Friday, 24 January 2020

News Years Ducky

Its been a while since I posted but heres a quick update. The New Year came with brand new day, year and decade and I (as usual) am massively affected by a new year.

By 7am I had agreed a purchase price with Duckys owner and a couple of days later he officially became mine. So now I am the very proud owner of D’Lucky Cat (known as Ducky to his friends and new family) who (I discovered when I followed back his heritage on Google one morning while I drank coffee) happens to be the great, great, great grandson of Secretariat.

THE Secretariat who won the triple crown and has a Disney movie made after him. Now I do of course realize that Ducky has many, many relations out of that magnificent and famous horse but I am jazzed that he is one of them. I have of course yet to personally see if Ducky possesses racehorse speed (although he did in fact win a race, which I have seen on a replay) but he definitely has the red coat and same love of posing for the camera of his predecessor.

Usually at this time of year I have reviewed last years New Years resolutions and made a whole list of ones for the current year but this time I just don’t feel like it. I am not sure if its due to the fact that Ace can no longer be a part of this or what it is, but I feel like I want to make another style of list and in fact already am.

~I have learnt, once again, to live in the moment with my family and when I am by myself.
~I have learnt to really enjoy my relationship with my horse and I am learning all about this new horse   who is so very different to my one before. In this learning I have reached out to all my contacts old and new to understand how to continue to grow.
~I now know more than I ever did and I am just at the start of this journey. Ducky and I are at the beginning of our relationship and I am excited for all that it will bring for him and I together and also just for me, as what I am learning is also growing me, as a person and the leader this horse needs me to be.

This change of view and this ability to live right now and be ever so present at any moment of my choosing has so far helped my sleep, my general well being and my way of viewing pretty much everything.
Part of my new found discovery is through a podcast I now listen to as soon as the next episode is out called Take The Reins which is by Nikki Porter.  This is tremendous and really speaks to me and I encourage anyone whether they have horses, or ride or do not even step foot near them. This podcast has episodes about tools in life and will speak to every person out there.

Monday, 9 December 2019

D'Lucky Cat

Its been a while since I wanted to post in here.
Almost three months since I lost Ace and I have come a long way.
I have been through some immense low points.  At first I couldnt even look at his stall or be in the barn unless I had a cat to hide behind. Luckily for me the barn cats there want to be picked up and snuggled with so hiding behind a cat was not hard to do.
Friday nights were awful as I sobbed at home after work.
I cleaned his tack outside one day and sobbed the entire way through it. Birds flew by in a massive flock in the big blue sky and I just watched them. Fall came fast once Ace left.
His ashes came home and I took half to a favourite spot on a favourite trail ride at CBS and laid them there. The other half went to his first home with Jen to be laid under his apple tree and I have some in a necklace that I never take off.

And then one day I decided that I couldnt continue being horse less and after a message and a call we were on our way to Quizpamsis NB in the first pickup truck I have ever driven towing the first trailer in something like 15 years. 4 hours of highway driving with a decent playlist and two good friends and my oldest, Chloe.
We met D'Lucky Cat or Ducky that night at Dans place and I fell a tiny bit in love.
The next day I rode him and fell a tiny bit more and home he came on trial.

Hes with me now on a 6 month lease and every day we get to know each other a little more. Hes a 10 year old Thoroughbred chestnut gelding who once won a race and can canter more slowly than a horse I have ever ridden.
Hes got a floating trot and a great response to aids and I am trying ever so hard to just enjoy him with out feeling a pang of pain and a touch of guilt.
Who knows where this may go for us....

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Forever in August

So this is hard to write.
As per the last few years, August has been mine and Aces riding time. We hack in fields that shimmer where the sound of the grass and the crickets is all I focus on as its so wonderful.
Last week on Thursday Sept 5th we unknowingly went for our very last ride together. It was an August ride but it was also work for us both in anticipation of the upcoming final show.
On the Friday I didn't ride but we went for grazing and hugs, I put his stuff safely away as a hurricane was forecast, kissed him goodbye and told him to stay safe.

Saturday morning he was sick enough to call the vet. Sunday morning after the hurricane the vet came again and again on Monday. Monday night we took him to the AVC in PEI where we talked about scary stuff that "could" happen. We left him there in their care.
Through the week he gave mixed signals, even incredibly positive ones. I really thought he would come home at the weekend.
Friday he went downhill and we threw everything at him care-wise. Friday night he continued downhill.
Saturday morning we euthanized him and I was there at the end with him, sharing all my words.

I now know he had, and would have died that day of colitis and he was in great pain at the end. He had been receiving pain relief but in the words of the vet that did the necropsy "his damage was so great inside that I am amazed he was standing".

We still don't know what caused the colitis. We may never know due to circumstance and the antibiotics that were administered so swiftly, that he needed. 50% of colitis cases never have a cause determined.
I now know more about a subject matter that I had never heard of and had no desire to learn about until a week ago.

I am heartbroken.
I am angry.
I am horrified that he suffered at all.
I am sad he wasn't home in the last week of his life.
I cannot believe he has gone.

I have to find away to understand the reason for this.
We, together, will be forever in August.

 Us taken three weeks ago

Our last ride

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

the end of August

Its the end of summer and it feels like it. July is so the beginning of my most favourite season - with all the heat and humidity and beach, lake and pool days. There is rarely any respite at the end of the day and the nights are complete with open windows and the ceiling fan going as we go to sleep in a 30C room. I love it.

August marks a change. The dawn is darker and the nights get cool. The evenings are noisy with the sound of the crickets and all my afternoon hacks with Ace are heralded by the crickets and the grass blowing in the still hot daytime breeze.

I can feel summer slipping away and as usual I almost welcome it. Ahead is Fall with all its beautiful colours, corn, Thanksgiving, Halloween, pumpkin spiced everything. Starbucks is clearly feeling it too as they released their Pumpkin Spiced Latte just this morning.

The pool ended for the season, much to all the sadness of the staff. I found this awesome photo of it in 1972 (top left).  This year the deck was painted and the colourful signs made it feel like a little tropical oasis in our community.
 We went on a sunset filled dog walk

This rock was left on our driveway with instructions to keep or rehide. We re-hid it for someone else to enjoy.

My tomato and cucumber plants are starting to bear goodies

Chloe and Paul going for a run

Friday, 9 August 2019

England in June

So we went to England as a family and it solved a whole ton of thoughts and "things"
Firstly both the girls were not excited to get on the flight there, as it was a night flight, over the ocean and they werent arriving at MCO. Cue meltdown by Lily 2 hours in as she fought a desperate desire to go home, not be on the plane, feeling sick. It was the exact same as it had been on I95 in the middle of the night almost a year prior to this trip. Only this time, she couldnt get out.
I thought that had been bad, this was worse and I felt awful for her. Westjet staff rocked as they tried to help and eventually she fell asleep.
Ace and I had been at a horse show all day, in fact I left him there to be brought home by friends, so I had planned a glass of wine followed by a nap on the plane. Neither happened.

Chloe had her own perceived turbulence issues, so no one enjoyed the ride, so to speak.

On arriving in London Gatwick, the girls were massively unimpressed by the rudeness of people and we arrived at Angies tired and feeling somewhat culture shocked.

In a nut shell it was as usual in following: driving, grocery costs, eating out. Loved all that. We had a little Yaris hybrid that sucked compare to the Ioniq frankly but got us around ok.
We went to a couple of amazing lunches in a beautiful barn conversion on a golf course with lots of rabbits everywhere, so cute. Saw nannys house again and and Lily and I walked down the concrete strips and I reminisced about life there as a child and she listened. We saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace and trailed 8 miles around some of Londons sights, ending at Borough Market which was pretty cool but by then we were too tired and foot sore to appreciate it.

The weather was hot! Although it cooled down at night. And it was what I can only describe as a sharp heat. No hot steamy soft heat that I love in NS. It was strip your skin, no ozone layer about, bright light heat.

I had almost a whole day with my good friend Karen in Tunbridge where we indulged in White Stuff and had a lovely lunch. It was like old times. It was so very hard to leave her.

We saw dad and auntie Sue who made us delicious cream teas which we ate in her beautiful garden. We ate out with Pauls dad and had a great family BBQ.
 My brother and Claudia <3

The Howe family BBQ

 Dad at Auntie Sues
Dad and the girls at Auntie Sues

An Auntie Sue cream tea

Met some of my oldest besties at a pub garden and took the girls to the Crawley Mall. As usual Paul hated it there and so did the girls so we left there fast.
I got to spend most of a whole day with my brother and his most lovely girlfriend who I adore.
I had a lovely 2 zen-like hours on a Sunday morning talking horses with one of my oldest horse buddies. I miss Jane tremendously.
Chloe hung out most days with her oldest BFF.

But...all in all we were pleased to go home again. The girls are not British anymore and missed their NS home.  I chilled a whole lot more and spent more time than usual but it was still one of those squeeze everyone in trips, as much as you can.
 At the Oak Barn Restaurant in Burgess Hill - highly recommended

One of our evening walks in Horley
England - our green and pleasant land 

Friday, 14 June 2019

Bahama Bay dreaming

Its been a long time since we were last soaking up the heat in Florida. I know this because of how much I think obsess about being there. I pretty much know that as soon as we land in MCO and go through the habitual rental car pick-up, complete with the usual side of order of ChikFilet that I will be in heaven.
Landing in Florida and picking up rental cars is as ingrained in our makeup (both as just the two of us, later with babies and toddlers and now with the girls as they are) and hasnt deviated. It is both tiring and frustrating and necessary. It also is right at the start of being in our favourite place, making it hard to beat. Its hard not to love that first drive out of the parkade in your rental right at the start of the week. Its hard not to feel joy as we join the afternoon traffic on the well known route to Bahama Bay (I have no clue of the route by the way, but Paul can recite it anytime)

Right now I am wishing it was soon. I want to be there so badly I could sob.

Outside its 27C, finally. Its been a long cold wet Spring and we are all tired of that. And now summer is here in dazzling heat and humidity and there was no space in between for the required Spring cleaning of our dusty house from pets and wood fires. I need to get on it.

I also have a show prep ride tomorrow and a musical ride prep ride on Sunday and packing for next weeks Monday to Wednesday trip down to NH for work (no complaints there, truly!) followed swiftly by a horse show next Saturday. Roll on June.

I am going back to my Don Henley music and Bahama Bay day-dreaming!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A May update

Its been a little crazy of late and I havent been able to update so here are some of the highlights of May:

Ace and I attended the first CNHP show of the season and mentally I was in a great place. Ace was, as usual an awesome partner at a show and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I managed to block out everything in my head but him, the sound of his footfall, his breathing and mine combined, the course and my coaches words and we absolutely NAILED our hunter over fences courses. It was smooth and flowing and he was great and off the forehand (first time ever). The stretch up to the final diagonal line and oxer was so long that we were able to have an entire conversation - I was saying "here it comes, our last one" and he listened and jumped it, perfectly.
No speeding up, no run outs, no refusals, no silly crap, just all round perfect.

On the Sunday I saw the Lancers horses arrive and Ace, with his spotless tack, shiny coat and glittery browband fit right in with them. He was, as I said at the time "with his people". It was a weekend to remember.

The Cat3:
On Lilys birthday we went down to spend her birthday vouchers on ridiculously expensive markers in Michaels that are the current big deal, gotta have item. On the way home I was online perusing Facebook and came across the posting from PetValu about the SPCA adoption day that they had had. The last kitten was remaining who had not found his fur-ever home. Against all better judgement we went to look.
"Flounder" was sleeping off an exhausting day but we got to hold him anyway and the whole family, sans Chloe, fell in love. Lily especially.
We went to A&W for the planned burgers and debated about how ridiculous it was to add to our fur-family given the costs of pet insurance and general vet costs, led by Chloe in her full-on "got to be sensible" rant. Lily said little as usual but I know her and she was broken hearted. She requested that I told her when he was adopted so that she knew. We went home and Paul went back with the cat basket, whilst I walked the dogs in the downpour and questioned our sanity.

He brought back Flounder who was renamed Milo and so we became the #Cat3 (after the key West blogger I follow who has the #Cat5, in the spirit of hurricanes). Lily was the closest to breaking down that I have ever seen. Hes a cuddle-bug like Misty was, and also way too confident for his own good. For me, I have some heart-stopping moments when he "pulls a Misty" at 3am with his requests for cuddles or when he climbs on my shoulder in the same way. I had forgotten what its like to have a cat like this.