Well it’s Wednesday. Wednesday is horseback riding day. I got to don my new riding hat and half chaps. I look stunning. Okay not really but they do fit. Both size small. So at least I have a small head and small calves. (that word doesn’t even look right does it? Like how did “calf” get the meaning of the muscle in our legs AND a baby cow? Ya know?) So, back to horseback riding. Philip bought me this book last year, like when we first met, called Zen Mind Zen Horse (by Allan J. Hamilton). First of all, what a nice boyfriend right?  I didn’t start reading it until this week.  Last night I was reading up on grooming. The author says grooming should be like the tea ceremony. Full of love, ritual, bonding, blah blah. Anyone who has ridden with me in the past knows that my experience with Shawndiz during the grooming stage was anything but loving and bonding. Witch horse (may she rest in peace). But once I was on her she was great. GREAT. Well anyway, I am the first to admit that I am a scaredy-cat around horses when I’m off of them. I think I’m good on them, but all that man handling I need help with. So I read the book and today I was ready to face the love. Me and this horse, Remi, we’re going to bond. Right? I read it in a book so it must be so!  I get there and he’s just been fed. I go in the stall and he’s snorting and you know scaring the shit out of me. Now understand, he’s barely moving or snorting but in my head he’s going to kill me. So I decide I’ll reason with him. I’ll let him eat a little, look him in his left eye, with love, you know like the book said, and then he’s going to drop that cud and walk right over to me. Yea, well, I stopped someone and asked them to get him. I felt like an idiot. So anyway, this dude grabbed him like he was a kitten and I took it from there, put the bridle on and led him, all by myself,  back to the grooming area. But now he knows I’m a wus right? So he’s pounding his feet a little, swishing that tail, dancing ever so slightly (again in my mind it’s the same as rearing up) but I stand my ground and brush him. Big brave me. Then comes those damn feet. I was determined.

horse pickingZachary gave me some pointers when he was here, apparently he learned to do this with his dad growing up, and the book last night gave me pointers. I leaned in, ever so gently, pushed him off-balance, slid my hand down his leg, squeezed in the appropriate spot and nothing. He didn’t budge. I tried 3 or 4 times and gave up. One of the barn people was walking by and she did it for me. I mean it’s embarrassing. However, I am so good with the bit now. (the thing that goes in their mouth) I put it right in there and right over his head all by myself. I mean you’d think I was an expert. I think back to the days when I was afraid to do that so I KNOW I’m going to get this feet thing down. It might be another 10 years, but I’ll get it.  I better keep reading the book.

All that work and I’m already emotionally exhausted, that’s all before even getting on. Then, the first half of the lesson I couldn’t get him to trot again. I don’t know what it is. My legs are too weak maybe? I’m supposed to be squeezing and sticking him with my foot and well it just doesn’t seem to matter. He barely trots and then typically walks at the corners. It’s extremely frustrating. I mean like enough to make-you-cry frustrating.  But then we cantered. And there was love. He cantered great, I was feeling great, we jumped a double jump (cross rails, not like jump jumps) he would go from a canter to a great trot, I was feeling great, keeping my diagonal, keeping him going, keeping my two point and it’s over just like that. I feel like I just get him going and she says, “you can walk him now.” Seriously? So that was my morning. It should not take nearly as long to get him out of the stall and tacked up. I really need to work on that.  I think today I was a couple of minutes later than usual and she had just fed him.  Next week I’ll go early before she does that.  Then, I don’t know what I have to do to get him to a comfortable trot. Maybe start out with a canter? He is old. He’s 24. Maybe it takes him that long to stretch. Maybe he’s just tired and has been ridden so often by years of inexperienced riders that he can tune out the heels in his belly and do whatever he damn well pleases. I’m pretty sure the cantering is less about me and more about him knowing what comes next and probably knowing that it means the end of the lesson. The one thing that is “spiritual” about it, is that I am totally focused on what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s the only time of day or night when I’m not thinking about what I need to be doing, who needs picked up, what appointment I have coming up, I mean I think nothing but trying to get that horse to move or whatever it is I need to do. So that’s something. Apparently anything that clears that constant chatter in your mind is said to be spiritual.  You know how I love my spiritual stuff (or for those of you who don’t know that, I do).  This book promises that alot of spiritual stuff should be happening between a horse and rider.  I’m not convinced but I’m going to keep reading and keep going!

Speaking of spiritual, I had my last Hospice training class yesterday. I need one more TB test and I’m good to go.  I have to wait a week and do another, just to be sure it’s not a false negative. After that test I believe I’ll be starting at the Care Center in mid-Pinellas county, not to be confused with the North Pinellas county Care Center practically across the street from our house. I’ll be doing the same thing I did with the babies which is go to each nurses station and see who needs what. I was told yesterday that they have a great need at this mid-Pinellas location for volunteers. The Center across the street from our house is filled with volunteers, they have too many.  So I said I would go where I’m needed. You know, like Mother Teresa (God rest her soul.)  I mentioned the fact that I am interested in baby care and they said that option is not yet up and running. Maybe I’ll be able to get in on the ground floor when that gets started. For now I’ll go sit with my old people. The mid-Pinellas location is around where Philip works so maybe we’ll plan it so we can do lunch after. I will make it work!

My days are filling up aren’t they? I went to that chiropractor yesterday. They did a lot of x-rays and other tests and said I had to come back today for the results.  I said I couldn’t come back today but they went ahead and said how about 3:00 and I’m like okay. Why? Why am I so weak? So today I called and said I have to reschedule. I mean it’s just stupid. I’m going to go back and they’re going to tell me all this stuff that’s wrong and I’m not going to go back to them because I have insurance and they don’t take it. So why don’t I just go to who takes my insurance? Ya know? Stoopid. I see a pattern though. I did the same thing with my teeth. Although I didn’t have insurance for the first visit. Speaking of teeth, they have never called me back after they were supposed to talk to the insurance company. I guess they don’t want to do my 75 crowns? I’ll have to follow-up with that too.

I’ll go to the chiropractor tomorrow I guess and let them show me the film results. I mean we did pay $25.

And now I’m done rambling. Truly I am.

Until mañana,


PS – and now for something totally random. This person tried out 3 times on American Idol and now she’s becoming famous because of You-tube. It’s just such a nice story (and nice song).

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