The only real challenge I’ve had with working from home (aside from the majorly increased number of Skype meetings with Engineering, which… is it a requirement for everyone in the field to speak very slowly in a monotone voice and repeat other people’s words back to them at least twice? Asking for a friend who can’t take much more.) has been figuring out how to really unplug. I often found myself answering emails and text messages at 8pm, sending quotes on a Saturday, and feeling guilty anytime I logged off of Skype, no matter how late it was.
Last week I made a much more concerted effort to log off in a timely manner and actually CLOSE my Outlook and Skype when I did so. I’m getting a little better at drawing the line in the sand. We were off on Friday, and management opted to give us a shortened day on Thursday as well, so I took the opportunity and ran with it. Three and half days to completely unplug, not think about work at all, and get a little bit of much-needed time to totally decompress.
In a rare stroke of luck, even the weather cooperated. A cold front blew through (and when I say blew I mean BLEW, I was outside when it hit and almost got blown right off my feet) and dropped the temperature by 30 degrees. Which was much needed, because it had been in the mid 90’s all week and humid, so the “feels like” was over 100 a couple days. I am not ready to immediately be coated in sweat every time I walk outside yet.
Miraculously the storms missed us by literally only a couple of miles. It was close enough to hear the thunder, but we only got very light sprinkles for a couple minutes. And since we didn’t end up with a deluge, it set us up for a really nice weekend. Much better temps, but no mud! I took advantage of the opportunity and set up a few jumps in the arena for Henry. He was WILD AF because of the cold front, and he wasn’t the only one. I swear the babies galloped laps around their pasture for at least half the day.
At one point I did go out and grab Presto so I could introduce him to a metal bit for the first time. The Nathe was a good first bit, but now that he’s well past wolf tooth removal and very good at bridling, I thought Henry’s Neue Schule would sit better in his relatively small and low-palated mouth. Plus I wanted the eggbutt rather than the loose ring.
He thought it was very strange feeling, but after a couple minutes of walking and trotting he stopped chomping as much. The NS definitely does sit more nicely in his mouth.
In the afternoon I noticed that there was a waterfall of fly spray coming from under the insulation above one stall. Grabbed a ladder, peeled back some insulation, and luckily discovered that one of the tubes had just come loose from the sprayer. Got it reconnected and working again (and possibly downloaded the whole manual for the fly spray system in the process because I was curious) and it was much less of a big deal than I had originally feared when I first saw it. Barn is keeping me on my toes.
On Saturday the SO came out so I didn’t get to do much with the horses that day. Another line of really bad storms was projected to blow through overnight, so I spent some time in the afternoon prepping for that. And… watching Henry and Presto play Bitey Face over the fence. They’re really entertaining.
Once again the deathstorms barely missed us (I should go buy a lottery ticket or something), and we got an absolutely GORGEOUS day on Sunday. I spent most of the morning doing Presto’s March recap vlog, then dedicated the entire rest of the day to being outside and doing stuff with the horses.
I really wanted to put another ride on Presto, it had been 2 weeks since I’d been on him last, but it was REALLY windy. I wasn’t too sure how he would feel about that, so I decided to get on Henry first. We meandered around the farm, and I let him gallop a bit. He is very full of himself these days and seemed relieved to have some cooler weather. The heat we’ve had in the past month has made me really concerned for summer. It’s never easy for him.
The wind didn’t really seem too bad, so I decided to get Presto out and see how attached his hamster was to it’s wheel. In going out to get him I had lost track of Stewie (my old dog, who is mostly deaf at this point) and ended up bringing Presto around the back of the house with me in my search. We found Stewie, and in the process Presto saw the big reflective master bedroom window for the first time. He was absolutely captivated.
Such a narcissist.
Once I got him in the barn and started grooming him he seemed pretty settled despite the wind, so I decided to go ahead and ride him. I hit the SO up and let him know the plan, putting my phone on the tripod in the corner of the arena so he could supervise. I lunged Presto for a few circles each way, just to make sure his chill behavior in the barn wasn’t a fluke. This was our first time going back to the arena after a couple rides in the smaller, more fenced-in courtyard, and his first ride in the Neue Schule. I’d also had to spend some time messing with his half pad, because he’s bulked up a lot in the past two weeks. We’re in that fun stage where he changes so fast that I have to check saddle fit every ride, pretty much.
Turns out there was no need to be concerned about the wind, Presto was exactly the same as always. I mounted up, we stood for a second, and then walked right off with no issue. We made some circles and figure eights, and trotted each way. I was like 8 minutes into the ride by this point and had already accomplished what I wanted. Since he was being so chill I figured that seemed like as good a time as any to try cantering for the first time. I put him back into trot, asked him to step into canter, and tada!
There was a little bit of head-twisting celebration on his part, but no actual bucking. On the first attempt he lost his balance after a few strides and broke back to trot, so we re-grouped and I asked him again. The second time he was able to maintain it for a full circle. I asked him to whoa (brakes still work exceptionally well), he got much praise, and I figured we’d call it a day with that… 10 whole minutes. He wanted to rub his face on his leg, and since I was about to get off anyway I let him. Aaaaaand about 2 seconds later I just hear velcro tearing and see a boot go flying.
Apparently it’s not just fly boots that we rip off now. And the fly boots seem to have made him especially proficient at velcro. Awesome. That’s great. These are the times when I see his too-clever-for-her-own-good mother shine through.
That’s officially the first time I’ve ridden both of my boys in one day. It was really nice. I managed to spend pretty much the whole day outside, and I definitely ended the weekend feeling recharged and rebalanced. It illustrated just how important it really is to unplug from work right now whenever I can. So I started off this week with new rules for myself, with actual start times and stop times and break times hard-wired into my day. Yesterday the weather was so nice I went and worked for a couple hours outside on the back porch. When quitting time came I logged out of and closed everything. I’m learning as I go, I guess.
I hope everyone else had a great weekend too, and was able to spend some time outside or doing something fun!