So this new found financial freedom has been for the most part nice (duh). OK, more than nice but my brain can't adequately process things STILL so we're going with nice. Its better than paralyzing, overwhelming, and other similar adjectives I've dealt with in the past few months. We've spent a lot of money but its almost all on logic investment things and paying off debt. The house is getting a million small things updated/replaced, gear for the horses is getting added to and replaced, vehicles are getting maintenance or replaced and sold. A lot is happening and it leaves me exhausted but I feel like everything is the right choice to this point.
Now we're getting into the "other" category of what to do with the money.
I need to invest my money. Or I need to figure out a smart thing to do with it. I want MORE money so if I can use THIS money to make MORE money then that's even better. I can't do stocks right now because I would obsess over them every day and my moods would shift with them. Not ready for that yet. Neither is the world.
The number of horses I have is a sticking point and realistically, Arthur and Nigel need to go (yes, I said Nigel) and I can use that money to put into something else. A barn or something. Although a barn needs to be cleaned and I'm not excited about that just yet. More work? No thanks!
But IF I sold Nigel and Arthur what would I buy? I decide to go to fairy land and look at horses. Normally this price range is $2500-5000 for me. So I shop online and find the usual assortment of things that don't do it for me. So what does it for me? A nice eventer I suppose? Well, not exactly. I've learned a lot about myself lately and one thing that's been bothering me since the AECs is how "scary" eventing really is above Prelim level. Do I want to only do lower level things? Well, if I had the right horse probably not. Nigel is wicked smart and athletic so he really really needs to go where someone will use him that way and I don't believe that's me right now. Reining would make my life a lot easier but I'm not sure... so I shop for a reiner and I look at videos of reining again. No. I can't do that full time. What else then? I need something to click and I'm not sure what it is, so I'm just spending my days looking for... something. There's no urgency and I feel confident about myself for a change so I know the answer is out there for what I should do sport wise, training wise, current horse wise and so on...
I have my cute colt that has everything going for him except spots (or being a filly) but I'm not really thinking about him at this point. I need some small amount of direction and then it occurs to me: Dressage. I can do that. I like that. It lets me obsess about things and perfect everything to the tiniest degree. Its theoretically safer than flinging yourself over huge things and getting to the upper levels is totally within my body and skill set (with some work of course). Its safer and less anxiety producing. Yes, this sounds like a life I can lead. Nice fancy horses, things in black and white, groomed arenas, you know... this sounds alright!
OK, remember how I bred Piper and it was all confirmed and junk? Well, I didn't have much else to say except my tiny mare got hella big and nothing remarkable was happening until the end. My plan was to foal her out at the house but as the time got closer, I remembered my traumatic past history of breeding issues and the million ways this could go wrong. I also had some money to make my life easier and also... everyone was posting online that they were foaling out at Granada so I had to check it out at least. Also, it occurred to me that I was scheduled to be out of town the next three weekends and it didn't seem fair to put this on hubby.
I might've been panicking a little.
So Granada foals your mare out for like $400 and board. What? $400 for someone else to get covered in goo AND a vet is on staff 24/7? Yasssss.
Piper was loaded up with Nigel (on that disastrous day) and a coggins was yanked before I drove her straight to them to settle in. I figured I had a week or two before she went, but true to Piper, I dropped her off on Monday and she foaled on Friday. If you're keeping track, that was the day I LEFT for the Schiller clinic with Arthur so WHEW. I got the message about the foal late that night and it said something about a sorrel colt. Bummer, a colt but whatever. And sorrel?? They must've just be talking about his base color and not thoroughly checking him out for white. He has at LEAST a 66% chance for color so yeah. OBVIOUS OVERSIGHT.
Quarter Horse people.
I had called during the weekend to ask about the colt, mare, and his lack of coloring and they confirmed he was totally plain save for a white star on his head. Way to go genetics.
I finish up my Schiller weekend and head out that Monday (he was born Friday) to meet the little beastie. I'm not used to baby horses so naturally my anxiety strikes and I'm sure I'm in over my head but soldier through. I'm SURE I'm going to find a spot of white under him or SOMETHING so I'm prepping plans in my head for wrangling the thing - something I've never done before. Over the weekend though my brain had him named as an Edison, so I was like FINE let's see this thing.
As I near the stall I see Piper eating (what else would she do), and this TINY little deer looking thing laying in the straw and I think CRAP! He's a mini! Then he stands up. Well, unfolds is way more accurate and he's basically level with her shoulders. Dude. Daddy long legs horse! The rest of his body is really nice and its clear he got the best parts of both parents. He's wary from the crew that's normally around (they just tackle and treat them, no petting, playing, etc) but I work softly and purposefully with him and he gets it. Like.. SERIOUSLY GETS THINGS. There's no refusal just compliance and when there's an issue, he's willing to find the solution.
Maybe there's something to this blank slate idea.
I'm on my phone playing with pictures and such after working with him a little and he keeps coming over for scratches. Finally at the end, he comes over and sticks his butt at me. I'm sure this is where my tiny foal kicks me in the head and I die in a foaling stall but nope. He chose to lay down next to me and nap.
And yes, he's an Edison <3
I won't lie, this is a catchup post from April. Actually much of this blog is but it works :) So April was a hodge podge of things and nothing terribly notable happened. I didn't have some epiphany about my copious amounts of money, I didn't have anything serious happen good or bad with the animals, and it rained. Still.
I bought a new trailer for the horses and while I was yearning for something with living quarters, it wasn't terribly practical to do dogs in as well as horses and so I was stuck. Just like when I bought my current trailer. Ugh. So I reflected on what I actually use the trailer for the most and how to handle everything and decided to split the vehicles. I hate having more vehicles, but the price and usability was MUCH better so I bought a 2+1 horse trailer and a smallish travel trailer for doing family things and dog things in. Plus husband said if I had some epic horse show and needed BOTH trailers, he'd totally bring the RV one for me so I kinda get the best of everything but cheaply. :)
April was the start of some crazy things spurred on by the Warwick Schiller clinic plus the realization that I could use my new money to finish out some old projects. So I'm going to send a dog out to be shown by a handler, hit some Barn Hunt events to work on my judging/showing/etc goals with that, and round out my horse supplies by getting things I need/want and upgrading things that should have been upgraded a while ago. I'm selling off the surplus or donating it for the write off. At least I'm doing something, plus its horse shopping and while I hate shopping in general, horse things aren't so bad.
The month is rounded out by the Warwick Schiller clinic in Terrell. Arthur has been doing well but I still haven't actually ridden him but it is what it is. The weekend was a huge tornado watch weekend and we even had to leave Saturday's dinner to move the horses into the center of the barn due to incoming storms and tornado activity. Yayness. Arthur seemed excited to have a plush stall and was very well behaved the whole time. The clinic group we were in was the PM group which meant you stayed out there the WHOLE time whether you were actively working or not. It was a long time to chill out. I sat with Arthur most the time and worked when we needed to to conserve energy. Warwick was able to point out a few nit picky things on my ground work and we worked on stressing Arthur. At the end of the day, Arthur spent about 30 minutes just free standing in the middle of everyone waiting for me or Warwick to come get him. He was very good and everyone was 100% sure he was a warmblood. This was the ongoing conversation once I left the arena:
"We've decided he's an Oldenberg, right?"
"Holsteiner then? What kind of warmblood, he HAS to be one since he moves so beautifully."
"Nope, he's a paint."
"Wait, what...?" *looks for spots "You mean Quarter Horse?"
"Nope, he's a paint ><"
I was gracious and thanked them and educated them as well. They were looking forward to him being ridden and I was like <> Me too.
Day two was pretty boring for us. I had kind of hoped Warwick would have some epic insight into what we needed to do but we really just did what we do at home. Plus side was I sat on him in a strange place and he did ok. We didn't walk, we didn't do anything but lateral flexion and relaxation. It was interesting watching the other participants though. I felt good about my skills (good enough that I probably won't attend another one of these) but I can totally see what Warwick deals with regularly with these "normal" people. Lots of sweet people with horses and they desperately wanted to love them and be loved back. Unno. We did it though. Bring on May!
Also the new trailer is completely epic for spending the weekend in. Dogs were in crates, horse had tons of room, hay had a place... ugh soooo nice!
So across from the farm they're building an estate community. They had put up this nice wood fence that I liked (ranch style) and this one morning the owner/developer was out there as I was heading out so I stopped to ask who put the fencing in. He turns and is wearing a Rolex 3DE shirt from a few years ago. We chat about things and he vaguely mentions a trainer that breaks in his high dollar jumper warmbloods and asks if I do my own training. I say yes and that's about it. My brain however has decided to think about that. Another trainer... hmmm.
On Monday I investigate this trainer and he... actually trains a lot like me. He has great referrals and works with a lot of the rescue groups in the area PLUS has OTTB experience and is breaking into top level jumpers after doing roping forever. What?!? So I'm thinking here's someone that can finish Nigel and Arthur for me and I can get going on them. I instantly feel good about this concept and call him. We have a great chat and I'm sold on sending Nigel (the easier one, right?). He can train him and I can show him in eventing or something. Who knows...
So I need a coggins and some vaccines for Nigel. Not a big deal so I decided to take him to the vet clinic (with Piper, see that story next!), but he's being an ass in the new trailer. Plenty of room or something, but he's kicking the crap out of the thing and just being a jerk. Luckily I have that +1 so Piper gets to ride in the front while Nigel abuses the back part.
Upon arrival, the trailer is rocking and rolling and people are freaking out. I'm not amused. I go to see Nigel (who is happy as a clam in the trailer with his ears happy and looking for me to let him out NOW) and let him out of the trailer after delivering Piper to her stall. Nigel looks around like there's a party for him and we get to work. Less than 10 minutes and he's a kitten again. He's managed to ding his hind leg though in his kicking fits so I mention that and warn the helpers to sedate him or something cause he's going to be special today. EVERYONE I come into contact with I tell this to.
He gets his leg bandaged and put into a stall. I head over to my lab to work. A few hours later I decide to walk over and check on things and see an exam room with the door mostly closed and then my horses head. Hanging low. I'm like COOL! They decided to drug him. But no. They did that AFTER they shoved him in the stocks, tied him up short when he tried to move and he then proceeded to leap out SIDEWAYS and climb all sorts of out on the stocks. Busted lip, bleeding nose, stifle to coronary band is scraped to hell and I'm shaking with my level of rage. The vet was shaking. The rest of the morning was tense but we had to test his joints for injury, nerve blocks out the wazoo, a billion staples, lots of wrapping, lots of everything, radiographs, you name it. Naturally he stands quietly in his stall for ALL of this but whatever. We get it all worked out and he needs daily treatment for the next two weeks. Lots and lots of drama going down this day.
I WAS TAKING HIM TO THE TRAINERS TO SAVE ME TIME.
Not make more work for me.
Ugh. So I call the trainer who agrees to do the rehab and start working on what he can. We load Nigel up and take him over that afternoon (6 hour round trip drive woo). Fingers crossed this all works out and he's not permanently scarred but its looking like he might be stuck with me for a while. *sigh