It’s the most wonderful time of the year? Say they who have no horses. Or night check. But what time of year is it? Time to dress up the dogs and horses in ridiculous outfits!
It is also the time for colic, clipping, layers, and a sense of humor. Well, a sense of humor is always of use, but something about the oncoming winter begs some laughter. It is the key to survival. Passion may drive us—sure, drive us mad. Madness to chase our dreams, or at least feed them out in the cold. But the only way out is through to spring. I am doing my best not to let this turn into the ‘winter of my discontent,’ so that humor is vastly needed.
This summer, I had the opportunity to clinic with Mary D’Arcy O’Connell and was blown away by her sheer awesomeness. I worked hard all fall to blow her brilliant Irish mind with my stunning new dressage prowess and keen jumpiness for the next clinic. I mean, I doubled down on my dressage and became padawan to my DQ sister (sithter?). I ran miles at the gym, whilst people glared at my sweaty panting stomp on the treadmill.
Sadly, life dropped a heavy NOPE on that plan. I guess that just means I need to be ready for the next opportunity in the spring. That just leaves that dark, cold, wet three months to get through.
Meanwhile, that dark, cold, wet time is making sure every minute is accounted for like a cruel cruise director. My personal circadian rhythm is ready for bed at dark thirty, which unfortunately is only about 6 p.m. I haven’t even had a chance to pick out hooves at that point! Feed, drive, work, drive, feed >ride< sleep. Occasionally that ride gets squeezed in there! However, the best laid plans of barnmice and horsemen often go awry. Ride time often gets sacrificed for the fun (she said sarcastically) other parts of horse ownership.
Let me explain in song:
On the Twelfth Night of Ponymas, my [disgruntled] herd of horses gave to me:
12 Buckers Bucking
11 Ponies Biting
10 Rugs a-ripping
9 Thrown Shoes
8 Mares A-glaring
7 Legs A-laming
6 Picky Eaters
5 Days of Colic
4 Jugs of Wine
3 Outstanding Bills
2 Fighting Cats
1 Mild Episode of Choke
I wish I were exaggerating … I left out the choke relapse, the muck wheelbarrow replacement, the multiple unrelated biped surgeries, selling my truck, repeatedly pulling stuck horses out of the fence line, the redneck crossfit hay bale jostle, and the water pipe replacement. I could go on. And on. Really. Enjoy having your own farm without the luxury of staff to do your bidding or the time to ride!
I’m not as bitter as I sound, I promise. Just tired. But, I’m grateful for all I have and know I’m lucky in the end. Lucky to be able to ride. Lucky to have my horses, chipped feet, glaring, cranky, quirky and all. Lucky and grateful, I’m able to laugh at the shenanigans of it all. It’s the most laughable time of the year. So, All I want for Christmas is more laughter.