Addiction and an Attitude of Gratitude!

Addiction: “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. ” When I chose the name of this blog Horse Addict I understood I was an addict. Horses and riding are my drugs of choice. If I am feeling anxious, or gloomy or upset I know that when I get to the barn I start to feel better. When I am grooming my horse anxiety and gloom start to fall away and after riding, even if it has been a difficult lesson, I feel restored.

But now there is no barn. There is no horse. The barn is closed to the public due to the declaration of a State of Emergency in all provinces in Canada. Staff only are allowed into the barn to care for the horses. My horse Biasini is still in Florida as I choose to delay bringing him home. He will be coming back this month and I am just waiting to get a shipping date from the transport company. But even when he gets here I will not be able to go and see him or ride him. There is no end in sight to this situation. But I understand the need for these restrictions and I agree wholeheartedly that they are necessary.

The Denial and Overachiever Phase.

At the start of the 14 day self isolation that my husband and I were required to do after returning from Florida I was making the best of it. I have been blogging every day about our walks and activities. We kept ourselves busy. We were lucky to have someone who would get groceries for us. I was going to maintain my fitness level. I was going to blog everyday and let people know that self isolation was do-able. I was the perfect self isolationist!

The Reality Phase and Withdrawal sets in.

Last night I watched the National news program on the CBC at 10 pm. The numbers are chilling. Canada is not as bad as some other countries but they are expecting the numbers to go up dramatically. I went to bed and read for a bit. I went to sleep. About half an hour later I woke up. Then the reality hit me. If all events in Toronto have been cancelled till the end of June the State of Emergency was probably going to last that long. It could be July or later before I would be able to ride.

My mind descended into a black hole. Before I knew it, it was 3 am ,and I was still awake. How was I going to deal with it? No horses. No riding. No Biasini. As I twirled down into that black hole with the black dogs nipping at my heels I knew I had to do something. I remembered that I had videos to watch and could relive my riding through those.

The Attitude of Gratitude

I am not a migrant worker in India crouched on the ground while being hosed down with disinfectant. I am not a mother, with small children, in a Syrian refugee camp where CV19 will be the grimmest of grim reapers. I am not the owner of a small business, that I have taken years to build up, and now unable to pay my rent, I am closing the door on my business. I have a roof over my head. I can afford to get groceries. I can pay my bills. Outside my windows I can see fields and trees. I am exceptionally lucky.

I will get back to riding . Biasini will be well cared for and ridden by my Canadian coach Belinda Trussell, who owns Oakcrest Farm,while the lockdown continues. I give thanks for all of this.

And I have my videos. Here are two. Just for translation here are things Coach Lou says: “the bounce” is an expression he has borrowed from Belinda and refers to a very collected pirouette canter . The “knot” refers to the rein knot that can be in the center of Biasini’s neck or on left or right . For more on this knot see “The Lesson That Never Ends.” “He’s piaffing now” does not mean he is actually piaffing, it means he is evading by over collecting and getting behind my leg aids.

Thank you Kara Riley-King for the photos and videos of my lessons with Lou.

36 Comments Add yours

  1. Teacher Camille says:

    Love this post! πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment!πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. aghisla says:

    Thanks Anne for this post! I like how you recognised the steps in your thoughts and acnkowledged all of them as valid.
    I wish you and your dear humans to stay healthy and safe, and for Biasini to come safely home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Biasini did arrive home safely and is fine and being looked after by the staff very well. He will also get some exercise with my coach Belinda and her assistant.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Rab says:

    Wonderful post, Anne! And I’m sorry for both you and Biasini that you are apart. No doubt he misses his favorite rider!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think he may miss me but horses are good at living in the present. He will be arriving home on Tuesday and I think he may find it odd that I am not there. But he will have other familiar faces and my coach Belinda will ride him. Until the State of Emergency is lifted I cannot go into the barn. Stay well Jeff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff Rab says:

        Hope it ends soon. Best of health to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been reliving past memories through photos also.
    It is hard sitting here at home, mostly because of the fear and uncertainty….not knowing how or when this mandatory isolation will end.
    It will be so nice when we are free to pursue our dreams again.
    Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You stay well too.This will end eventually.

      Like

  5. Emma Cownie says:

    Just remember, this too will pass. These are incredibly difficult times and EVERYONE’S routines have been disrupted. At least you can go for a walk. I haven’t left my bedroom (bathroom) for 2 weeks and wont for another 4 thanks to this broken leg. I am just glad I can sleep! June will be happiest all, with all the extra company.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes you are right. Absolutely! And you have my sympathy about the broken leg. I broke mine years ago and I remember the restrictions. I got a wheel chair so I could get around the house and make a cup of tea and take it on a tray to the table and have it in a somewhat civilized manner. On crutches I would have had my tea standing on one leg. Do you have crutches? Are you able to navigate stairs? I was not allowed to leave the hospital rehab until I could go up and down stairs. Anyway I wish you a full recovery!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        Thank you Leueen. I have a Zimmer/walker frame and some crutches. Our house is so narrow and the stairs so steep that I pretty much stay in the bedroom, sitting in a chair with my leg up and hop to the bathroom every now and then. It’s better than the hospital where I could only go to the bathroom with the assistance of a nurse, thinking back on it, I could have got there with a zimmer frame all along. It was very frustrating to lose my independence so suddenly like that. So, I am glad that I can hop around a little bit. I don’t like the crutches much because I worry I will lose my balance, especially as I no longer have a cast but I have to keep the weight of the leg for another 4 weeks (because they did not want me back in the hospital with covid-19 everywhere and spreading fast)!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Well it is so frustrating to become a “cripple ” overnight. I remember when I was taken out in my wheel.chair what a different perspective it was. Alll adults are looking down on you and kids stare you in the eye. I was no weight bearing for 3 months. I had broken my femur and it had been surgically repaired with a plate and pins. I understand your being cautious. I did what I was told too as I didn’t want to re injure or undo the pins. And you do not want to have to go to hospital with CV19 going on . Do you have some physio therapy?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Emma Cownie says:

            Oh 3 months sounds terrible! I have pins and plates in my ankle too. I have a leaflet for the physio which makes me nervous. I do not want to go in the hospital as the number of covid-19 cases have shot up here. They allowed 2 big pop concerts to go ahead in Cardiff last month (even though they knew all about covid-19) and it has spread the illness amongst a lot of under 40s and 50s. I dont want to catch covid-19 and infect my husband who has asthmaand a compromise immune system. So any tips will be gratefully receieved.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. anne leueen says:

            I think maybe you could find some exercises online. Since my physio was for an upper leg break it mostly involved hip strength. The only foot one I can think of that I’ve seen at the physio was putting a towel on the floor and then with your bare foot using your toes to scrunch the towel toward you. If you feel pain then stop
            The physio at the gym always says that to people. Soreness is ok and difficulty is ok buy pain means stop. Do it with both feet and use a thin towel as it will be easier to scrunch.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Emma Cownie says:

            That’s good advice about the towelexercise nad pain/soreness/difficulty,thank you, Leueen.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. anne leueen says:

            You are welcome Emma.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. kunstkitchen says:

    Delightful to view. Gratitude lights my days. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ju The Dodo says:

    It is true, that we do have a lot to be grateful for. It broke my heart to see how people are being treated around the world due the pandemic. Felt great to read your honest opinion! Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You stay safe too and thank you for commenting.

      Like

  8. Love this post. One day things will return to normal. Hopefully, when that day comes, people will return to their daily lives with a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for the things we do have.

    And I am assuming Biasini is safe where she is, right?

    Wishing you and yours all the best.
    Be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes Biasini is well of where he is. He will be coming back up to Canada next week. Knowing him he will probably be “speaking” about his trip. Thank you for commenting. Be safe and be strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hoping Biasini gets home soon so that he will at least be closer to you. Take care, Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Irene. You take care too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. dprastka says:

    Tough times call for tough and strong souls. I’m so happy you have all your videos as they should help. My heart aches for all in isolation. Stay strong, stay safe! ❀️🐴🐎❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You stay strong and stay safe too Diana
      And if you are able give Zack and Chloe a Pat from me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dprastka says:

        I’ll give them both a pat and a horse cookie for you as the stables is not locked down. They are big open areas and social distancing is very doable staying very far from each other and there aren’t many boarders there at any one time. I am thankful and will continue to go down and take care of them. Since I’m an essential worker at the Vet lab, being careful (wearing gloves, washing hands, not touching face etc..) I also have gloves for stable activities if needed and wash hands there as well. We don’t have trainers at our stables, or barn manager, so no caregiver really to call upon. It’s just a boarding facility. 🀠

        Liked by 1 person

  11. etikser says:

    A good honest assessment of yourself and the realities of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Cyranny says:

    I had similar thoughts, when things started swirling down, here in Canada. I try to be optimistic, because I feel like our government took the situation seriously, faster than most other countries. But with our Southern neighbours struggling, I can’t help but wonder when we’ll be able to travel again… Until that happens, I’ll have to wait for my next ”fix”. I watch pictures and videos, and hope it won’t take too long. And like you, I feel lucky after all.

    I can’t imagine how it feels for you, to be separated from Biasini for so long… Waiting for him to come back from Florida is one thing, but waiting to see him when he’ll be close to you will be terrible. I hope you’ll get to visit him at the barn sooner than later! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Cyranny! I think the US could be in for a tough time. When we were in Florida we wanted to get home fast because it seemed there was a denial of the seriousness of the pandemic. Our son in England certainly made us aware of it. We left Florida two weeks ago and it is only a few days ago they called for a stay at home order. Stay well!

      Like

  13. Gratitude is the light that will get us through this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is! Thank you.

      Like

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