The other day hubby turned to me and said, after I had come home from the barn with a smile on my face, "you know what I like best about Avalon?" "What?" "That you don't come home and say your horse needs the vet, is lame again, that you're calling the chiropractor, that you want to try a different supplement, etc., etc." In the two years that I had Finn there was very rarely a day where I would come home happy from the barn. Even when he was sound. Even when we had a good day. There was always something missing. A little bit of fear that kept me from ever truly enjoying him. So maybe getting him was a mistake. But I'd like to think that in the two years I had him I gave him a better life than anyone could. Until I couldn't anymore. And I am okay with that. Like really, truly, 100% okay with my decisions. 
And then with the job. I started today and it went amazingly well. I absolutely love it and can see myself growing within the University. It is a very casual office, yet professional-- something that was sorely lacking at my old job. I am STILL getting text messages from my old boss, even though I don't work there anymore. If I don't reply he keeps texting me with '???". I am not sure how to handle this. The other day he texted me and asked me where stamps were...Really?
I feel like these past six months I've made some very positive life choices. With Avalon and getting a new job, both decisions much better for my family and my life. 

A new way to wear a fly mask

She hates the barn pig



4 months

"My goal with the horse is not to beat someone; it's to win within myself. To do the best job I can do and tomorrow try to do better. You will be working on yourself to accomplish this, not on your horse. You will work to recognize how you feel toward your horse and how your horse answers you back; how he understands you, and how he takes it". -Ray Hunt

Me and Avalon recently celebrated four months together and it still shocks me when I look at pictures of her right after she stepped off the trailer:

To what she looks like now:


Coming together

First off...I got the job! After the in person interview I was fairly confident that I was the right fit. I am so excited to start in a few weeks. For the first time in almost three years I will get vacation time (3 weeks!), have weekends off, and get to leave work at work. I'll also be making double what I'm making now and that will be amazing!

Avalon got a bath this week. This time I washed her with Dawn and it did a very good job on her mane and tail.  She even let me hose her face. I think I'm going to wrap her tail in the fall after a few more good washes so that it will stop getting so dirty.

Tonight I worked with her in a saddle pad and surcingle and hope to attach long lines this week.

She is just absolutely thriving at this barn. She's covered in dapples and growing like a weed!

I feel like everything is coming together. With her, the barn, the job. The next step is finding a trainer to work with us on the ground and breaking her to drive. I won't be breaking her to ride until she is 3.5-4, but would like to find someone that will work with us consistently on the ground. 



Looks like things may be turning around a bit! That job I really wanted? They called me the day after I applied, had a phone interview the day after, and an in person interview today with 4 people from the office. I couldn't have asked it to gone any better and I'm fairly certain I landed the job. I should hear early next week.

After my interview I went up to see Avalon and when I call her name to get her from the paddock she will usually walk over to me. Today though she was in the far corner of the paddock and when I called her name she spun around, whinnied, and galloped full force to me. She came to a sliding stop 3 feet from me. It was terrifying and awesome all at once!! We worked in the indoor for a bit and I've started to clicker train her. I'm trying to teach her some patience so I would click and give her a treat when she turned her head away from me and stood still. She definitely picked up on it quickly. Love her more and more every day!
Camera shy today

Homely face


Not horse related

I've had a major case of writer's block when it comes to this blog lately. I've started blog posts about three times in the past week that I can't seem to finish. Avalon continues to be wonderful, but my personal life has been pretty meh for a while.

When I graduated college, with a 3.9 GPA and a degree in Psychology, I had big dreams of going on to grad school and possibly even getting my doctorate and becoming a therapist. Financially at the time that wasn't possible so I got my first job out of college working for an investment company in a customer service position during the economic downfall. I'd take call after call of people screaming at me about their dwindling investments. I hated that job and moved on to a restaurant management company working for a famous chef as an office manager. That was a great job, but six months in I was dating my hubby and he was transferred to a job in New York and I decided to move with him and take a job at a University in the Registrar's office. Also a great job, but it paid nearly minimum wage. After we got married and I got pregnant we moved back to Massachusetts. Matt bounced around to a few different jobs and this year he finally found a job at a great company that he loves and there is a lot of room for advancement.

When Addie was six months old and I was pretty bored sitting home with her I started working with Matt for Matt's old boss as an office assistant. Matt has since moved on from this company, but I have stayed. I've been there over two years now and have been promoted to an office manager position. The job is completely draining. I work part time, but between my boss texting and calling me a hundred times a day, and obsessively checking my work emails, it is really a 40+ hour a week job. I also don't get any vacation time and have not taken more than two days off in a row in over a year. I work weekends and take Wednesdays and Fridays off. But because I've recently taken over some more financial stuff I find myself working from home on Fridays. While my boss was in Italy for two weeks he would text me between 1-3am due to the time difference and I would wake up and respond. When I took off two days last week (my first days off in 21 days) my boss was texting me asking me where stamps were. I can never leave work at work. I can never check out. I am constantly attached to my phone or computer.

This all wouldn't be a problem if I liked the job I did, or felt like I was working for a great company. Or respected my boss. But I don't. Recently, my boss mentioned to me that he is planning on getting rid of the accounting company he uses and using me solely for his accounting. I don't like the way he does business and I know he wants to use me because he can fudge his financial reporting much more easily.

I just feel completely stuck. I have no energy and I can't be happy because I'm constantly stressed. I never want to see my horse because I am always overwhelmed. All I want to do is sleep. I would love to be able to go back to school, but I just can't unless we are both working. We need both incomes. I am exhausted and more than ready for a change. Living in Massachusetts is tough. Everything is expensive and jobs are hard to come by. If my husband didn't love his job so much I'd be looking for work elsewhere. But for now, here we are.

I've applied for a few jobs and hoping to hear back from one I'm very interested in. While it is full-time the benefits and quality of life would be more than worth it. Between holiday, vacation, and sick time, I'd have over a month off every year which is a heck of a lot more than I've had in the past 2+ years. I'm in desperate, desperate need of a change.

Anyways... here's some Avalon pics from the other night!