The One Where I Took Two Show Riders Foxhunting

I stepped into the empty Starbucks at 7 a.m. on the dot that cool March Saturday morning and waved at the two young ladies wearing breeches and crisp white shirts.

“Don’t you want a coffee or something warm?” they asked me as I quickly turned on my heel and directed them to my car.

“Nah, I thrive in this temperature! All right, so you guys are going to follow me out there. It’s I-20 to 22 and then a couple random little roads. Let’s get moving!”

Things I Like More Than El Niño

It is December 28, 2015 as I write this. My town is underwater. *Slight* exaggeration, but not too much. I’ve received texts from various friends across the state sending me photos of their watery surroundings. There are raging rivers where streams used to amble by, valleys are filling with pools of murky rainwater, and in the small college town where I spent my last four years, levee gates are breaking and beginning to leak water on Main Street.

Spreading the Love (of Foxhunting)

I remember the icy, gray December day vividly my friend and fellow barn-mate, Theresa, said those fateful words to me: “You know what I would just love to do one day? Foxhunting.” She laughed when she saw my face light up with a grin, probably because she expected me to tell her how crazy she is for having such a desire, but she couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

A Familiar Routine

“Are you going to opening autumn hunting?”

I looked at my planner. I scanned my calendar. I scrolled through numerous text messages and double-checked the calendar on my phone. I triple checked my email, and miraculously found nothing.

Oh my word. I was finally going to have the entire morning off, and it was on the same day as opening autumn hunting. The hunting gods have smiled upon wee little Autumn and decided to throw me a bone!

Straight Ahead, and Over Everything

I don’t know how it’s possible, but it is currently June 2015, I’ve been out of school for a month, and I’ve yet to make it to the kennels. I’ve been trying to get to the kennels at every free moment I get, but a myriad of roadblocks has prevented me from doing so, and I’m positive I’m going to lose what little is left of my sanity if I don’t get there soon.

Towards the end of senior year, I somehow managed to muster up the strength to stay relatively kind of focused enough on my schoolwork to graduate on time (hallelujah!). However, that extreme feat of strength combined with preparing to compete for my school’s equestrian team at IHSA Nationals (which conveniently fell right in the middle of finals week, causing me to reschedule every single one of my exams) prevented me from visiting the kennels for the last half of the semester. In the midst of my academic adventures, I was amused to happen across this quote while reading Lady Audley’s Secret for my Victorian Literature class:

The Stages of SLOTH Blues

This semester, I’ve been taking an “Abnormal Psychology” class. It’s about the only class on the planet that I don’t dread attending and loathe with every fiber of my being. All this analyzing and reading diagnoses for various people with mental abnormalities has allowed me to pinpoint what I’ve been struggling with this semester. I’m afraid I have had a severe case of the SLOTH Blues, a side effect of this Fox Hunter’s Disease we all have been diagnosed with.

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