The Diary of Bridgette M., Part 15

by Trey Nosrac

Series introduction is here.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Part 6 is here.

Part 7 is here.

Part 8 is here.

Part 9 is here.

Part 10 is here.

Part 11 is here.

Part 12 is here.

Part 13 is here.

Part 14 is here.


Now that we have four young fillies in the Red Flags Flying Farm, we have set up a daily routine. Each filly goes into the paddock for an hour while I clean their stalls. Then Paul brings them back to the barn, and we put on the equipment. They go out for two miles on the track. Paul goes the two miles in various directions, speeds, and groups. He does not like to take a horse out individually. After the two miles, I undress them. Then, I usually give each horse a quick hosing down and drying, then lead them back into their clean stall.

At the training center where I went for therapy, they started work early in the morning and finished around two in the afternoon. A standing joke at that training center was that some grooms and trainers had tee times to make. Red Flags is different; we start at 2 in the afternoon and aim to finish in time to make the nightly NA meeting at 7. This schedule is working out great. My mom can bring me to the farm, and Paul brings me back to town for the meetings.

Paul schedules doctor appointments and errands for his mother and grandmother in the mornings. When the weather turns cold and snowy, Paul can work on the track with the tractor in the morning if it needs plowing. The 2 o’clock start means Bart can schedule his part-time work in the morning and takes away my danger zone of time for shooting up. Afternoons were always long and troublesome in my old world (hopefully my old world).

All my years with drugs were chaos. I never felt stable or secure. This new routine (which has only been a few weeks) has smoothed out those jangly feelings. They always discuss purposefulness in therapy, which never stuck in my brain. This routine keeps me busy. I am not bored. I have commitments. I hope my routines centered around horses and NA meetings help me out of the hole I have dug. Still, I also remember a therapy session that pointed out that for a class four addict, it takes at least two consecutive months of a new routine to begin to take root and for brain chemistry to begin re-wiring. Two months? Take root? I do not want to brag, and I am knocking on wood, but I am ahead of schedule.


Bart jogged horses today at the farm as if nothing had happened. He did not mention his bender and any resulting problems. We had a rough moment when I asked Bart if it was a tough few days. Instead of opening a door, Bart, ordinarily soft-spoken, snapped back at me — I got it all under control — and stomped away. His off-and-on usage is unusual, but I can relate. Even after being arrested and in rehab, nobody could tell me I was out of control or had a problem. The suggestion that I needed help irritated me. Admitting you can’t control yourself is an uncomfortable thing to do. Many people are in denial for a long time, maybe forever.


The leg of Annie, my favorite filly, seems to be healing. She never limped, and as far as I can tell, neither of her problem legs bothered her. Every day with Annie is like the sand in an hourglass because she will be for sale in June. Deep in my mind, I have thoughts of buying her myself, not to race, to have. Today, while Paul and I were in the barn, I asked him what he would do if nobody bought the horses when he put them up for sale.

He explained that he planned to buy an online advertisement for these four yearlings in May before the racing season began. He told me the fillies were staked but I do not know what that means. He will have videos linked to the ad and say that any potential buyer who wants to bid can come to the farm and sit behind the horse. Then, he will place a minimum bid on each horse and see what happens. I asked him what he would do if he did not get anyone to pay what they were worth. His answer opened a little door for me. He said if he felt the breeding was strong enough, he might keep a broodmare. Hmmm. I must pull out my old Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer book and investigate the broodmare side of things.


Problems in all directions. Last night, Paul’s mother fell in the bathroom, possibly a stroke. She could not get back into her wheelchair. She is a large woman, and it was a real mess, so they called the EMT squad that came and took her to the hospital. Paul is at the hospital with her now. This information was relayed in her squawking voice by Grandmother Edith at the house door. She finished the report by saying, “You are on your own,” and shut the door in my face.

Then it began to rain. I paddocked the horses and did the stalls. Horses don’t seem to mind rain or snow. While I worked, I wondered if I should dare try to jog one of the horses myself. And where was Bart? I put Annie back in her stall and noticed that her back left knee swelled up.

Then, it began to pour rain outside. It was almost six o’clock, and Paul was not here to take me to the NA meeting. My panic level was high, and for the first time in months, using seemed to be an answer. I was losing it. I began to hyperventilate. I took deep breaths, muttering that this was not a big deal. Calm down. Mercifully, I did not have any oxy with me. Paul pulled into the driveway.


The news today was mixed. Paul’s mother did suffer a slight stroke. Bart-time was fine. He did not reach the farm because the rain was too heavy for a bicycle. A vet came to examine Annie and said there did not seem to be any structural damage and said something about a blister and a few days of stall rest. Since the track was soaked, we just paddocked the other three. Another piece of news, and I don’t know if this is good or bad, is Paul said that because of his mother’s situation, the family lawyer was coming out to review some options.

There is some more mixed news. Yesterday, the stress of simple events rattled me and showed me how vulnerable I am.