Thursday 31 January 2013

Yes. If you die a crazy cat lady surrounded by 80 cats in your apartment, they will eat you. All of you. yes, Even your by-products. (Am I seriously being paid to have this conversation?)

But enough of that... back to the story.

The only problem is, there was really not much of a story to tell for a number of months.  Our last big show was at the end of September, then we hunkered on down for a long winter of essential but not particularly interesting riding.

Lots of walking. Trotting. Cantering. Circles. Surely you don't want to read a blow-by-blow of eight months of this.

We did learn to ditch the habit of longeing before each ride, since it clearly did not go well with arriving at small slippery schooling shows.  And cantering eventually became an everyday occurrence, even on cold days when it was a bit more, uh, enthusiastic, than I might have liked.  With brakes and steering now fully installed, even if Ms. V felt the need to spurt off like a nutbar now and then I was pretty confident I could get her under control before she shot through the wall of the coverall arena fabric like a stripper bursting out of a cake.

Woah!  Woah! Woah!!

However, even though things were pretty same-old, same-old for her, there was a big change in my life - I got a new job.

Not that I was actually looking for one.  There was really nothing wrong with my current job, and as you may recall, I had been there less than a year.

At the time, I was a product developer in the food industry, working primarily on processed meat based products.  It is not that this job did not have it's perks - I got to wear crappy clothes to work and didn't have to brush my hair or wear any makeup, as we were provided with lab coats and hairnets on arrival and no one cared how we looked.  I worked 7:00 am until 3:30.  Every day. No overtime. Ever. When the whistle blew at 3:30, I slid on out of there like Fred Flinstone down the dinos neck.  And I had a non-stop supply of salty processed meats and chicken fingers at my disposal... yes, I know the secrets of bologna and hot dogs, and yes, I do still eat them both in moderation.  Mmm.  Bungs.  

Get over it you bunch of fucking wimps.  If you eat an animal's legs or body, why not eat it's bung too? Seriously, what is the difference?
However - my passion was not really food science or product development per se. I loved food, no doubt. But I also loved nutrition. And I loved animals. I had spent years at school to become an "animal nutritionist", whatever the hell that is.

So, when a headhunter called and told me he had an awesome opportunity available that involved working with pets (no, no, not turning them into Korean red hots. Actually working WITH them) that was also a rung up the proverbial ladder (it sported the word manager at the end of the title, but then really, what job doesn't these days), paid much more, and the best part - involved copious amounts of travel - well how sexy is that! How could I possibly refuse!  

A few interviews later - I was in. Good-bye MSG, hello - uh - pet owning whackjobs.  I was a PR type person - kind of "the face" of nutrition for the Canadian arm of a multinational pet food company. Does that sound great or what!  Let me see if I can .... recall ... some of the fun times I had in that role!  Oh wait - that will be in my other blog, Curmudgeon who swears she will never ever again work in the pet industry...

(and no, it is not because of "the industry" itself. Not at all. Sure, it has its issues - like every other industry, including whichever one you work in yourself, I am sure.

What pushed me over the edge was the fact that many pet owners are FUCKING INSANE (but you are not one of them, right?). Talking to them on a daily basis made me want to kill myself to end the pain of being told "Who cares how long you studied nutrition, Curmudgeon, you stupid, lying, industry shill.... I read about pet food on the internet, I know my shit..)

Get over it you bunch of fucking wimps - if you eat an animal's leg or breast, why can't your dog eat it's cloaca? Seriously, what is the difference?  
And so, I found myself in a new job, with a new conundrum that faces many dressage riders.

The nice increase in my salary meant that I now had the cash I needed for more lessons and training and showing to get Ms. V to where I envisioned her going...PSG.

However the endless travel and long hours that I had to put in to get this money meant that she might be making the journey without me.



  1. Yup, I'm right there with you Curmudgeon. I too am now working a job putting all my University years and degrees to good use; however, 2-3 weeks a month I'm sleeping in a hotel room somewhere in Canada. The only good news in my industry, my customers tend to take a couple of weeks off in the summer so I'm traveling less and able to train more in July/August, the sweatiest months of the showing year.

  2. Kamloops just isn't as exotic the third time around, is it.

  3. It's such a twisted irony... Welcome to my world!! The only people who have this horse situation made are the independently wealthy ones who don't have to work at all, I've decided.