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Winter Sucks

Let me just say how much taking care of 40+ horses in Northern Vermont weather is mostly sucking my soul out of my body… I get home from work, curl up on the couch with my heating pad and my dog, and try to talk myself into doing it all tomorrow. The horses are wild, the snow is heavy, and my kid is always sick.

Luckily, though, the light is at the end of the tunnel. Sugaring season is almost upon us, and that’s almost as good as Spring up here! I can’t wait to only put on two layers of clothes to walk out the door, and get a little bit of my motivation back. I love me some vitamin D!

Eli has been going really well, despite the inconsistency that comes with his mother being the barn manager, a human mother, and a grad student. He’s trying really hard to rise to the occasion and figure out the things that I’m asking of him. His personality has really started to blossom since we’ve been doing a ton of groundwork and he’s turning into quite the character. He reminds me a lot of a Labrador puppy… always into something.

I share a lot of our adventures on the ‘gram! Follow us there, @thelazyottb

He’s been really benefitting from regular acupuncture and chiropractic for his TMJ, poll, and shoulders. They seem to be his biggest problem areas and the body work combined with our fancy new Thinline has him moving the soundest that I’ve had him in the last year and a half. This winter has really turned into a good time for us to take the puzzle apart and try putting the pieces back together, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to get it done. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with going back to the drawing board, especially with a horse as quirky as E is. I’ve pulled together an entire village to help us, and it’s been a great decision.

Neeeeeedles!

Mentally, I’ve been doing a lot better when it comes to dealing with him as well. We started taking weekly lessons with my brain coach, Andrea, and she’s been my secret weapon when it comes to dealing with his BS under saddle. I’m a lot quicker to get control over myself, and we’ve been building a ton of great experiences over the last few months. She’s helped talk me through a lot of the more negative emotions that I’ve been feeling lately about bringing this thing along (mostly wondering wtf I’ve gotten myself into and worrying that he’s actually the absolutely wrong horse for me) and my mindset is slowly turning from the negative to the positive, which in turn effects my rides and my overall outlook on things.

Sporting his Tota Comfort noseband… recommended to us by a friend and making a huge difference!

Putting all those things together this winter has me super excited about going into spring and summer. I’m so motivated to keep making progress with this guy, and figuring out all the pieces to make life click for us both. I’m forever grateful for everybody whose made these things happen for us!

The other exciting thing? Ms. Abby is home! She had a super productive field trip at W Show Stables and now that she’s got a great foundation, it’s time for her to hang out and be a horse for a little bit. We’ll bring her in around May and see what we’ve got! I’m happy to have the whole gang under one roof.

It’s hard to take a good picture with a 4 year old, in 2* weather with the wind howling…

All in all, winter has been soul sucking but there have been a bunch of bright spots to keep us rolling through. It’s definitely been incredibly frustrating to juggle the amount of horses that I do, plus a toddler, plus grad school, plus two young horses, WHILE trying to maintain a good home life… but we’re getting it done!