Friday, July 24, 2015

A week of Hell or a week of Happiness?

This past week has definitely had its fair share of ups and downs. Typically I post highlights and the best moments from my week…. Because that is where I choose to put my focus, but there is more behind the scenes.

I’m going to share with you some of my ‘hells’ from this past week, but also some of the ‘happiness’. You decide what you would be feeling at the end of the week... and trust me there is a point to this!

This seemed to be the week that everything decided to break – the tractor tire had something wonky happen and needed a repair man to come up and fix it, our transmission blew in our TDI Jetta (ouch!) so that was another $3500, our pressure tank for our well decided to blow so that was $1500 to the plumber plus fixing up the wet damage in the basement caused by the pipes (at least it was just water- sewage back up would be worse!); My just purchased used Dodge Ram that had been etested/certified the day before had some electrical problem where all the lights wouldn’t work so there goes another $1100.

My deposit from my new trailer ($4000) still hasn’t been returned and I keep getting the run around that it’s in the mail. I had bought a brand new trailer that was supposed to arrive in May, but when the 3rd week of June came around and they told me they still had no idea of when it would arrive they offered to cancel my order which I accepted. I needed to buy a trailer asap – it is summer and prime horse season. The used trailer I bought is bigger than what I originally was looking for… our Silverado shouldn’t really tow it, so I needed a bigger truck. That led me to buy a big 3500 Dodge this past week. Having a bigger truck & trailer now means I need a CVOR to trailer so I had to do that paperwork and pay bigger bucks to register my truck – so not getting my original trailer has had a huge ripple effect. Oh ya, and I’m not used to driving such a big truck & trailer so I’ve already driven it into our driveway gate and dented the step rail – whoops.

Then the excavation site for our indoor arena is a complete mess – the original company basically dug a hole for the arena to sit in and it’s not even close to level with low spots about 1.5 feet off level. They won’t fix it, so we've hired another company for over $30,000 to fix the mess of the first people and I have to take them to court (papers already filed) to try and get money back from the original job.

A bunch of things that were supposed to be done by now – the indoor arena, fencing, and obstacles aren’t done and have been delayed due to weather or other people’s work schedule.

One of my best lesson horses, Shawna, is suffering from an unknown condition the vet thinks might be a toxin she is trying to fight off but currently is unknown with no treatment. I’ve ordered her a herbal anti inflammatory from the states she will start soon – she has a history of seasonal allergies we can never control (itchy all over – especially her belly, sometimes a runny eye) and this year she also has little swelling bumps that look like golf balls on her legs (around her joints).

My horses I bought for Kentucky are absolutely lovely, but they have ridiculously awful feet, so I needed to buy Cavallo boots (another $150 each), and they have horrible teeth… Cupid with the worst the vet has ever seen, and Kahleesi just had her teeth done last week and has 2 cracked teeth – more great news, right?

My new Genesis saddle that I just bought at the Royal Winter Fair last November already needs reflocking (saddle fitter was up Tuesday) so I have sent that away to be redone.

Plus our footing in our sand ring is now 4 years old and really needed replacing so I had that done last night/tonight while working around summer camp and a show tomorrow.

Oh and when the people came to scrape the manure/dirt from the paddock there was miscommunication so they scraped our muck pile and didn’t take much from the paddock… which was already delayed a few weeks because of rain.

Not to mention all of these things I am figuring out on very little sleep because I go to work every morning and leave by 6:40am, get home from work and then I coach/run summer camp, and get into bed by 11pm if I’m lucky and get woken around 5am by the puppies that need to be let out in the morning… so that’s about 6 hours sleep if I’m lucky.

Even if I think I am ahead of the game and getting to bed early, there is usually a problem like last night when someone decided to clog the toilet with a big poop (I understand poop happens), so I spent nearly an hour trying to plunge and scoop poopy water and I failed… I will have to try a better plunger tonight or will be calling a plumber for that too…. So I literally have poop water waiting for me to deal with when I get home – along with loads of sand for the riding ring to be redone tonight, and a show to set up for tomorrow.  

So what do you think when you read all that?  - that’s not even everything ‘negative’ that’s happened in the last week or so… there is always negative gossip, personal things, physical things, etc.

But here’s my point.

I make a decision every day to be happy.

I am in charge of my own happiness.

I don’t let other people take that from me. I don’t let things breaking or massive bills rob me of my happiness. I don’t let anyone or anything have control over my happiness. 

It is mine, I own it, I choose to be happy, I choose to see the upside, and I choose to see solutions.

If you come around the farm long enough, you’ll learn quickly that I don’t like to hear things like “that can’t be done,” “no we can’t”, “that’s impossible,” or “we can’t fix that,” or other negative phrases… I ask for solutions.

My two most powerful keys to happiness are:

  1.         Choose to see the good in every situation – the bad stuff just isn’t worth your energy
  2.         If something has gone to heck, focus on the things that can be done to make it better

With all the above ‘hell’ that has happened, here is what I choose to see:

I have a wicked awesome trailer that is so spacious with everything we need and want – James & I have actually slept a few nights in it and we are so excited to take it to New York next weekend with the dogs and horses. Even though I drove it into a gate, at least the gate is okay and it’s just a small dent on the step rail, barely noticeable. I also now have a truck I love – man is it comfy! It even has better fuel economy than my Ford Escape. It’s fantastic because James loves his truck and didn’t really like me driving it, so now we each have our own truck and our own commuter vehicle.

Things break on cars, it happens. Now that the Jetta has a new transmission it should be good to run for a very long time because we already did the timing belt too. Same for the tractor, stuff breaks, and I’m so happy to have the Kubota because it is so easy to drive – plus we still have our Massey as back up if we need it, so really no harm done.

For the water pump – I never liked the carpet in the basement anyway, so now I have an even better reason to rip it up this winter to replace it, and now we have an awesome and way bigger pump installed with a better ‘reserve’ so we’ll be saving in hydro. Heck it was 30 years old so we definitely got our value out of the first one.

The indoor arena situation isn’t ideal, but it’s still on plan to be done before winter – I’ve survived 4 years with no indoor ring, so what’s another few months? Now the people we’ve hired to do the arena site are the same ones who did Sweetwater Stables nearby – an indoor ring that I’ve ridden in and know they did an awesome job - so I’m feeling pretty excited about this decision.

The fencing and obstacles are slowly getting done…. I can’t control that, so I just make sure the workers have what they need to get the job done. The obstacle show is August 29th so we still have time to get the ‘wow’ factor accomplished. On the plus side we do have a lot done - a splash box, a couple new jumps, some nicely redone poles & standards, and a few other new obstacles. I just tell myself ‘patience Lindsey, patience.’  

The paddock scraping is set for Tuesday, so that will be done soon - and James and Justin did a great job scraping in the meantime to make it better for the horses. The arena footing was due for a change and I am excited to have nice new footing for the show on Saturday.

I’ve done what I can for Shawna at this point – she is still happy to come out and play. I can just hope the new herbal anti inflammatory helps. She is her usual self, so that is good.

Cupid and Kahleesi might need a lot of dental work and new hoof boots – but they are becoming two of our best lesson horses and are doing so amazing. They are so honest, kind, and quiet. They are wonderful editions to the PHH crew. Plus the hoof boots should last a long time and in the future another horse may need them so it’s good to have extra sizes of boots on hand.

For the saddle fitting, the reflocking is only costing $100 and that’s a small price to pay for my horse’s comfort. I’m excited to have it back and ride with confidence knowing my horse is happy – plus on the bright side, two of my other horses only needed a gullet change and some shims to make their saddles right and everyone else was fitting well – so that was great news.

Clogged toilet with poopy water… well there isn’t much of an upside to that one, but at least I had just brought in an outhouse a few days earlier so we still have multiple options for where to poop.

Little sleep – sure it’s hard, but puppies are adorable and I’m energized from sharing my passion for horses with students. I wish when I was learning to ride that natural horsemanship/centered riding was more readily available, so I am so thrilled to be giving so many students this experience.

It is truly rewarding to see the progression of students, and these are the faces that bring me happiness – people like...
  • Laurie who was so terrified of her horse when she came to our farm and now she is competing in barrel racing and obstacle events this year, 
  • Yvonne & Kim who have only been with us a year and are already mastering canter & obstacle challenges, 
  • Jill who just bought her first horse and has been riding less than a year, but is successfully retraining her off the track TB, Maya who has been teaching her horse natural collection without using a bit, 
  • Pat & John who took up riding as a retired couple that were scared to be on horses at first and now can canter around the ring enjoying it, 
  • Franny who has turned her pushy Fjord pony into a summer camp super star, 
  • Morgan who has taught her horse how to jump, Wendy who switched lesson farms and went from cross rails to 2’3 jumpers getting champion at most shows in less than a year, 
  • Sue who has a very spooky horse and mastered tarps and other obstacles, 
  • Raine who is filming her Parelli level 3 this summer, 
  • Christina who took a horse that would get into the ring and have a catatonic meltdown and used natural horsemanship to build her confidence to create a 2ft jumper super star in only a few months, 
  • Danica who recently bought her first horse and turned her from crazy to crazy awesome, 
  • Cailey who knocks our socks off with her jumping skills and mastered flying changes recently, 
  • Kayla who bought her first horse and impresses me every day with her love and devotion, 
  • Caileigh who has become such a valued PHH coach and went from Hunter Queen to Hunter Queen with a natural horsemanship twist, 
  • Nikita & Natalia who bought their first horse and are taking the time to do things right and are creating such a loving horse, Sabrina who turned a rearing horse into a dream ride, 
  • Annalise who has turned a sassy chestnut mare into a willing partner she can ride with no bridle, 
  • Emma & Ashleigh who are mastering their canter skills, 
  • Charleigh who is doing a fantastic job teaching Cupid to jump, 
  • Heather who brought her unstarted gelding only a couple months ago and is now riding him on trails & obstacles, 
  • Elana who challenges herself every lesson and is mastering ground games & progressing in the saddle, 
  • Robyn who is learning to canter, 
  • Anastasia who has become the best camp director and mastered riding Thetis!
  • Carolyn who has become so integral PHH and has found ways to keep us organized, 
  • and to all the other students & campers (I’m sorry I didn’t name everyone!) that are making such amazing progress!

Last but definitely not least, I have an amazing family & husband that support me everyday and work hard to make PHH a thriving reality. Thank you for being such amazing people – you help me find happiness every single day. I am super proud of all of you and very thankful for you.

We are all in charge of our own happiness - and we can all help someone else find happiness.

A positive attitude goes a long way, and a few kind words go even further.

Spread a little happy.

Have a happy weekend, and thank you for being awesome & reading my blog post, you rock! J


  1. Lindsey, you have a winning attitude and that's just awesome!

  2. Pauline StreeterJuly 25, 2015 at 7:24 PM

    Wow! I'm overwhelmed!! Pauline