January 17, 2012


In my life outside of my pony, I work in Information Technology.  I love my job, really, I do.  It's me, a tiny girl, and four very tall guys supporting a network of 400 users, 500 machines and 50 servers, and there's always something fun and exciting going on, and it's rarely very stressful.  It's a good thing I like it so much, though, because starting this month they're going to ask me to jump into the weekly on-call rotation.

What I manage.  Only not this large or cool looking.
One week out of every four, I'll be asked to be on-call for nights and weekend emergencies.  These usually involve 911 or the Sheriff's Department, or the A/C unit going out in our server room, so you can understand that we have a time limit for our response time.  Thus, these are the on-call rules:
  • No leaving the county
  • No drinking.  Period.
Problem #1: My barn is outside of the county.
Problem #2: Red wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnneeeeeee.

Just kidding.  I think I can live without wine pairings.  I'm not sure I can live without my weekly lesson, or seeing my pony for a week, and I'm even more uncertain about the effect this will have on our training.  When I was just taking lessons, this was a minor problem, but now that I have something to teach and condition and prep for a show season, this is a much bigger problem.

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know that leaving my barn is not an option.  There are no other options in this area, and there's no way I'm leaving my trainer.  I'm already planning on begging and groveling to my boss this week, which has a reasonable chance of a positive outcome, considering that this IS my hobby outside of work.  My coworkers' hobbies are PC gaming and child-rearing, so this has never been an issue for my boss before.  And the rule is that on-call time cannot unreasonably affect an employee's choices during his personal time or else he must be compensated (we are not.)

But that's obviously a long shot.

I've already posted this to the CoTH forums, but I'm interested in hearing from those of you who know me or are getting to know me.  Anyone been through anything like this before?  How did you handle it?  How did it affect you training and showing?  Obviously we're showing small potatoes this year, but I've got big dreams and I like this job enough to keep at it for the foreseeable future, so the problem is not going to go away.



  1. As to your question, talking to your boss and trying to come up with a reasonable compromise (3 nights during the week and for a few hours each day on the weekends?) seems like a great place to start. I hope he can be flexible for you.

    More importantly, I had to write to tell you that my roommate has Reynaud's, is a rider, and is also in IT. I sent her a link to your earlier post regarding Reynaud's and her response was "I wonder if she is in IT or has a job that requires a lot of typing." She is convinced that there is a correlation between the syndrome and all the typing/sitting that she does for her job. So now I have to tell her that you are also in IT! Curious to know what you think of her theory, too.

  2. First of all, glad to meet you! That's so fascinating that your roommate also has it, and is in IT. I was still in college when it developed, but was probably spending 4-6 hours a day in front of a computer already. It's a problem with vasodilation, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was a correlation there. When I was out of shape between college and Crossfit, I also got exercise-induced itching, which is apparently common in people who were once strong cardiovascular athletes (I'm a lifelong runner) and then got out of shape, leaving their blood vessels sort of collapsed and less efficient. More vasodilation issues, essentially.

    I'd love to talk with her if she is interested, and I hope she finds a little bit here that helps her. I've tried a lot of different things to help manage it. Does she ever pass out when the blood comes back?

    Also, my Husky's name is Tucker, so I immediately like your horse a lot!

  3. Can you have Naomi ride Contender on the weeks that you can't come in for a lesson? My trainer charges the same thing for a single training ride or a lesson, so if for some reason I can't ride (like now since I'm 7.5 months pregnant) I have her ride him. That way he gets at least one really good ride in since she knows what he's working on.

    Also, are there any Pony Clubbers at your barn? I am at a very active PC barn and there are several very good riders who are more than capable of giving my horse exercise once in awhile. If there are any upper level PCers (like C3, B, or A kids) they might even be really good options. I know one of the B kids is a better rider than pretty much everyone and know Jack is getting a fantastic ride in if she gets on him.

    One more idea... is there someone that Naomi teaches that would be able to ride Contender in a lesson with her? That way he's under her watchful eye, but you're not paying for the lesson.

    Good luck! I know how hard it can be to get your horse exercised when you aren't able to. I'm dying to get back on my boy in two months or so :-)