Yes, you read that right. Ladies and gentlemen, Hell is in fact freezing over today. SNOW IN TEXAS JUST AIN'T RIGHT.
I was a bit, uh... overly ambitious when I thought I would get to work Tre today. "Oh, it's just cold," I thought. "We'll bundle up and it will be fine."
And then the sideways sleet started. Yeah... I think the daily lunge is out. After having to chip ice off of the barn gate to even get into the barn, it was REALLY out. What I wouldn't do for an indoor right now... or an arena at all. I can trailer out to any one that I want to, of course, but on a freezing cold, just-dropped-50-degrees, sleety-icy day, I'd rather not be out on the roads with a trailer. If it hadn't been snaining (yes, snain... short for snow-rain) on us so hard, I would have gone for it, but it wasn't in the cards for today. Bummer.... I really wanted to work her.
When I left the barn last night, it was 78 degrees. I put O preemptively\ in a sheet, even though I knew she would be hot, just because I didn't want her to be chilly if the cold front blew in faster than anyone expected. The cold front blew in early in the morning, and by the time I got to the barn, it was in the 30's and the wind was howling. The horses were VERY fluffy and VERY unhappy. I bundled up all the horses, fed everyone, went and worked for a few hours, and then came back in hopes of getting my lunge in with Tre. Yeah... not happening in the sideways rain.
Ladies in their bundles... I've had a heck of a time figuring out blanketing this year. All of my blankets measure either 78" or 80", and obviously both of these ladies are smaller than that. S and I went through both of our blankets, and we kind of hodge-podged it. Mine are wearing some of hers, hers are wearing some of mine! Tonight, one of her horses has one of my blankets, one of them has one of hers, and the other one has one of hers AND one of mine on. Tre has two of her blankets on, and O has one of hers and one of mine on. It's complicated!
The sizes are all off too... Tre's underblanket is a heavy 70" that isn't waterproof, and the Rambo sheet over it is a 75". Ideally she's about a 72" or maybe a smaller 74". O is wearing a medium blanket liner that is medium-sized (76"-78") and the overblanket is a heavy 80". Why the 80" fits her so well, I have NO idea... she swims in my 78"s. Ideally she's a 74"-76". The 75" Rambo fits her perfectly.
Rainy, frigid, crappy days like this are perfect for planning. If I can't do anything physically productive, I can at least organize paperwork and get things straightened up and figured out. We're coming to the end of the year, so it's a good time to rough out my overall plans for the next year, even if I don't have a complete picture in mind yet.
Excuse my endless lists... I think in lists and bullet points and crossing things off. My mind is basically one gigantic whirlwind all of the time, and lists are how I try and make sense of things.
2014 Life Priorities:
1) Business building. The business has to come first and foremost in terms of money and time management - if it comes down to paying for shows or buying tools, it has to be tools, hands down. The business has reached (and surpassed) my 2013 year-end goals in terms of client numbers, which is GREAT! I'll be setting out 2014 goals separately for myself, but they include offering my own homemade thrush/WL remedy, adding more synthetics to my line, potentially adding a new vehicle, and peaking at a new set number of clients.
2) Buy our first house, either in 2014 or 2015! We've been looking on and off for awhile now, but our search stalled out in the spring when I got injured and had to make some major schedule changes. With money going into the business, I didn't want to have to worry about dealing with a mortgage as well, not to mention the fact that the kind of home we want isn't just a crappy apartment. What we want: a small ranchette, 5-10 acres, 3 bedroom 2 bath, nothing too fancy but needs to be solid and quaint and cute and in good shape (i.e. not a mobile home, not a thousand years old, not a boring generic run-of-the-mill place). Something with good fencing and shelter for the horses, as well as room for them to roam. Oh, and it HAS to be in the town we're still in - this is home now and we don't want to leave. There are improvements that can be made and additions that can be put in, but we want the basics all to be there.
Here is one of the homes we're looking at.... it's completely perfect and has everything we want. It's a 3/2, only about 5-10 minutes away from where we live now, 5-6 acres, has a small barn and lots of turnout (and a roundpen), covered cartport and covered back porch. Bonus for me: it's a short walk over to 20+ miles of state trailway, AND it's in a very horsey neighborhood so Google Earth says at least three of my neighbors have huge arenas (make friends and ride over!). BEST part, it's lower than our price range, so it's something we can actually afford. It sounds perfect, but of course you never know until you go see it... hopefully we'll do that this week. I hope we can find the perfect one soon!
3) GET MARRIED! Either 2014 or 2015! It's sort of a moot point since we can't actually legally get married, and I tell everybody he's my husband already anyway, but it would be nice to have a small ceremony. Keyword here is small... we have a venue picked but I really don't want to actually even have a ceremony. Weddings are too much work, too much stress, too much money.... too much of everything except being able to enjoy each other. I would rather spend the money on a house and on a really awesome honeymoon to be honest. I'm just not a wedding kind of girl... it's way too much nonsense for me to even wrap my head around.
4) Shows/Horsey Endeavors. While I am still trying to decide what specifically I want to be doing with the girls in terms of shows, I want them both out and rolling in the spring. What I expect I will do is aim Tre at recognized spring events, and aim O for sanctioned AERC rides while simultaneously training for other things (eventing, driving, etc). Eventing two horses at the same time at the same level is exhausting and expensive, so what I plan on doing is take out the one who is furthest along in their training out, and continue to finesse the other until she is ready to go out. Who knows which one will get there first! Only time and training will tell.
2013 has been GREAT. It feels like my life has really sorted itself out and come together this year. No guarantees that life will stay that way, of course, but this is the most settled and rooted I've been in my adult life. I've been in situations before where if one thing went bad, everything fell apart (like when I lived at, worked at, and kept my horse at the same place... when your job goes south, you and your animals and your horse are all homeless!) Now, even if one thing goes poorly, nothing else goes with it... and if I lose a client, it's okay, because I have a zillion more to fill that place.... no more losing a job and being panicked and broke. There is always the chance I'll get seriously injured, of course, but I have Hubs to help me if I get knocked down. I finally feel secure... like life is really going somewhere and I have things I can count on. Life is a journey and you never know what is going to happen, but I have high hopes that 2014 is going to be even better than this year has been.
Ice is on everything right now... ughhhh. Tomorrow, more planning, more paperwork, more catching up on things around the house... I intend to also drink a lot of hot tea, take a scalding hot shower, and spent a large majority of day under warm blankets!