First Response

A year ago I was writing a post around this time about how I had finally finished all 5 of my final exams. And how insane it had been. Well, happy to report I’ve finished 4 out of 9 of my finals this year, and somehow none of it seems insane anymore. I’ve stopped fighting it, and have succumbed to just rolling with whatever crazy comes next.

My life this week has literally consisted of eat, write or perform exam, eat, ride, study, work, sleep, repeat. It’s been a pretty good system, but this weekend I’ve been all about the turning my brain off. I’m making feeble attempts today to restart it to prep for the 3 exams I have coming up this week, but like anything in the -40 temperatures, it’s a slow process. Luckily none of my exams this week are too rough, and the most stressful one isn’t until Friday.

This week my only focus was reviewing some notes, and doing some practice- but above all else staying stress-free. The week started off kind of sketchy with a lot of head-aches and dizziness, which I know are a result of some neck issues (linked back to concussion fun times). Another reason I’ve been careful not to miss out on sleep, or stress too much. Thankfully I have an amazing AT who helped resolve some of that before my first written. She is on standby the next two weeks! While I did do some studying (there is no escaping..), I did more sleeping (dreaming of first responder scenarios every night.. seriously…). Wednesday was probably the day I spent the longest actually studying (11hrs), but besides that I tried to avoid hitting the books too much other then quick refreshers here and there at work, or in whatever free time I had. I honestly didn’t feel the need to cram too much, and valued the extra barn time, and sleep I got as a result. While written exams in the past sometimes caused me some issue, I’ve so far been a bit more relaxed about them- trusting that I know the right answers and going with my first response to the question. Heres hoping that pays off!


I’m 100% positive that the reason I’ve been making it through the jungle of exams, work, and life in general lately is because of all the prep I did coming up to exam season. After midterms I realized I had to step-up my game, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt as prepared as I did going into the exams this week. Especially my First Responder practical. This exam is somewhat legendary among the AT student population. It’s probably one of the more stressful ones an AT student faces during this degree, until they take the national exams. In the weeks leading up to this week, I spent a lot of time practicing with some classmates, took the advice of some graduated students and read the text book front to back a couple times, wrote out A LOT of thought processes, and did a lot of rehearsal in my head. While I was nervous waiting to go into the exam (I don’t think anyone couldn’t be), as soon as I walked in all those nerves disappeared and everything I did just kind of flowed along. Hopefully it flowed along well enough to get me a pass! The fact that my “casualty’s” vitals went from high and somewhat shock-y at the beginning of my scenario to completely normal by the end tells me I couldn’t have done too bad.

Between all that, and working extra hours, I still found time to get out to the barn and ride my new friend Shakka a few times. Such a great study break, and he is such a fun horse to ride. Besides the fact that he makes me feel like a peanut on top of him (he is well over 17hh), he is just a big sweetheart to be around.


Even though temperatures dropped below the -30 Friday we had a great ride with Megg and Justinian, and then again Saturday when temperatures were even more frigid, we champed it out for a whole 15 minutes in the arena (lol), but it was a much needed break for me from the week. It wasn’t until Friday and yesterday after my First Responder did I realize how much exams took out of my energy. My whole body hurt, and I was completely wiped (likely a result of the adrenaline rush I got after my Responder scenario). Even today I’m still recovering, although I don’t hurt as much- and I did feed, blanket, turn-out and muck-out 6 horses today to help out a friend. The cold temperatures probably don’t help either. You’d think I’d have adapted by now after living in MB my entire life, and having used to train full time over the winter months!

The coming week brings a measly 3 exams, another somewhat stressful practical on Friday. My strategy will remain the same: good food, sleep, and studying without stressing. Don’t mess with what works!

Stay warm out there!


All a blur

This week went by too fast. Stupid short week. I’m having to look back at my Facebook newsfeed to figure out what I crammed into my days lately, because my brain isn’t functioning so well at the recall. And you all thought I post things just for you’re enjoyment, HA, it’s really just because I need some sort of tracker for my life.

What I’m getting so far from my week is that I practiced a lot of first responder scenarios. Like, every day a lot. I am very comfortable with a spine board now. First with Nikki, my football supervisor, and her study partner as they prepared for their CATA exams which took place this weekend (so glad I have another 1-2 years to fret about that one). From this we learned that I am a horrible actor. Unless I actually have had the injury in the scenario (good chance of that). Otherwise it’s clear that I made the right decision to leave my theatre minor when I did. Other practicing took place with some of my classmates, as we prepped for a scenario presentation taking place this coming week. Only a 5% version of our actual 45% final practical. It was very, very interesting going from practicing with two basically certified therapists, who have miles of experience in the field, to practicing with other rookies. There was a lot more awkward silence and panicked looks in the latter.

Wednesday night I attended the Clansmen’s end of season football banquet. Where I was initiated as a team rookie. Apparently its tradition for rookies to be told that the banquet dress code is game attire (jeans and black collared shirt), when it is actually more of a dressy event. Since I am a newbie, I was told just that. I got ready at Nikki’s house, and she went as far as to dress in her game attire, only to change last minute and fill me in on the joke. Didn’t really bother me, I was happy to be going and I was definitely not the only rookie on the team. Also, as a resident kin student, jeans are pretty much my dress-up anyway.

On Thursday apparently the only thing I did was change my profile picture.

Just kidding. We all know my Thursdays are never that simple!

I’ve been picking up my regular evening shifts at MORfit again, both of which with Claude. Tuesday was the crazy day, due to a significant increase in clientele both in the gym and in the clinic, as well as a staff meeting in the middle of it, I was running between the clinic and the desk all night. Thursday was much the same, however I was able to spend a bit more quality time in the clinic. I got to observe and input on an assessment, as well as massage two clients. The second client was my first deep pec massage, and I got to do it with Claude standing over my shoulder. That wasn’t intimidating. However, he gave some really good advice- and soon I was much more effective for both myself and the client. That evening ended with Claude first making sure I was working with him next week, as he had booked extra clients already, and then giving me a legit pat on the back and a “great job tonight” before going on his way.

I remember last week writing something about not knowing what to fill my Fridays with, now that football is over for the year. This week I found a worthy replacement, as I got to have a flat lesson with C on Megg’s horse Justinian, our favourite import over at McMullan’s! I love it when she goes away and asks me to exercise him! Mostly because I get to avoid studying..

Anyway, flat lesson! Probably the most out of shape I’ve felt all year.. It’s definitely my off season. After huffing and puffing my way through a warm-up, I started to get back into “the zone”, if you will. Justinian is a completely different ride from my own Willard. And completely different shape, and has a completely different attitude. But it didn’t seem to take long to adjust to his style, it definitely helped that I’d hacked him a few times this summer. C tuned up my equitation, and reminded me how much I’m missing being in training. Stupid school, stupid career goals.

It was nice to have some guidance with the very minor details in the equitation of working with younger horses, though, especially to gain some exercises to throw good ol’ Sonny into next time I ride at HC. I fully believe every rider should have a few lessons a year on a horse that isn’t their own, just for the added benefit of learning the adaptivity needed to be a well rounded rider. When you’ve been working with one horse predominately for a while, the ability to just think something and have the horse respond instantly because he can pretty much read your mind and you his, can be taken for granted. Getting on a less familiar mount, things change. You have to be crystal clear with your questions, because if you aren’t you for sure won’t get the answer from the horse you wanted or expected.

And then here we are at the weekend again. I actually did get some studying in, but I also spent a good chunk of time with my brain in park. Which is what my weekends turn into. My crazy weeks turn my head into mush, and it usually takes me to just before I write my weekend blog posts on Sundays to recover. This weekend I had some delicious home cooked food, as always, visited with my grandparents over grandpa’s massage, and got to spend time with a good friend. Old fashioned slumber party and all. Thank you bad roads!

This week is bringing more practicing, working, studying, and hopefully eating better then I did last week. I really started to notice how much I’d fallen off the “not eating gluten/sugar” wagon when I just couldn’t keep my energy up no matter how hard I tried. So half way through last week I reevaluated my eating habits and started getting myself back on track. With exams coming up I really have to keep the right things for my body available, because nothing is possible without that piece of the puzzle. I’ve also started adding a few more gym days to my schedule. My body is much happier when I eat right and actually use it.

2 weeks til Finals! Ah!

“The young do not know enough to be prudent- and therefore attempt the impossible- and achieve it- generation after generation.”