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Friday, September 2, 2011

Massive update

This is a fast and furious post update as I chow down on a salad (pretending it's finger food since it doesn't have dressing), type, keep up on facebook (there's a UCD vetmed group, which is how me and my classmates all communicate about school-related stuff), and de-compress from a particularly harsh biochem/cell bio lecture this morning.  I have 30 minutes.....


First rotation at the teaching hospital yesterday - Equine medicine. 

Very's confirmed.

I DO NOT WANT TO GO INTO EQUINE MEDICINE.  Absolutely, no way, you-would-have-to-drag-me-and-heavily-drug-me, under no circumstances, in fact I *might* consider small animal first. 

Reasons to be discussed later.  Because let's face it - much like the (horrendous) lectures this morning - I have 5 posts worth of information and time to do less than one.....

Other lessons learned at the teaching hospital (VMTH)

1.  There is a difference between the experience that YOU as a CLIENT will get at an appointment at a teaching hospital versus a traditional vet hospital (assuming a higher end respected establishment).  Some good things, some bad things. Be prepared, know what you are getting into.  I had heard stories from friends before I was a vet student about their experiences in the VMTH (both good and negative), and after watching appointments and procedures yesterday, I totally get it. 

2.  The same problems exist everywhere in big companies or corporations, whether you are in food processing, or vet med, or any other industry.  I'm a first year student.  The lowest of the low.  No say or input whatsoever.  What I DO have control over is what kind of vet *I* want to be, and that's what I will focus on.  Me.  It may be my anal-retentive QC background coming out, but I'm a stickler for doing what we say we are going to do - ie, following protocols.  There is a time and place to deviate - and it's important to recognize gray areas so you know where you have lee-way, but there are certain areas/topics/protocols that are black and white and need to be treated as such.  And yes, I HAVE been in the real world, and I KNOW it's a challenge to keep behavior in line with protocols....BUT it can be done, and it's important.  If it's not important, than change your protocols. 

I am a wimp, and a bit of encouragement

After 20 minutes of riding AT A WALK on Monday, I got back into the saddle on Tuesday to repeat the adventure....and found that was sore.  REALLY sore.  You'all that say you can't imagine what it's like to ride 24 hours because you are sore after an hour?  I completely understand.  I was more sore after those 20 minutes than I am after a 50 miler.  So trust me - from someone that has been there and been recently reminded of the physiology of that whole area.....your endurance in the saddle RAPIDLY increases.  Don't worry about how sore you are after 10 minutes or an hour - get in a couple more rides and you will be amazed how quickly the bum gets used to the whole idea....

For those of you familiar with the yahoo group, new100milers, you may have seen Paul's comment on riding 100's:

This may offer hope to those who have tried 100's or have done one and decided it hurt too much to try another. 

I am not sure if doing 100's is getting easier, or if my nerve ending have just died. But this year, after doing zero 100's since 2008, I decided to go all in and try as many as I could. The first one wore me out, and during the 2nd one I had nausua and vertigo issues. But after that, the last four 100's this year have each gotten easier. 

At the AERC National Championship 100 mile ride last weekend, I made it through the ride on 4 Advil. Even better, 30 hours later we did the 55 on zero pain meds.

My thinking is that like with any new activity, lifting weights, running, hauling hay bales, etc, it hurts at first until you learn to adjust and be more efficient. Then it gets easier.

So if you have tried a 100, or completed a 100 and decided the pain was not worth the reward, think about doing more instead of less :-)

I love 100's, so when I see encouragement like this, I like to share it.  Don't count out doing a 100 just because right now you can't imagine being in the saddle for that length of time - just like you shouldn't base your ability to do an LD (25 miler) after the first time you ride for an hour.  It's not about being tough - it's about increasing your body's endurance, which it will do in marvalous ways and it's not always through copious amounts of pain. 

Saddle is sold
The Solstice saddle has sold!  I'm sad to see it go.  I'm sad to see ANY of my saddles sell.  I really care about having "good homes" for them.  I sold it for all the right reasons, but the memories it represented were good ones.  Lots of good ones.  I remember all the saddles I've owned as if they were friends.  It's kind of like bits - I can look at bits and it reminds me of all sorts of things.  Saddles and bits seem to be unique - I don't have this kind of attachment to other pieces of tack - headstalls, blankets, pads, girths.....none of those have personality to them.  Please tell me other people have friends that happen to be tack?  and that they are normal people, not locked away somewhere?

Even considering the Seasonal affective disorder and some of my anxiety issues, I spend most of my time as an adult extraordinarly happy.  I'm an optimist.  The last 2 or 3 years in particular have been wonderful - doing what I love (endurance and horses) and feeling like I was living life to the fullest.  It's hard to describe, but most days I woke up giddy with excitement of the day, and I went to sleep with a smile on my face.  I was very fortunate to be living what I considered my dream life. 

If I'm being particularly honest, the transitions this year have been hard.  It's been almost a year since I felt truly content.  Sure I was happy with where my life-path was going - but I missed that giddy feeling in the pit of my stomach that filled me with excitement and makes me almost a little twitchy.  This week it returned.  Tuesday I drove to work and realized it was back.  That giddy feeling that I have the most wonderful life possible, that I'm EXACTLY where I want to be, doing EXACTLY what I want to do, and even though the future is unknown, whatever it is, it will be an ADVENTURE.  And that's what matters.

Melinda is back.

Is it a coincidence that I *returned* the day after my first "real ride" on Farley in 5 months?

I don't think so either. 


  1. Great post! I could never write that in 30 minutes while eating salad. You go girl!

  2. I hear ya on the saddle took me years to sell my Stubben A/P. Never mind I hadn't ridden in it but for a few minutes since 2002, just to determine it *really* didn't fit the horse anymore...maybe it'll fit Dad's horses, so I should keep it around...nope, no dice there either.

    I only just sold it at the beginning of this year. And even then, it went to one of my best friends. A lot of sentimental memories of the show ring tied up in that saddle, and I waffled back and back on letting it go.

  3. obviously the whole "getting adequate word count" isn't an issue. LOL.

    Ashley - The last two I sold - the Solstice and the Mcclellen were the hardest. The Mcclellen was Minx's saddle and the one I started endurance in. It's almost easier to give a saddle away (which I did to a 4-Her, my first saddle). With both of the last 2 saddles, I didn't even really advertise well. And through word of mouth and people running across the ad, by miracle they sold. They both went to really good homes, but I miss them terribly.

  4. If it makes you feel better, I still *have* my first saddle, a Stubben AP, and will probably never sell it despite the fact that I haven't ridden in it for 10+ years.

    The Wintec Western endurance that was Story's saddle and my first endurance saddle (I bought it before I started endurance, b/c it was a trail saddle I could afford that fitted my horse), well, I sold that for $100 to a junior who really needed a saddle. I could've gotten more money, but anybody who knows me will testify that a junior can ask me for help and get my help no matter what, any time/any way. Sell my saddle super-cheap? Not a problem if a junior wants it.

    My Specialized saddle will probably be cremated with me, and our ashes will be mixed with Redi-Crete and made into a watertank at Clover Springs on the Renegade Trail. No lie...!

  5. I hear ya on the riding thing. I was in the saddle 4hours on Saturday with no effect.

    I spent 6hours in a canoe yesterday and can barely site down! Hard to believe I do it for a week at a time every year.



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