Blog .:. January 2008 7 Entries

Seven Things

30 January 2008 Comments

  1. If you are running unusually late for a lesson and have convinced yourself it’ll be ok because for the past two months you’ve been riding the uber-clean chestnut mare who can be saddled up in five minutes, invariably you will arrive at the barn to find you’ve been assigned the gray horse who practically needs a bath before he can be saddled. Especially if your barn has a rule about spot-free horses in lessons.
  2. Hoofpicks are free spirits. They cannot be owned. Your brushbox is not their home; it’s merely a temporary stopping place between the tack store and wherever it is hoofpicks are headed in the universe. I’m not sure where that is, but it’s certainly not here (as in: “But I left it right here!” )
  3. If you are working late at the barn and are totally exhausted and want to get home like nothing else, you will almost certainly come up with a brilliant time-saving plan. Do. Not. Attempt. Whatever. It. Is. You. Are. Thinking. Of. Three hours later, you will be cleaning up the remains of whatever mess you made and you will still have to figure out how to explain to the barn owner that it’s really not your fault the hose is in six pieces and the feed cart lacks a wheel.
  4. Horses can understand us; they have a sense of humor, too. I can prove it: take the most non-horsey person you know out to the barn and introduce them to your calmest, sweetest horse while saying, “This is Dobbin. You can pet him. He never bites.” Watch what happens.
  5. No two blankets in the world have the same system for buckling. This is a conspiracy by the manufacturers, who spend thousands of dollars researching the least obvious ways to fasten blankets on horses. They probably have year-end awards for videos of clueless people who couldn’t figure how where to snap what.
  6. There is an inverse relationship between your savings account and your horse’s health. The more money you have saved up, the more mystifying your horse’s mysterious lameness is.
  7. Either you are healthy, or your horse is. If you both by some cosmic accident happen to be healthy on the same day, it will rain and the arena and local trails will flood.


The time has come, the pony said,

29 January 2008 Comments

to talk of other things:
of spurs and coats and saddle cloths,
of bucking sprees and bling,
and why the gate is always locked
and what treats kids will bring.

Someone told my cat I’d saved some money up, because after what appeared to be a textbook surgery, she ended up back at the vet’s for an overnight visit last week and went back in again today… and will be staying overnight. Again.

To be entirely fair, the first overnight happened because she’s a little beastie at the vet’s. Did I say little? I meant “tries to rip your arm off and eat it.” We agreed it would be better to leave her overnight and let her chill out. That didn’t work, so when I dropped her off this morning I went ahead and authorized sedation in advance.

The update at lunch went like this:

Vet clinic: So, your cat let us examine her. No problems.

Me: Are you kidding? She’s dying, isn’t she?

Vet clinic: Well, we do want to keep her overnight…

Me: Please do. If she let you examine her without sedation, she’s obviously very ill.

We’ll see. There’s nothing conclusive about what’s going on right now. Could be as simple as her being dehydrated and needing a different type of antibiotic, or it could be as bad as an obstruction that will require surgery.

It’s a good thing I like her, because that’s my horse fund she’s spending. How is it they always, always know when there’s a bit extra squirreled away somewhere?

Tagged: Cats, Cats - Pookie

Now I’m feeling nostalgic

24 January 2008 Comments

I was going through some paperwork and found some of my old dressage scorecards.

On the one hand: “All the irregularity made this very hard to score.” Er… oops. You know it’s bad when the judge can’t even muster up a “nicely turned out pair” consolation comment.

On the other hand: we did indeed break 60% at Second Level. Sometimes I worry that I make these memories up.

The comments make me laugh, though: “Lost lead” when we were supposed to be maintaining the canter across the diagonal (e.g. going into the counter-canter)? That would be because Mr. Hunter/Jumper did a flying change. I would have sworn I had a card that said “nice lead change, not required,” but I can’t find it. Maybe it was a comment received from the judge after the test.

Man, I miss the Super Saint. If I’m ever lucky enough to be selecting scores to send in to the USDF for a Bronze medal, you can bet one of the Second Level scorecards I send in will be his. To get to that point, I’d obviously have to work my way back up from Training, and one would hope(!) I’d get a whole new set of recent qualifying scores… but I’ll send in one of his, anyway. It would matter to me, although probably not to anyone else.

Of course, I probably couldn’t break 50% on a walk/trot test right now, but who cares about practical details like that?


Tagged: Horse Shows, Horses

When I was a kid, we walked to school uphill both ways in the blinding snow

14 January 2008 Comments

Today’s temperature: Are you kidding me?! (This is a real temperature. It’s right between “Cold? You think you’re cold?” and “So this is what cryogenic freezing feels like.”)

I’m feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t, until I realized it is at least 70 degrees warmer in Houston than it is here, but hey, that’s what the internet is good for: finding things out that you’d be happier not knowing.

In real, happy news, I have a riding situation worked out so I can hop on one of my favorite horses bareback for fifteen minutes here and there. We think this will help my back without overstressing it the way I might in a lesson. It will also make it easier to squeeze in a lesson when the temperature deigns to go above 20 degrees, since I will be a little more riding fit than I would be otherwise.

I admit: I knew this was coming. A week or two ago, all the animals I know suddenly went *poof* and had thick, thick, thick winter coats. Since we have already had one of these cold snaps this year and they didn’t fluff up for that one, I admit I’m a little worried about how long this one intends to stay around, but I keep telling myself:

I am moving. We are still working out the details, but those are just details. I am moving.

(I would end with a bravado-filled “throw it at me, you cursed northern cold fronts! You can’t crush my spirit!” flourish, but that’s akin to challenging the thunder gods while standing on a high hill and brandishing an iron sword. I’m not so foolish as that.)


Poor, Misdirected Searchers

11 January 2008 Comments

I’d like to take a post to salute all the poor, misdirected folks who found this blog in 2007 via unlikely keywords.

Like the person who was looking for “stuffed monster pattern.” I am sure this is not what you were looking for.

To the person who wanted to know “what is a wrenched knee,” I hope you didn’t try wrapping your knee with a standing wrap in the hopes that would make it all better. That sort of treatment is reserved for the hypochondriac wannabes—like me—who know they are not nearly as broken as they’d like to pretend they are.

“secret names.” Funny thing, I’ve started dreaming about naming horses again. Except this time it’s ponies. But I won’t tell you any of the names because, guess what? They’re still secret.

“collected halt.” I hate to break it to you, but at the halt there’s nothing to collect. On account of how the horse isn’t moving.

“doofus.” Yes I am, sometimes. I enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

“horse blog code” and several related variations. Is that like the DaVinci code? If I write a book about it that has facts as holey as swiss cheese, can I, too, become an author too famous to answer letters or emails from people wanting to know just who translated his Latin, anyway, and has he ever heard of contextual readings? No? Well what good is a horse blog code, then, anyway?

“i don’t sew but want to make a quilt.” I imagine that’s going to be a bit difficult for you.

“how to make a lumpshade with ribbons.” I want to know how the heck “lumpshade” led you to my blog.

“you tube gaited horses.”  Shouldn’t you be searching the You Tube site?

“young grasshopper.” The thought that someone was probably trying to find the source of this quote makes me very sad. Isn’t this something everyone is supposed to know in their bones? Next they are going to want an explanation for where “Wax on. Wax off.” came from, and that will be tragic.

“looking for rider to sponsor.” What?! Wait! Come back! Sponsor me!

But probably the scariest thing was the number of “teach a horse to piaffe” type searches that end up here. People, please stop trying to teach yourself upper-level dressage from the internet. Find a trainer who has experience at these things and learn from them. You’re scaring me.

(But not as much as the “x”-related searches I get. Good grief. It’s a good thing I’m over 21; you’d have to be, to read my stats some days. There are sick, sick people out there.)


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