Desolate Heart – Video

I’ve been home alone for quite a lot of days lately. That is kind of new for me, to be just me, the cats and the horses. Usually, I’ve always been living with someone, somehow.

Right now, the boyfriend is in Austria with his work, and it is freezing cold in Denmark, so my usual time killer, Pokemon Go, has been toned down a bit.

As an added complication, I messed up my one hand somehow, effectively preventing me from going to the gym all the time, and landing me on medication, which completely knocked me off my feet. I have been almost unable to get out of bed in the morning since I started on those pills, and they are not making my hand better.

So, with tons of alone time, and unable to do the two things I do the most, I defaulted to being creative. Once upon a time, music and writing was what I did when I was alone. I then started working for a movie company and became a photographer, learning to enjoy framing and telling a story through images.

I will say, with my left hand swollen, I was a bit scared that I could not play my guitar anymore. That has been one of my deepest fears, through all of my life. Losing my left hand. Every time it has been broken in the past, I have been terrified that I could no longer play my guitar. Luckily, the pills I’m taking are also painkillers, so it was not a huge problem.

I wrote Desolate Heart quite some time ago, mostly with Nahorim in mind, as I was changing his story in the Legacy Series, and the lyrics for it was published in Rockstar in 2016.

It’s been a bit of a struggle for me, to make the music fit the lyrics though. It is one of those songs I have kept trying to make happen and I have never felt too happy with it.

But, being alone and with a lot of spare time on my hands, I sat down in my hallway, (the sound is better in an empty space,) and recorded it. I am not even sure why. It just happened. Maybe I wanted to hear it, when I was not playing it. I sometimes do that, if I want to work on something.

But as I watched the recording, I knew that aside from being home alone, I also had access to the Dark Mare computer and the Permiere Pro, and I could not help it. I put together a video for Desolate Heart.

Within a day, I had the footage I wanted. So, yes, keep in mind that everything is shot on a Samsung Galaxy s6 edge, so bear with me on the sound and to some extend, the picture. Desolate Heart is © copyrighted to The Legacy Series, Rockstar, by Veronica Merlin, where the lyrics were first published in 2016.

Thanks to everyone of you who has asked to download it so far. I’m sorry, but I have no clue how to set that up and I will say that if I were to make that happen, I would have to make a better recording. This is a simple, just for fun, video, describing a song I have struggled with for a long time.

I have thought a lot about the images, though. As much as they came naturally to me, when I started shooting for the video, there is a point to every shot. I’m not sure if it comes across, but at least I know what I wanted to say.

The picture is unedited, by the way. No filter or color grade. I am pretty impressed by the quality of a cell phone camera…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. And of course I had to share it here.

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New Year Resolutions

I think I had about two New Year resolutions this year. I normally never have any, but this year there actually were things I wanted to change.

The first one was to maybe spend a little less time at the gym dancing, and more time actually working out. Last year, I got into a weird pattern of going to zumba almost every day, and fitting actual work out around it, which was so not why I joined the gym at all.

I will say, that joining a local dancing group is kind of messing up my “dance less” plans, in some ways, but it has been a lot of fun, meeting these guys and getting challenged in ways this one zumba instructor I’m stalking, don’t challenge me. But aside from joining them, I have actually begun to let go of my obsession with dancing at the gym.

For a long time, I felt that it was too many hours of my days I spend on it, and that it was not exactly giving me the work out I wanted. I am, first and foremost at the gym, to get stronger. To preserve my muscles. To keep my body working. To keep my spine carrying me. It’s not a game for me, or a need to look good and lose weight. I know I lost sight of that for a while, when I started dancing more than working out, and I know that I can’t keep doing that.

For a while, I just made sure to do both then. But that means that I was spending 2-3 hours at the gym every day, and adding to that, some days we would hang out afterwards and talk for hours.

Between that, and the horses, and the boyfriend being away at work so much, I completely stopped writing.

Which would be my second New Year resolution. Start writing again. I am working on no less than three books at the moment, (four if we are counting The Kiss, which I have been writing with Noel Heart for years,) and for me to just quit all of them at the same time, is new. I have never, since I started writing on the Starstone series, 17 years ago, had such a long break.

So while I have managed to dance less at the gym at the moment, I still, have not managed to open my drafts. And that is not entirely true. I do open them once in a while, and read through something, checking facts, stuff like that. Mostly, because while I am not writing, I am still working on the story in my head. But the longer the break I’m taking, the more of the story I forget, and the more I need to read up on it before I can sit down and continue the story again. And I’m just not doing it.

Instead, I play pokemon again. I did that last year, around this time, as well. There is something about the cold, dark winter nights, that just makes me want to walk the lonely roads of the city and the local parks, chasing digital monsters, not having to be a responsible grown up. But if I make it to level 37 before the 10th this month, I’ll have managed 2 million xp in 2 months… That’s kind of okay with me. And I’m so close. I can almost taste it.

I am getting tired of the game again, though. Mostly because it is forcing me to interact with the local players. That is what I hated about it and what made me quit it last year. Twice. I love playing on my own, or with a friend, but having to deal with the drama and the backstabbing, not to mention, having to run into people I have been actively avoiding for decades, is killing the game for me.

I will admit, I would like a MewTwo on my main account, but so far, I have not managed to get an invite. My blue account got an invite instead and while I got to play with some of my friends, we still had to meet up with all the locals who got invited, to take down the MewTwo.

It is the strangest feeling. Most of them know me, and talk to me as if we know each other quite well, and I struggle to remember them. And then, some ghost from my past shows up with her children, and while we clearly recognized each other, none of us even flinched. I don’t think a single person at that x raid realized that we had a history, and how much we were both struggling to smile.

I caught the damn thing on my blue account, and while I should be happy, I went home feeling strangely shaken. I know that I am still hoping to get an invite for my main account, but the prospect of having to go to another x raid, and of running into her again, is making me kind of hope that I don’t.

I could always hope that my friends gets an invite too, and joins me, so I won’t be alone, even if they have no idea what is going on in my head, but the second I feel like I need my friends to be with me, the second I feel like I can’t go alone, is when I am losing interest in the game. It should be fun. It should make me happy. It should not tear up old wounds.

And it’s not. Unless I let it. I know. It’s not the games fault. Sometimes I just think I have too much history on this island. No matter where I go, there is some kind of ghost following me. Even driving to the gym with the x raid today, watching how the fields Janis and I used to ride on when we were kids, were being paved over and replaced by a hospital and parking lots, made me want to turn and go home. Those paths we used to ride down, gone. I could almost see our grey ponies, standing on the edge of the forest, fading into the shadows of what is left of some of the happiest times of our lives. I could almost see her turn her head and smile at me from underneath her helmet.

Sometimes, I want to just leave it all behind and move to another country. Somewhere, I have no history with anyone. Somewhere, no one knows me. Somewhere, the ghosts, living or dead, can’t find me.

I know that I am falling apart at the moment, and that everything seems to get to me in a very negative way, and I know myself well enough to know that I’ll find my way out of this again somehow. I know that blaming zumba, or pokemon, when I don’t do the things I should be doing, is super unfair. In reality,I just don’t want to be in my head at the moment, and anything that can distract me, is pretty perfect.

So, on that note, I believe the local church has been red all day. Time for a change of color. It’s only freezing and dark and snowing. But. They have had it long enough. Team Instinct, (and by that I mean me,) to battle! Luckily, there is like three active players where I live and if I take down the gyms when they have gone to bed, they won’t fight back until I have earned the money I need. Wup wup.

Wayward daughters FTW 😉

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Drowning

I always have trouble updating my blog when I am not doing good in general, because I can’t find something positive to write about and I don’t want this blog to be too whiny. But I guess my silence has become quite ordinary by now.

If anyone was wondering from that start of this post; I am struggling at the moment. So far, nine days into 2018, I am pretty done with this year. Aside from all the trouble with the horses, my scooter suddenly fell prey to the frost. More to the point, the gas-handle froze, opening the gas, keeping the engine running, making me unable to stop the engine except for by turning the key.

I know that it only drives 40km pr hour, (30, but it went to 40 when it froze, don’t ask me why,) and that it is not too fast, but when you can’t stop, it is fast enough. And killing the engine by the key is not exactly advisable.

Of course this happened when the boyfriend and the car was not home, so I was stuck in the countryside, with no means of transportation. Now, I have two things I usually drive to; my stable and the gym. The gym, I can quit for a while, but my horses, not so much. Someone needs to feed them. I even considered walking to the stable. It’s only 5km.

This is where I am, I guess. Its easier to just imagine walking to the stable than to actually fix the problem at hand.

In the end, I did get the scooter to the shop and borrowed another one from them. Because in the end, even if I am struggling, I usually  find my way out on the other side if I have to. Even if it is easier to just… not.

One of the things that kept me going last year, was the gym. More to the point, dancing zumba with a few of my friends. Recently, I lost that, and I don’t know how to recover the spark.

One of my friends and I, well we might not be the best dancers, but we had a lot of fun dancing with each other. And when we fucked up the steps, we made up our own. In time, it kind of became our thing, messing up together. We got quite good at that.

I did know that a lot of the others at the classes found us annoying, because these classes has a very special dynamic. No one makes mistakes. Everyone is deadly serious, standing in lines, taking one step forward, changing lines every time a song is over. Easily pushing the new ones to follow the lines, and keep up. Hardly anyone smiles or have fun. They just go through the motions, day in and day out, same steps, same lines, same songs…

I never liked coming in that group too much. Right from the beginning, I was missing the fun and the smiles. I do love the instructor though, and even if I became quite good at messing up, I never stopped feeling challenged by him and his choreographies. And when I found someone like myself, who actually came to the gym to work out and have fun, I kept coming back.

By December, there was Christmas songs. Now, I have quite an aversion to Christmas, but I played along, and my friend and I, found it easier to get me through it, by joking around even more.

In the end, some of the others stopped us. One of them took hold of my friend while we were dancing, and physically stopped her. After the song ended, another one started screaming at us.

This was in a room of approximately 40 people, all of who saw us get assaulted, and none of them did anything. The instructor, of course, tried to smooth things over, and while the girl who was screaming at us, for not doing the right steps, continued to throw a hissy fit, no one else interfered.

There is so many sides to this, I don’t even know where to start. To be honest, I don’t care that she screamed at us. I care about the other one, the one that took hold of my friend, even if my friend doesn’t seem too affected by that. It crosses a line for me, there is no coming back from.

And I do care that afterwards, every one has been pretending that nothing happened. They still talk to both me, and to the hissy fit girl. I can’t do that. All I am thinking, when I see the girl who screamed at us, is that she has children. Small children. I feel like I am greatly failing them, by letting them be raised by someone like that, but on the other hand, who am I to do anything about it? Someone who knows that she has an impossible temper and that she is easily irrational and even threatening towards strangers for practically no reason? So what?

In my head, if she has no boundaries towards strangers, I find it hard to imagine that she is not raising her children by mental abuse. Not that I know, of course, but just thinking it, makes me not want to be part of her life or her surroundings.

To be fair, she did apologize to my friend, a few days later. Never to me. And even if my friend accepted the apology, so much damage has been done to both of us, in different ways.

If it had been normal circumstances, I would have probably talked to the gyms management about it, but as it is, this particular center is kind of strange. Everyone is face book friends, everyone hangs out together before and after zumba, drinking coffee, or holding Tupperware parties at the gym. This is a tight knit group, of superficial friends, that has seen each other every day for years, and I honestly don’t feel like I would be heard at all.

Clearly, everyone is just ready to pretend it did not happen, while being (not so) secretly happy that my friend and I are done messing up.

While the instructor was on vacation, my friend and I have been dancing in the other centers’,  and we got back to having fun. One of the other instructors even stopped the class and pointed to us, saying that we made her so happy, when she saw how we were playing.

The tone is just so different, in any other center, with any other instructor, and I am having a really hard time going back to military -boot- camp- zumba, when I could just go anywhere else and have fun.

Why would I, right?

Because these particular classes has kept me going for almost a year, and losing them, I feel like I am in a vacuum. There is a lot of great dance instructors at my gym, but none that could keep my interest for as long as this instructor has.

Right now, I am caught between being horribly sad to be quitting something that used to make me happy, and being even more sad at the thought of having to go to those classes.

Trust me to end up in a situation like this, right?

I just never did well with rules and mob mentality and I do think that taking a break from that center is a good idea, even if it has me devastated that I am letting other people affect me. I never used to care.

And I don’t. That’s the annoying part. I don’t care what they think of me. I am just developing a strong aversion to fitting in to their group. I do not want to be part of that center, part of that mentality, anymore, and I have no idea how to come there and… Just have them leave me alone.

I even wrote a long post for their face book group, but I ended up not posting it and deleting myself from the group instead. I don’t want to cause drama. Really, all I ever wanted was to go to the gym for exercise and, yes, to have fun.

I knew already last year, that the only thing that kept me a member of this gym, was this zumba instructor, and now I am not even going to his classes? Why am I not just walking away then?

Why indeed.

Because I know me. I know that right now, everything is piling up in my head, making me overthink things, making me cry, making me feel like I am drowning. I know too, that it will pass. I will find my way out of this as well.

And maybe I’ll quit that gym, maybe that will be my way out. Maybe I’ll come back to those classes and ignore the others. Maybe I’ll find it in me to go back and pretend like everything is fine. Maybe I’ll stay at the gym and just not go to his zumba anymore. Either way, I can’t make any big dissensions right now. I have to let time solve some of these things for me.

But so far, yes. I am so very done with 2018.

I am gonna count on my next post to be a happy one though, so hang on. It might be a while.

Special thanks to Pia and Anni. Without you two, I would have quit the zumba classes even sooner than I did.

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Home Is Where The Heart Is

New Years Eve was calm on my pasture. The boys were super cool. I had way too much time to take pictures this year.

Marble ended up stressing a bit, dragging the gang with her, but Saleem quite quickly came to me, and asked for help, so I stayed with him and the boyfriend stayed with Tardis. Once Alpha and Beta were calm, the little ones eased up. It was a clear night, but luckily there was not too much fireworks too close by.

We left the pasture at around 1 am, and by then, everything was super quiet. All in all, I  started thinking that I was too much of a mother hen, for even insisting that we spend midnight on the pasture. The kiddos did fine. They would have made it through on their own.

And then I arrived the next morning.

To find my gate open.

Not just the gate, but the electric fence behind it, had been disconnected. Glass bottles had been shattered in the opening.

Luckily, the kiddoes has all stayed home and none of them gone near the disconnected fence or the glass, much less the open gate.

Looking around, I discovered quickly that someone had been on my pasture with a knife, slashing all my wrapped hay open.

I will admit, that the economical loss of all this hay going bad now that it has been opened, is a huge blow for me, but to be honest, I think I was lucky. If I had not just had the hay delivered, the open gate would have looked much more open to the horses. As it was, the hay was kind of blocking the gate.

I choose to believe that this is some dumb ass young people, being drunk and stupid on New Years Eve. I choose to believe that they had a knife and found it amusing to cut open the hay. Not everybody knows that when wrapped hay is opened, it goes bad quickly.

But the open gate, I cannot comprehend. I can even, sort of excuse the shattered glass in the opening, because drunk people may not think what happens, and perhaps they just thought it fun to shatter the bottles and it happened to be in the gate by chance.

But opening the gate, on a pasture with 5 horses, is in my world, attempted murder. It is exactly the same as when kids throw rocks off the bridges onto the cars on the freeway. Stupid, malicious, and insanely dangerous.

I know, that from my point of view, losing my horses would be an impossible loss, but most people don’t care about animals. Even if you are one of those people, with no empathy for animals, you have to realize that human lives are in danger, when you release 5 horses into traffic.

When a horse gets hit by a car, its legs break and it lands on the windshield, killing the people in the front seat. I cannot understand how the police is not treating it as a pretty serious matter, because to me, whom ever opened that gate, endangered peoples lives.

Truth is though, that the police doesn’t care at all. For them, some lost hay is a small matter, and no one got hurt.

For me, the ramifications are enormous. I don’t know how to feel safe again. How to protect my babies. The fact that someone was ON my pasture with a knife, and broken glass, opening the gate… How am I ever going to go to bed at night and not fear for the lives of those I love the most in this world?

How am I ever going to not fear what I find when I show up in the morning?

I will say, that I shared the pictures and the story on face book, and people have been amazing. The post has been shared more than a thousand times, and people in the local gym, who doesn’t have horses at all, has stopped me and shared their concern for me and my horses. Tons of people has offered to buy my opened hay, or trade it for closed bales, and all in all, the local support has been amazing. Thank you, every single one of you! ❤

Another thing that this episode has led to, is that it kicked me awake, I guess. For a long time, I have been coasting by, feeding hay, filling up water, doing what needed to be done, trying not to worry and not really interacting with the kiddoes, blaming the rain, or the mud, or whatever. I always had an excuse to run off as soon as possible.

Now, I find myself recovering from this zombie state I have been in, and finding the mother-bear inside my, that I used to be known for. Instead of wondering if Saleem’s teeth is too much of a permanent problem, (because he has been losing weight a lot,) I went out and bought special food for him. So what if he needs extra treatment? I am not accepting that he is losing weight and I am not giving up on him. I will take the time and make sure he eats, every single day, even if it means that I don’t get to go to the gym and dance every morning. Who cares anyway, Saleem is much, much more important.

And I will handle that the others are fat and can’t be fed when Saleem eats, I will solve every f**** problem with my gang, rather than just look away and pretend that everything is going to get better when spring comes and it stops raining.

As much as I feel utterly helpless when it comes to defending my kiddoes against stupid people, I AM able to help them with a lot of other things. And aside from finding special food for Saleem, we have been setting up motion sensors and light, and cameras, and of course, locks on every gate.

I guess that as much as I already despise 2018, it has me fighting again and that is good. I missed that part of me. I don’t know when I stopped fighting, but I am glad to have rekindled my fire.

I will leave you with a link to my instagram, and a stupid video I made yesterday, because I did not go to the gym and one of the girls I usually dance with dared me to make a sexy video of me dancing at home instead. Well, this is my home. This is my family.

Always.

Home is where the heart is. And I have five ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

 

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Happy New Year

I have not written much this year. Actually, looking back on 2017, I wonder what did happen this year. It mostly just flew by.

Most significantly, I guess, is that the boyfriend and I moved. Settling in at our new place has been great, even if it is kind of far away from everything. I would have become utterly isolated without my scooter, but as it is, it has been great to finally have something that is just our own. The cats took the move very well.

  

 

It has been a quiet year with the kiddos as well. Luckily, I guess.

They have mostly been pretty happy and able to entertain themselves. Since I have completely lost interest in riding, that is great. Also, I love seeing them wild and free, and unrestrained.

Yes, Apocalipse and Saleem always make for dramatic pictures. But mostly we are pretty chill.

I haven’t played a lot of games this year either. Mostly just mobile games, and since I broke with the local Pokemon team, that has been taking up less and less of my time as well.

Those of you who know me now, might think I play a lot. I don’t. It’s been worse. Much, much worse.

I did participate in Gishwhes again this year, and this time as team captain. That was possibly one of the greatest things this year. I loved being captain, I loved not sleeping much all week, I loved watching my team blossom and shine.

In every possible way, these guys were superstars. We had so much fun and did so many things we never imagined we would. I got eaten by zombies. No offence, but my vampire mates were useless…

I let one of my friends, and teammates, shave Gishwhes into the back of my head.

Signe and I got to live up to our girl on girl tradition and do a Lady and the Tramp shot. (All vegan, BTW.)

I got to be a… what was it? Nevermind. I got to hide in the back of my uncles car. It was late, we were tired and the deadline was drawing near. It made sense at the time. I still love the shot.

Long time friend of mine, Jen, who I met on WordPress 7 years ago, joined my team, (Check out her blog, “Forgetting to Breathe”) and we got to do the Kale head piece together, all the way across the continents.

Yes, Gishwhes was definitely a high point this year. I loved every second of it. Almost. Not counting the endless hours in the escape room. I’m pretty sure I’m still a wrasse…

I did manage to release one book this year, book four in the Legacy Series, Torchlight.

12 books so far. I should write more. I will. New year resolution. Finish the Legacy series.

Fingers crossed I will.

Right after Gishwhes, I dragged Signe and my sister with me to pride.

I guess that should be mentioned, as it does matter a great deal to me, even if the whole show made me feel kind of ambivalent at the time. I still count on Signe and I going again next year.

 

Strangely enough, this year I got myself together enough to actually go to the grave site of my childhood friend, who died a long time ago. I have not been able to make myself do that before. Not sure if it did any good, but at least I managed to take that step.

But really, what have I been doing this year? Gishwhes? I have not been writing, I have not been riding, I have seriously cut back on my gaming…

Yeah, I have been feeding my new obsession, I guess. The gym.

 

As much as I joined the gym because I needed to stay in shape, to make up for my various injuries, I found that I kept coming back because its fun. I like being in control of my body, and I will say that I have found some great instructors and some amazing girls to train with over the last year.

 

And yes, insanely enough, I have been dancing a lot. I even managed to drag my sister in law with me for a Michale Jackson event.

And my twin for the new year event, even though she absolutely do not dance.

I just can’t pass up a chance to be a rainbow. Rainbows rock. 20% cooler, one might say…

Mostly, I am being totally unfair here, because the main reason why I am dancing so much lately, is because of this one guy, who is insanely inspiring.

It takes a special kind of person to keep up with him. Nina, you are awesome 😉

I will admit, that once in a while, I get super tired of how little I get this. That’s when I am happy to go back to my girls and the other instructors. And that’s when I become stubborn and come back.

We celebrated Christmas at our new place this year, which was awesome. Vegan, close to the horses, home with the cats… And I even weaseled out of getting a tree by just decorating one of our plants.

And now, I better wrap this up, as I a going to the stable before midnight, so I can be with the kiddos when the fireworks start. They were super cool last year, but I am not. I need to know they are safe.

Happy new year everypony! Don’t forget to shine!

Thanks to all my friends, family, and followers for putting up with me for yet another year. You are all my heroes! Stay safe. ❤

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Snow

There is a strange kind of serenity to snow. I don’t know if it is the color, brightening up the world, or if it is the clear frost air, but snow always make me happy.

Maybe it is just because, as an equestrian in Denmark, what you see most is rain and mud, and when the snow finally comes, it is such a nice break from being wet and dirty all the time.

I hate the winter, to be honest. I am sick and tired of going to the stable in the dark, rainy evenings, I despise the mornings where there is no sun until 9 am. I hate wet gloves, wet socks, wet f**** underwear if you forget your rain clothes for just a second.

Lately, I have been wondering how long I can keep it up. I knew when I quit working at the stables and moved my horses to an isolated pasture, that I was done with the equestrian world, but the truth is, I think I am really done being an equestrian as well.

I don’t miss riding, I don’t miss competing, I don’t miss the people. None of it. And most days, I feel like I am spending all of my money on something that has become a bitter chore.

I am not sure how I changed. Maybe it was when Poseidon died, after all. Maybe not desperately clinging to his right to live took away the need I had to keep going. Maybe I am just sick of always being responsible for someone else’s life. I got my first horse when I was 12 years old and I haven’t missed a day at the stable since. (Except for a month spent at the hospital, I believe.) Maybe I would just like to know what it is like to wake up in the morning and get out of bed for my own sake, and not because I had to, because someone else depended on me.

I know that the boyfriend has been very stressed with his job lately, and that is not helping. Basically all of our problems could be solved if we did not have the horses. He would be free to look for another job, any job really, and I would not have to be wet and cold all the time. Imagine that.

We could pretty much do whatever we wanted, if we did not have horses. Back in the day, when we both loved spending time at the stable together, it did not matter that we were always broke and struggling to pay our bills, but lately, we are mostly taking turns feeding the horses, so when he goes, I don’t have to, and the other way around.

I don’t have to.

Just thinking that way makes me sad. These are my babies. They are my life. They are the life I chose, a long time ago, and I know that I am not letting them go until they draw their last breaths, but it sure is becoming increasingly difficult for me to find joy in being an equestrian.

Aside from the rain, I think I am just really tired of feeling like a failure all the time. Like no matter what I do, it is never quite enough.

Marble is always a little unhappy, always a little off beat when she walks. She has been through x rays and ultrasounds and has spend months on painkillers trying to stretch her tendons, and the truth is, she is probably never quite pain free.

I think that most of the time, when she is playing or grazing with the others, she is happy, and since I am never planning on riding her, it is okay if she is a little lame. She handles it. But it is a lot of pressure, owning a horse like that. Every time she snaps at me, or becomes defensive towards me, I wonder if it is learned behavior, (reflective response,) or if she is in trouble. And I feel that in both cases, I should do better somehow. I am just hitting a brick wall with her.

Tardis has days where she is hardly eating. She has cushings, and I know that the medication can cause depression and anorexia, and every time I see her sleeping, I wonder if she is being overdosed.

Objectively, I know too, that she is the beta mare and that she is supposed to be sleeping when the rest of the herd is grazing, and that when she is not eating, it is probably because she is tired. I just can’t quiet the voice in my head, that keep telling me that she is sick, and I will lose her, probably in a rather painful way, one day.

Mostly, she is really happy though, and I probably worry way too much. But hey, that’s who I am. If I can find a way to feel like I am not doing good enough, I will run down that path instantly.

Saleem has hardly left the house for a week now. I never see him outside. I have had to check if his feet were wet lately, because I feed him in the house, and he even started using the water cup, which they have been refusing to touch for a year now.

He DOES go out, his feet has been wet once in a while. Still, when he withdraws like that, I have to wonder yet again. Why?

He is thin at the moment, and no matter what I do, how many times my vet checks his teeth, or how much parasite treatment he gets, I cannot make him gain weight. Perhaps he is just feeling the cold more than the others, because he is skinny. But why the f’*** can he not put on weight?

Apocalipse just had two weeks with swollen legs. No reason, just… swollen. Mostly the hind legs, but when I found him lying down one morning, it was all four of them. He is 7 years old, and has access to a pasture and exercise 24-7. Why is his legs swelling up?

I know. There could be a thousand different reasons. He could have a minor infection, a virus most likely, causing him to gather fluid in his tissue. He could have eaten something slightly poisonous.

Of course, I am instantly reminded of his mother. Amalia’s legs were always swelling up, but she spent most of her life in a stall. (Different times then.) It got much better when she got out on the pasture, but when her heart was failing in the end, her legs were swelling up again.

Of course, I am instantly wondering if he is developing her heart failure. They were less swollen today, but the rain has stopped and he has actually been grazing today, rather than just standing still…

Ablaze is pretty happy, I guess. Aside from me, always worrying that he will develop his mother’s cushings, and wondering if I could do anything to help him make sure that won’t happen.

So yes, with the rain, mud and the constant feeling like I am coming up short, I have seriously started looking forward to some day in the distant future, when I will no longer be an equestrian. When hay and frozen water and antibiotics will be a distant memory.

And then, it snows.

The light changes, the mud goes away, my socks stop being wet… Saleem comes outside. And I remember why I love my guys more than anything in the world.

They are my sanity. They are my sanctuary. They are the air I breathe.

They are, and always will be, what makes me smile and no matter how many tears they make me cry as well, they will always be worth it.

They are saving my life, every single day, just by being here.

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