Thursday, July 27, 2023


In another episode of "you can't make this shit up", I am apparently now horrifyingly allergic to any and all stinging insects. About a month ago, I got stung on the crown of my head by a wasp putting feed in the chicken coop, thankfully on a weekend. I woke up with my face progressively more swollen for three days in a row, but after mainlining antihistamines, it mostly resolved. 

That brings us to the weekend before last - I was doing chores when I felt something sting my arm. I registered it and brushed it off, and went about my business (running water over the sting while I filled water buckets). By the time I went inside to shower off the grime, I was feeling a little queasy and itchy, but I chalked it up to the heat and dirt. It was not that 🥴 luckily I had the foresight to pop two benadryl before getting in the shower. 

By the time I got out of the shower, my entire body below my neck was covered in hives and I was incredibly nauseous. My lips were tingling and I couldn't feel my hands, so I went to find DH to drive me to the nearest ER - which just so happens to be 40+ minutes away, since our local hospital closed. 

One of the few "safe for the internet" shots 

By the time we got there I felt like my throat was closing - whether that was the anaphylaxis or whether it was just panic about the whole situation, I have no idea, but they bumped me to the front of triage, took one look at me, and immediately threw more antihistamines and steroids at me. Once it because clear I wasn't actually going to die and the drugs were doing their job, they sent me home with a script for an EpiPen. 

My husband kept telling me my face was swollen. After like the 8th time he said it I was no longer amused. 


I already had an appointment set with my primary care doctor next month, so I'm supposed to talk it over with her and get a more permanent script for the EpiPen, but any time I use it I still have to go to the ER so this allergy is going to be very expensive 🥴

I bought a case to carry it in my purse, and have already warned my trail riding friends they might need to stab the shit out of me if we come across anything that stings on the trail - and there are emergency antihistamines and steroids in the bag, along with a device to suck venom out courtesy of DH (true love lol). He is on a mission to eradicate any nests we can find, starting with the bees in the flower bed in front of the barn that caused this. 

So.... Yay? I wanted to write a more upbeat post about all the good riding and the great work accomplishments and everything else fun going on, but the near death experience sort of took precedence I guess 🙃

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Lesson Recap: Do Less Things

I barely have time to throw my thoughts to paper (metaphorically, since this is online haha) but I just wanted to say I had a lesson with Emmy yesterday (OMG SO HOT) but it was AMAZING. 

It's been tricky to get in for lessons lately - my trainer has clients at shows/hosts clinics that are outside my tax bracket (lol) on a LOT of weekends, so I went to some lengths I maybe wouldn't normally go through to lesson because I haven't been there in like a month. Including dealing with a midday lesson when it was like 97 degrees 🥵

I took Emmy, and she was A ROCK STAR. I had been having a little trouble with the canter at home, and my farrier had tweaked her front shoes a bit at her last appointment, because she had some compensation spots in the hoof he wanted to address. Starting to think it's my footing at home that she objects to, but that's a continued experiment. 

We've found that the quality of the trot is much better if we walk warmup and then go straight to canter before we come back to work on the trot, so that's what we started with. I had significantly less trouble keeping her cantering in my trainers footing vs mine, which goes in the data point column. But the theme of today's lesson was emphatically DO LESS THINGS. Emmy is perfectly content to let me work and work and work keeping her doing things, but she is also more than capable of lovely canter on her own if I can just... Stop doing so damn much. This is not news, I've had variations of this lesson before, but hot damn riding Emmy makes it even more crystal clear when I stop doing things and get out of her way how lovely things can be. 

Why is one arm high and one arm low? No idea 🤣

I also need to stop trying to make the lateral work happen and just ride forward towards the short end and just casually think move over vs trying to physically pick her up and move her myself 🤣🤣 she can pretzel herself in half if I tell her to and she just sort of shrugs and is like okay if that's what you want, whatever, but she is also absolutely capable of doing things in a correct and lovely way if I just... Ask correctly and stay out of her way. TrainerB wryly commented that I could ask for things wrong 20x and Emmy would just sort of bop along and half-ass do the thing but the minute I asked correctly she's like "yes ma'am sure here's the correct and beautiful thing!". She is quite impressed with Miss Em, I think ♥️ she also commented on how much more relaxed Emmy seemed, and that she was looking very comfortable and better in her musculature. I'm quite pleased, because when Emmy showed up she had some interesting shoes on (to handle the AZ desert rock she came from), was on daily Equioxx, and had required some not insignificant maintenance to remain comfortable in work. In conjunction with my farrier and vets, we decided to take her back to basics and just start fresh and see how she felt - so now she's barefoot in back and in simple plates up front, no Equioxx, and so far (knock on wood) no injections or anything more special than lots of long slow hill work. She has always felt good to me but it definitely helped ease my mind that TrainerB thought she looked comfortable and even and free in her gaits - any crookedness is me, pretzeling myself like a fool up there lol. If we get to a point where Emmy needs anything, she will absolutely get it, but for now, I'm glad she's so happy and comfortable on a pretty simple routine! 

It's still wild to me that one day, she's this fancy AF dressage horses, 24 hours after schlepping DH around on a 5 mile trail ride ♥️ how I got so lucky to have TWO mares like this, I will never know, but I am eternally grateful to have them both in my life.