Ahhh … context. Because analyzing situations in a vacuum may lead to misconceptions. I’ve got three minor setbacks to go over today that would actually look a lot more than minor if it weren’t for the circumstances surrounding them. I had to remind myself of such circumstances to keep from questioning my decisions.
The first is a minor setback for Conrad. He did get his stitches out on Thursday, but the larger incision, while mostly healed, is not totally healed. He will keep resting at least another week and stay on antibiotics. Luckily teeshirts seem to do the trick of keeping him from messing with his surgery sites. He’s wearing a really cute hoodie from Long Dog Clothing today. (It’s The Sailor and it’s 40% off!)
It’s a bit thicker than a tee shirt — it was cold enough for me to end up driving through sleet on the way to work so I figured he could use something a little more substantial today.
So is this a setback? Yes. But is it a big deal? No — he’s still healing and he gobbled his breakfast this morning, so I know he’s feeling well. I can’t say I mind skipping the park another weekend because it’s freaking cold.
The second minor setback seemed like a major one at first and I was starting to drive myself crazy about it. This winter, Eli has been Winter Eli on steroids, I think in part due to less work because of wet weather and that three weeks he had off while he had stitches also left him a little feral. Ride after ride, Eli acted bonkers and I even resorted to longeing him. Thankfully our prior ground work stuck in his mind a little better than I thought it would, and longeing wasn’t a disaster. But still, he has been cuckoo bananas under saddle lately.
Until this week. He had his teeth done on Monday, which I will not discount as a factor. It had been about six months since his last dental so this made sense to me. More importantly, it was downright warm. Also foggy and muggy, which was gross, but it wasn’t cold. And Eli was PERFECT on Tuesday and Wednesday. P E R F E C T. His trot even got a “ooo fanceh” out of the barn owner/head trainer which at that moment could not have made me any more proud of Eli.
I think a big part of Winter Eli’s behavior when it’s really cold is that he gets body sore/back sore in that kind of weather. Which doesn’t exactly surprise me — he is 15. Cold hurts. I think the soreness is primarily muscular, especially since it disappears when the weather warms up. It’s also not uncommon for him to get a little ouchy in his lumbar area when he’s not in regular work. So could I just look at his recent back soreness as a new scary call-the-vet and take x-rays issue? Yes. But am I going to do that? No. The soreness subsided and I couldn’t really find evidence of it on Tuesday and Wednesday. I even dropped his saddle on his back without pads to see if there was anything glaring going on with the fit that I hadn’t noticed before, but it looked good — no signs of bridging or being too narrow, good spine clearance. I am sure the tightness in his back is back today, though, because it’s freezing and sleeting. And we know if Eli is hurting, he’s a bit psycho about being sat on. So I’ll pass on riding today. But he’s getting a new sheet and blanket; some candidates I’ll be trying on him Saturday. Hopefully they will fit better and be a little warmer than the old rag of a turnout blanket he’s got now. And more importantly, this February shit will give way to March and maybe we won’t have to face this issue again for a while. I will say — the Back on Track saddle pad does seem to be helping!
What’s the third minor setback? I’ll be candid. My weight. While I have zero incentive to throw numbers out here, the important aspect of this is that I do not feel comfortable in the current weight I am carrying, and I think I have even mentioned this before. Age + increased dosage on a prescription + absolutely not paying attention to what I eat have caused me to gain some pounds I plan to shed. But without a way to really track this (other than like hey why are my clothes a little tight right now), I wondered how I could possibly succeed.
Oh, wait. Duh. Buy a scale. Yeah … I have never in my life ever owned or regularly used a bathroom scale. But I do now! Like, whoa, scales have really gotten really fancy. My scale even goes with an app. If you’re interested in adopting a healthier lifestyle or new fitness regimen and you don’t have a scale with an app, are you even serious?
Okay, just kidding, I don’t care how you go about achieving your healthy lifestyle goals. Suffice it to say, I am eating fewer doughnuts.
So yeah … this winter has been a little bit of a struggle. But in the grand scheme of things? Not really all that bad. Except my job. That is actually extremely annoying right now and I would like my life back any day now … which won’t happen until after Memorial Day so I won’t be holding my breath.