Maybe a body slam isn’t totally a bad thing? Do I feel busted up a bit? Yes. But also slightly recalibrated? Kinda. Either way, this month. Aiyee. Get ready for a disorganized chronicle of the ghoul-haunted woodland that is October 2015. (And then go read “Ulalume”.)
Eli getting sick has a lot to do with me feeling drained. Having him back at home, even if not totally healed, helps immensely to re-energize me emotionally. And how selfish of me, to consider my feelings in all this when really, I’m not the one suffering here. I can only hope that Eli somehow gets that this is supposed to make him feel better in the long run. And sometimes it feels utterly futile to hope that. But then other times I give him an apple and the expression on his face reminds me of being eight years old and hearing the ice cream truck driving around the neighborhood. So maybe he’s okay with it all.
But then, other crap. Good and bad. Like today? Historic flooding in the area for the second time this year. I’m dry, but rain in a sunny state pelts like steel shot after a while.
About a month ago, I had a fairly intense and perhaps slightly bourbon-fueled conversation with a trusted friend about the difference between how I am making a living and how I want to make a living. And about a day later, an opportunity to start working toward how I want to make a living and walking away from how I’m making a living right now pretty much presented itself in a way I would have been a fool to say no to. So that means using up more energy, but I’m willing to do that, because in burning more energy, I’m creating more energy for myself in the form of fulfilling ambitions I have finally realized I can’t rid myself of. Small, minor ambitions that are really only important to me, but things I want for myself that drive me forward–I get out what I put in. I can’t and won’t speak more specifically of it here, but imagine saying you have a dream, and then the dream immediately lands in your lap in the form of a fledgling. Maybe it’ll fly one day.
The last week of this multi-colored maelstrom of a month brought my horse home, and he needs some not so simple after care, yet so many people have helped me to get him right. My horse and I are lucky. Beyond lucky. But the week also took a family member. For her, I hope for peace, because I’m not sure she ever had it in life. And it seems like quite a few people I know are having things happen to them right now that knock the breath out of them, physically or otherwise.
I’d also like to say here what I have said in comments on posts that by now you are all familiar with, so I don’t feel a need to link to anything. And I’d like to add my personal experience with it. Blood on a horse is indicative of an injury. When a horse sustains an injury–no matter how seemingly inconsequential–during the course of a competition, the rider has a moral obligation to address the injury immediately. I would be completely supportive of a rule that in no uncertain terms calls for disqualification if a horse is bleeding. A horse can’t say, hey, this cut hurts, can we stop? I have even been in a situation, twice that I can think of, where if that were the case, I would have been disqualified from competition, and I’m okay with that. I don’t care how much money I just spent to get to the show, my horse comes first. One was recent, and chronicled here–Eli fell while I was longeing him prior to the show and scraped his stifle. If show management has said no show for me, I would have accepted that. Sure, it was a schooling show and I wasn’t dropping a huge pile of cash. I stopped Eli immediately, took care of the scrape, and assessed his soundness before deciding to continue. In another instance, I was owner of a horse who abraded his lip on a rubber mouthpiece cheltenham gag. Owner, rider, and trainer all conferred as to what the solution would be before continuing to compete the horse, and the solution was most certainly not to just keep going and show with that equipment with the horse in that condition. We doctored the lip, and I bought my horse a short-shanked hackamore and wrapped the curb chain in vet wrap, and the rider schooled him well in it. Only then did we decide to keep showing the horse. Had any official decided to disqualify the horse because of that cut lip, I would not have pushed back. Again, the horse comes first. So can a horse sustain an injury during the course of a competition that, if addressed properly, would not prevent it from continuing to compete? Yes. Obviously. But is that what we really want to do to these animals? (We’re not all going to have the same answer to that question.)
So there, October. You may have me off my feet a bit, but in doing so you may have knocked all my bones back into place. I expect at least a pound of fun size candy from you before this is over.