Monday, May 4, 2020

A Week Off

For the first five years of my practice being open I took two personal days a year: Wyatt's and my birthday. It led to some epic burnout and so in 2019 I made sure to take two weeks off book ending the summer break from school. It was really nice and something we planned to make a tradition.

Then COVID-19 hit and Wyatt was no longer in school and we both knew that once life opened back up again during the summer our practices would get too busy to allow time off. It looked like the last week of April was our best shot at a family vacation even if it had to be a "staycation". Which, is sorta funny that we were aching for a week at home when so many are aching for a chance to get back out. It shows you how while we are all going through this storm, we are all in very different boats.

So what did we do with all this time off?

Sunday - Dusty worked Saturday, so I count Sunday as our first actual day of vacation. The warm, wet winter had allowed the pastures to continue to grow nearly the entire season and spring has been wet enough that the pastures are never dry enough to allow them mowed when I can mow them. This had led to the pastures looking more akin to hay fields than grazing areas. My #1 priority for the week, which was mercifully dry for most of it, was to mow. I was able to get the far side of the property done Sunday while Dusty was able to do the more tedious personal lawn care on the riding mower.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=17vrkN8gq2-yWwRTK_ahPe62kEFwp-mFB
Fluffzilla loves to play in the tall grass. He is pouncing on Einstein which you can only see as a small dark spot right in front of him. 

Monday - More mowing. The morning dew dried up around 10 am and I sat my butt on the tractor to do the main pasture which took me until 6 pm. Once maintained, it can take as few as 6 hours, but it is a solid 8 hours when it gets that thick/high. It was a long day on the tractor. I can't recall what the boys got up to all day, but I know some of it included handing me iced tea and refilling the diesel.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1O0csPYdwEsVLoM3yEMR7VeKkswfTciOU
Nicely mowed. It was good to see the horses using all the pasture once cut versus eating down certain areas and avoiding others. 

Tuesday - The farrier was slated to come in the afternoon, but texted early saying they were a few hours ahead of schedule. I got everyone ready while Dusty took a turn on the mower and did the final pasture. It was really nice to be able to be present while the farrier was around so I could discuss Eeyore and his terrible feet. By the end of this day we had burned through 20 gallons of diesel. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1LJnOSciHmhlD8CPNXkbh_GIzNadj_Gj9
While the pups enjoyed being home with us, they were pretty tired and it was only Tuesday. A tired dog is a good dog though.

Wednesday - This was kind of a waste of a day. Eeyore's vet appointment was at 10 am but on my way there they called and said a few emergencies came in and I'd have to reschedule to 12pm. I was stuck in construction on a back country road 20 minutes from the clinic and 25 from home. I told them I'd come and wait if they could let Eeyore use an outdoor paddock. It made no sense to turn around as I would then have to nearly immediately hit the road back again. So I arrived and waited two hours in the parking lot. By the time I got home with no real diagnosis and a still not right horse, I wasn't in the best of moods. So...we went and bought Wyatt a new quad.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1oCWvPwmIw4wkVUErQyE8WxlXjZ56iSnE
A happy boy
He has been driving a plastic Power Wheels one since he was 3 years old and that thing was near its death bed. It was pretty pathetic watching him drive with his knees against his chin and the plastic wheels spinning in the grass. We had two batteries for it since one only lasted about 20 minutes and even with that he had under an hour. It was time for a gas powered upgrade.

Thursday - Basically a relaxing day. Having gotten all the hard work around the property completed, Dusty dug in on the tack locker in the tack room and I sat and read a book outside while Wyatt enjoyed his quad. The afternoon brought nasty storms with heavy rain which drove us inside to watch movies.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1IfVJExQrLllJHA-etc5mWydr7SzVNwfy
This was a BIG issue. Fluff is in Waggy's spot which hadn't been an problem before this day since he couldn't get on the couch. Wags was not happy when she came in and saw him snuggled there. 

Friday - So...I admit I was in a foul mood this day. That morning I unwrapped Eeyore's leg with bated breath only to feel tears sting my eyes when it looked no different. Maybe a little worse now that it was shaved. The shockwave, Equioxx and wrap did nothing. I sat around moping most of the morning until Trainer AB called me asking if I would happen to want a lesson on one of her horses. They had all originally been spoken for but multiple people had canceled. I jumped on that opportunity and quickly changed to head her way.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FtOgg9Tb23_-e6SIHwfxBZnxDpc4LVm4
The pond is gorgeous this time of year. This was taken before mowing this part, so it is still wild and unruly in this picture. Now it clean and even.

I was in much better spirits when I returned home. I had just enough time to change before heading off to the drive in movie theater. We watched Trolls World Tour wondering exactly how much acid they did while writing that script and listening to Wyatt laugh. Honestly, I really could care less what movie is playing while at the drive in theater. A nice evening outside watching a massive screen is never a bad evening.

Saturday - Moping turned to pure frustration at yet another gorgeous day spent out of the saddle with four horses in my yard. But nothing to do for it, so I read a book in the sunshine, went swimming with Wyatt in the pond, came up with various obstacle courses for him to drive his quad through and weeded the vegetable garden. Dusty and Wyatt spent the evening jug fishing for cat fish while I read another book and relaxed. By the end of the day I had read 5 books during the week, some better than others but all highly enjoyable. I miss reading. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1o3mfFDC7uueZc2_Ku5AEg6PaiOt3VlIw
I miss reading a lot. I used to always have a book at hand, but now I'm too tired by bed time and too busy during the day. 

Sunday - Last day of vacation blues. I woke up with a sharp stabbing pain in my right ear plus a nasty sun burn from the day before. I’m very good at using sunscreen when at the pool or beach but never remember at home. The ear got worse so I went to the minute clinic down the road and was diagnosed with an ear infection. How? No clue. It got worse throughout the day so I took a nap, went out for ice cream and then chilled back at home the rest of the day. 

Dusty wasn’t staying down though. He spent the day on the tractor working on a trail around the property for me once my horse is functional again. He is 3/4 of the way done. When finished it will be about 1 mile long. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1kFpZULbesNYWqCg8d95vCl0zEhaAdthx
The tractor got a work out this week. The nice thing about his trail vision is that it won't require opening or closing any gates. The only obstacle will be crossing an inlet to the pond, but the footing is good there so even when the pond is up it won'tb e an issue. 

The entire week was nearly perfect and a much needed break from the stress of normal life with COVID-19 piled on top of it. Back in early March I was noticing all the signs of burn out having not had any time off beyond federal holidays since August (7 months). I could feel the need for a break coming and was hoping to make it to early June. Thankfully we were able to make this week happen and I am glad for the staycation.

As an aside - Eeyore is still massively swollen though sound. I made an appointment for this Friday with the owner of Tryon Equine for a second opinion. I swear there is a suspensory tear in there along the medial branch that was hidden by all the fluid. Otherwise I can't see why he'd be so focally swollen and intermittently lame. I don't want that to be the answer as it means a year off which sucks in so many regards, but I can't see how it isn't. So we will see what they say Friday.

I've already decided that if it is indeed a suspensory tear that will require a careful year of rehab, Gem is coming out of retirement and Trainer will get to see the circus that that entails. Gem needs to exercise and I need a horse, so sucks to be her. She can take her complaints to the Big Orange Doofus because we can't get a 5th horse and I can't go a year with only riding twice a month.

14 comments:

  1. Well, even though it wasn't the staycation you were hoping for, it sounds like it was really nice! Fingers crossed that it isn't a suspensory thing.

    Also, I was thinking of you the other day! The barn across the street from my barn installed paradise paddocks in their fields. It's been cool to watch the horses adjust to the new set up.

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    1. I'm not even sure what to hope for at this point. I need a diagnosis to work with. Not knowing is driving me crazy.

      That would be really interesting to see. I don't know anyone who has one but I'd love to see one in real life.

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  2. You last paragraph about Gem made me laugh!

    Shauna

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    1. Gem is going to be one unhappy mare if she sees a saddle coming her way

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  3. UGH on all of the Eeyore woes, but LOOK AT THAT MOWED PASTURE. OMG. It is beautiful. And a 1-mile track? HELLO. That is amazing!

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    1. I'm super excited for the trail. It will be partly along the pastures and part in the woods. Once done it will be so nice to get out of the arena again. I really miss the trails.

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  4. aw i'm glad you took that time off. i try to do a yearly staycation too bc.... there's just so much value in that time. but oh man, i cannot believe that there's still such an issue with Eeyore's leg. wtf, pony. seriously hopeful it can be resolved without being a worst case scenario!

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    1. This leg is going to be the end of me. Every day I go outside hopefully it somehow magically got better and then see the grapefruit size lump and my heart drops yet again. At least he returned sound again, but without knowing what it is I'm scared to ride him. If I knew for a fact it wouldn't hurt him, I'd say screw it. But if it is something worse, I could screw us over for good. I'm hopeful the big wig has some answers for me on Friday. If not, Eeyore is getting thrown out to pasture for the summer while gem learns to be a riding horse again.

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  5. 5 books in a week is pretty damn good! I was doing really well with my reading goals UNTIL SIP happened. I read 7 books before it started but I've only read 1 book this entire time. I should really get back on track. The 1 mile track sounds like it will be lovely! Fingers crossed its not a suspensory tear! Though letting your new trainer experience Gem sounds hilarious!

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    1. I had started the year off strong with a book a week, but then it shriveled to nothing by the end of February. I'm intrigued by the idea of riding Gem with Trainer. It would be an experience for all of us.

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  6. Well it sounds like you had a lovely week for the most part, I can't imagine having that much grass to mow! I really hope you find something and can get a plan together, not know is the worst!!

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    1. We have a ton of grass which is nice but also a lot of work. His leg was more swollen last night than it has been and that is with rest and Equioxx so now I'm even more confused. Hopefully answers will come friday

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  7. It still sounds like a good staycation! It's so sucky that Eeyore is down for the count at the moment, but that mile track looks gorgeous! Crossing my fingers that you can finally get answers this Friday!

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