13th Doctor

I should not touch this with a stick. I should know better. This is dangerous territory.

Let me start by saying that I am 100% behind equality for everyone, be it male, female, gay, straight, and yes, I am vegan too, because animals and their rights matter as much to me as humans. We are all just trying to find our own little piece of happiness, within the time we are given on this earth.

When I first heard someone mention the idea of a female doctor, I did not flinch, because, why not? Who cares about his gender, as long as he is the same character. I actually think it was one of my favorite writers who opened the door on that one, in “the doctors wife” where one of the other Time Lords is described as having regenerated as male and female over the years, if I remember correctly.

I never thought much of it,  because why not? This is a SciFi show, the show runner and the writers set the rules, and what difference would it make if the doctor was female? Really?

I will admit, I have not seen any episodes with the 12th doctor. Not because I think he is too old, (I looooooved him in Torchwood,) but simply because while watching the 11th doctor, I felt like I was watching the greatest show hit an iceberg and sink and there was nothing I could do about it.

The show runners and writers set the rules.

While Russel T. Davis was running Doctor Who, and Torchwood, it was sharp, it was heartbreaking, it was beautiful and most importantly, it was self -consistent. It always stayed true to its own universe.

Since Moffat took over, it has been declining, hell, he even tended to forget how his own monsters worked, and he managed to make Amy and Rory the real main characters in the show, while the Doctor became the funny sidekick.

I could not bear to watch that, so I quit. But I did keep up with how the show was doing, on social media. And it is very hard to miss that now, the doctor is finally to regenerate as a female. Still not ginger, though…

As this is coming right after his new companion  is a very politically correct, LGBT girl, I will admit, my insides are turning at the thought of what this will do to the show. It feels so awkward, so forced, so politicized, I cannot really feel happy about it.

I wish for the show, that the gender of the doctor will not matter. I wish that there will be no more romance between the female doctor and her new companion, than there ever was with the old ones. The Doctor is, before anything else, asexual. He is a Time Lord, traveling with a human. He is not that interested, or if he is, he is too scared, because he knows he will lose the companion in the end, while he lives forever. That is part of the beauty of the show.

Now, I loved Torchwood, I adore Jack, and I love that he gets to be omnisexual. I love that he is dating Ianto, and that their relationship is not a story point. It gets so tiresome when you have to force gay relationships to be a story point, to prove that you support them. I think that is what I loved the most with Jack and Ianto. They were just a couple, and even if Ianto was struggling with it a bit, and even if Jack was heartbroken to lose him, their relationship was never the selling point of the show. It was just there, as natural as any straight relationship on a TV show might have been.

Like I loved Charlie in Supernatural, and that she got to be gay, and it had absolutely no impact on her character at all. She could have been written straight as well, and she would have been the same person, because guess what… Its not sexuality that defines who you are as a person. Very few script writers seem to get that.

My boyfriend was wondering if they were just going to continue the show now, with a female doctor and a male companion, and nothing would have changed. It never even occurred to him that the gay companion was going to be a story point now. I hope she is not. I hope they manage to write this show without pressing the point of gender roles and sexuality. I hope they can write the doctor, so that his personality will not change at all, despite his new body, because it should not.

He is still the same person, even if he is a woman now. Nothing should change, right?

While I hope this, I know it is a vain hope, because lately, the writers let him change with each new regeneration. He even started calling himself “11” when Matt was the Doctor, as if he was counting how many persons he had been. That is so wrong, in my world, I can’t even… He should not think of himself that way at all. No matter the body, he should be the same person.

I know I should be cheering. I know it should feel like a win for feminism and LGBT rights. So, why doesn’t it?

Why does it feel so forced?

Perhaps that is just me. I know that I don’t envy Jodie her role as the first female doctor, and I think she is amazingly brave to accept the job. All the best, I hope this show becomes awesome again, I hope she gets some great script writers and a show runner who will stay true to the universe. I really, really hope this will be glorious. I might even give the show another chance now.

Not because of the female doctor, but because it has a new show runner. I was always in it for the story and I never quite gave up on that it could somehow become great again. Fingers crossed.

That said, the more I see posts on social media about how stupid people are when they can’t accept a female doctor, the more tired I become. The more it needs to be said, the more we are highlighting that there actually IS a huge equality problem in our society. Women are not equal to men, not even close. We can’t even play the same character as a man on a fictional show, without causing drama, splitting the internet in two. Those cheering, thinking that its a win, and those crying that the show is ruined because the doctor does not have a penis anymore.

Really, it is not his genitals that ruined the show…

Still, I came across this tweet today, and I have to say, that is perfect.

Anyone of you ever tried googling My Little Pony?  Don’t. It’s not just little girls who gets scared, trust me. When you can’t google a children’s franchise without having hard core porn or graphic serial killer novels thrown in your face, we do have a problem, but it really isn’t about gender or sexuality. That is the least of our worries in the My Little Pony fandom…

Long story short, I am not cheering because we have a female doctor now, because it simply is not a bit deal. If we had equality, it would not be a big deal. The doctor’s gender should not matter. The fact that it does, both for those cheering and for those bitching, just proves more and more, that we are not equal. Not even a little bit.

Maybe this is a step in the right direction. Maybe it is not. Time will tell, I guess.

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As Long As It’s Blue

Things has been changing around here lately. Most importantly; the boyfriend got a new job, one that actually ensures a steady income, instead of the Dark Mare Movie business. That has been kind of scary for me, while Dark Mare was our main income, because we never really knew where the next paycheck would come from.

That said, this new job is pretty far away, and since we just moved, and we love our new place, and I cannot handle moving the horses, he will have to drive the distance. Which means, he will need a car.

Let me start by saying, I know nothing of cars. I don’t even have a drivers licence. As long as he can afford it, and still help pay the vet bills and the hay, I could not care less what he buys.

I can’t really say that, though, because then he’ll just buy a motorbike, and I cannot handle that. The thought of having him drive an hour and a half every day, on the freeway, on a motorbike, in all kinds of weather, is making me instantly want to cry. I would be terrified every morning when he left, and I would always wonder if today was the day he did not come home.

I get that it is hypocritical of me, since motorbikes are no more dangerous than, say, horses, especially the kind of horses I have been working with for most of our relationship, but I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea of having him on a bike on the freeway.

So we are back on buying a car. His next idea was, of course, a sports car. You know, a fast little two- seat, yeah?

I’m an equestrian. I really see no use for a car you cannot stuff with hay or horse-food. All in all, I want a trunk, or at least a f**** back seat. I mean, come on, is that so much to ask for?

He does make a compelling argument, though, because we have our hay delivered, and the horses doesn’t really get food besides the hay these days, but still. What if?

Besides, if we want to continue with Dark Mare once in a while, won’t a back seat be nice?

We have been discussing this for a while now. I really think I’m an awesome girlfriend; he gets to pick the car, as long as it has a back seat… And it’s blue. Anything else, he can choose. How nice of me is that?

Yeah, the color is another thing. He should not be surprised, though. Everything with me is electric blue, always has been. And most of the cars he has been looking at actually come in a metallic electric blue. I’d almost let him have a sports car, as long as it is that color…

Almost.

But he really isn’t a fan of blue for a car, especially not something as aggressive as my kind of blue…

Who would have thought that picking a car, with a girlfriend who had no interest in cars at all, would be such trouble? Poor guy…

I will admit that there is one more reason for me wanting a back seat. Just a tiny one.

I never wanted kids, and he was always okay with that. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure he was happy not to have that kind of responsibility. I just can’t help but wonder what my life looks like in a year or two from now.

We have more or less decided that we don’t want any more horses. The 5 we have now are probably the last. I may buy a pony in the end, to keep who ever outlives the others company, because once the pony becomes alone, it is much easier finding a good place for a pony, than for an old horse.

I am letting go of a lot of things these days, walking away from a huge part of who I used to be. A car is going to be a choice that follows us for the next 6-8 years. As long as I am not a 100% certain of who I am going to be next year, I really don’t think that buying something without a back seat, is a good idea.

Truth is, we probably won’t have kids. I really, really, really don’t want to be pregnant. That is mostly my issue, though. I wouldn’t mind having a kid. But carrying it… brr… Still, buying a sports car now, feels like closing a door I am not entirely sure I want closed.

In the middle of actually having to discuss kids and cars and grown up stuff with the boyfriend, Jussi (the cat) came home with an infection in his tongue. Yeah… So, he has been fighting a lot since we moved, with the local cats, and either he bit himself, or one of them bit him in the tongue.

It may sound kind of funny, because seriously, of all the places to get bitten…

And I will admit, it took me half a day to realize how serious it was. I noticed that he would not eat, and that there was something looking suspiciously like infection foaming around his mouth from time to time, and when I opened his mouth, I saw the wound on the tongue.

I figured that it would heal, so I bought him some tuna, to make him eat something. Now, I’m vegan, and I had to hand feed him little pieces of dead fish, while trying not to throw up. I swear, my entire kitchen smells like death now. I despise that. But I guess my cat is more important, after all.

It wasn’t until I was at the stable later that it hit me. He won’t eat, because he won’t use his tongue to lick up the food off the plate. Which is why he would eat, when I stuffed it into his mouth.

How do cats drink, Veronica? Like humans and horses? No. They lick it up.

They lick it up.

If he was not using his tongue, he was dehydrating fast, and I was an idiot for not realizing that.

So, now Jussi is on antibiotics and I (force) feed him water as well. Why would I ever want kids? 5 horses and a handful of cats seems like enough trouble, doesn’t it? There is always someone who is sick, or who gets too little attention and I hardly ever have time to sit down and write as it is.

Adding to my scattered mind these days, Misha just announced that this year will be the last Gishwhes. I always knew that it wouldn’t last forever, but somehow, I am not ready for letting it go just yet. The world needs more crazy. More creative people, dedicating a week a year for doing charity and shaking things up. Even though I got an email from “Misha” a couple of days ago, telling me that it was over, it didn’t really hit me until I saw his video on instagram. Somehow, hearing him say it out loud that this was the last year, really got to me. I was actually crying as I watched it.

How dumb is that. I should not have kids, like ever. There is no way I’d handle that.

Nah. I should probably let the boyfriend buy that damn sports car… As long as it’s blue, right?

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Pokemon Go Update Review

I’m gonna bother all of you with a review of the gym-update in Pokemon Go. Yes, I still play. I was never one to let go of an obsession easily.

Before the update, I had truly lost interest in the game. Having had a falling out with my local team, I was very much alone in the game, fighting not only the other teams, but especially my own team, which made it impossible for me to actually play the game, the way it was.

You see, the local team instinct were very good at bending the rules of the game, and especially at playing multi color accounts, making it very easy for them to make my life miserable when I asked them not to, well, be idiots. Perhaps I could have been more diplomatic about it, but long story short, they easily played me out of the game, because I asked them not to cheat.

With us moving, I didn’t care much, I just started fighting team mystic at my new area, but they surrendered way too easily, leaving me and my buddies the two gyms in my new neighborhood, nearly unopposed. Again, not much to play for.

I knew the update was coming, so I kept spinning a stop and catching a pokemon every day, so I wouldn’t lost my XP on day streaks, but that was about all I did. And I collected coins, of course.

When the update came and Trainer Club was offline for 30 hours on android, I nearly lost all interest in the game. It has been a year, and Trainer Club is still not working, where as people with Google accounts can always log in. I lost my precious “spin a stop and catch a pokemon” streak, which to me, is horrible. My obsessiveness cannot handle that.

My Trainer Club account is lvl 34 by now. I created a google account a while ago, in anger, when I was locked out again. That one is lvl 28 now. That is saying a lot about how often and how much PTC has been offline.

For all the updates, all the events, the one thing I’d really like them to fix is this. Do not let my game go off line all the time. It is driving me insane.

I even considered quitting my PTC account and just play on my google account, but… I can’t. My PTC account is my baby. We have been through so much. Rain, snow, freezing nights in the dark, battling, hunting, having fun, back when I played with the team. He got me through losing our beloved cat, Life. Whenever I was too sad, I’d turn on the game and just go. I don’t want to lose him. I want PTC to be fixed. Permanently.

Also, he is called Nahorim… I know. Naming him from the one character in my books, I adore the most… I had to. Nahorim is always with me. Now, as a pokemon trainer as well, however wrong that may sound.

Aside from that, I adore the new update.

The fact that you no longer train to support your team members, has removed the need to gym shave almost completely. Now, you might as well take down an enemy gym instead, because with only six spots in the gyms, it is very easy to defeat them and claim them for yourself. I am not seeing any gym shavers around here anymore, which is awesome.

The “first in, first attacked,” is really great as well, because it usually means that it is the people with the strong accounts who are attacked first in the gyms, leaving the smaller accounts to be safe a lot more than before.

Back with the old system, no children were playing the game anymore, because the game was owned by grown ups with multiple high level, and multiple color accounts.

Now, new players and children actually have a chance again, which I find to be awesome. My boyfriend is only lvl 29 and in the old game, he could never stay in a gym for long, where as now, he can be protected by me, and he won’t get shaved out. When he comes home, it is because the gym is defeated.

It makes it much more fair, in every possible way.

I know that a lot of people has been bitching about the new system for collecting coins, but I think it is brilliant. Back in the old game, we had gyms we held for 5 or 6 months at the time, and the only change would be if a gym shaver came by and kicked out the lowest level player. If one of those gyms went down, we would assemble at 3 in the night and reclaim them, easily discouraging the other teams from touching them, ever again.

Now, that won’t do us any good. Now, we HAVE to come home every day, or we won’t get any coins.

For me, living in a place with two gyms now, I could easily feed my pokemons berries ten times a day, and stay forever, and I could easily stop the other players from taking my gyms, because I did that in the past, simply by just being there at all times, at all hours of the day. But the game has changed. Now, I want them to get me. Now, I want them to have a fighting chance.

That is without doubt the best thing to have happened for Pokemon Go since the game was launched. You WANT the other teams to send you home, so the only game is that you want to be strong enough to stay for 11 hours, but not too strong, because they have to want to fight you. It makes the game much more dynamic, and much more fair. And it prevents a gang like my old team from holding 24 gyms for months at the time. Yes, we did that. Obsessively.

I know that people are angry that you can only earn 50 coins a day now, instead of the usual 100, but I kind of dig that too. I understand that it is taking a lot of time and effort to make a game like this and that most players play it for FREE without ever paying a dime, and still they think they have the right to bitch about how they are not getting as many free coins as they used to.

I don’t mind spending money on a good game. I will admit that I have spent a ton of money on the My Little Pony game, but I have supported Pokemon as well, especially when I think they have made a great update like this one. Someone has to pay for it. I don’t mind helping.

The raid battles is another great addition to the game. I have fought a lot of raids already, and while it might be frustrating to have isolated yourself from most of the local players, I have met a lot of other players lately, from all three teams, who I have fought side by side with and had a ton of fun with.

The raid battles takes away a lot of the animosity between the teams, and it allows for my team valor friend to actually play the game with me, as a friend, rather than an enemy, which is amazing. I really missed that in the old game.

I love that I can still raid battle on my own, so even if I have no friends to play with, I am not totally kicked out of the game, and I think it is completely fair that I cannot take down lvl 3 and 4 raids alone.

All in all, this update has got me playing again. It has made me smile again, made me love the game again and most importantly, it has made me feel like a ten year old boy, out to become the very best trainer the world has ever seen, again…

Thumbs up, Niantic. Really. This update rocks.

I only have one thing that is really, really killing the game for me. How my boyfriend and I cannot take down a gym and both of us get in afterwards.

I believe that you guys originally stated that it was a glitch, and I really hope it is, because waiting 10 minutes to enter a gym you just defeated is in every possible scenario, unacceptable.

I have spoken to some players who think that it is on purpose though, to keep players with multiple accounts from adding more than one account and if that is the case, it is ridiculous.

I have been told that if my boyfriend and I add our pokemons at the same time, we will both get in, without the waiting 10 minutes. I get how that would be bothersome for multiple account players, but it also defeats the “first in, first attacked” part of the game. It means that I cannot be sure that I am first in, and thus, that I cannot protect him, unless we want to wait 10 minutes to make sure to add him after me. While watching my battery burn down… and my boyfriend losing interest in the game, because it is dark and cold and raining, and fuck it, let’s just go home…

I love playing with him. I love the game. Please fix this.

I will say too, that as someone who has never spoofed, and who has walked every single km with my phone in my hand, at all hours of the day, in all kinds of weather, I reserve the right to play both my accounts.

If PTC had been working, I wouldn’t have made the google account, but as it is, I have been forced to spend almost as much time (and money,) on that account as on my main account, and I will never find it acceptable that I cannot get it into a gym I have just defeated without waiting 10 minutes. If Niantic doesn’t want multi account players, they should not make it an option to begin with. Now that it is, do not punish us for playing the game. If I had not created my google account, I would have quit the game back then, because PTC was too unreliable. I have been jumping through hoops to play this game, and I have done everything I possibly could to make myself keep loving it. Do not punish me for that.

Please fix that gym glitch. Please say that it is a glitch.

It is not just me. One of my friends has a child, who plays. Whenever she defeats a gym, she likes to add the child as well, so they both get a few coins. Now, she has to wait 10 minutes to do so. How is that fair?

Hell, the game even tells me to try a different account when PTC is down…

All the while, most of my old team, plays on two phones and a tablet, so they are not the ones waiting in the cold and the rain to add all their accounts. All this “glitch” does, is punish the poor players, who only have one phone.

That said, I still love the game, and being as obsessive as I am, I am waiting patiently for 10 minutes when I have taken a gym, so I can get my google account and my boyfriend in as well.

But while I wait, I close the game, and play My Little Pony or Dragon Mania Legends. Or roam around on face book and twitter. So all this does, it make me turn off the game. That can hardly be your point, can it, Niantic?

Still, LOVE the update, love how it got me back in the game, even without a team behind me, and love the dynamic gyms. Way, way better than before.

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Birthday

I was never one to celebrate my own birthday. Honestly, it always felt kinda weird. It’s not like I did anything special? I was just born. Maybe we should be celebrating my mom, she was the one who gave birth and all…

My sis and I used to say “congrats, you survived another year,” to each other. Back when we were both equestrians, and I worked with dangerous horses, that was actually quite an accomplishment, however morbid it may sound. We kinda stopped doing that after Janis killed herself. Somehow it didn’t feel that amusing anymore.

I guess that what I’m saying is that, I know it may sound strange, but I really don’t like celebrating my birthday. Somehow, the fact that I am alive, and she is not, is just… Off. My sis and I never talked about it. That is the thing with us. We never had to. We just stopped joking about surviving. And we more or less, quit the equestrian world.

My boyfriend and I recently moved house, and as I was packing up my old place I found a note that Janis had written to me when we were teenagers. It was so weird, to actually have something with her handwriting on it. I guess that future generations won’t have that, since everything is electronic these days. Text messages, twitter, face book. None of it is suddenly going to appear when you are packing your old life into boxes…

Okay, V. Enough. Not what this post is about.

Right. So, it’s my birthday. And Apollon’s. You know, my baby horse, who died 5 years ago. Jeeze, 5 years? Where did time go?

Clearly I am incapable of writing a happy post about myself, so I am grateful that I have friends, who never fails to say just what I should have said, if I did not disappear into my darkness. Love you ❤

And well, since it is my birthday, I’m gonna ask for all of you to check out my e-books on Amazon, because they are free to download for the next couple of days.

https://starstonestenfalk.wordpress.com/e-books/

Pretty, please?

The Starstone is dark fantasy, so heavy you can use it for working out…

I know. I would apologize for my lousy sense of humor. But, seriously though. Even my poetry collection, This Song, is super heavy. Don’t get fooled by its small size…

And yeah, I’m too fat, or too butch, to do pictures like these ones, but I don’t really care anymore. I guess that comes with age. I’m not here to impress anyone with my body.

I do, however, love to impress people with my crazy mind, so really, look up my books. The Starstone is my fantasy series, and The Legacy is a science/fantasy (sort of) squeal to the Starstone.

There is 5 books in the Starstone Series; The Hand of Fate, The Twins, The Crown Prince, The Unicorn’s Horn, and The Shadow of Time. It is adult literature all the way. But I guess that comes across pretty quickly…

hand of fate red front twins red front  crown prince red Cover Red Cover Red UK

The Legacy Series is also 5 books, but only 3 of them has been released so far; Rockstar, Time Lock, and Winterflame. Book 4, Torchlight, will be out sometime later this year.

IMG_1935 FRONT PINKsmall  IMG_1935 FRONT TIME LOCK final2   img_1935-front-winterflame

If this post didn’t scare you away, Surviving the Equestrian World, is not fiction. It is my life, with my horses, and yes, it is about my training methods as well, but you can easily read it, even if you are not an equestrian.

Cover Saleem

I know that I am holding the real books in the pictures, (honestly they were really heavy after a while…) and if you want them as paperback or hardcover, they can be found here;

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Kallikanzaros

They are not free though. The E-books are, right now. Go look up Veronica Merlin on Amazon. Now. Join the plastic generation.

No, seriously. Kindle is a great invention. And the books are the same, the words, the stories, are the same. Just free. Now. Go!

https://starstonestenfalk.wordpress.com/e-books/

this song  front lulu

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Remembering My Baby

I haven’t done this in a while, I guess. So, here goes. All of my books will be free to download as e-books (kindle) on Amazon, from July 5th to July 7th.

Check them out here;

https://starstonestenfalk.wordpress.com/e-books/

You don’t need a kindle, just download the kindle app on your phone, computer, or tablet, and you are good to go. But ya’ll know this by now, right?

And yes, I will have book 4 in The Legacy Series out… soon… Some time this year, I hope. Working on it. Promise.

For now, my 11 other books will be free for a few days, so please download them if you are into Fantasy– (Starstone,) Sicence/fantasy– (Legacy,) Poetry– (This Song,) Natural Horsemanship– (Surviving the Equestrian World,) or check out my Short Stories Collection, if you like something that is a bit quicker to read.

July 5th is a special day to me. I know that to most of the world, (or at least the US,) the 4th of July is the day to celebrate, but my Apollon was born on July 5th.

So, here is to my baby, and to never letting him die.

Your Song

The world cries for you tonight

Clouds keep rolling in above

Pouring rain into our hearts

The world holds its breath tonight

The calm before the storm

In silent disbelief and horror

If this is your song

Can we make it a happy one?

If this is your legacy

Can we sing it a loving tune?

If this is your melody

Can I print it to memory?

The world crashed and burned tonight

Flames ran across the scarlet sky

As the sun failed to shine through the rain

The wind sings your song tonight

Every rain drop in perfect harmony

As your blood seeps into the ground

If this is your song

Can we make it a happy one?

If this is your legacy

Can we sing it a loving tune?

If this is your melody

Can I print it to memory?

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Cushings Update

Remember this guy?

He still got it.

I know, the baby shot displays a way better collection, but think of him as a lazy teenager at the moment, kinda all grown apart, with a shoulder that is way too small for his behind…

The point is, Ablaze is still the star that keeps me smiling everyday. It’s funny how he came into my life because I wanted Tardis and she was pregnant with him, and he turned out to be the one.

He waits for me to show up every day, he starts calling out the second he hears my scooter on the road, a long way away, and he always comes running, even when the others can’t be bothered. And yes, he still licks my face. I doubt that will ever go away.

4 years. That’s how old Tardis was when she had him. I can’t believe he is already 4 years old. And she is 8. The picture below is Tardis, by the way. They look a lot alike 😉

It’s a bit up and down with her at the moment. I was warned by a lot of people, when she was first diagnosed with Cushings, that medicating her might not be the best solution, but my vets were very sure and I have to admit, it made sense to me. It still does.

I do see what people warned me about, though. The medication has side effects, like depression and loss of appetite.

At first, she just improved. The huge belly and the swellings went down, she started playing again, and all in all, she felt much happier and less stressed than she had in a long time. It felt almost too easy, to just give her a little pill everyday, and watch this fatal illness disappear.

It turns out, it was. As much as her last blood work came back perfect, I started seeing a change for the worse in her lately.

Tardis was always a pony who would eat a lot. I am not saying that she was starved with her previous owners, none of them, because I don’t think she was, but she displays a lot of behavior of a horse that hasn’t had unlimited access to food all her life. Or, perhaps, of a small pony who has had to fight for the hay on the pasture.

Since I got her, she would linger by the hay with Marble, long after the boys had stopped eating and walked away.

Suddenly, that changed. I started to notice that she didn’t even want to show up when I was filling up their hay wheels. She would just remain where ever she was when I showed up. If she was sleeping, she didn’t wake up. If she was at the far end of the pasture, she did not follow the others to the hay.

I get that it is summer and we do have more grass now that we do when it is winter, and maybe she just isn’t hungry, but it seemed way out of character for her, since she was always a pony to keep eating, even when she was no longer hungry.

All in all, I felt like she was losing her spark and I decided to try and cut back on her medication. I know. Half of the equestrian world, my vets included, are screaming at me that I am irresponsible and I should never do that, while the other half is cheering for removing her meds altogether.

Cutting her medication got her spirits back. She started eating again and the sparkle in her eyes returned, but sadly, so did her big belly.

I feel like I am always at a loss with my horses. No matter what I do, there is always something I should be doing differently, or better. I honestly don’t know how to help her the best. I talked to my vet, and she told me to not cut the meds. Then I looked at my pony, and I will take a big belly and a sparkle in her eyes, any day of the week, unless…

Unless it is killing her. Cushings is usually fatal, one way or another. What if I could keep her alive for the next ten years on full medication, while she might be dying slowly, on half? But then again, what if she was unhappy for those ten years, while she might live happily for five years? I wonder what she would choose, if I could ask her. And I wonder, as always, if I am imagining things. I wish sometimes that blind faith in my vets was something I could have. It must be so nice to just hand over the responsibility to someone else in situations like this. And I trust my vets, I do. As much as I possibly can.

I just trust my pony more, and she wasn’t happy.

Now, I get that some horses remain sleeping, even when I show up. Apocalipse learned that from his mother and he knows that I’ll feed him where he is, if he doesn’t get up.

He is not sick, that is just who he is. Food never mattered to him and he is always teaching me when to show up and when not too. Too early in the morning, and he is not getting up.

He has been playing with Tardis a lot lately. He is trying so hard to include her and she keeps rejecting him. I know it looks like he is mounting her in this picture, but he is not. He is herding her, and she is refusing, so he is lifting his front legs off the ground to protect himself, because she will kick him.

He is so careful with her, so attentive, and he never gives up. I adore the look on his face when he tries to play with her. It is very different from when he plays with his father…

Apocalipse was so made to walk on two legs. He is astounding.

Comparing his balance to Ablaze, who is trying to play with Saleem the same way. Needless to say, Saleem has a much better shot at handling Ablaze…

So, I guess that nothing much has changed on my pasture. Saleem is eating again, luckily, after he broke his tooth, and he is even gaining weight now. Ablaze and Apocalipse kinda runs the show, and they are even starting to like each other.

Does Ablaze have a big belly like his mom?

No, stop it, V. He is fine. Of course he is.

I haven’t mentioned Marble much lately. I honestly don’t know what to update on her. She still has issues with locking stifles and she is still pretty aggressive at times, but all in all, she is mellowing.

The funny part about Marble was that no matter how defensive she was, she was very trusting as well. I could always get near her when she was lying down, for instance, which is a huge vote of confidence from a horse. I guess that the reason I am not updating much on her, is that I am still trying to figure her out.

And of course, because she is dark, and my Samsung refuses to take none-blurry pictures of her. I am convinced that every time they make a software update, they do so to make your phone useless and force you to buy a new one. I mean, seriously, I can’t find the camera settings anymore. Anyone?

I started this post by saying that Ablaze was the one. That is not true. They all are, in their own unique ways. Imagine what I would worry about, if I didn’t have them?

What would make me smile? What would make me get out the door at 6 am, and get a sunrise shot like this?

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The Peace In My Soul

I believe it is time to do something I haven’t done in a while. Celebrate the birthdays of two of the most important persons in my life. Saleem and Poseidon.

It feels so wrong to write that,  because it was always Poseidon and Apollon, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll leave Apollon out of it.

Now, Poseidon would have turned 22 yesterday, if he had still been here.

And Saleem just turned 10, a few days ago.

It’s funny, when I started writing Surviving the Equestrian World, I was telling Poseidon’s story, and Apollon and the others joined in, as they played a huge part in his life. And in the end, I chose to use Saleem for the cover of the book, not Poseidon, even if Saleem’s story has all but just begun in the book.

I am not sure I quite understood why it felt so right to use Saleem as the cover horse, back then, but I think I get it now.

Poseidon and I struggled for 15 years. I jumped through hoops trying to make him happy, to make him feel safe. I defended him, I protected him like a mother bear, and whenever someone tried to tell me to get rid of that insane horse before he killed me, I cut them out of my life, rather than him.

I loved and adored and hero-worshiped that horse. I cried, I bled, I lay awake at night, wondering how to make him live. How to make him be happy and feel safe in this world.

The truth is, and this is what Surviving the Equestrian World is as well, I never accepted us. I never entirely accepted what we could and could not do. I kept pushing it.

Be it, that I kept having the Farrier trim his hooves, even after we had to give up on shoes, because he was simply too dangerous. I never took the step and just trimmed himself. Why?

I guess I was afraid. Afraid to do something wrong, and hurt him, yes, but afraid too, to have the responsibility for this horse, all rest on me. At least, as long as my Farrier kept coming by, and kept trimming him, Poseidon was not too unmanageable. A small part of us was still fitting into the equestrian world and as much as I told myself that it did not matter to me, it did.

 

The truth is, this horse walked through fire for me, every single day, and I… I kept asking him to do so.

Because I could not shake the feeling that I had failed as his human if I did not somehow make him measure up to what people expected. So, the vet could not touch him, so, most of my friends could not touch him, so I was always afraid when the boyfriend was alone with him, but I could touch him, and we got by, didn’t we? And the Farrier never quit on us. That was something, wasn’t it?

 

I always knew that he should not be ridden much, and after his mental break down, that competing was not in the cards for us. And it never quite stopped torturing me, how talented he was, how strong, how much he loved to jump… He could have been the best show jumper I had ever owned, if only his mind had allowed it. If only I had found a way to make him normal. And I knew I could not. And I knew, I should not. And most of the time, it did not matter as long as he was happy.

Seeing him with Amalia and new born Apocalipse, I knew that this was the happiest he had ever been. When Apocalipse was born, I finally stopped pushing him. I stopped expecting him to fit in, because I knew that taking care of Amalia and her foal, was tearing his body apart. As much as he found peace as their guardian, his old injuries were killing him, and I did nothing to stop it. I did not call the chiropractor for the 666th time, that summer. I did not insist on the Farrier keeping shoes on him. I let go. And I watched him slip away.

Even when Amalia blindsided me and died 4 months before he did, I knew I was losing him, I was just postponing the day. And when the day came, when I finally let him have peace, and he walked up to the fence and met the vet without flinching, letting her touch him for the first – and only- time, I had never been prouder of him.

In that horrible, beautiful moment, he was happy. He was safe. And we put him down because his body failed.

He will always be the other half of me, my heart, my soul, my star, my endless night.

And I was always terrified of how I would handle losing him. To my surprise, I think that most of all, I have been relieved that he is finally at peace. The peace I could not give him in life. I managed to give him 15 years of love and adoration, and I did everything I knew how, to make him happy, and I am sure he knew that, even though, for the most part, I think I failed.

Now, I  can’t fail him anymore.

I could, however, fail Saleem. And I did.

When Poseidon died, Apollon got sick and died as well, leaving me with having lost my two red boys, Amalia and Legacy within two years. All of them for different reasons, all of them to things in their bodies I could not fight, like heart failure, ringbone, fractures, and ruptured arteries.

Saleem was the horse left standing, on my pasture of foals. He was the eldest, all of a sudden, and the one that picked up all my ambitions after Apollon died and I no longer had a horse that could compete.

Saleem proved to be a huge challenge with his violent headshaking, and for a while, I did wonder if I was ever really going to ride this horse.

But, as we all know, I am me, and I was unable to not make him fit in. After Poseidon’s demons, and Apollon’s dangerous temper, a little stress-induced headshaking should be something I could handle, right?

The truth is, I can handle it. I can handle most things. I have a dangerous skill set.

As Saleem became my “main” horse, while the little ones were growing up, I took him competing, because that was what I always wanted to do, and he may not have been the biggest talent I ever worked with, but there was a glimmer of raw beauty inside him, and as his rider, I was hoping to make him shine.

And, he was so sweet, so kind, so patient, that no matter what I threw of him, he took it with a headshake and a deep breath and soldiered on.

We taught him to load and drive in a trailer, and we had him go to the beach, the European Championship for Arabians, and Natural Horsemanship Shows. He never complained.

And then there was the last show I did with him when I realized that I was done.

Just done. Done with the equestrian world and everything it entailed. Done with the world that forced me to wear a noseband and spurs on my beautiful little, sensitive horse.  Done with trying to be who everyone expected us to be, or to prove Saleem’s worth through how many ribbons he won.

And so, I did what 15 years with Poseidon had not made me do.

I started to change.

We quit the bridle, and everything that would make him headshake.

I know I had told myself with Poseidon that I did not care what people thought of us. I always joked about it and smiled when people referred to me as the girl with the crazy chestnuts. It was who I was, who I had to be, but not necessarily who I wanted to be, even if I never admitted it to myself.

I wanted to compete. Natural Horsemanship was a skill set I learned, a hat I put on, and a weapon I used to be special, just in a different way. I can train any horse, no matter how dangerous. Even if I can’t win ribbons, I can make your crazy horse less dangerous. How about that?

It’s funny how it is in human nature to want to prove yourself. To need to be good at something.

And it is tragic how I was never able to let that go with my crazy chestnuts.

Well, now I have, with my last chestnut.

It’s been a long process for both of us, but it just hit me the other day, as I was watching him eat, (looking for signs that his broken teeth might be a bother to him, like the crazy person I am,) that of all my horses, Saleem has been the one to teach me the most. The one to truly change who I am.

The one to make me find peace.

The one to teach me the most important lesson I think I will ever learn; as long as he comes to me, nothing else matters. As long as he wants my company, nothing else matters.

I should not want to impress anyone, except him. Between Saleem and me, no one else matters.

I know that when I started this blog, I was posting pictures of my horses all the time, and lately, I have kind of stopped that. Not so much because I am not taking pictures of them, but I guess I have little need to show them off anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am amazingly proud of how Apocalipse has grown up, and I still love it when people tell me that they are beautiful, but I don’t care about the rest anymore.

Another important thing Saleem taught me is that some days it is just not “today.” And that is okay too. Some days, he is up for everything, and some days, nothing works.

All horses has “off days,” and usually I would have kept pushing it, because that is what you are taught in the equestrian world. The horse must perform. What if it has a “lazy day” when you are at a show? Oh no. Keep asking until you get an answer you can accept. That has always been my mantra.

Keep asking until you get an answer you can accept.

The truth is, what you “can accept,” is all up to you.

With Saleem, I have learned that when he says “no,” that is the answer I should accept, because I can tell him “yes” and he will say “okay” but he will be stressed and as much as he will do his best for me- like Poseidon always did- he will not be happy about it.

So yes, some days your horse tells you no, and that is perfectly okay. If I look at Saleem and ask myself, do I want him to canter for me today, or do I want him to be happy, the answer is pretty easy.

I guess that Poseidon never managed to ask me that question in a way I could understand. Saleem did. And for that, I owe him the peace in my own soul.

Happy birthday, Poseidon. I hope you are grazing somewhere by the Rainbow Bridge, looking down on me, and I hope that you are finally proud of me.

Happy birthday, Saleem. Thank you for helping me grow up and let go. You did what no one else could. You made me change to fit your needs.

Now I know why you were my cover horse. You were the future I had not seen yet, when I wrote the book. You were the answer to the questions, I did not know how to ask yet.

Thank you.

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