Equestrian in the Olympics

So I realize that very few people are going to read this blog, thus I feel no guilt in having a rant for a minute.

Why is there so little support for equestrian in the Olympics? Perhaps because I am one, I just cannot fathom this. When I see articles like this: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/best-worst-olympic-sports-survey-ranked/

I just become irate!

I mean the FEI had to get the #twohearts campaign going to help with equestrian pride even!

So here are the interesting points in my mind: its the only sport that men can compete against women, its the only sport where you have to worry about yourself and an 1100 lb ANIMAL, its probably one of the most dangerous of the Olympic sports, oh wait, you could get a table tennis ball to your cornea! But it also is one of the only sports in which you could be competing into your 50’s. Sidenote: there is my inspiration to someday make it into the Olympics doing something!! And of course it is not without drama that everyone lives for, between the shots fired into the equestrian media center to the bug bite vs broken jaw on  Adelinde Cornelissen’s mount given the rolkur controversy. Then the aesthetic part of it: no we don’t get to show off our rippling abs or shredded legs, but those tight riding pants with buns are a welcome sight… Even my non horsey boyfriend can attest to that!

So my guess is the general public either doesn’t understand our sports, finds them boring, or just plain has it out for us and our amazing partners. But I hope that changes for the sake of our sport. I think that because its history people briefly educate themselves on what they are watching with the other sports so why not do the same for ours instead of inmediately ridiculing it and turning the channel… Not that they aired much of it anyways!  We can all say it looks easy to run or kick a soccer ball or ride a horse but those that actually do it know that is not true so we need to show some more respect to the athletes (2 legged and 4) and their sports. Rant over.

ps if equestrian is taken out of the Olympics, the horse shit is going to start flying! Just sayin.

 

 

Bucket List

So I guess I have started a blog! This is something I have been thinking about recently and so I put it on my recently created bucket list. I guess when you see a lot of tragedy like I do in my job as an ER nurse, its a little bit of inspiration to do what you want to do in life and thats why I created a bucket list. I sometimes get a little overly ambitious and want to do so much that it helps to get it organized on a list and that is part of why this blog came to be. What is life when you can’t do the things you want to do and see the things you want to see. I encourage everyone to make a bucket list. I often find myself thinking of how I can derive meaning in my life and make a difference other than just as a nurse. Maybe this all sounds cliche but I hope someone reading this gets inspired to start their bucket list. You truly don’t know when your chance to do so will be lost. Personally, my list starts off with this. I enjoy writing and want to share my adventures and ideas with others in the hopes of carrying on the spirit of ambition. So I hope you enjoy coming on this ride with me!

Apparel Review – Bit by Bit Apparel

Trying my hand here at another apparel review! I don’t know about you, but never before have I gotten into online shopping until this pandemic hit! Oops! Now, I have spent more money than I wanted to! Being on IG and seeing some of these neat shops and their apparel has been so tempting, soooo I gave in and purchased two items from Bit by Bit Apparel and I love them! They have cute casual apparel with fun slogans related to horses! I purchased a white pullover size small that says, “Rosé, Horsé, all day” and a gray t-shirt size medium that says, “Equestrian, Nurse, Equestrian, Nurse, Equestrian.” Instead of nurse you can have it say doctor, veterinarian, etc. or whatever you want to customize it to which is great! Anddd a portion of the proceeds go to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund so you are doing something good with your money as well! Anyways, the t-shirt I sized up on to a medium for comfort, but I could probably still have gone with a small and my small sweatshirt fits, but if you like a bit more room, I would size up. The sweatshirt seems pretty true to size. I was worried about shrinkage in the laundry, but it wasn’t an issue. Anyways, the clothes are super cute, prices are definitely reasonable, and I messaged them with size questions and got prompt, helpful responses, so I totally recommend them! Send me a pic when you purchase!

 

 

Product Review – Horseware Keeva Tech Fleece

Here goes…my first ever product review! I wanted to try my hand at a different kind of writing to gain some new experience and why not do some writing about equestrian clothing!!!

So, I recently bought the Houseware Keeva Tech Fleece from Dover Saddlery. Link here:

https://www.doversaddlery.com/hw-keeva-technical-fleece/p/X1-400441/?cpos=23&cst=houseware%20fleece&ctype=Search&cpid=res637244631524142140

I looove Houseware and own many items from them so I had to get this. The garnet color really struck my eye as I think it looks great with my dark horse. They also have it in raven, but I find I already own a lot of black riding items! I wore the fleece for the first time the other day and it was super comfortable. Mine is a size medium but I probably could have gone with a small for a tighter fit. I just like to allow for something underneath in case it is colder weather. The cut is feminine and the collar doesn’t fold annoyingly like some other items I have in my wardrobe. If your horse is a sniffer like mine, the zipper pockets are key. Right now in Massachusetts the beautiful spring comes with cooler mornings and evenings so I find this fleece is perfect to wear for morning rides or later rides especially. It is roomy and breathable, but makes for a perfect spring or fall top. If you are in need of something to help bridge that weather gap, I would check it out! #iwearhorseware. Check it out on my IG @nursonaltrainer too!

 

Writing to write or……

Well it has certainly been a while since I have blogged, but of course COVID-19 has kept me busy with work and trying to stay informed since I am on the frontlines being in the ER. I have not found much time to write as I didn’t want to force myself to write just to write. But, that being said, I am here now making myself get my creative juices flowing. Things have been going well for the most part, despite the nerves of work and staying healthy both for my sake to keep helping my patients,  but for the sake of my parents that I live with. Theo has been doing amazing! I can’t stop talking about how happy he has been at his new farm (maybe not so new anymore since it has been a year there) and he been sound this spring going into horse show season, though unfortunately there are no shows to be held! It is a total bummer and I have been trying to continue to see the positives just enjoying riding and practicing, as most others are, I am sure.

Recently, I have been learning more about the benefits of networking and just talking to people! I am working on trying to figure out what I want to do in terms of going back to school and I have had some great influential people to reach out to for some brain picking! Perhaps I am finally gaining some clarity, after hearing the stories and advice of these folks! I am indebted for their gratitude and hope one day I can be that person and help others along to figure things out too!

I also am thinking more about writing and switching things up a little bit with trying out writing some product reviews. This would be a little something to give me some different experience and help me grow as a writer. I don’t necessarily need to do it for money, though that would be exciting! It just sounds like it would be something fun and different, and with all the online shopping I have admittedly done recently (oops!), I might as well try my hand at it! If you do product reviews, I am looking for advice and tips so please hit me up, I love to network!

That’s all for now. Everyone please stay stay and healthy and if there is something I can help you with, give me a shout!

 

The Broke Saps Club

So, I know we are in a pandemic, and infectious disease is a topic of interest for me, but I want to  take a break from the covid-19 for a second and talk horses! Except….my one message is that I hope everyone is staying in, reading, doing home workouts, spending time with loved ones etc.  to help flatten the curve. Also, keep up the great work my fellow frontline healthcare workers, stay safe!

Now, on to the horse talk. Theo has been doing wonderful lately! Before this pandemic, I even mentioned the idea of doing a schooling show or two again this summer, and then cue the problem. I should know better that every time I say the words “horse show,” something inevitably happens. This time, I was lucky and it was a one week lameness that quickly resolved. Prior to that though, I had a tough decision to make. I had moved Theo into semi-retirement and figured I would not be jumping him again or doing anything strenuous, however, the other voice in my ear, has really wanted to jump again. Theo loves jumping as well. I had been going back and forth for weeks on whether or not to try some little stuff with him, as I know cross training is good for him and he would love the break from dressage. A friend of mine helped me see it in a helpful light as well; he can get injured in the paddock (and has) just as easily, so why not enjoy him and have some fun. Injury is going to happen at some point anyways…it always does with this horse. That being said, I did it! We jumped a small cross rail (twice now) and it has been great! So far I have no regrets and hopefully things continue to go well. It’s not like we are going to go out eventing again or anything!!

On to a new topic, who else feels as though their bubble wrap baby enjoys looking for ploys to get out of work? I recently decided that with all of these injuries, perhaps he is trying to tell me something. For example, a few weeks ago he came up with front lower leg swelling all because of one superficial cut to the inside of his leg. I wish I knew how that could have happened….as Theo sneakily grins in the corner knowing he bought himself some time off! He is so hard to read sometimes! Somedays, he stands at the gait ready to come in and other days he walks to the end of the paddock and makes it difficult to catch him to go riding! How many times have you wondered what your horse is really thinking?? I want to hear from you if you think your horse enjoys spiting you too on certain occasions! Let’s start a club. The Broke Saps Club. Admission is free – just show us a photo of your perpetrator to get in!

What’s Next?

Back in November I was fortunate enough to attend the SONSEIL and Johnson and Johnson Nurse Hackathon and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my career thus far. I was in a room full of brilliant, inspiring, innovative, people that wanted to network and help each other. I decided to present my product idea and had some great people join my group to work on development of it. Sad to say, that idea is currently on hold as my finances need to go towards purchasing a house! I am keeping it in my mind though, so as not to lose this idea and the plan to move it forward. I hope to stay connected with the many people in my corner for that project. Regardless, I returned from this event refreshed and exhilarated to bring the idea of nursing innovation full force back to my own workplace and it was an exciting time that I am hoping to continue to stay excited about. Since then though, I have also been thinking a lot about going back to school and it has been a struggle. It is both difficult deciding whether or not to go back to school, and if so, what to go for? I love what I am doing now, but also want to do more. Do I need an advanced degree to do so? Maybe? Does it depend on what I want to do? I don’t know! So many questions floating around in my brain daily. I try and think of what my dream job would be as a guide to which degree, but I can’t even figure that out!  It might be the job I already have, who knows?! Then, I try and decide between clinical vs. academia and I find that I want to be able to dabble in both. But, to be a provider or not? Next, do I stick with nursing or try and do something with my first bachelors degree which is in biology. Still, no clear answer. Ok, so then what are my options? MSN, CNS, NP, DNP, PHD, MPH. The options are endless! I try and write down my areas of interest in the hopes that I will miraculously see what degree can combine them all. But those include: emergency/critical care nursing, nursing education, research and innovation, public health and education, infectious disease and emergency preparedness. No small list of course, if we are looking at the nursing side of things! By doing my own original research study in my ED right now, I am hoping to see if research is definitely my thing. I am also taking an interest in COVID-19 which is exciting and allows me to get into the infectious disease realm. But, then what? How do I know what to do next? I am currently feeling stuck and my guess is others before me have also been in this predicament. So, if you have any advice from the nursing field as to how to make this decision, and what jobs are out there for people with my interests, please let me know.

Sincerely,

an indecisive, scared of change, but ambitious and motivated nurse trying to navigate the world ahead.

New Year, new blog?

Nope. So, I thought I would get fancy and re-launch my blog after switching to WordPress.org and purchasing a domain and Bluehost so I could attempt to monetize my blog, but guess what? I failed. I had done research and was super excited to do this but after making the purchase and getting into the hosting and WordPress.org, I became super confused and overwhelmed. I had no idea how to manage anything and quickly became frustrated and regretted my decision. I had no idea how difficult it would really be in comparison to this free easy WordPress.com blog I have been doing for a few years. That being said, I called and cancelled the new one and have decided to kick it up a notch this year with this current blog. It isn’t all about money anyways, I write because I enjoy writing. So I can’t monetize with this one, oh well! I did, however, start an instagram and Facebook page for the blog @nursonaltrainer, that I hope you will follow to keep up with posts and interact with me there. I am hoping this blog which focuses on nursing, fitness, and horses will continue to be informative and humorous. So, even though I don’t have a new blog to launch, I am going to embrace the failure and learn from it because that is all you can do. My blogging year may not have started off on the right foot, but such is life, and it is time to make the best of it. Cheers to a happy 2020 friends!!!

Just nursing around here

So instead of horsing (literally) around here, I am thinking nursing at the moment. I love what I do and all the options this career has. I love being surrounded by so many knowledgeable colleagues. I love having the ability to voice my thoughts and ideas that have started to take hold of my brain in the last few years through various outlets at my job.  That being said, I have started to look into the field of nursing innovation and research. I recently listened to a podcast (https://nursekeith.com/episode226/) that also helped fuel my fire and I am planning to apply to SONSEIL in the hopes of joining others and finding my niche. I hope I can inspire other nurses to look into this area, as I have met so many intelligent and motivated nurses at my job. Fingers crossed as I go out and try networking to learn more about how to make healthcare better and if you have ideas too, lets nurse around together!

Expect the Unexpected

When I moved Theo to his retirement home at the end of February, I half expected to still ride a little bit and to my happy surprise, I was right. What I did not expect was that we would ever make it back into the show ring, but last weekend we did! Theo had been doing so well under saddle recently and just in general being in his new home that I thought we had nothing to lose. With my new attitude of relaxation and fun, I took him to a small,  low key dressage schooling show at Coursebrook Farm. He behaved so well and I was on cloud nine by the end of it, so grateful for the opportunity again to play with him in the sandbox! Normally, as I told someone shortly after that day, I don’t plan horse shows too far in advance because then he gets hurt and I jinx myself!  However,  I couldn’t help myself but to set my sights on a couple other schooling shows for the summer. Then something totally unexpected happened: I got hurt this time. While running with my dog, he accidentally ran into me and I fell down. I ended up with a partially torn medial collateral ligament and said goodbye to my summer plans including horse shows, beach days, and a girls trip to Long Island. Within days of this I already felt devastated, miserable, bored, and just down. Being a very active person and having that quickly taken away from you is an extremely painful experience. Stir crazy is an understatement to describe me with nothing to do. A wise man once told me, “life is full of setbacks, what matters is how you handle them.” I, of course, have not been handling this very well. Watching Theo sit around when we should be prepping for the show just tears me apart. Given our track record and all the many injuries that have cut out seasons short, it is extremely aggravating that my ignorant knee is now the reason we are losing this summer. But, I digress. I will take things one day at a time and shoot for four weeks recovery rather than the 6-12 my orthopedic told me! Fingers crossed!🤞🏻

Riding for pleasure

Sometimes life has a way of getting us down and then getting us back up again. I am feeling a little bit of that myself at the moment. In my last post I explained my decision to retire Theo. Since then he has moved on to a farm that is his semi-retirement home and it has been amazing. I have noticed such a change in my horse that I am beyond thrilled. He settled in quite well and has a beautiful green pasture to go out in daily with a friend. His attitude has changed, his weight maintained, feet getting better, and at the moment the flies haven’t caused me to run to the nearest store to stock up on benadryl. The change in his attitude though is remarkable. Sure, he still pins his ears around food and when girthing but that is it! He isn’t holding to his grinchiness at all! Before the move he was so sour and would snap at you when you approached his door, but I haven’t seen that dragon face at all since he got here. He has even gotten along with some other horses! My heart melts. My vet was thrilled see how happy and relaxed he is when he came out for spring shots! People had told me this may happen and that he just may need a change but I wouldn’t have believed it without seeing it. The craziest part is, I am riding again! My vet said Theo would probably be fine for light riding and he has been. The beginning was tough and each ride requires a good warm up for the old guy but, it is worth it to be back in my favorite seat of the house. I wasn’t sure it would ever happen again but life picked us right up. The different part now is that we aren’t feeling the pressure of five rides a week thinking about training for a competition. I don’t have to get frustrated  if he is super stiff and struggling to perform how I want because it doesn’t really matter (though I still do get frustrated sometimes of course). Furthermore, I find myself learning another lesson from him: how to ride for pleasure. Sure, riding is always pleasurable and fun but now it is different for me. In all aspects of my life I am competitive and striving to reach a goal but my only goal now is to keep Theo going happy and healthy as best I can. It is difficult for me as a competitive athlete in high school and college always trying to win but just riding him is a win now. The adjustment to this new frame of mind and trying to just ride with no expectations is hard at times because in the back of my mind I wonder if we could go do a dressage test by the end of the summer. Maybe we can, but then again maybe we can’t. I just don’t want to be disappointed so instead I focus on each day at a time and how he is feeling that day. That is what dictates our ride these days. Of course, even though we are pleasure riding these days I still try and ride as well as I can and remember all the great training we have had together to try and get the best out of him as possible. Things are just different these days. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days of getting ready for a show (the few shows we got to when he wasn’t injured) and still held in frustration that we aren’t going to event for the next few years, but I am learning to let it go. I should be humbled that I can still get on him, even if today or tomorrow are the last day I do so. I am just blessed that I got back in the saddle for however long it will be.

The time has come

392cef80-e3aa-47ed-88fe-aa76b7d08ac1How do you know when its time to retire your horse? I have mulled this question around in my head for a while not thinking I needed to get real serious about it but Theo has struggled the past few weeks with the weather and I found myself saying to people he was on his way. I just didn’t think I was 100% serious about it. However, yesterday I had to say it for real and knowing the day was coming at some point did not make it any easier. I sit here in bed reflecting on the day with mixed emotions. It was the worst ride I had in a while as he just did not want to do it and without hurting me, tried to let me know this. Always thinking his behavioral issues just require training and tune ups I chalked it up to that at first. But thinking of all the frustrating days ending in tears after these types of rides really got to me. He is miseable and uncomfortable and I am going crazy too. His brain hasn’t been reliable and he had given too much of his body in his 17 years of life where 10 of them were on the track. I had the difficult waterworks conversation with my trainer and was totally  supported in the decision to do it because I needed that extra little push. But it doesnt make things easier. Part of me thinks there is a sliver of hope that we just need to get through the winter but then with his track record the next step is usually a bad injury to sideline us for part of the summer and going through stall rest, rehab, and meds is not something I wish to repeat. I am content knowing that I have done everything possible for him (the vet I am sure will agree)  and on his good days he has given me so much. It is frustrating thinking I had expected to get more years out of him or even just one complete eventing season, but such is life. He has taught me more in the last 4 years than in the 14 I had been riding before I owned him. I can’t sit around and think of the devastation of not riding him around a cross country course ever again when I know I am giving him a chance to be a horse for his final years. He deserves that more than anything. But it still hurts and doesn’t make it easier. It is not a decision I had expected to have to make yesterday and not one I take lightly but I knew someday he would tell me and I’m glad I took the hint. Deep down I know it is the right thing to do even though my heart feels broken. I owe it to myself to move on at some point to something that will suit my needs better but I am glad I gave everything to him in the time we did have. He had been one of the biggest challenges of my life and I have had some amazing moments with him in amongst the struggles of our rollercoaster journey.  He was nothing like what I thought my first horse would be but it was a lesson life had to teach me. To say I am not disappointed we cut things short would be a lie, but I cannot focus on what could have or should have been. I always knew I would give him the retirement he deserved and he will get that now. I am grateful for the love and support from everyone along out journey as well. That makes it a little bit easier.