Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where We've Been...

And so, it seems to be time to look back on 2012 and reflect on the adventure that is our horse life.

This was, without a doubt, the most turbulent, successful, interesting year since I've owned Mr. Moon. And I can only hope that next year is as interesting, though hopefully a little less...turbulent.

Me and Mr. Moon. Last January we bought our first horse trailer, which was supposed to get us mobile and travelling the world. We packed up from Coach W's barn in the spring and survived a nerve wracking move to H's where Moon is now happily in love and enjoying the wide open space. We dealt with a bout of unknown lameness that went away, modified our saddle fit with a thin line pad, added Lysine to his diet, swapped over to a new feed supplement and watched him get glossy on pasture grass.

We made it to a solid year of lessons with Coach W. We headed to our first dressage show, got 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons. We headed to our second show, and had our first go at jumping. We suffered a lovely leg injury, found ourselves out of commission and spent a little while just getting tubby.

The horse trailer got completely finished, and other than losing a hub cap on the drive over, looked phenomenal. Better than I ever thought. We were ready to roll out.

Except first my car's transmission went and then even better, my relationship with my boyfriend of almost 9 years ended. Suddenly it was all about moving, packing and carrying on. So Mr. Moon enjoyed getting fatter in the pasture, the trailer sat, and all we managed was to get some fun jumping in under saddle.

We spent the fall trail riding with close friends, and realized that is where our heart was. We headed to a second jump show of verticals with those friends, and learned a lot about where we want to go.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks...the American Way

As I drag my feet through the final 6 or so hours that separate me from my Black Friday shopping, I can't help but think about the holiday that is today, despite it not truly being a holiday for me. American Thanksgiving. After reading so many other blogs full of thankfulness, I thought "Gees, I wish I could do that, but I'm Canadian and my thanksgiving has passed. Why would I be listing all that I'm thankful for two months later?!"

...please, feel free to smack me upside the head.

Maybe, just *maybe* I'm still thankful for the things in my life, 2 months after Canadian Thanksgiving? Maybe on American Thanksgiving, I'm still thankful? Heck, going out on a limb here, but I suspect, that maybe, just *maybe* I'm thankful every single day, regardless of what state or country my feet happen to be in, regardless of the day of the week or the date circled on the calendar. My heart is always on that thankful day.

So today, I raid your stores, and I will raid your holiday...


- I am thankful to be me. Genuine, wacky, crazy, tumultuous me. Far too often I will do or say something and for a moment (sometimes long, sometimes short) think "Oh Gawd! What did I just do?! What are people thinking??". The wonderful thing about being you, genuine you, is that the people that love you in this life, love you not in spite of these moments of pure crazy, but because of them. And if you're not out there every day being your nutty self, then no one will have the opportunity to love the real you.

- I am thankful for my family. From teaching my dad to "iPod", to the 50,000 texts in 4.2 hours from my sister when her boyfriend is out of town, to the list of 18 different black friday items my other sister oh so desires, to my mom who slips me shopping money with a "shhh", I love my family. I occasionally (okay, usually) want to beat each and every one of them over the head with a wrapping paper tube, but that's family. If they didn't exist, I wouldn't be the wacky, crazy me.

- I am thankful for my home. Not my apartment, not my property, not my house-that-was. I'm talking about my home. That place I return to every night (okay, *almost* every night...don't tell my father), that is lined with pictures of all the things I love, my big feather duvet that I snuggle under at night as sleep lulls me and I find peace in a place that is mine. My solace. My retreat. My place to laugh, and have friends over, to build memories, to start oil fires, sneak my puppy into, retreat into when I'm down, decorate with happiness when I'm high. My home is my end-point, my parking garage, my resting point.

- I am thankful for my fur family, those two wonderful creatures that seemed to come out of nowhere, fit perfectly into my life and that have been there through the worst and the best of times. They are my rock, my shoulders to cry on, my fur to snuggle into, the backs upon which I rest my dreams.

- I am thankful for my friends. I have never before this year, realized the exact depth and breadth of their amazingness. These are people that have no genes to bind us, no requirement to stay, no force holding them close. Yet there they are. Pumping you up, cheering you on, smiling and laughing right beside you. This week has been one of those weeks when I swear, the value of my friendships were just slapping me in the face. From H2's baby shower, when I couldn't believe how important someone I've known for such a short time could be, to Tuesday night when I headed over to H's for dinner and little M demanded I hold her hand as we went downstairs, to watching an inspiring couple laugh about what real love is, to last night, sitting around the dining table with two friends I've known since the dawn of time and being crazy silly me and hearing them burst out laughing. These people make my day, and for that, I aim to make theirs. And sometimes, that just means being there, being present, and enjoying the experience.

- I am thankful for my job. It is painfully boring, mundane and repetitive right now, and I yearn for excitement. But when the pay checks arrive, when the bills disappear, when I wake up each day without the fear of how I will make it tomorrow, I remember that not everything will always be all excitement and mystery. Sometimes, mundane is okay. Mundane means you can focus your life on other things without worry, so today, I am thankful for having a mundane job that lets me dream about tomorrow.

- I am thankful for my land, a little strip of mud and rock and trees, that holds my dreams for the future. It is the accumulation of my blood, sweat and tears, hopes and dreams, and I am empowered every time I step upon it, to use it as the vessel for all the wonder that is yet to stride into my life. It shall be the place where my fur family romps, where my human family gathers, where my friends pop by unannounced when they need cheer or are giving cheer, and where someday, I will raise my own family to know that true happiness is not something you wake up and merely have. It's something you reach out every day to tenderly wrap your fingers around and draw closer. And then throw wide to all of those who come near.

- I am thankful for a fresh chance to fall in love. Breakups are breaking, but they are also a moment to grow, to make the changes and affirmations in your life that you need to be a better person for the person that is meant to be within your life. I don't believe that love is easy, ever. Instead we need to search, high and low, long and hard, for that person who is as stubborn and determined as we are to make it work, who see's you at your worst and says "Hey babe, I got you." That makes you see their imperfections and instead of thinking that you need to change them, you think that you need to embrace them, tighter and tighter. We are going to be our quirky, crazy selves, and then we're going to be our quirky crazy togethers.

- I am thankful for the man in my life, whether he's here just another day, or he's here forever. If you know me, you know I don't do goodbyes, I don't like parting ways, I don't know how to walk away. But this experience has taught me that I have a great inner strength and a right to be loved in the way that I need to be loved. Wonderful, crazy me isn't going to accept half-way, almost, close enough ever again. Instead, I will close my eyes and leap head first into the mess that is building a relationship with someone, and I must say, this someone is every bit of wonder and magic that I've been missing. Now it's just a matter of having a little faith.

- I am thankful for the kids in my life. Having been terrified of these rambunctious little creatures for years, I now find myself captivated by their tiny selves. The way they can laugh and laugh over anything and everything, the way a smile can make a baby giggle, the way they can look at things with a sense of wonder, speak to you like they're years wiser than they are, and how they always seem to know what you need, whether it's an invite to play "farm" with them or to stick you in a corner in a tutu. You never know what you really need until a toddler tells you.

- I am thankful for this blog and the ability to write. Without it, I can't imagine the mess I would be. Writing is my outlet, my blog is my medium, the pen is my way of releasing my inner me, in order to make sense of this world we live in, the feelings we feel, the thoughts we think. I am thankful for all 52 of you who publicly follow the Moonpie and me, for those who hide silently in the background, to whomever it was that created blogs in the first place. I need this. I need this like an addict needs alcohol, heroin or gambling. And for the fact that this is my worst addiction, for that I am thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What the Spirit needs...

If I'm back to blogging, that means you're back to reading about the really, really boring things in life. Sad, but the truth is sometimes there just ain't nothing horse-happening.

Like yesterday. Out to the barn, peak in on my gimpy horse, who thankfully had less swelling in the cannon and it was more localized around his ankle, still a fairly stiff puffed mess. He was still resting it quite a bit, but a horse owner can't fret too much when they catch the "injured" horse backing and kicking at their pasture mate in order to stay supreme-leader-of-the-hay-net.

Yes, he's an a$$ that way. Puffy ankle or not. And yes, I contemplated beating him into proper hay-side mannerisms...but I knew it would just lead to more poulticing on my part ; )

Up the hayloft I climbed, fed those darn ponies their hay, and as the sun settled behind the trees, I gathered their feed buckets and made my way back to the warmth of the heated garage. What can a girl seriously do? Not much with a gimped horse and daylight faded before 5:30 pm. And a day job. There's always this confounded day job...

Now me, I do love winter. I know a lot of you look at our good coating of snow and think "Boy, that would be a fantastic winter holiday, 3 days of trekking my horse through the powdery white puff, sipping on the mint hot cocoa and building a snowman with a carrot nose and some *cute* little button eyes".

I get it. I do. We're magical and mystical and the perfect extraction of Miracle on 34th Street in our holiday glory. We are.

HOWEVER, when the temperatures start to plummet down to a naughty -40 C (which is -40 F ironically), well, quite suddenly your balmy temperatures and brown grass have us yearning for the deep south. We admit it, we do.

Irrespective of all of that, winter is a very distinct and separate season up here for me. You see, because when it's blustery cold, the ground is frozen solid and there's always white powder swirling about, you feel quite okay with laying aside the garden tools, the outdoor tasks, the need to actually "do" anything. Winter, when you live in a terribly cold and frigid place, is the PERFECT and natural excuse to hole up at home and vegetate.

This is my season for relaxing. Suddenly I have weekends where I honestly do nothing. I lay on my favourite plush chair, an old book or a wrinkled magazine in hand, and I do nothing but daydream and fantasize and on occasion...frequent occasion should it be either a rare sunny day or a miserable cloudy day...fall asleep in the middle of a Saturday afternoon under a big down duvet and wake up to make christmas cookies at 7 pm like I've actually reached old age.

This is my season for not doing.

And so, yes, you can see my pony is portly and yes, I'll be out Saturday afternoon riding him through the snow and having a blissful time. And we'll ride the winter away, but dear folks, everyone, absolutely everyone, needs to spend a week up here, on our coldest, snowiest, blusteriest days, and regain a true understanding for what it means to hole up and simply exist for a moment in life.

Sometimes, that's just what the spirit needs.

Welcome to Winter.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I do believe I've nearly perfected the "disappearing act"...seems I've gone from frequent blogger to missing-in-action, which is a little sad and a little ho-hum.

This is not to say that I haven't tried to make it out to most of H and I's Sunday morning trail rides, and that I don't still make it out Tuesdays and Thursdays to feed the ponies, give scratches and snuggle dear Mr. Moon.
Sexy Moon face...

These things still happen.

But, I've let go of anything resembling regular riding of late, and of course, I hang my head in shame that it has largely been due to both weather (yes, winter is upon us and I'm a wimp) and a certain attractive male...

I know. Horses before dudes. But when the choices are freezing your butt off trying to pull a stiff bridle over your pudgy horse's head or curling up on the sofa in a warm embrace...well...sorry Mr. Moon...

Needless to say, like the sad creature I am (so embarrassed to be such a girl!), with the Christmas season in full force meaning that the attractive male (hereon known as "G") is working long hours and frequent days, this gal decided it was time to get back in the riding game and enjoy her fur-boy!

An afternoon ride with H on Tuesday was the EXACT kick in the butt that I needed to be getting out on the cold evenings again for a ride. I'm a little sad to be without the big lighted indoor that spoiled me last winter, but am excited to go hacking down the snow filled ditches with my boy, something that is always going to be nearer our hearts than any indoor schooling.

(apparently having H photograph from atop her MONSTER of a horse makes mine look like a mini!)

Our Tuesday ride was bliss. The snow was powdery, covering everything nice and deep (crazy snowstorm on Saturday/Sunday, with at least a foot of snow on the ground), we trotted in the pouff and cantered down the side of the road, snow billowing up behind us. It was majestic. The weather even was nice enough to not be a frozen core by the time we arrived back home after our 4 miles. I was in love.

Let's add in, for story sake, H and I helped catch 2 run-away Icelandic ponies that some poor son had spent 3 hours trying to capture. Those ponies were LOVING the snow, romping and playing with each other as they ran from their handler...

Regardless, I was feeling it again. Pony love. Men may come and go, but my horse will always be around. Time to show a little appreciation...

So yesterday I got off work and made it out to the barn just before sunset. I was gonna do the 4 mile loop again, bareback in a bridle, even if the sun went down on me before I got home. I was focussed. Bundled up in all my gear...

Grabbed a hoof pick and my bridle from the barn and headed out to the pasture. Picked out one hoof, went to his back hoof and...

Thickly swollen ankle and cannon bone. Solid swollen to boot.

note the abscess mark on the hoof...

Run my hand down his leg and I can feel that it's swollen and quite firm. Oye. This is the same foot that I found a blown abscess on the day prior, but seemed otherwise fine. He went well on our trail ride the day before, and I only felt the slightest bit of wind puffiness in that leg, which was normal. *sigh* He *had* been walking and standing sore on the weekend, but all the horses were ouchy from walking on the frozen mud clumps.

different foot, but boy, look at those growth lines in his hoof wall! No under run heels here!

Back to the garage to grab his halter and a quick call to H to clear brining him into the garage. Lucky, lucky us.

At first Moon would toss his head and pull back when I tried to bring him through the man door, but I finally had enough and just pulled right back. Guess what? He moved his big ol'butt indoors. The bugger.

the puffy leg...though it's hard to tell...

Checked out the leg, which was covered in dried scabs and blood. All looked pretty old, 5 or 7 days by my guess. Didn't seem like the cause of his swelling, but between that and the blown abscess, my heart was saying that he likely has a bit of an infection. That or injury, but it just doesn't seem like an injury swelling to me.

Again, different foot, but interesting to see the changes in his growth looks like less flare...makes happy me.

He rested the leg a lot and there was a little heat, so I gave him a nice poultice and spent the next hour just grooming him. Which I could tell he was loving. And I gotta admit, doing it in a heated illuminated garage made it actually a whole heck of a lot of fun!

After we were done, I gave him way too many treats, loved on his shiny fuzzy body (boy does his coat ever look nice!), and then put him back out to pasture. I'm grateful that the cold weather will naturally help the heat in his leg, and since he's a lazy bugger on a good day, I think he'll just stay calm and not mess it up any worse.

hard to see "puffy" on his hinds anymore, as he still has a lot of scar tissue on the right hind from debriding it of skin this summer...left hind is the newly puffy leg... : P

Fingers crossed it heals like all of his other injuries, the little bugger.

So what did I do with the remainder of my evening??

Cleaned my tack space! : ) Why?? Because I finally decided what I'm going to spend the gift certificate to Richvale Saddlery I won this summer on!


After... (H, those bottom shelves are your mess ; ) ). 
And yes, there's my foam finger!

On what?! Well, initially it was on winter riding mittens, and then maybe a 1/4 sheet, but finally I realized what I NEED and what would be a great Christmas present for Mr. Moon...


Yup, 100% synthetic bridle and reins. In black. FINALLY I can ditch *almost* the last of my leather gear! (as someone with a leather allergy, this is blissful!). All that's leather now is my girth.

Moonpie, glaring at me from inside the garage...yes, there was a car parked in there too...

: )

So I cleaned my space, photographed my old leather bridle to put it on the classifieds to help cover the cost of the new bridle, and called it an evening. We'll be back to riding soon, I'm sure of it.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

By the Seat of My Breeches...

So last Saturday rolled around and myself and two good friends were heading to our first and last jump show of the season: The Martin's Courses and Candy Halloween Fun Show.

I, in all my craziness, invited a certain gentleman of the non-horsey type to come cheer us on, and H invited her cousin and another friend as well. So there was a small ensemble of us headed out to the show, which was set to be an interesting adventure if nothing else. H hadn't had much time for jumping this year, H3 hadn't really jumped ever with her boy, and I was...a nervous wreck despite having the most time in the saddle this year.

The day, despite weather forecasts, was overcast, windy and COLD. Children shivered from their saddles, the ponies whipped around the ring and most of us had more than one layer on. Brr. The audience was frozen.

Mr. Moon started his warm-up just fine, and then lost his mind. Gawd-bless his little heart. My gentleman kept calling him a 'scamp', which I think is much too kind of a term...he was a brat.

He SCREAMED constantly, mainly when he wasn't allowed to either A) Run around like an idiot or B) Hang out with his best-bud, The Black (who you'll recall, was the one he was chased incessantly by when he moved to H's, and now loves...horses).

He refused to stand still, he fidgeted, threw his head about, did his classic evil rabbit face and stormed at jumps like we were doing x-country and not a little jumper round of x-rails. Oye.

I finally took him over to the side and just worked the Dressage snot out of him. Leg yielding, turn-on-the-fore, serpentines. Over and over, asking and demanding he yield and pay attention. I gotta say, he moves beautifully when he's stoked like that. And my experience this summer in the show ring has taught me that he is NOT the type of horse that you warm up and then let relax. When he's at a show, you need to work him CONSTANTLY and he'll perform better and better, while still being hyped. My boy has energy.

We did the x-rails without issue and I was pretty proud. Neat and tidy, a little waver here and there but he was willing and happy to boot around the course. Even went through it at a nice canter approach at times, did a 2-stride and can't really complain. He was a good boy.

They upped the rails to somewhere in the 2'3 range with some oxers and the 2-stride, and then placed fillers under the jumps.



Mr. Moon headed in just fine, I loved his canter off the first jump, nice hunter line around to the 2nd fence, we wavered a touch going into the 3rd and I was a little off-balance into that oxer. Not bad, held it together but didn't feel stable on my feet. Over to the larger candy-cane jump and he approached eagerly and jumped cleaned. But came off with a LOT of momentum to jumps 5 and 6, the 2-stride (or maybe 1 from a canter).


It was the first jump with an interesting filler. And I was STARING at it. I was. Thinking "Oh gawd! This is new!"...

And Mr. Moon deeked right, leaving me on his neck. Yeah...

We can say embarrassing. I was just praying that the gent couldn't see very well through the thick tree in front of the jump. "Oooh, look at me! I'm a jumper. Not. : P"

Found my stirrup, circled and reproached. Took a little incentive with my legs and staying true, but we got cleanly over 5 and 6 and carried through the turn towards 7.

#7 I thought would be easy. I mean, it was a simple vertical with some natural spruce greenery under it. It was brown. Natural. Normal. Easy-peasy.

And Moon stopped. Literally just slowly came to a stop.

Came around again, drove him to it, and he died under my legs. "Nuh-uh" he said, clearly not so sure about that greenery.


Technically that would DQ me, but it was a fun show. So I rode over to H who was waving her stick at me (yes, yes, I know. But I always believe I won't need it), and I gave him two good smacks up to the jump. *Pop* we went over it, and carried on in a haggard manner towards #8. A plank.

Over that with a little incentive, and as we rounded the corner towards home, Mr. Moon exploded in a gallop down the ring.

Scamp? Naw, Cow-pony.


We did the course twice more, with equally questionable skill. Every time Moon hesitated and I pushed him to a jump, he popped over it, I was left unbalanced, and the next jump came to fast for me to feel rebalanced. Needless to say, it was sloppy and messy, and not what I'd hoped for.

We still had refusals to the greenery, though with the crop by the end I could just force him up to and over it. I never hit the ground, Moon stayed reasonably clean, and willing for a horse who was brand new to this type of jumping.

And he did a lot of nice cantering for me too. ; )

Was I proud? Dang straight I was proud. It wasn't as awesome and I didn't look as amazing as I had dreamt (ha, we never do), and my form was nothing compared to the arena at home, but I was incredibly proud that we got to do it together, we did it with good friends, and we did it safely and without injury.

The whole experience really showed me just how well I know and understand my horse at this point, and exemplified where we can go together if we keep working at it.

Of course, the experience also showed me that me and my horse are a mess when stressed, that I need way more saddle time and training when it comes to jumpers, and I need to create some fill for the jumps at home!

When we finally dismounted, I was shaking. My legs were so weak, I nearly fell into the trailer when trying to make the step up. Wow, does this ever take a lot out of you!

We all had some warm drinks and a donut, packed up the ponies in their pretty coolers and then headed back for home, happy and content about how our day went. What an adventure for sure!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting My Sea-Legs...

One of the most beneficial things you can do if you're training without a trainer, is to video yourself riding. While this means you're not able to make changes 'in the moment', you do have the opportunity later on to review your errors, see where you're improving and be more conscientious on your next ride.

WAY back before I owned Moon, which would be two years ago, this was him and I, doing our first jumps...note, they're like 12" off the ground...

Take note as well, that my lower leg has slipped WAY back, I'm lying over his neck, and dear me, look how chunky Mr. Moon is!

The following summer after I owned him for about 6 months, and a year after the above pic was taken, we tried it again. While Mr. Moon looks like a more healthy specimen of a horse, I'm now standing in my stirrups and while i'm not laying ON his neck, I'm floating over it. And I've got some droopy reins going on. There's still some leg slippage, but my straight leg is likely preventing it from being as worse as it really is...

Oh, and note that I'm trying to take flight with my elbows...this is a theme...

Now, let us look at yesterday. Moon was feeling sluggish (two jump rides in a row?!), but seemed to have better contact with the bit. I tried my best to think about what my hands and legs were doing, and go about the course. If you saw the video, you'd hear me counting strides and trying to get it right (bahahaa...nope).

First, our x-rail:

While my reins are getting a nice release, the fact that my leg is WAAY out behind me is awful. How does my horse manage to jump when I'm riding like this?!

And of course, note my flying elbows. Again. 

At least i"m looking up and ahead, right?...

In this one:

I'm again almost standing in the stirrups, my arms have gone straight and it looks like Moon's putting in a lot of effort. He is a cute little jumper at least... ; )

And then on my LAST round, I seem some things I like...(minus the really long approach)...

The below one, I really like. My back is straight, my legs are bent and under me, my elbows while still flapping are bend. My back is straight, my head is up, I'm looking ahead and I'm neither over his neck nor way behind things. 

Plus, Moon looks like a tidy, happy little jumper here. 

Especially compared to where we started...
(wow...and can you ever see how de-chunkified Mr. Moon is when comparing the pics side by side!!!)

Just a few more days until the show! So excited! Wonder what height we'll head up into? I'm thinking a full 2'6" would be a bit much for us, but who knows...just going with the flow for once. ; )

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Like we do, I've spent many days simply moving through life. It's only recently I've really stepped back to realize how different the world is when we take the time to be attentive to the things and the people around us. 

When was the last time you stopped from your harried grooming session to sniff deep the scent of your horse? Take a wander up the road in hand and while your boy nibbles the last of the green autumn grass, you stand back and simply take in his beauty? 

When did you last catch catch a sunset? Did you text your best to tell her she matters to you? How long has it been since you wrapped your arms around your partner and just appreciated a moment of nothing?

I read something today that said we are too good at forgetting to be "human beings" when we're so busy as "human doings". 

I consciously now, every day, try to take the time to notice, appreciate and be attentive to the little things, the simple things, the beautiful things. And while I can't say it's the key to happiness and success in my life, it certainly leaves me renewed every day for whatever may come my way.


My Sunday mornings are devoted to trail riding with H and E. The three of us will hit the local park, ride through the fallen leaves, canter three abreast down the trails, popping over the odd log, deeking around corners, smiling and giggling and laughing. We always get one crazy gallop in, where we urge our horses into their fastest gait and run side-by-side, laughing in all the merriment in the world. It is, and will always be, some of the most perfect moments of my existence. Friends, both human and animal, the bond to have a powerful creature striding out below you, the exhilaration as you urge him faster, laughing as you whip beside your friends, not a care or fear in the world.  If there ever was truth to heaven, it's right there in that moment.


Saturday's horse show. I'm excited and nervous! H and I are going with some other friends, and it'll be interesting. We're all a bunch of greenies!

Last night I had some time to pop over to the barn before my oil change, and set up a small four jump course for Moon and I to practice over.

I did up a 2'7" vertical along the rail, a 2'4" vertical in the middle of the ring on a diagonal, an x-rail skinny just off the other rail (with enough gap to ride past in case Moon needed some school on running out), and finally a tiny little 1' vertical on the short side, more to focus on being handy and not cutting corners.

On warm-up, Moon even jumped over a rail on the ground. Like JUMPED. That horse is nuts. 

My intent was to ride everything from a trot, since he should be fine doing those heights at that slower pace. We started out a little rough, and I can tell that I have a huge impact on him. When I'm nervous, he wavers like CRAZY coming up to the fence. He also hesitates, gets in too deep and pops over. 

Focussing on just the x-rail and little 1' jump at first, I worked on getting a nice pace, keeping him even to the fence, my heels down, body under me, not jumping too soon and looking ahead and forward. 

After a few goes I felt confident in our performance, and we tried the 2'4" after the x-rail. Success. The second time we did the same sequence, I asked him transition to a canter after we made the corner, trying to maintain that nice pace and trying to determine how he'd need to pace to arrive at the fence in a controlled manner and at the right distance. He got over nicely, and again, I thought about transitioning down to trot for the corner, maintaining our impulsion and circling back around to the 1', as a way of making sure he didn't think we stop and rest after every jump.

Eventually, I worked it out so we would trot to the x-rail, circle deep into the next corner, straighten, transition to canter, three strides to the 2'4" vertical, land, transition to trot for the short side, back to canter after the next corner, and then stride confidently (but not rush) to the 2'7" vertical on the next long side. And then back to trot and a big trot circle before stopping.

Our first time through, he tapped the rail on the 2'7" with his hind and it came rolling down. I still rode him in the circle before slowing, and fixing the fence. Again, I told myself.

The next time through, we went clean the whole way, even coming around and doing the x-rail a second time in the opposite direction after the 2'7".


We did it again, changing the order and direction of the fences so that we'd have our own version of a jumping course. 

Once he tried to really rush the 2'7" fence, but he responded beautifully to my request to slow a touch, and I felt like we had a beautiful jump over it because of it. 

When we had done our 'course' three times, I decided we were good for the day and didn't want to wear him out before the weekend. But I really couldn't believe how much he seemed to take to jumping. My little quarter horse seemed genuinely confident and eager over fences when *I* was confident and eager over fences! 

My mind kept going to the thought of x-countrying him next year, when we both have a little more confidence. 

And sitting there on his back after his beautiful clear round at a canter (remember, Mr. Moon never even had a canter transition before!) I suddenly realized something earth shattering. More crazy then the fact that Moon was loving jumping...

*I* wasn't scared for once. There were no nerves by that second time we did our little course; I was simply riding and moving with him, flowing through the course, asking him instinctively for what I think he needed to approach cleanly (more impulsion or more collection), would release myself to his judgement a stride before the fence, leave the reins for his choosing and let my body flow how it felt it should.

I was jumping naturally, not obsessively and fearfully. 

And it felt, amazing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pure Beauty.

I'm still kicking around! I am! But life is INSANE, in the most wonderful way possible. Yes, it's true. From the deepest downhill I've travelled, I've found myself climbing towards a beautiful sunrise, and I'm excited every day. I'm only even half alliterating on that, since I have taken to photographing every beautiful sunrise, sunset and cloud in the sky I come across.
Recently, life has made me even more conscious of the high rates of suicide, and how this level of depression seems to plaque people of all over 30, girls in their late 20s...everyone. And it's made me really step back and stare hard at my life.

I took a good blow to my "happiness" when my last relationship came crumbling down, when my car kicked the bucket at a tender age, I suddenly couldn't financially afford to do much of everything and my life was turned upside down. Probably overall, something that would send many people dipping into depression and thinking bad thoughts.

What is amazing, and always will be, is the AMAZING people in my life. Amazing. My worst moments ONLY stood to remind me and illustrate clearly for me, how incredible my life is. Last week, I sat on a best's couch, glass of wine in hand, my cutest, most darling nephew on my lap gurgling (and spitting up on my jeans), that best lounged beside me, us gabbing about guys and life and futures, talking about my home building, staring into her beautiful wood fire, our ponies warm and freshly fed outside the door, puppies snoring on the thick rug, my little niece asleep in her bed, and I kid you not, I could have exploded of pure bliss.
I was knocked down. I sold my share of the house, packed 5 years into boxes, tossed my dreams of the future in a trash bin, watched my bank account plummet to nothing, cried with all $3k in cheques I wrote to the lawyer, stared at myself in the mirror wondering why *I* wasn't "the one" and wondered long and hard if I ever would find myself in the place I wanted in life...with a family, a home and happiness.

Last week, I came to my desk at work to find a huge wrapped gift. Inside was a wine kit, a gift card and a card signed by 15 amazing people I worked with, both past and present. Next Saturday I'm riding my horse in our first jump show, with my best and our two amazing ponies. On Sunday, my dad and my dog went hunting together, something I never imagined I'd get to do in my life. And a week ago I lounged in the sunshine with my closest friends while celebrating their daughter's birthday, as she showed me all of her doll's clothes.

I photograph every sunset and sunrise I see now, because it is the time when I stop, truly stop in my life, and appreciate what I have. I haven't *lost* anything. Those things I want in life? I have THEM ALL. I have incredible nieces and nephews who make my heart sing every time I see them. I have close friends who'll sit by the fire and pour wine into me, dishing on everything in life. I have a home, because my home is where my friends and my loved ones come, to celebrate, the console and to be together. And I have happiness. My gawd, do I have happiness. Dwindling bank account be damned! Broken car be damned! I am, and continue to be, the richest woman in the world. And I have a thousand sunset pictures to prove it.

Who would ever want to end something that would mean missing out on such beauty?

Friday, September 28, 2012

On my own two feet.

So my life is finally back to "normal" or the closest semblance that I can currently find. Which means I'm crazy busy all the time, yet I'm ridiculously happy despite the lack of sleep.

On Wednesday, I officially completed my separation papers and was officially "free". No more lawyers, no more pounding my head against the desk over unnecessary phone conversations. Completed. Finished.

Everyone seemed to think I should be ecstatic and overjoyed, and I really wasn't. And not because I was sad or upset. As my friend H told me, the opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference. Hate is still a strong emotion; indifference is the lack thereof.

And so it was. The entire final signing was a non-event. Other than some frustration on having to pay more $$ : P  God bless the lawyers ; )

Honda had also approved nearly 100% of my transmission repair costs, leaving me with just the fluids and wheel alignment to cover. A mere $250 in repair costs, for a $6k quote. I'm THRILLED.

So yesterday I took my car back to the dealer so they could pull the serial number and order in my part. Good chance I'll be back in ol'blue by the end of October. And before the weather gets cold! (love heated seats and command start!).

Of course, yesterday I made it out to the barn, and did ring work for the first time in WEEKS! Or maybe even months. I've lost track it's been so long.

However, the FIRST thing I did was snap a picture of the AWESOME prize I won from Val and his owner over at Calm, Forward, Straight blog! I've been meaning to get this pic taken, but being at the barn after dark feeding just wasn't letting it happen. So finally I had my moment and snapped this pretty awesome one:

Thanks Val and Calm, Forward, Straight!

So Mr. Moon-pie.

Like LOVE him. I tacked him up in his jumping saddle, rode him about, he stretched down and out so lovely for a horse who hasn't been asked to work in weeks, and then I pointed him at a fence. We did a couple of x-rails, and then I upped it to the 6th pin-hole. I think that's about 2'3 or 2'6". And pointed him at it.

He swapped to a happy canter three strides before, SOARED over it cleanly and gave me a few canter strides on the other side. I LOVE this horse. For a little QH, he just loves to do it and is so willing.

And then we had a problem. I psyched myself out. The second time to it, I was literally staring at the jump and trying to keep him from cantering (in my head going "but you don't know HOW to canter to a jump!"...if you're rolling your eyes because the jump just previous he cantered cleanly all on his own, roll away. My mind never does make much sense!) and pretty much drove him right at the jump standard : P Since we jump skinnies (lucky if they're 5' across), there's no much chance for waiver.

Coming through the third time, he jumped clean, but again we drifted off the rail and my FOOT actually caught the standard! And down the whole thing came behind us. Whoops! Sorry bud!

I sincerely can tell you, our jumping problems all relate back to me. I video'd the whole thing, and it's obvious that he's willing, tucked and has great clearance. Just some noob is up there freaking out and trying to jump the fence for him : P

Feeling like I was making a good situation bad, I dropped the pole 1-notch (so 3") and took him around again.

He jumped clean and lovely, landed on the other side, and some NOOB once again, let their heels come up on one side. Since Moon likes to head right after the jump, I came right off over his left shoulder...

And wound up standing there beside him on the ground. Yup, landed PERFECTLY on my own two feet in the sand, facing Mr. Moon, still holding the reins. And Mr. Moon literally stopped DEAD the instant I came off. I mean, he just STOOD there, staring at me with bug-eyes.

Poor buddy. ; )

The only downfall, was despite wearing a helmet, my left stirrup iron got perfect pendulum momentum and swung 'round to wallop me in the base of the skull just below the back of my helmet. OUCH.

Back on him I climbed (tortured horse) and we did it again, this time totally clean. PHEW.

Lots of love, did some canter circle work, and then just loved on him. He is without a doubt, the best, best horse of my life. And I can't wait for more fun together!

And yes, I caught my fall on video...just need the next month so I have data again to upload it. It's pretty funny looking : P

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I thought everyone could enjoy a chuckle, so I present to you my Tuesday morning...which is completely un-horse related, other than the fact that it relates to my car, which everyone knows is the sole bane of my existence and thoroughly at fault for my lack of showing/training this summer...

The story starts early, early this morning, before the sun had risen from its bed on the eastern horizon...

I hauled myself out of bed, dragged myself downstairs to my parents car and drove the 1/2 hour to their home to pick up my Honda. I swap keys with my mom, climb into my car and head off down the road to take it to the dealer in the city who would assess it and let me know if Honda will cover any of the repair costs on the transmission. You'll recall about 3 weeks ago the reverse went and it simply sits there and grinds...

I head up the driveway as the sunrise illuminates the road behind me, and as I near the end of the street, a good 3/4 mile from my parents', I remember that I left the temporary registration in my parents car. I do NOT want to risk driving without registration and insurance, since my luck would be the thing would get run-over by a semi-truck and I'd really be hooped. More so anyway, than I already am.

So I do the normal thing one does, and pull into the next driveway to turn around...

...move my hand to put the car in reverse to back out of these folks driveway and...


Yup, DUMB with many capital letters in that one.

I'm not really an "angry" person, so I figure I'll just ring my mom and get her to bring the other car 'round. Surely her and I can push this blue hunk of trash off this driveway and I can carry on to my appointment.

Ringing and ringing and ringing. Of course, my mom is out playing with the dog in the yard at 7:00 in the morning...

So I walk the 3/4 miles back, in the crisp cool morning, trying to call her over and over...

Find my mom, drive back to my car with my folk's car, and my mom and I try to push it back onto the road off the driveway. Uphill.

Which would have worked except there's new pavement and a 1" lip to get up. Not happening. I'm a waif of a thing on a good day ; )

However, luck has it that we're PROBABLY well enough back now that I could drive forward, we could roll it a couple feet on the side of the road, and I could pull ahead and out! Score.

So I grab the car keys and turn them in the ignition.



Battery is dead. Why? Because I drove it all of 3/4 of a mile after it sat for a month. : )

Beat head on dashboard.

Hop back in my parents car, drive to their home, grab booster cables and a tow rope.

My mom says "Do you even know what  you're doing?"

Nope. Never towed a car myself, never boosted a car with cables before. But not going to tell my mom that!

Hook up the tow rope, throw the honda in neutral, drag it onto the road. Go to unhook the tow rope and...the school bus pulls up. Yup. You see, my car and my parents car are spread across the road : )

Thankfully, it's my childhood bus driver, still driving the same route 10 years later.

So they get to watch me unhook the one car, back out of the way, boost the second car (there were PINECONES on my engine!), and move it out of the way! Not embarrassing at all.

Finally the bus heads off and I am able to carry on my way with the Honda back into the city. ONLY going forward.

Oddly enough though, I'm only 20 minutes late... ; )


Final word on the story...

I'm waiting to hear back from Honda, as my car maintenance minder has never requested a transmission service, and there's a slim chance Honda will assist me to some extent with the repair costs. I'm not going to get out of this scott-free, but I might not end up as badly off as I could. Or maybe I will.

Fingers crossed. And hey, when life gives you lemonades, start drinking. ; )

Monday, September 17, 2012


It took the mom of a little haffie extraordinaire to remind me that I seem to have vacated my blogging life, and despite the chaos, Mr. Moon-pie and I have garnered some followers over the year. And I, like many other things of late, have neglected you.

Truthfully, I should have tons to blog about. I've been out trail riding in the beautiful fall weather more often than previously thought, though less than I would hope. I have ridden with well schooled horses and riders, to green horses and riders, and sometimes a mix in between. Mr. Moon and I have covered many miles of grassy trails, enjoyed sunset rides and walks, and while I haven't schooled a single drop of dressage in weeks, I'm thrilled to be spending time with my bestest boy.

Last Thursday was a beautiful fall evening, and while there was some turmoil in my life pre-ride, nothing brought me back to the heaven on earth as tacking up Moon and galloping down the side of the road as the sun set behind us. We stood at a pasture fence and watched as horses galloped to the fence to greet us, and at one point, the sun was no more than a giant orange blaze on the horizon, and Moon and I galloped wickedly through a farmers field, tears streaming down my face and me laughing with pure exaltation.

Yesterday, it was another Sunday morning ride with a dear friend and another, into the beautiful park where the leaves have all changed color and are starting to fall from the tree branches. The canters we did, side by side, the ground rolling beneath us, were magic. And then the final gallop, where we let our horses out, and I raced one of my best friends down the side of the highway, our horses hooves pounding the ground, our breaths equalled paced to our mounts and both of us laughing and giggling like children on Christmas morn. It was bliss.

And so life has resumed some figment of normalcy. 

So, a very good quote to end this, from Miss Marilyn Munroe...

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More myself.

With the impending move looming on the horizon, I'm starting to feel more and more like myself. Yesterday's news from the bank reassured me that I wasn't about to spiral downward into a never-ending cycle of debt and break-downs, so I headed out to the barn with a smile on my face and appreciated the rattle of my parents' loaner car. It could be worse. Granted, my boss *did* call me a ball of bitterness... ; )

Everything was quiet at the barn when I arrived, so I wandered out to Moon and proceeded to break a cardinal rule. I secret loath myself for doing it, but it's an unfortunate side-effect of having a close bond to your horse. I hopped on him in a halter and helmet-less, walk/trotted around the pasture.

I know, BAD.

Halo was along, so she trotted beside us, and we scoured the whole thing looking for one of the horse's missing muzzles. Sure enough, there it was, at the VERY back of the field in a clump of grass. Buggers.

We rode back in, and he really is riding nice lately.

I changed my mind and wanted to put him over fences again. I'm not happy with our lack of pacing and his rushing at the fences lately. But I also was NOT in the mood to have soggy jeans for the rest of the evening as a result of riding bareback. Ew.

Then I had a great idea! I would put a saddle pad on him and strap it in place with my surcingle!

Even better, the pad I chose had foam panels, so A. I stuck REALLY well and B. the sweat didn't bead through.

I set up a jump, stepped back to mount and realized it seemed a bit too high. Uh....

Moon and I started by working on our dressage and staying loose. It is REALLY weird and I really want to have eyes on the ground again. Moon is...different.

For one, he seems to carry his head lower and I want to say he more consistently works over his back. He can still brace and he still runs about like an evil rabbit, but I feel like he actually has a dressage 'form' now. Weird. And possibly in my head.

Around and around we went, even finding some nice leg yield. Then I pointed him towards the jump.

SURGE. He just sees it and seemed to rush forward. I got anxious, the entire thing got rough and we got to the other side in nothing resembling form or finesse.



I had a pretty good feeling that it was the fact that approaching the jump I'm going "OMG! THAT IS SOOOO HIGH! LOOK HOW HIGH IT IS?! I SHOULD HAVE MADE IT LOWER. SOOO MADE IT TOO HIGH. THIS WAS A BAD HEIGHT! LOOK AHEAD, LOOK AHEAD!!!"

And I snap my eyes forward at the last second, as we scramble over.

Freaking out, if only in my head is NOT conducive to nice jumping.

I rode some more dressage circles and figure 8's, and focused on my tempo. What was Moon's beat? And I started singing the beat to myself, with every post. Over and over as we went around. When I found that my posting matched the beat without change, I turned Moon back towards the jump. And focussed on keeping my beat in pace with Moon's foot falls.

Suddenly, coming up to the fence he was beautiful. We weren't rushing, but we also weren't lagging. We trotted right up, he collected and popped right over smoothly. And when we landed, I went right back to our pacing, singing away.

More dressage circles, softening him up and back towards the jump...

And over.


We all know it, but it's amazing how much our horses pick up on our own nervousness, without us thinking we're being that obvious. Sure enough, when I calmed down, he calmed down. And it got wonderful.

After more dressage and jumping, we called it a ride.

Cooling him off, I realized that I REALLY need to take some new pictures of him. One, for my blog followers, but Two, because I think he's changed a lot physically. And mainly, his TOPLINE.

I remember in my head, that his neck seemed to dip along the top to his wither. But riding him around yesterday, it seemed like now his neck carries straight into his wither. And overall, his mane seems to sit atop a row of muscle, where before it kinda just hung off his neck.

Again, I'm not sure if I'm just making it all up...

Hence, the need for photos!

I need proof that things have changed, and if there's proof, I'm wondering how I missed it happening. And if it hasn't happened, why does it feel so different and why do I feel like he even looks different?


I shall be out on Thursday, and then likely miss a couple days through the weekend as I move. The car remains parked, and I remain clueless as to my next step.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What goes down...

Must come back up?

Firstly, thanks to everyone who sent their "pick-me-ups". It really did mean a lot to me, even if most of us have never met. It's simply nice sometimes to know that you're not the only one to have REALLY, REALLY crappy months and that others have all bounced back. I have managed to carry on thanks to copious amounts of poutine yet again, and many, many wonderful friends.

I've had a couple of really rough days, and often forgot to look at the "brighter" side of things. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) there are occasions when we all need a chance to wallow in self-pity, loathing and sadness. While it might be nice if we could all take the bad day with a smile and never ending optimism, I like to think that it's okay to break down at times and just grieve a little for all the losses, the heart ache and the seemingly unknown future.

When I typed Sunday's message, I had originally planned on leaving it a draft, unshared with the world. I hate, with a passion, people seeing me weak. But in the same way, I created my blog to be honest about life, horses and all the things in between. Which means, am I being honest with myself if I hide all the bad things? What if I started not sharing the bad rides? The disappointments? Failings in the saddle? That would mean my blog is nothing more than a glorified piece of fiction, that is unrelatable. So why bother to write or read it?

Instead, I chose, as difficult as it was, to be honest about today's struggles. That is a part of me. A part of all of us, and if we are too scared of our weaknesses, our low days, we only serve to give them power over us. After I hit "post" on that blog entry, I rolled over, wiped my tears and started revising my plans.

In and amongst all of this, I've been riding. And it feels great. Minus the hickups.

For starters, Mr. Moon has been a total brat. He's now pushing around the other horses in the pasture, and will back into them threatening to kick. On Sunday we went on a great trail ride, and in the beginning he threatened to kick another horse, eyed the pony suspiciously for the first mile, and spooked at things that Moon would normally not even give a second look to.

On the trail, when running, he was a good boy. When standing...he was AWFUL. No standing still. And when trotting, he was taking to spooking at nothing.

We got in one really good canter down the ditch and he had no gas in him. He was happy to just jog along with the other horses and no desire to leave the group. NOT normal Mr. Moon and I admit, I was really, really disappointed in him.

Then on our way home, everyone was trotting and he wanted to canter. I refused to let him break his gait and he proceeded to have a very childish temper tantrum on me. Spinning, mini rears, throwing his head, yanking the reins, cantering sideways and jogging in place. This from my 13 year old, million mile trail quarter horse. We argued through it, and I made him walk (jog in place?) while everyone carried on. Just to remind him that this is MY rules, not his. We don't run everywhere.

After that ride he was still sound (yippee) though his leg is not yet back to "normal". It is always a little warmer to touch than the others, so I've been adding some poultice after strenuous rides.

Yesterday, C and I had a plan to hit the trails again and unfortunately a fellow boarder's horse was being a real jerk. I'm not sure what seems to have gotten into the horses, as my own is misbehaving too. Anyway, his antics I think rattled us all a little, and our trail ride while pleasant and safe, was just not the same. Add in the copious amounts of mosquitos swarming despite the bug spray and it was meant to be an early night.

I tossed hay to the ponies and fed, and stared up at the hay pile. When we filled the barn with hay, we packed it right to the roof and straight up from the front gate. Great were we going to get to the top to toss bales down?!

Guess who got to play monkey and scale the side??! Me! : )

It was actually a blast and I really enjoyed myself. I dream of having a hayloft someday...

Tonight I'm out to the barn again, and will swim my puppy-dog with her bestie, hopefully get in a really quick, VERY aggressive ride on Moon and then enjoy dinner with some really great friends. : )

I will say, things are starting to feel a little less "scary", as I'm starting to figure out where to go on the whole car front. Or at least have acquired enough information to not be terrified. You've probably figured out by now, that I survive through obsessive planning. Of everything. I live by my sticky-note lists. And in my head and on paper, I lay out the future, how I'm getting there and what steps are required.

So following the break-up, it took me only 5 day to have reworked my budget, selected and applied for my new apartment, figured out what to do with Moon and Halo, and to have packed up 1/2 my stuff into boxes. Oh, and to speak to the bank about the springtime, finances and get started on the new plans for the future.

Needless to say, you can imagine what it would do to my plans to suddenly have no car. Every rider knows that your car becomes vital. How do you get out to the barn otherwise?! When you also own land that you're working, a car is doubly important to keep working that land. While I'm totally fine with riding my bike to work until winter, I can't stop seeing my horse, and since my dog was now living at my parents, seeing her! No car meant I was utterly lost.

Buying a new car would mean a car loan, and I hadn't included such a thing during my bank discussion. Suddenly I was looking at the possibility of having to make a choice: City Living and a vehicle, or country living and no barn trips for a year. I was terrified.

It's taken me a couple of days, but I think I'm back to knowing I'll survive. Not saying it's going to be roses and tropical vacations, but I'll likely not wind up walking to the barn in the dead of winter out of desperation to see my horse.

The major factor was actually a call from the bank this afternoon. When I bought land, I chose to pay the maximum I felt I could afford every month to help pay it down faster. Now when you add in the tractor payments, food, phone, gas and rent, I suddenly found myself drowning in monthly payments. But I wouldn't dare risk losing the property, even if it meant I ate mac and cheese for three years and was forced to walk to work. Didn't care.

I was also too stubborn to consider selling my horse trailer (worked sooo hard on that!) or anything else that I felt was important for my property build. I'm stubborn that way.

The bank called and asked me if I still wanted to pay the $600/month on the land that I currently pay. Well, isn't that the requirement of the mortgage??

Surprise, surprise, I actually had a lower monthly payment and was opting every month to over pay. Oh.

So suddenly, I learned that if I paid just the mortgage payment, I could save myself some $.

I could also, if I wanted, get away with a $500/month vehicle payment, without exceeding my debt ratio. Not saying that's what I'm going to do (it's not!), but it was a possibility. Suddenly I could return to planning mode. I could start figuring out my options, because once again, I had options that wouldn't leave me alone in an empty apartment while my dog pined for me and my horse got fat.

While things are far from perfect and there are a great many hurdles ahead, I at least can look at today and smile. I've made enough 'right' choices in my life to set myself up to survive even the worst storms that life can throw at me. I've made wonderful, caring friends who stick by me during the tough times, pets that matter enough to me to leave me worrying over the smallest problems, and the personal strength to keep on fighting.

Life may not be perfect, it may not be as I planned and it might kinda suck the big one right now. But that's today. It'll get a little brighter each time the sunrises again, and someday, it'll be brighter than it ever was.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We Still Bounce.

I've had a couple people ask me why I would be so honest in my last blog post. "You literally told the world that you cried!", "You admitted it's hard! Don't do that! You want him to think you're doing fine!", "Aren't you worried people are going to think you're weak?"


Where is the weakness in being able to admit that you're going through a tough time? Where is the weakness in being able to stand up and say "Hey, I'm hurt. And'm struggling. But I'm still here. I'm still carrying on, and I'm not too proud to admit that it's hard."

It all falls apart.

This isn't going to be very horse-related, but it's me related, so it ends up here anyway...

So yesterday I spent the morning with my folks at a farm auction, it was all nice and wonderful and afterwards my dad helped me change my transmission fluid. My car, perhaps 10 times or so, when backing down our inclined parking pad, has briefly ground its gear before shifting. We're talking SECONDS. I had it at the dealership 2 months ago (remember the last time it fell apart on me?), and they said the transmission fluid was starting to be discolored so I should change it.

We changed the fluid, no biggie, go to back the car out of the garage and...


Shift through all the gears, try again...


Run to town, get some transmission stabilizer to hopefully just get it to a dealership for a trade in, and...


Yup. It would not reverse. Just GRINDING.

The end of the Honda Accord.

A 5 year old vehicle, 2 months after the warranty ended, 105,000 km's, got babied it's whole life, I bought brand new off the lot to "never have to deal with the crap of it breaking down".

It's been a lemon since the day I drove it home, it IS the biggest $35,000 mistake I ever made, and I offically hate that car. HATE it. It had been my dream car. Now it is a never ending burden on my life. HATE IT.

Needless to say, we put it in neutral, pushed it onto the edge of my parents' driveway, and I proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes bawling.

You might think that while this sucks (it does) it's not "that" bad.

You're probably right. In another situation.

As I pronouced at a whail to my dad (poor, sympathetic man), THIS was the month my whole freakin' life just broke.

You see, the BF and I broke up at the start of August.

After 9 years together, 5 years of sharing our home. I was waiting to type that out until all the paperwork was finished, but today, I'm tired of trying to hold everything "together".

This month, I was catapulted into the world of single-dom. I found myself packing the last 5 years of my life into boxes so I could move into an apartment, I had my heart crushed, then crushed again, struggled through having to ask my parents for help (they're going to look after my dog and lent me a car so I could actually go to work tomorrow), balked at my monthly expenses, and cried WAY too much. Add in my horse was injured during this time, my dog is now stress-licking her elbow raw, I had JUST prior made the GREAT decision to ask my boss for more challenging work, and finally, THIS. My car is undriveable, meaning another loan I can't afford.

Did I mention that every plan, every dream, everything I thought the future would be is now shattered, and I keep getting cut every time I try to pick up the pieces.

My life is broken, my car is broken, I'm broke.

I'm broken and broken down.

There's no where left to go but up now, right? Please promise me that much.

- A very sad little blogger.

(and, to finish, lyrics from a friend, whose meaning is starting to mean a lot to me...and showed up in my inbox, right when I needed them.)

Feeling brokenBarely holding onBut there's just something so strongSomewhere inside meAnd I am down but I'll get up againDon't count me out just yet
I've been brought down to my kneesAnd I've been pushed way past the point of breakingBut I can take itI'll be backBack on my feetThis is far from overYou haven't seen the last of meYou haven't seen the last of me
They can say thatI won't stay aroundBut I'm gonna stand my groundYou're not gonna stop meYou don't know meYou don't know who I amDon't count me out so fast
I've been brought down to my kneesAnd I've been pushed way past the point of breakingBut I can take itI'll be backBack on my feetThis is far from overYou haven't seen the last of me
There will be no fade outThis is not the endI'm down nowBut i'll be standing tall againTimes are hard butI was built toughI'm gonna show you all what I'm made of
I've been brought down to my kneesAnd I've been pushed way past the point of breakingBut I can take itI'll be backBack on my feetThis is far from overI am far from overYou haven't seen the last of me
No noI'm not going nowhereI'm staying right hereOh noYou won't see me beggingI'm not taking my bowCan't stop meIt's not the endYou haven't seen the last of meOh noYou haven't seen the last of meYou haven't seen the last of me