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Anxire: An A/O's Meandering Journey to Break the Second Level Ceiling
Sunday, 30 August 2009

The stars aligned and I made it to a semi-local schooling show today. Around an hour-and-a-half drive, which is CLOSE compared to some...

I signed up for Three 1 and a re-ride. Our changes are far from consistent, and definitely NON-existant when his back is tight. I knew that going in, but didn't feel like all the effort and $$$ was really worth it for Second.

In the grand scheme of things, it was the right decision, despite the score. My first inkling that it might be a 'challenging' day was when the forecast called for a hurricane. Huh. But the closer we got, the forecast was hurricane Sat'dy, and beautiful Sunday. Better. Though no ride or bath or anything on Sat'dy, as hurricane did hit--not directly, but sideways rain and COLD.

Clue #2 probably should've been the fact that I don't think he's EVER been as naughty about a bath as he was this morning. I'll admit, *I* wasn't crazy about the idea either. When I got home from work yest'dy he was shiverring pathetically, so actually got a medium blanket (wick the wet, breath, waterproof...) I was *hoping* he'd stay clean. Didna happen.

So bath was an uncharacteristic battle. Followed by lighter-weight-but-still-insulated blanket.

The reward for signing up for Third Level is getting to sleep late. I may never go back to Intro again. Screw it if the horse doesn't canter yet! I woke up the first time, decided there was NO WAY I was going to subject Himself to cold water and shampoo, and went back to sleep for 90 minutes. Thanks to the hurricane the show was also delayed an hour, so the first ride was an eminently reasonable 10:30 EDST.

Unfortunately due to bath antics I *did* miss one of my student's Intro Tests--which garnered her high-score for the day (! ! ) but even MORE importantly, a LOVELY comment about her soft and correct hands--something that has been a bugaboo I've pretty much *nagged* her about since our first lesson. I was SUPER proud.

The venue was gorgeous. By the time we got there, around noon:30, it was also clearing. And that golden, magnified light that comes after a storm. Just beautiful. It was relaxed, super well run, and just the perfect outing for our first venture after two... three... four? Years..

Warmup was... interesting. Himself was as on his toes as he's ever been. His disdain for lower levels was clear in his demonstrations of High School movements. We had at least one capriole (witnessed) several levades, and a few steps here and there of Spanish Walk, which he has not been taught yet, but has always had a tendency too.

There's a point where you fish or cut bait. A really pretty little redhead Ayerabby mare with lots of chrome was warming up with us... and in FLAMING heat. My stallion is never studdy... rather he acts much younger and greener than his actual age and amount of training. Everyone thinks he's an adolescent... which he is NOT. He got to calling, which I did not really reprimand enough (he KNOWS he's not allowed to 'talk' under saddle. My teacher does allow it, though refocuses him. I was not carrying a whip, so was conservative in my attempts to refocus, due to earlier airs... Lesson #1. ) He was just getting MORE up and MORE tense... so I chose to just walk on the buckle and stand and watch. I probably could have ridden him into submission/exhaustion... nothing is worth that. This was a SCHOOLING show. NOTHING mattered except a positive experience for both of us. I will admit I was subliminally aware that several of my students were there... and several people I've judged in baby CTs. To *me* it was more important to be fair, kind and consistent to what I *preach.* Which meant sucking it up and giving rein. I'm not going to override past a horse's condition just to get submission. That's false submission.

I did NOT loose my brain this time when the whistle blew--Yay! That in itself was a revelation. I think because the level was a stretch, and I *knew* Himself was stressed and tense... I just grinned and laughed. Lesson #2--you can cry, or laugh and revel in the fact that you are DOING it. Maybe far from perfect, but DOING...

Our score *will* go down in history as my lowest ever. Let's just say we had my first and only ZERO--the second flying change didn't happen, and rather than fuss about getting a correct lead canter for like four strides, I just went forward in trot to the next movement...   (oh, btw, that was a COEFFICIENT...
oops.  ) We *got* a flying change where one wasn't asked for (oops! Hay, we GOT one though! ) and the "3" for the enter, halt, salute, levade... well... so we're a little on the over-achiever side... <shrugs> No one appreciates genius in our own lifetimes... We won't mention the "oops, I forgot the 20m circle (with give rein)" that *I* caught BEFORE the whistle... <sigh> without the error that would've been a high score in the test, an 8.

I have never, ever in my LIFE apologized to a judge before. I did upon approaching after the final halt. I knew his back was tight--I had to post the medium and the extension because there was no way on the planet to sit them... I knew what we blew. I knew he was never, once, actually THROUGH. I knew it felt like someone sprayed Pledge on the seat of the Ancient Passier... But the judge made a comment that I think I've probably turned on it's head: She said that we would've scored the same (low) at Training Level. And she's ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY right... except, we weren't. We were doing Third.

Every Single Score would've been two to three points higher if I'd had his brain. I didn't. That was MY fault, not his. In retrospect, on the way home, I asked myself why I did not warm him up in hand, as I've been taught to do. I don't know why I didn't. I guess I thought happy-happy walking on a long rein might be enough to relax him. It used to be. But I've learned the subtle and yet crucial connection between suppleness, obedience and impulsion. None can exist without the other two. And on days when his leetle testosterone brain leaks out his gorgeous curly ears... I've got to go back to the in-hand work to GET HIM. Supple him,then he can concentrate and be obedient. Get him listening, then he can go forward. I had NONE of those three. I knew it, but sort of gave up. I guess I thought he'd settle in the test. I've NO IDEA where that thought came from. It's not ANYTHING I've been taught or teach. And lesson #3 was a horse that is working at this level is way, WAY more fit, and happy-happy long rein doesn't cut it.

The judge was quite horrified.  She did say 'of course I've no idea what you are doing at home.' Ain't that the truth? But "away" ISN'T home, and this was such, such, SUCH a valuable learning experience.

And she was right--the score would've been the same (low) at TL. But it wasn't. It was Third. And we DID it. Not prettily, not perfectly... but we DID it. There were moments within almost EVERY movement that I was proud-to-bursting over. The first HP was fabulous--but I got a little overzealous and hauches led for a bit, of course killing the score. The second HI-to-1/2 circle-to HP was really nice, if the pilot hadn't oversteered the center line... (not an excuse, but an explanation--I haven't ridden with LETTERS since last November, and have NEVER ridden a large court with letters on this horse... )

I scratched the re-ride. Was not going to teach either of us anything. Sure, I could've gotten him more tired, but that wasn't going to give me his back any more than being tense and fresh was. It would've given us mileage in the large court, but I didn't think that was a fair tradeoff. He had TRIED. Today wasn't his day. Wouldn't have been for Intro, not to mention anything higher.

And absolutely NO sour grapes, because I more than anyone know where we were lacking, but this judge was scoring BTV/behind the bit rather well. We are anything but. He did have many moments of beautiful self carriage... both SI's and HP's let me give the inside rein... because he was tense, when he DID step through for a stride or two, he was 'at liberty on parole'. Now, the moments will take time and mileage to string together to become a whole movement, then a whole test. But like a string of pearls, it TAKES time. And a little irritation here and there...

I got to dress my beautiful pony up. He smelled of shampoo and hair gel and clean horse in that way that takes me back to the best memories of my life. I got to enjoy a beautiful, very low key, well organized day. He GLEAMED and I *know* he raised a bit of a rukus when he showed up in the warmup--I heard the 'oohs' and 'oh, look at THAT one!' and 'how CUTE!' Beyond anything... I got to TRY.

I learned many lessons. Most of all, I can't expect miracles when we haven't BEEN anywhere but Teacher's in... how long? He wasn't studdy, he wasn't naughty, if anything, he was anticipating/trying too hard... how can one not be pleased?

The sad part is there are few photos, if any. I handed out a disposable camera and my digi to friends. Digi has none--the delay is way longer than hers. I won't know what disposable has until I develop the pics--and I've got to finish the roll. The show photographer was two rides ahead of me--on the pretty chetty mare with chrome--(and in heat) and was cooling her out during my ride. (I actually feel worse about HER mare's behaviour because of my guy's presence... ) Perhaps that's fine. Perhaps visual proof of our incompetence would ruin my impression of the day.

I'm just ridiculously pleased. Maybe I'm in denial. <shrugs> But I had a great day. I am so proud of my boy I could burst. Now if *I* can get my act together, and be a better rider/trainer... then HE'LL get a chance to really show his stuff. He proved to me today that it's a possibility well within reach, rather than just a 'someday dream.'a

Posted by me/innisfailte at 9:56 PM EDT
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Thursday, 6 August 2009
The oldest Hay Swindle in the world...
Mood:  not sure

So, thanks to a CotH'er who looked on Craig's List (I never go there, so hadn't even occurred to me) found some last-year's squares for sale about an hour away. Went last week and got 25 bales. They are really quite good. Better than anything anyone's currently putting up, actually. Probably not all that much nutrition, but they are clean and smell good and fulfill the boredome and fiber factors.

So, I get up early today (after working until 0200 last night) to go back for another load. I don't really have storage for square bales, but... until we actually GET some rounds, this be it.

Get there and the 'son,' who is about my age or so (think top o'the hill can see t'other side) and not unattracive, in a strawberry blond "Grizzly Adams" kind of way, comes out to help me load. He tosses, I stack.

Then out comes Dad, the man I've been speaking to on the phone. Did not meet him last week. The typical "ayup" phone answers. What time would be good for you? "Oh, I s'pose 9, 10, 10:30... " Vizually he is the epitome of "Uncle Jesse" from the Dukes of Hazzard, yellowing white beard overalls and all. Lovely gentleman, but with emphysema. (should you really be in the hay barn sir?) Just chit chatting in that way of farmers.

Makes me lose count. Not once, but twice. Says, "That's ok, I can tell."


Asks what I do for work... I"m always a little hesitant, you never quite know what people think of the popo. It's usually either respect or hate. Never anything in the middle. But, since my uniform shirt is in plain view on the back of the passenger seat, I fess. up.

Asks if I have kids. I say nope, I can lock mine up and not get in trouble. We laugh about that and chat about dawgs. And the frisbee dogs at the Fair. He knows the Frisbee Dog Guy.

Asks about "what does your husband do."

I say, "If I had a man around, you think *I* would be stacking hay?" A good chuckle out of both of them. Now I wonder if he's trying to set me up with Grizzly Adams.

Then... there it comes. I never even saw it heading at me. But he was sizing up his mark the whole time.

"You need a cat?"

Me: "Um, what *kind* of cat?" (was just thiking over the dogs thread that there was room for ONE should ONE female find me. I'm sick of the males going on walkabout a couple-three months after tutoring.)

Uncle Jesse: "Oh, a young female."

Me: "Well, actually...."

Uncle Jesse to Grizzly Adams: "Go get that cat."

While Grizzly Adams goes to get the cat, I am told that cat was dumped off and Uncle Jesse really shouldn't have too much cat hair around. She's a nice cat, but he has emphysema and all...

Grizzly Adams returns with the most beautiful pewter kitty, that solid, pussy willow grey. Two tiny white spots on chest.

And here, the swindle is complete. It's a "buy cat, get hay and KITTENS free deal... "

While both Uncle Jesse and Grizzly Adams appear to be very kind old farmers, I have little faith that either of them would really be the appropriate keepers of said kitty in late pregnancy and for bearing kittens. I do not doubt in the least they would not let her or kittens suffer, but...

I am just plain hoodwinked.

Kitty gets put in the cab of truck. Promptly locks the doors.
Uncle Jesse says not to worry and sends Grizzly Adams for the unlocking stick tool. They have junk cars/parts yard, so have the 'kit.'

While waiting for Grizzly Adams, Uncle Jesse slips and mentions cat is a good mouser, but he already has two cats... He can't have TOO MUCH cat hair around. Old coot.

So, I laughed all the way home. She is a lovely, lovely girl. YOUNG. Adolescent still. Very personable. Very, very pregnant.

I have absolutely NO RIGHT to be adding to the household right now. And I grin every time I think of it. I guess it makes up for no foals last year or this. Certainly will take care of the puppy fix. I've never had kittens. I've fostered and nursed wee ittybittykitties, but never actually had a cat have kittens. Fambly planning and all.

I've really been hoping that the right female would come along and become a Queen and stick around. I am hoping having her litter here will help convince her this is HOME.

Did I mention she's lovely? She's not skinny, but is a little underweight in that adolescent way--any suggestions on groceries for the late term kitty?

We chatted on the way home about what her name is. It's between Claire and Rhiannon. (Queen.) I like Rhi, but she's a little too young and angular to really *fit* it... then again, we grow into names too...

Will be chatting with vet tomorrow about what we should do re: shots, worming or any kind of prenatal care... I'm suspecting she's so far along we won't do anything until after the kittens come.

So, everyone, take this as a warning. Con men are out there. Even in the most unsuspecting circumstances, they will size you up and scam you. BE ON GUARD!!!

Posted by me/innisfailte at 7:31 PM EDT
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Sunday, 2 August 2009
I missed Church
today... :( But, the reason I missed early Mass was my first ever solo
drug bust. :D

And the reason I missed late Mass was my SECOND drug bust--the second one
was a HUGE score, Ecstasy, Ketamine and Methamphetamine--crystal Meth.
Probably a 'shroom in there too, it all has to be processed and tested by the
state lab.

It is NOTHING like on TV. It's sweaty, filthy, horribly dirty, hard work.
Lots and lots of paperwork. I had the search warrant for the vehicle in
the 2nd case 99% done when I got consent--about 3 hrs work I didn't need to
do. OTOH, *that* was a great lesson too. All the warrants I've assisted
on, it's the first one I've written myself.

I have worked 28 hrs since 10AM Saturday morning. I am sitting here
winding down, doing something I haven't done in probably 30 years--drinking
chocolate milk. I craved it, so I got some.

Yesterday was a planned double and was busy, busy. Thought we had a dead
body--a very fun case of found clothing in a very weird place and weird
circumstances out on Sears Island. A wonderful Warden and her search dog (did
you know they have Dutch Shepherds? Cool dog. Fabulous personality) came
out to play. All ended well--before the 2nd search--when the subj was
found alive and well and in Belfast. Oh well. It was fun while I did the
grid search for trace while the Warden was out tracking w/ her dog...

More complaints yest'dy than I've probably had all year... lol!

A very short nap, and was back out at 0600 today, and my first complaint of
the day was that the flag on the first green at the golf course had been
stolen--and replaced with a toilet. Yup, you read it right, a whole,
intact, toilet. I thought it was hysterical. The Golf Course Owner... not so

Then my first drug case--worked it up all myself, PC from plain sight walk
around a car... waited almost an hour for the car to move... effected the
stop, got the goods including, hopefully, coke when the tests on the straw,
razor blade and mirrors come back :-D The second was as a result of
an accident, but is going to end up being a major trafikking case and will
be turned over to MDEA.

Of course, I sweated my backside off... have the headache from hell, and am
exhausted. But a Good Day's work. So much for being Unemployed--I had
36 hours for this week's pay period at SPD. Back in tomorrow to finish
writing reports, logging and processing evidence etc. Breathing room.

I'm slightly annoyed I missed Church. More annoyed I have to SET the
ALARM get tomorrow... and most annoyed I did not get to ride tonight. But work
is good, and getting bad guys with good cases is better. I sometimes get
ragged on because I'm pretty much a white cloud most of the time--I do a lot
of Admin stuff at the PD, so don't draw the numbers the others do. But I
have to say--when I DO it, I do it big. :-p
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy

remote Posted by me/innisfailte at 9:45 PM EDT
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Thursday, 23 July 2009
SUNBURN from the clouds...

DOH! EmbarassedCry
I did manage to ride tonight.  Barely.  I got way, WAY too much sun. Embarassed It was cloudy.  I had the stick stuff for my face and the spray for my arms, and got SUPER burned.  BAD. Yell I think it might be partly windburn too--my arms aren't even pink, and I was wearing short sleeves... MAN.  Stupid.  I haven't had a burn like this in years.  I'm usually far more careful than that.  

So... first I tried Vinegar. That didn' really work.  Then, rifling through cabinets that have pretty good horse medicine, but little in the way of people stuff... I spied hte Miracle Clay.  Bingo!  I mixed it up, and before even letting it sit, smeared a bit on forehead and cheeks... and blessed relief.  I look ridiculous, but who cares! 

So, I sucked it up and got on, intending to school, but *I* hurt, whether from teaching 4 lessons or from yest'dy I'm not sure...  I figured though, if I was sore, chances are Himself was too.  (and here I must note, though my hip ached by the end of 4 hours,nothing, NOTHING like the pain I used to have after teaching all day.  Just the hip saying "ow, you're abusing me!" like a normal person... If I could just do something about the flop-sweat side effects, I'd be ecstatic... Undecided )

So, anyway, Plan B:  A long half-hour of hillwalking.  Really marching, reaching hillwalking.  I spent all but mabye five minutes of it with the whip behind my elbows.  I need a more comfortable whip. Innocent 

Tomorrow is supposed to rain, the plan is for a long-slow-distance day on the road if that's the case.  We'll see.  I have to work both weekend days, and possibly Sat'dy night too, (and I'm going to take ALL the hours I can get right now!) so I really want to do *something* with him tomorrow if I can.  

Lessons were awesome.  I wish I could teach full time, but then it probably wouldn't be so much fun. 

S. on her Lippy mare went first.  Had some  pretty big breakthroughs on using back and seat vs. rein.  Working in 2nd, into third, but the mare can fake it too well.  Got her SITTING and ARTICULATING those joints.  Sometimes it's hard to keep a teenager involved in something as intense as dressage.  She's SO athletic, and has such an amazing ride right now.  

M. went next, on a gorgeous OTTB mare, who was new (and starved!) last summer.  A very rewarding lesson, as mare went from fussy and either inverted or behind the bit, to very even tracking up in a nicely stretching to contact.  M. made HUGE progress. What a terrific ride.  M. had friends watching, and it was very fun to hear them say 'oh, look how BEAUTIFUL she is' when the mare was going well.  Night and day difference. 

Had the daughter of a regular student next, on a fizzy ayerab.  It was hard for her.  She was riding full time a couple years ago, and was given a schoolmaster when the farm shut down... and hasn't been able to ride hardly at all since, with work and "real life."  It was a struggle.  I also teach probably quite differently than what she is used too.  I want a relaxed, balanced horse first, then we worry about things like 'on the bit' and push etc.  Tempo, rhthym, relaxation & suppleness... obedience can't happen without them and forward, but forward can't happen until the horse is relaxed and pushable... She worked really hard, but was frustrated.  I'm not sure she'll be back.  It's a different path to ride with me if you're used to riding very competitive-style-school WBs. Tongue out  (I won't even call it "German" school, because while that is the basis,TRUE German school, like Walter Zettl, Richard Ulman, Podjadsky, etc. isn't what we're seeing in the'competitive' school... )

Then L. went on her mini-Friesian.  I LOFF this mare to pieces.  Pretty, pretty mover, and really is built like a little Friesian.  All of 13.3 *maybe*, wide as she is tall.  Perfect for L. who is petite.  L. had one of the best rides EVER.  And *she* said it first, that's not just MY humble opinion.Innocent  She was relaxed, and got the connection between elbows and seat, legs and reins.  She's had time off, but that actually helped rid her of some bad muscle memory.  It was really exciting to see her ride today.  Might not have been to anyone watching--we only walked.  But the walking we did was really, really good.  Halting off the seat.  Coming from free walk to working walk with the back first, and only taking up the reins after the horse comes back/up to you--not taking the horse back to you.  Shoulder fore.  Connecting via shoulder fore.  It was very, very cool. Cool

God is exceedingly good.  He has never let a moment pass that He is not reminding me that there is no place for Fear.  That He is with me.  That His plans are so much better than mine. 

I don't *feel* it like I think I should.  But I do feel the deepest joy and contentment that I have in a very, very long time.  Which I guess is probably the Peace which Passeth Understanding, if you think about it.  It may not be easy, but it's right... 

Posted by me/innisfailte at 8:36 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

btw, I hate that blogs read backward... ~sigh~

Posted by me/innisfailte at 9:21 PM EDT
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The photo:


The Conversion of Saint Paul
Oil on canvas
90 1/2 x 70 in
Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome

How cool is that? 

Posted by me/innisfailte at 9:20 PM EDT
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I am the most blessed...

I can't even stand how much I loff my pone-pones... 

The dogs too, they deserve some kudos.  They must know *something* is up, the've been (mostly) behaved and laid back and very cuddly.  This morning Eamon climbed up and just laid on me and *adored* me.  He looked at me with That Look that as a puppy, when he sat at my feet and gazed at me, I could absolutely not resist.  Everyone should have dogs, so they know they are loved.  

The cat... well, the mafia kitty proceeded to ATTACK poor Eamon as he was laying there... jealousy? I dunno.  The previous moment he was curled up next to him.  I think it was extortion, myself. :lol: 

They all make me smile.

But the horses heal my soul.

It was a down day, I'm not entirely sure why.  I have been obscenely happy and serene since the whole job thing started.  But today was it.  I had to choose to accept resignation, or continue on fighting and be fired.  While it irks me to no end, resignation is the right thing to do.  But it's sad to see ten years of work just *go* like that... Cry  

Too, I have not heard from a SINGLE officer or coworker.  That just sucks.  It does make it easier.   My last conversation, on my last night of work, with Keith, from "the old days" was that it seems like those times were the best it's going to be, and it won't ever be that good again.  Prophecy, I guess.

Needless to say, between time online dealing with the 'resignation under duress' thing, researching how that affects Unemployment, and STILL not hearing on the new job... well... feeling like RIDING was NOT on the top of my priority list.  

But the rain cleared out, and it was lovely out.  And part of getting to upper levels is DISCIPLINE.  And discipline means getting on when you don't feel like it.  Now, I did give myself a break--I decided Rain and Tate did not have to work today.  I can't see that my attitude would help them 'progress.'  But Papa had to work.  

SO, I groomed, and completely cracked up at his heathen mane.  Combed it out and decided I might just let it keep growing.  I'm going to tell Julie that he told me he was trying to fit in. He speaks Portuguese fluently, really, he feels, the only thing keeping him out of the quadrille is HAIR. CoolTongue out lolol!

And it was a marvelous ride.  From the moment I sat in the Ancient Passier which SO feels like home now...  He was lovely.  *I* am more out of shape than he is, and I need to add cardio to my day somehow.  It doesn't help that I lost all of yesterday to a migraine--I nipped the pain in the bud, but lost the day and night to sleep.  Needed, I'm sure, but... 

We did two trot sets.  He was better than I was.  He was a little tiny bit short on the LH.  But he hasn't had his joint junk either.  Shame on me.  He got it tonight, will get it tomorrow, though I'm tealickching so probably won't get to ride... but maybe, if it's not too late.

We cantered too.  Funny thing that, canter, it is better than it's been.  How is it that time off and mud make the canter better?  I'm not sure.  But it was Very Good.  Both ways.   GOD I love him.  

Thirty five minutes, but more *work* than we've been doing.  I should be able to bump it up to 45 next ride.  Cool

And the wonderful part, was it actually *inspired* me to ride Jr.  It was a cheap ride-- a lick and a promise grooming, throwing Da's saddle on (which, still does not fit.  I keep thinking it will someday.  It just won't. Money mouthInnocent )  He's very fun, and makes me smile.  I get bad habits on him--leaning forward, tightening my legs... but on the other hand, he learned HO correctly from the beginning.  Close the thighs, breath in, and BAM that boy stops, even with no rein.  If his Da would do that... well, anyway...

 I am just SO blessed.  I have no idea what the future is bringing.  I don't really have the energy to spare to worry, until it is time to worry.  We're ok for now.  I need to take advantage of this wonderful time.  

I have been reading "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23."  It is amazing.  And so much of it I can relate to from working with sheep at the Ranch, but also I can relate to as a farmer with  horses.

Oh--a COOL thing, this Sunday the bulletin cover was Saul's conversion, and the artwork depicted him firmly on the ground, with someone holding his loose horse, but the HORSE was a BUCKSKIN TOBIANO.  No mistaking that.  Quite baroque too.  Cool   How cool is that? 

God has plans.  His plans are better than mine.  I think it's ok to be sad, to mourn the passing of a career, of something that I identified myself as *being* rather than *doing.*  But I also need to know that if I can have ENOUGH Faith, if I can just TRUST Him, it will be so much better...  not necessarily easy, but better. 



Posted by me/innisfailte at 8:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 22 July 2009 8:37 PM EDT
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Monday, 20 July 2009
Timing is EVERYTHING...

Why, oh WHY can we not find what we're looking for when we are able to GET it?

I found His Princeness and the Pea's saddle's TWIN.  #5 tree, 18.5" seat, VD AP (i.e. VSD) for $350 opening bid.  

And my job ends tomorrow.  And the truck needs work.  And... bleh.  I did put the opening bid on it.  I could swing that just from this week's lessons & PT job.  It's listed in the wrong category.  One can hope for a miracle. 

Just rode Rain tonight.  He was antsy and wiggly and NO attention span.  20 minutes, mostly walked around the hills... Tomorrow he can get his feet done.

Papa had his feet done. 

After seeing Rain's mood, did'na bother with Tate.  She can have tomorrow, and perhaps every-other is ok for now.  

No word yet on the new job.  I have enough teaching and PT stuff to see me through for a bit.  No panic.  The time of rest is coming to an end though.  Spent today getting the opening round of stuff on Ebay.  Timing's lousy... market sucks... yadda yadda.  But, you never know.  *I* needed/wanted at one point obviously... hopefully someone else will too! 

Slept horribly last night.  Hoping to do better tonight.  Hearing about the new job would help.  All hinges on one person... Three yes votes so far and one holding out becaus he wants to think about it.  Ug.  

Off to read more on the Shepherd & Psalm 23.   ;)

Posted by me/innisfailte at 10:41 PM EDT
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Sunday, 19 July 2009
First day...

So... uh... a week later... >uhoh< today is the first day I have *almost* done what I hoped to do EVERY day of my "vacation."

Worked Rain. I adore him. Just tacked up, got on and rode. 20 minutes, mostly walk, one wee trot. I found myself wondering how the hell I could feel so wobbly, how he could feel so narrow, when I KNOW he is wider than Da. And realized, it's all about having the back. I'm SO spoilt by *having* Da's back. Cool

Played with Lugh, just a couple minutes. Just to groom and give some extra groceries. With all the breeding excitement, heat and bugs... and the pasture pretty much gone... he's loosing weight. I hadn't noticed. Now we'll play catch up. He's excessively roaned. Shouldn't surprize me, Mum was. Almost looks like he's greying if you didn't know better.

Played with Tate. Cool Whatta GOOD girl today! She was bred yesterday... kind of a last minute thing. Had the second dose of Sempatico, permission from Liz, and a second mare in the mood. Worried I missed Dann, and hated to just destroy the stuff... so... Loaded her on the trailer, which is what I use for stocks. She walked right on--surprized the heck out of me!!! SurprisedWas a little antsy, but then settled. I was quite proud of her. She's still in heat today, so if it does take, better chance of a girl. Dann was coming out when she was bred... I still want a keeper out of her sooo badly.

Anyway, so today Tate was fabulous. Relaxed, and laid back... I threw tack on her, "s'ok" she said. Brought her out to lunge. Started the bad way. She did the turning-backing thing ONCE. That's it. Then proceeded to do the most lovely, cadenced trot... we called it good. Just under 10 minutes, but she was perfect and I wanted to end it there. Laughing Very, very pleased.

Went to church, saved Mac for tonight, my favorite time to ride is late afternoon/evening/sunset.  I tried the Bounce fabric softener sheets... and either it worked, or we had a remarkably bug free night.  As soon as I took off my helmet (have three sheets stuffed between helmet & helmet cover) they were attacking me again... so I'm tempted to think it worked?  Will try it again tomorrow.  

Just hillwork... 1/2 hr.  Walking.  I used the treeless on Himself and it's a touch too wide (!) in front, sat low in front.  But, it was an interesting ride.  I put the whip behind my elbows again for a bit... When the elbows are back, the hands are connected to the seat... but the hands aren't in the right place.  Conundrum. Undecided  Channelled Old Fat Nuno a bit.  Then found out it was actually Jao there... lol!  

Oh, the Young Master Irrenaeus got a haircut too.  His heathen locks are no more.  Fabio has left the building... He looks SO good.  Even though it's just chopped and not pulled properly or anything yet--he looks so grown up and has such a pretty neck.  And he looks like his Mum.  >sniffle< 

I am all fired up.  Tonight is the first time I can remember in a LONG time that I got off a horse, already planning tomorrow.  

Meanwhile I am not sure how there can not be enough hours in the day... I've had TWO WEEKS off, and still have so much to do.  Got a lot done today, cleaned tack, organised some stuff, got out stuff to Ebay... the house is still in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and the paper maiche pile that used to be shred paper is still sitting in front of the grain shed.  Sigh.  I am halfway through reading "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23," and it is amazing--funny, today's readings were that too... Innocent  Meanwhile I want to read more Mother Theresa--AND more Anya Beran.  lol!  Oh well.  That's what there's not enough time for.  

I am so pleased.  Tate and Rain both were lovely.  I have a little spark of *hope.* 

remote Posted by me/innisfailte at 4:12 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 19 July 2009 9:10 PM EDT
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Monday, 13 July 2009
Ten Days of Freedom...
Mood:  not sure

I *must* blog this, because I MUST remember progress and stay honest to my promise to myself and this goal:

I have the unexpected, ubiquitous *gift* of time off.  Administrative Leave, but with pay.  I'm loosing my job next week, but this week has been the first vacation at home, the first time off when I've not been sick, travelling, or foaling out, in more than a decade. 

And surprisingly, I am happier, sleeping better and feeling better than I have in a LONG time.  Sleep study results not back to me yet, expecting to hear any day.  The Cymbalta is working fabulously for the fibro pain--but I'm not sure how long I can take the flop sweat... But it is abundantly evident the job was also killing me. 

SO.  I have ten days off.  Really, I had 12, but the first two were wasted on errands and such.  Oh, and more than a little sleep, which it appears was sorely needed.  I *planned* to ride, but it didn't happen.  After more than a month of flooding of Biblical proportions, another day wasn't going to make or break it.  But when I found out I was on paid leave until my hearing on the 21st, I vowed I would get Tate and Rain both GOING.  And ride Himself daily. And play with Sky and Lugh at least a little.  So far, 2 for 3 sort of... 

The first day I bathed Sky.  I mean, really, the first hot, sunny day of Summer, what ELSE would I do but get wet? (doh!)  Her first bath.  And she is GORGEOUS.  I'm so in loff.  She modelled her "My Pretty Pony/Barbie's Dream Horse" halter too.  Here's a Tony Stromberg wannabe photo... it's my fave of all of them:

 The rest are at:

BUT--I got a little too much sun... Hay, we didn't SEE It for 32 consecutive days... I forgot... (uhoh) so... she was the only one fussed with that day. 

Yesterday I fixed fences.  For four + hours.  I put up stud fencing where the girls keep pushing through into the nursery paddock, and redid the stallion paddock.  By the time I was (drenched) done that, it was lateish and I showered and went to evening Mass.   And so glad for that.  EVERYHING spoke to me.  God DOES have a plan.  His plans are ever so much better than mine.  I'm not a complete whackjob to not be freaking out over this.  I am very peaceful that it's a Good Thing.  Emotionally & spiritually, it is an excellent thing.  Financially... well... we'll cross that panic--I mean bridge--when we get to it.  For now, it is providence... 

I *did* ride himself after Church.  A wonderful, lovely ride.  He was brilliant.  Very supple in the poll.  Through the back.  Happy.  We only did 25 minutes or so, walking, a wee bit of trot.  He is less fit than I am if that's even possible.  But the trot was GOOD!  I stuck the whip behind my elbows.  Got some fiberglass splinters for my trouble (note to self, don't use the OLD whip with no cover on the shaft... Yell )  I need to find my elbows.  I also need to work my abs since I'm not sitting on the saddle stool for 8 hrs a night!  A little air in the swiss ball for my computer time will help.  I guess I probably need to suck it up and start working out too.  BLEH.  I've lost 4lbs since I've been on 'days off.' Tongue out

Tonight, I got home FAR later from the trip all the way to Exeter for Diamond V XP, Flax and a fence charger I didn't get... then stopping to see Noah, who looks great; then returning stuff at Wally*world which was a HUGE mistake...  Saw a great rainbow.  Cool

The T-storms were rolling in... but I lunged Tate first.  No brushing, no tack, just heathen 'throw the cavesson on and go.'  She was wonderful to the left.  To the right, she's a silly twit.  Innocent  I don't know why.  I've not had this issue with any other horses--well, except Chips.  But Chips doesn't know how to do ANYTHING, most especially go to the right... Foot in mouth  At any rate, we ended on a good, calm note.  Longer than I'd planned, as we had to get over the tantrums... maybe 20, 25 minutes?  I didn't time it well.

Then the Young Master Irrenaeus came out.  God, he moves like a dream.  He might be the best horse on the place shy of his Gramma.  He was hot to trot... Forward, responsive, just, Wow.  He's wasted here.  Embarassed  15 minutes was plenty.  Made him work in the longer grass to pick up his feet and pay attention to where his feet were going.

Finally, the thunder was rumbling, I was chasing daylight, and the bugs were swarming... so Papa just got heathen-lunged too.  His canter seems to have somehow improved with the month of muck.  Go figure.  He looked very good.  His underneck is developed a bit, which is troubling, but hopefully his topline will come back with proper work.  The mane's gotta go. lol! 

Forecast is again for more rain.  The sacrifice paddocks are horribly nasty.  In ten years never anything like this.  I feel like the worst villian when they must be incarcerated, and have sacrified much pasture to keep them out of the mud... but there is no hay to be found either.  They must be in part of the day with beep and such... it's very frustrating.

I want to lesson, but am torn as to who to bring.  I would like to bring the Silly Filly down for an accessment.  I would love to bring The Young Master Irrenaeus.  And I'm not entirely sure I want to bring Papa, because we have made not one step of progress since last fall.  We have not REgressed, but... Cry  Life did not cooperate... 

Until now.  I am very excited about these precious few days.  I am motivated, but hopefully won't psych myself out.  Eight days left. Cool

Posted by me/innisfailte at 9:45 PM EDT
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