One of my favorite
things about riding / horsemanship is how I am consistently reminded about the many aspects of my personality which need improvement. Patience (lack of), self control (lack of), ability to tolerate frustration(lack of)... it's a long list.
Friday started off cool, overcast and breezy - perfect for riding - oh I wanted to play hookie (sp) from work. By the time I made it up to the barn however, it had cleared off into a sticky and sweltering afternoon. Well too bad - I was at the barn, last ride was on Monday, we were going
to ride. (add stubborn to that list) When I finished grooming I was soaked. I tacked Val up, applied plenty of fly spray - and off we went. Sort of. He was less than motivated, I was uber uptight, and we degenerated pretty quickly into a no steering, no forward, balky mess. No unicorns or rainbows here. I dismounted and got my sh#t together on the ground (had a
big 'ol hissy fit).
The upshot - I was hot, uncomfortable and most importantly feeling overwhelmed with non-horse related concerns. (more on those later...) I was neither able to control my body or my emotions. I couldn't concentrate, and basically had no business being on my horse. I also couldn't leave things with Val like they were, unresolved. After much deep breathing (and a few tears) I remounted and salvaged our ride. We did some very nice trot work, especially the 15m circles - round in both directions - and I worked on relaxing my ankles while posting. Add some crisp transitions and we ended on a good note.
After work comes pampering. A cool rinse + minty fresh liniment, drinks from the hose, green grass and then it was dinner time - the best time of the whole day (besides breakfast time). Thank goodness horses are patient with us humans, that's all I can say.
Sweaty all over
Fun with the hose
Yesterday's ride went tons better. Until the gun shots that is. I had just worked through some reluctance to pass close to the neighbors property when blam blam blam - extremely close by gun shots happened unexpectedly. Val and Cowboy both bolted - expectedly. I stayed on. I think my very stern hollering to the neighbor convinced Val that I had the situation under control.
Me "What the hell?! I'm trying to ride my horse over here!"
The neighbor, "I'm shooting a snake! Water Moccasin!".
Me, "Did you hit him?"
Neighbor, "Not yet!"
Me, "How many shots do you need?!"
Neighbor, deciding to have a sense of humor, "Maybe a few more!"
I dismounted and led Val over to the very closest spot by the fence and waited. After each gunshot I fed him a cookie. Training opportunity = bribery. ;) Once the neighbor finally dispatched the snake, or ran out of ammo, I led Val back to the mounting block. He swung his butt out so I force marched him around a few times. We proceeded to have a lovely ride. I focused on draping my legs while still giving effective aids, and we achieved the start of some bend - I could just see Val's inner eye. More successfully round 15m circles, work on our big walk, and turns on the forehand. Attitude is everything in riding.
On to news of the farmette. Fixing to have ten tons of peppers. Weeding, weeding, weeding. Still no rain, so lots of hand watering. I found some blossom end rot on the first little green tomatoes. Usually a sign of lack of calcium exacerbated by drought conditions / uneven watering. Solution - powdered milk. Who'd have thunk? :)
So - there is some really big news. I think I have found a way to live on my property sooner rather than later. In a decent sized travel trailer one of my landscaping clients owns. I've been eyeing it for a while. The owner mentioned the other day that he would be moving it soon. I took a chance and asked what he was doing with it and he offered it to me. Super affordable price and terms.
This changes everything. As in I'd be getting out from under paying rent + mortgage thereby saving a bigger down payment for building my house - which will likely need to be huge. As in no more commute to the barn two or three times a day - fuel savings and more riding! As in just about all my stuff will have to go into storage - time to seriously minimize.
It's a ton to think about. Lots of decisions and logistics to work out. First step is inspecting the trailer. Then I'll have to figure out the storage situation. I'll probably need to get a small out building for studio space and extra storage. And I have to make sure I can be comfortable for several years in a tin can. With two dogs :)
There is even more news that I'm not at liberty to mention yet - stay tuned... (I think I need a drink!)