Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Thoughts

The implication is when Labor Day arrives, summer is gone. Yet, I can't grasp that could be possible when there's been no summer for me. I spent most of last winter longing for summer convinced with it's arrival I'd actually be able to make some progress around this Arabian horse breeding farm of mine.

I had big plans all mapped out for the summer months. I worked hard in the early spring picking rocks and grooming fields to be sure I'd had a good place to work horses so I wouldn't have to commute to the park. I figured by cutting out the commute time, I could get even more done and I had my list all made out of candidates to be started under saddle.

I had even begun some refresher work with my green broke horses. Introducing them to giving to pressure from the bit without sacrificing forward motion. A few of the horses I planned to get started under saddle I actually managed to get introduced to the surcingle and the bit although all I asked them to do was to carry this equipment as I lunged them.

I couldn't wait for the round pen to dry out enough that I could actually use it but it took its sweet time in drying out this year. It was not until I was in the hospital that the rain finally stopped and the dry days began.

As sick as I was, I did notice what the weather was doing. I was lamenting before I ever left the hospital that Mother Nature was not kind. A mental note was made of each riding day missed and that has continued throughout my time at home.

Despite my consternation at this turn of affairs, I have not fought the inevitable. Knowing that pushing beyond my limits would only hinder my recovery, I have stayed within the guidelines and tried not to dwell on the fact that summer was passing me by.

Still with Labor Day jumping up clearly in my face I cannot help but feel sad that an entire summer is now gone and I barely even got a glimpse of it. Let alone that all my plans were lost and there has been no progress with any of my horses. My business plan is going to need a major over haul and I can't even start then until I have some idea of when I will be back, whatever "back" means.

On the whole the horses don't seem to mind. As long as they catch a glimpse of me now and then and I come up with a treat or even a good rub they seem content except for Dandy and Legs. Those two love to work and tend to feel neglected when they don't get that individual time.
I knew that would be the case with those two. To be honest, it warms my heart to know they missed me like that.

I was surprised to see that Storm also seems to have developed that attitude. He was grumpy when I first visited his stall but I thought it was just general attitude. We have had our little power struggles
since his return so I didn't really expect him to be glad to see me.

It took a few trips to the barn for me to realize Storm was actually greeting me as soon as he heard me in the barn. Then it became obvious he is making a concerted effort to seek my attention, banging his door and nickering to bring me near.

It's not just grooming and snacks Storm is seeking. He's tried to leave the stall with me each time I have visited. I know he's getting plenty of turn out time so I know it's not that. Especially since the other day when Percy got tacked up Storm made a huge fuss. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Storm wasn't trying to claim it was his turn for such attention. I must admit that felt pretty darn good.

I can hardly wait for the day I can climb back in that saddle. It will be interesting to see if this change of attitude in Storm will carry over into what he does under saddle. Who knows. Maybe we will make it into the show ring next year.

For now, as I struggle with this yearning to be working horses instead of just dreaming them, I find myself wondering if I am wishing my life away by wanting winter to come or just trying to turn the page on a crazy chapter in my life. When I think about last winter's weather, I can't help but think I've gotten a bit nuts wishing for winter at all but then I'd gladly take another winter like the last one over a summer like this one any day.

While my recovery seems to be going along at a snail's pace I feel like I am pretty much sleeping my life away so maybe I shouldn't worry about wishing it away. Whatever it takes to get this chapter over with has got to be a good thing.

I haven't gotten into all the details of my illness and the obstacles that have presented themselves. I do plan to post that story but probably not here except for the ways in which those things have affected my life with the horses.

I am FINALLY beginning to feel almost human again, although I don't have much strength. The biggest thing that has affected my post, or lack there of, has been the problems I have had with my eye sight.

I know I have mentioned many times here that I have a very extreme case of double vision. Most of the time since I acquired this disability I have done a pretty good job of coping with it but something happened when I got sick and my coping mechanism deserted me. That has complicated most every aspect of my recovery from my pain tolerance on up to my ability to walk. Of course, foremost on the list has been my ability to read.

It has always been difficult for me to read from those first days after the accident that caused my double vision. I have never, however, had the amount of difficulty reading that I do currently. As much as I am dying of boredom and really missing reading blogs, I am struggling so much with reading that I haven't been able to even get through the reading of a single post with any kind of retention of its content but I continue to try.

I don't know if it's just me or if Blogger has done something but it seems to me that the text is smaller than I remember and I just cannot seem to get my eyes to focus or my brain to adjust enough that I can take in what I am reading. The only way I have been able to post is to write in Notepad where I can adjust the font big enough that I can read it. A little cut and paste and I'm good and I finally am beginning to feel a little better so I hope to get back into more regular posting soon. In the meantime, just know I miss you all and I'm dying to know how your summers went.


  1. It's so good to hear from you. We've missed you almost as much as your horses have.

    Glad you are letting your recovery have the time it needs. The double vision is a miserable thing, you may want to experiment with a reader - it will read text to you. THere's a free one available called natural reader - just google "read text out loud" and it'll come up.

    Might help you while your vision settles back down.

    Sending you healing thoughts. Take care.

    (Nothing much new here. I'm still chicken about the trails. Smokey is funny. Lily is sound and I'm cantering on her regularly)

  2. I too am sad summer is over, but not for the same reasons as you. Hope you can get better and get working those ponies cause it sure sounds like they want you.
    That sounds horrible with the double vision.

  3. Wow, it's so good to hear from you and hear how you're doing. I'm sorry it's been so hard and you've missed all of summer. I can't even imagine how hard that is. Praying things get much better for you soon!

  4. So glad to read you are on the mend, the new blogger editor is smaller , I had to go back to the old one. Keep on healing up and growing stronger my friend.

  5. Breathe, I will have to check into natural reader. That might be just what I need.

    Thanks filling me on on things your way. Sounds like things are going well. Trail riding cam be so much fun, I hope you hang in there.

    Crystal, I'm afraid summer will be long gone before I get to work any of my ponies. This slow healing sucks.

    Mikey, thanks for the prayers, they're definitely needed here.

    fernvalley, how did you go back to the old one. I'd sure like to do that. This one really sucks.

  6. MiKael, if you use Firefox for your browser and have a mouse with a wheel hold down a CTRL key and roll the mouse wheel away from you. This will "zoom" in on the page, making the text larger.
    Keep healing that is the most important.

  7. Happy you are on the mend. It was a sad kind of funny I felt reading your words. For me, this summer was the first normal summer I've had since 2006. Over the past five summers (years), I have duked it out with cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, more surgery, a muscle disease, another surgery, and a neurological issue (thankfully, no surgery).

    It will get better and (as I'm sure you already know) the horses are marvelous therapy ;o) Have a hug and try zooming your blog (under view on the toolbar). Maybe that will help.

  8. I hate to say this, but it's really comforting to know that there is other people out there with double vision.

  9. So good to hear from you MiKael. We've all missed you and are wondering how things are going. I'm glad to see this summer go. It was miserable, hot and humid or rainy and we got almost nothing done we wanted to.

    Sorry about your vision problems that just adds insult to injury. Maybe the text reader would help as Breathe suggested. Hope you regain your strength soon and can get back to your old self working with your horses.

  10. I am so glad each time I see you return with a post! Be strong…we are here for you. My summer was all about ups and downs…Won reserve champion select rider at region 15 in July, in a deep class against BNT clients with no BNT behind me! But my dear 85 year old mom who loved my riding and showing since I was a young girl , became ill very fast and over the summer I was back and forth to MO from NC and spent my days visiting and finally last week, her funeral with family from all over…enough stress to last me a long time.

    I have a new half Arabian coming up from Texas at the end of the month and I will see what I have, this mare is at a BNT and former owner had paid big bucks for her ( over $25,000) and I got her at Addis for $2500…sign of the times…She has been showing WP but would not “settle” per BNT at shows so I plan on spending the winter calming her blown mind if possible…she is just 6!
    My boy Kou that won with me at Region 15 will be 17 next year and we may try trail over the winter to let him distress from WP.
    I hope we can meet some day at a show will be back on board soon!

  11. RR go into your blogger settings and it is under "posting I believe

  12. And I thought my eyes had just taken a turn for the worst.. so the print IS smaller!

    It sounds like you have had a rough time. Don't you hate it when your plans get shunted by crap from life?

    Hope things continue to improve for you.

  13. At least you're still with us, MiKael :)

    Have you upped the font size on your computer? Right click on the desktop, choose properties, then appearance, and at the bottom under Font size you can choose the Extra Large Fonts.

  14. Getting a long post from you is a good sign. I wish our bodies could heal faster. I totally understand your frustration with the lose time. You definitely become more conscious of how your time is spent after an experience like yours. I'm sending good thoughts your way daily.

  15. "For now, as I struggle with this yearning to be working horses instead of just dreaming them, I find myself wondering if I am wishing my life away by wanting winter to come or just trying to turn the page on a crazy chapter in my life." That quote could have been written by me, and I saved it to my desktop. Life has taken me to the city, and I ride only about 3 times a month on a trail horse, my show horse has been leased out. I try to convince myself that at least we have such wonderful memories of riding and horses to form our dreams... A sad silver lining, I know.
    I wish you a speedy and peaceful recovery! Corinna

  16. MiKael, it's so nice to hear from you. And although your news wasn't all roses, you do seem to be sounding more like your old self which is great to see after all this time.

    My Dad has been having issues with double vision lately (one eye has become offset somehow) and he opted to get an eye patch to eliminate the offending eye from the equation and he says it has really helped. Maybe that's something that could help you too?

    Look after yourself. We keep you in our thoughts every day.

  17. I am also glad summer is almost over, but with our heat- anyone is! Our show season is gearing up, seems it skipped the first few gears and went strait for Overdirve though. I am skipping a big show next month and taking it slow. No need to push too hard and burn out what I've got in my pony.

    Sounds like you are doing well and from the suggestions on the blog for reader and everything, you may be back online and joining us before you know it.

    I know you miss the horses and just had a thought. Maybe Dave or Lindsay can trim a small piece of mane from one or two and bring it inside for you. At least then you have something to smell and feel, 'bringing the horses inside' in a way. Take care and get well soon!

  18. All healing time is a bummer; you just want to get well and be on your horse! Best to take the time to heal properly, though; setbacks are the pits. All those horses wanting you back have got to be positive feedback. Just keep hanging onto their vibes! The summer off for the horses may prove to be a huge plus for you next year. Keep healing.

  19. Hi Mikael -

    I'm sorry you missed a lot of your summer, but next summer - you have next summer! I hope you're feeling better with every passing day and it is SO good to hear from you! :)

  20. Im so glad to hear that you are recovering! Wish the winter away, but enjoy every min. You have been though alot the past couple of months, let your body take some more time to finish recovering.

  21. Glad to hear from you again MiKael! Text readers are a good option, but you can also make the text of a page larger. On a Mac it's apple-plus sign, and I think if you're using a Windows computer with Internet Explorer you can do the same thing by holding down control and moving the scroll wheel on the mouse up or down. Control and the plus sign should do the same thing.

  22. Me again: Just discovered that holding "Control" and hitting "+" also blows the screen up.

    I sure am glad you talked about that, 'cause I was starting to read blog posts and emails with my nose pressed up against the screen ;o)

  23. Good to hear from you! Sorry to hear that you are having a hard time with your vision on top of everything else. It must make time recuperating feel even longer without being able to readd a bit.

    I agree with the others suggestions - a text reader or enlarging the font might help a bit!

  24. ((HUGS!!)) I'm soooo glad to see you posting again!! Hope you're feeling well enough to ride soon!! :)

  25. Hi Mikeal! It's so refreshing to find a nice horses blog. I currently have 3 blogs - how many do you have? My fav breed is the Arabian so I really like your emphasis on that breed. Got to go!

  26. i am so happy to hear from you, i just

    i'm crying.

    please tell percy hello, no not hello, but that i want to be there to touch his silky face. that precious horse.

    you have been missed.

  27. So wonderful to hear from you MiKael.

    I'm sure there a multitude of ways you would have rather spent your summer, but we are so glad you are still with us.

    Believe me, I know the feeling of loosing another year on horses. I didn't get done near what I thought I was going to with everyone, but am hoping to make it up on the greenies this Fall. Unless we have an early Winter, which might actually happen according to the Farmer's Almanac, I still have to around Thanksgiving/1st of December to ride. The competition horses can take a break for a while and I can camp on the ones who got neglected over the summer.

    Whatever you do...Do not stress yourself out about the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. You came through quite an ordeal and sometimes that is good enough.

    Much love!

  28. Prayers continue for strength and recovery. Just do what you can do. I know every moment you get to spend with the horses lends itself to your recovery.

  29. It's good to hear from you, MiKael. It may be a little selfish by expecting the horses to really miss us when we've been gone but I think it's good and deserving too. I'm sure they really do crave your company.

    How about making the zoom level higher so that the screen is easier to read (lower right hand corner on my screen).
    Prayers and healing thoughts are being sent your way. I feel like summer has passed me by too. I'll be sad to see the winter come.

  30. Illness sucks; you have to take the time out to mourn what you missed, and lost...but then cheer on whats to be, without false hope.

    Mikael - im gonna be honest here - taking one day at time, not living up to expectations but living according to whats needed at the moment - helps. changing the mindset when its used to go go go for many years is hard, but you can do it. youre strong in spirit :)

    i only wish the best for you, friend. for now and the future.

  31. I have a lazy eye, so you have all my sympathies.

    This may be an overly simplistic fix, but fo rthe time being you could change the resolution on your computer to something really, really big. It kind of looks weird at first but at least you could read things easier? Here's a link:

    I'm not sure what I'd do if I were sick and couldn't read. That's awful.