Sunday, February 28, 2016


Tomorrow is February 29th, also known as Sadie Hawkin's day.   If I'm not at my desk or somewhat unavailable, you might find me chasing down the love of my life and asking for his hand in marriage!  {{{And no, Bestest Eventing Buddy, we are not talking about Chandler Bing!}}}

Da Boyz - Da lufs of my life!

It is also another day wedged between the days that changed my life.  You see, I still mourn the loss of my beautiful, yet wild, lil' pinto pony.  It will be one year on Thursday, March 3rd and I can still tear up and want to bawl at having to make the decision to mercifully end her life.  (For those of you new to the blog, here's the link)

I felt so powerful on her!

I also want to scream at my still tearful self to "Stop!  Get Over It!   Move on! Enough already!"  (And, I'm sure some of you want to do the same... ;) 

Sugar was just a horse.  And, all living beings must leave the earth.  Sugar was just a horse... 

Yes, she was that and she was also a friend and a dream.

A loving gift from a FRIEND
Facebook is an amazing tool - a place to connect, a vehicle to cheer folks on and a wonderful place to share experiences, pictures and life.  I've been loving the Memories app.  Every morning it shares memories of things done and posted that day in Facebook years past.  It is also reminding me of all the life and adventures we shared over eight FB years.

Grief eases over time and I believe that one day, Sugar will be just my "last" horse.  I will smile with deep warmth when those memories come again but there will be more memories and pictures of Maisy and I doing the things we love so much.  Yet, I want to cling to the memory of her twitching spotted nose and the gentle soul she was when greeted by children and fearful adults.

During chemo at our first show
 Ok, some of you might point to all those past writings of me trying to conceal my inner alpha mare as I watched that beautiful white bottom galloping away at the 13th or 14th obstacle on a 16 fence cross country course.  And, you may want to remind me that this beautiful being would lure me into believing that today was the day we'd break 30 after an amazing dressage warmup and then manage to spook and spin periodically throughout the Novice B test.  

That nose!
And, there are some of you who might want to tell me that Maisy is absolutely an awesome horse.  And then remind me that she is green but game with lovely gaits and a willing, non-spooky nature.  While you're talking, you note that she whinnies eagerly when she hears me say Hi as I enter the barn.  Get over it, you whisper...  Sugar was just a horse.

And, I will ask you to understand, truly understand, that my love for Sugar and the occasions of sadness for my loss does not limit my ability to love and nurture again.  Time heals the loss yet, love is infinite.  Don't ask anyone to rush the process, it will come!  And, try not to judge for yourself how long it should take.  It will come...

I love Sugar and yes, I love Maisy.  And, what the heck, let's add Da Boyz in that overflowing bucket of love.  It is there and you know what?  All you folks...  Facebook, Blog Buddies and Readers...  you are with me in that bucket of love and, I thank you!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


There is this quote attributed to Nelson Mandela that goes something like this; Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

Our lovely new indoor

Bravery comes in so many packages and I bet, most people can't or don't even acknowledge how many brave things they accomplish in their lifetime.  We, human folk, tend to downplay our successes and focus on our hardships and failures. And, sometimes it's easier to quit than to go on.  Oh, and quitting is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it's done consciously.

Not a good morning
Why am I so caught up with this thought of bravery?  Hmmm, is this just one of those posts were it appears to be about someone else but is cleverly disguised to tell you how awesome I am?  Is this where I tell you that I fell off Maisy while jumping and "bravely" climbed back on?  {{{Um, no!  I actually cried like a baby in a humiliating ball of anxiety/shame-filled self-derision.  But, maybe that's for another post.}}}

Read Non Judgement Day

One year ago this week, our indoor collapsed.  For non-horsey folk, it may not have been some earth shattering or devastating tragedy.  "Heck, aren't horse people rich?  Isn't some kind of First World Issue?  Surely, insurance will pay for everything.  Heck, it was just an indoor."

Ok, some of that is true.  But what was also true was that it was part of a small family farm's livelihood and all of their dreams were sitting crushed under a ton of snow and ice.  And, for those of us boarding there, it felt like a death.  We did not know what to do or what to say as we mingled numbly about.  I wrote this blog about how devastating last winter was to barn owners in Massachusetts (Non Judgement Day).  I encourage you to read it.

Still miss her
Today, I honor our Barn Owners and all the other Barn Owners that faced the unknown, got up, shook off the tons of snow, and continued on!

Think about being a business owner who just had a devastating natural disaster, your insurance company tells you that there is no compensation for your loss and your customers are looking like deer in headlights wondering what to do next. They want answers to calm their fears and, you remain strong when you just want to cry.

And, we are getting there!
Courage.  Sometimes you just do the next right thing.  It was an awful winter.  Two weeks later Sugar was euthanized after her pasture accident and, the Barn Owners showed up to support and console.  And, a week later another horse was euthanized due to a spinal tumor and they showed up to support and console.

Courage.  Choosing to obtain financing and rebuild couldn't have been an easy decision but they did the work and with the support of some brilliant boarders and friends, they made it happen.

One year and everything changes.  We have this incredibly beautiful new indoor with spectacular footing.  The barn is full again.  And we smile!

You know, fear is a part of life.  Sometimes I'm afraid that my outfit for work isn't quite right. I can deal with that bit of fear bravely.  What is courageous is not knowing the outcome, showing up anyway and doing the next right thing.  Today, I am so lucky to be a part of the Country Barn...  I honor you!