Thursday, May 30, 2019

rambles of last semester

*a nervous Chloe scuttles out from hiding*

Hi, my friends!

See, not totally gone.

I have a rare day off from work in the middle of the week.

I got my life signed away for next semester. Looks like it won’t be quite as intense as the last two semesters, and for that I am very grateful! It will still be full time though, so I’ll still be able to compete, however I should still be able to work during the weekends, and possibly a little during the school week as well.

I’m curious, what are y’all majoring in? What are some things you like to do to keep your stress levels down during the semester?

For me, I ate a lot of ice cream. I’d have an afternoon, or two, where I had enough of a gap between classes that I could run out to Walmart (five minutes away from campus) and grab a pint, then go back to campus and eat it before my next class.

Coffee was my best friend. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through without it.

Also, since hulu is included with my spotify, I would sometimes watch a show called MASH during my gaps when I wasn’t working on homework in the library or grooming horses for my show team responsibilities.

Of course, it helped a lot that most of my classes were fun and I had friends that I’d gotten close to over the past few semesters (most of them have graduated now though).

Although I enjoyed last semester very much, I’m relieved that it is over so I can get into working mode for the summer. Also so that I can actually get some sleep.

It’s funny. Every time I look back on any of the last three semesters I ask myself “how did we survive and not die from all that.” Then turn around and make the next one more challenging.

My first semester I was taking full time classes for the first time, was on the judging team, and was working Monday, Friday, and Saturday nights not getting home until sometimes after 10pm and more often than not, closer to midnight, in addition to having one of my classes end at 9pm in the middle of the school week, then have to drive almost an hour to get home.

My second semester instead of just taking four classes, I took five, had two nights a week where I wasn’t home until 9pm or later, was working weekends and two mornings during the school week. Went to five or six judging competitions, all multiple day events. Changed jobs in the middle of the semester, and missed our family beach vacation.

This past semester, I took full time classes. Was on both the judging and show teams. Working weekends split between two jobs. Picked up a side stint for my boss’ landlord and his wife, did an internship at a breeding barn, and dropped one of my weekend jobs. Was the TA for two classes. Had show team responsibilities during the week to complete. Was out of the house on Mondays and Wednesdays from before 7am to almost 10pm then turned around on Tuesdays and Thursdays and was out from about 8:30am to a little after 8pm. And also the first two-three weeks of classes I couldn’t hear very well because my left ear went practically deaf because I had an ear infection. I competed twice for the show team and once for the judging team. I missed the bus for one of our shows and drove solo for five hours, made up the hour I missed and arrived about two minutes after everyone else did.

Good times, I tell you. XD

What are some of y’all’s favorite school memories? It can be from high school, college, grade school, whatever. Something you look back on and have to smile as you shake your head.

Friday, May 24, 2019

i’ve been gone.

And I don’t know if I’ll be back for long.

Truth is at first I just wanted a break, then I realized how much I didn’t miss it. I even stopped reading y’all’s posts. It’s actually been nice- not worrying about losing views, or not responding fast enough to comments, or getting enough posts out.

Then between the past six months I’ve been put thrown way more curveballs than I expected. I had no desire to spend time writing it down because I didn’t feel like I had the energy.

Gosh, there’s so much to catch up on.

Lots of good. Some not so good. Some sad.

In one of my last posts I said I had switched jobs again. And I did again at some point in February. I’m back working with arabs again, at the same barn I worked at over a year ago. The place hasn’t changed much at all. Most of the horses are new, but there are a couple of the same ones. There are a few new people as well. The familiarity is nice though, and I am very happy to be back.

I was in full time classes again, but one of my ‘classes’ was being the TA for two other classes, so it felt more like five classes instead of just four. I stayed on the judging team again, and got through the spring contest in OKC giving four sets of reasons. I also was on our college show team (so had extra responsibilities there as well), and went and showed at two collegiate horse shows (I got 3rd of 6 my first time out of the gate, before evening out at consistent 5th place of 7 and 8 at the next show).

I did another training class this semester, and got to work on one of our younger school horses who had no jog and a too fast for lessons lope. We rode every class day when the weather permitted. I got pretty close to that horse, I already miss our rides.

One of my classes also had part of the semester doing an internship at a repro barn, which was very educational, but not really my thing.

I also had Equine Science II. The ONLY reason why I didn’t get the homework mixed up with the repro class homework was because one was Monday/Wednesday and the other was Tuesday/Thursday. They both had the same professor, and most everyone from repro was in science.

I was working weekends at the barn, and also back in the same area two days during the school week to take care of my boss’ landlord’s cats that his wife breeds and sells.

Guys. I was pulling 12 and 14 hour days away from home, driving 80 miles or more roundtrip, and that’s not counting the amount of time I was awake before leaving in the morning or the time I was awake after coming home. Looking back, I’m surprised I only had one real meltdown. The stress was very real.

I do have a lot of good memories from it though (but not of sleep). I got closer to the friends I had, and made a few new ones. I’ll miss the ones that have graduated and are moving on now though.

How are y’all doing?

Monday, December 10, 2018

November flew by, that's all I can say.

Format is going out the window because frankly, I'm tired of setting it up every time.

No, this is not depressed Chloe, this is tired-in-her-bones Chloe.

Isn't funny how when you repeat certain sequences in order every day your brain automatically associates the thing you're doing with getting to do the next thing afterwards?

Like, when I get home everyday, it's usually around seven in the evening, so as soon as I pull in and drop my stuff, I go and get something to eat.

Well, I got home early one day, and hadn't even been thinking of food at all for the drive, but as soon as I pulled in the driveway I was instantly starving.

Yeah so anyway. There's that.

We went to another judging contest in Oklahoma City, Quarter Horse World Show. The same level of bigness and importance as the Quarter Horse Congress, about. While we were there we actually saw one of our other professors watching. But they organized the actual contest much more efficiently, especially in terms of giving reasons. I only had to give two sets this time.

I didn't like how I delivered my first set because I accidentally worked myself into a nervous frenzy right as I was walking up and I started giving them on an exhale, so I was frantically trying to get a decent breath while plowing through what I had rehearsed- it just wasn't very smooth. I was kind of kicking myself back at the table when the lady with her therapy dog that hangs out with us, because we are poor stressed human beings just trying to do the best we can, walked by and let me cuddle the dog for a minute. It helped a bunch! I liked my second set much better though. I thought it was very well put together and enough big words and terms to be decently impressive sounding, and I delivered it so much better than my first set. HOWEVER they liked my first set better and gave me the lowest score I've ever gotten on my second set. Kinda wish the reasons takers would take notes and give at least a small amount of feedback, because I really want to know where I messed up on that second set.

The limited division finished a while before the collegiate, so the three of us in limited got to go and walk around some and see what there was to see before going back to hear the awards at six. Of course, there had to be something go wrong. The collegiate finished way ahead of schedule. So instead of letting all the coaches know to bring back their kids, they just up and started the awards. So lots of us only made it for part of the awards. We made it to the building for the last five minutes, but didn't go into the room because they were almost done. So we didn't even get the whole contest experience because we missed the awards (though I'm kind of ok with that because honestly, the awards are as stressful or more so than the actual contest).

Christian came home while I was gone. Everyone else except Lydia got to go to his graduation. He had been sick for the past three weeks, so he was a wreck when he got home, but he was in good spirits, and his time away has definitely helped him improve.

Christian also had his birthday this month, and has officially graduated from the kid table to being allowed to sit with us adults when we have family or friends over for a meal.

We had family out for Thanksgiving, which was a blast. We spent it with Mom's side this year, so we didn't have to drive anywhere. But we didn't really get to watch the parade this year because somebody *sideeyes the tv* didn't dvr the channel we like even though we had it set to, so we had to watch on a different channel that we didn't like as much.

We were going to have another judging contest at the Reining Futurity (big deal show) at Oklahoma City, but not enough people wanted to go. When I told my boss that I actually wouldn't be needing that time off, I think he was more disappointed than I was, so his wife took me up to go watch on Black Friday. It was pretty cool!! We even bumped in to one of my past professors there and sat with him for awhile.

We finished with the yearlings for our behaviour and training class. I was so proud of mine! At the start, she would just run circles around whoever was trying to catch her- she did not want to be touched. At the end, I had her longeing with the bit in her mouth, both directions, on the long line, with a surcingle, was able to saddle her, pick up all four feet, lead her around in the arena over poles, around cones, over a bridge, and groom her.

Eventually we might get to work with some weanlings for the last few days we have in the semester, however that is only if the breeder actually gets them out to us. We'll see.

Got registered for classes next semester. It's gonna be awesome!

I got Bonnie's oil changed. When I pulled in and got out, I brought out a bit of my southern accent and nicely asked for an oil change and if they could please check the tire pressure I'd appreciate it. The guy I was asking said that was probably the nicest anyone's ever asked him for an oil change, to which I replied; "you said that the last time I was here." Stuff like that happens when you go to the same small-town mechanic shop almost every time.

Gas prices went down and that makes me so happy!

Our neighbors went out of town for a few days again so I took care of their horses. I love them so much.

Drove down the freeway and passed a truck with a sign saying "We hire solo's and teams." *almost dies by grammatical error*

Mom: "I don't know how you're able to start the day with cold coffee right now."
Me: "Well, I don't really like hot coffee, and this cold coffee is really convenient. I don't know, maybe I'll end up changing my tune once it gets colder."

One time since class finished early and there were only two of us left with the professor, the other girl and I tried switching horses so we could try the pattern on a horse we weren't as familiar with. It was a fun exercise!

We had another contest in Fort Worth for the Cutting Horse Futurity. We did not have to give reasons on anything. Ms. Becky somehow managed to get ten of us to go (since this was a show where you didn't need to be on a judging team, just needed to be a full time student), and one of us won high individual and got to judge two rounds of finals with the other judges! I did not do very well. It was a learning experience, and I still enjoyed it though!

I honestly don't remember what else happened. I know we had rain a lot. I spent a lot of time at work, school, and shows. Somehow the same bug hit all of us within a few hours so all of us were sick for two days. That was nice. It is cold now. Finals are this week.

Ta-da, blogpost complete. Off to do homework.