Monday, February 25, 2008

A Lovely Day

Maggie made up a poem about our cat catching a rat:

Kitty, Kitty
Goody, Goody
Pouncey, Pouncey
Mousey, Mousey

I thought it was cute.

I started the day with breakfast with Jackie. She took me out b/c I have been working on the website. It's not a great website, but it's still nicer than the old one was with new pictures. Then Jackie and I came back to the barn and we rode together. I had some new students drop by and I just sat on Freeley and chatted with them a little while. It was really nice.

Freeley seemed so happy to be out and be ridden today. He was alternatively perky and lazy and we had a nice time.

I had some clients to see after that but I got to come back and ride again in the evening while Maggie rode Deli. I rode Liberty and Cat rode Bobbie, one of our lesson horses. I told her that she should sell Merlin and buy Bobbie b/c they were well suited. Bobbie is a great lesson horse and she could probably get a cut on her board as well! Liberty didn't have a single temper tantrum tonight and he was really good. A couple of times I had to remind him to do some things differently, but he seems to be settling into the idea that working is easier than being a brat. I have been using a martingale, but the one I used tonight was too low set. I like the stretch rubber one better, or I may use my running martingale, but the Arab Martingale was too restrictive. I'm just so proud of how he's coming along.

Maggie is going with me to the trail challenge this weekend after all. The lady who had scheduled the lock in for the cheer leaders changed her mind or something. Suddenly it was tentatively scheduled and it's been put off for 5 weeks. No one else thought it was tentative. I was so angry. This person is always making plans and then changing them, often at the last minute and whenever I have gotten mad about it she tells me that I'm throwing a tantrum and she won't stand for it, or that I'm crazy or something. It's never about her lack of good behavior. This is a woman who bought her kid a horse and then was too lazy or busy or something to let the kid go ride. So, they moved the horse closer and they still don't take the kid to go ride. Now they found someone to freeload the horse at their place, and they still won't go ride. I love the kid...one of Maggie's friends...and we're always asking her to go riding with us and they won't let her come with us b/c they think I'm crazy (not crazy, just incredibly pissed off at how inconsiderate this woman is and how everyone else seems to tolerate it)...Me thinks I am not the crazy one.

Now, to be fair I'm sure they are busy and I know that horses aren't their thing but only the kid's thing, but I don't get how they can let the kid get a horse and then be ready to sell it less than a year later. Maybe there are things going on that I know nothing about, but I have been burned too many times after making plans to find out that mom's had a better offer, or something came up. I have never forgotten about the time I planned an elaborate camping trip to go try a horse for them to have her tell me 2 days before that something had come up and she couldn't come and I would just have to deal...I had several people arrange their schedules for that to have her blow all of them off. That was the first time and I hadn't learned the ins and outs of that relationship at the time. I won't bend over for her anymore.

I had been trying to get back in the mom's good graces all year so that the girls can play together, but it's not happening. The last time I let them play was at their house and she had a fit when I asked her to meet me to get Maggie back. I even said that I would do all the transport from now on, but they still won't let her come to my house. So, they will just have to be school friends. And I'm torn about saying anything directly to her about the school fiasco b/c I know it will do me no good. She'll just tell me that my kid misunderstood about the lock in being a definite thing and how I'm crazy b/c I make a schedule and want to keep to it. (Unlike this lady who never will plan anything!)

Ok, enough ranting. It's time for bed and I can't change anything.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

EEK! A Mouse

We just caught another mouse...well, small rat? Not sure. It's tail sure was long, but Peter said it was only half the size of the other one. The cat caught it. I thought one of the dogs was in the trash, but she made a horrible racket and I went to see what was going on and she had the mouse in her mouth, but then she set it down to play with it and I started screaming b/c I thought it was going to get away. Peter got it and threw it outside, but it wasn't dead, so I went back outside and tried to get the cat to finish it off, but she wouldn't! Darn Cat. I ended up picking it up in a towel and putting it in a baggie b/c he wouldn't finish killing it. Eeek, it was gross. It had a really long tail! I hope that is all of them.

A Moment Alone

I'm home for just a few minutes alone today. It's been a weird Sunday. Peter was grouchy this am. He claims he had too much sleep. Maggie and I offered to take off and go to the barn, but he didn't really want us gone either so we've been home watching Tv. I worked on Jackie's webpage. It's www.newgroundfarms.com. It's not professional by any means, but I have begun to change up the photos as she has so many old fuzzy photos and I did some work on it. I hate her website maker though as I have to fake it through all the html and I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I have been working on paperwork as well and just generally feeling restless...like I wasted a perfectly beautiful day doing nothing. I have some more notes to write and I have sewing to do, for which I can not become motivated. I have cleared off the table to do it half a dozen times and then backed away. Maybe tonight after we all are tired of TV?

Peter and Maggie have gone to get Maggie's water in her fish tank tested. All but one fish is dead and they want to know why and get her some new fish. I turned off the Tv and it's so wonderfully quiet!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good Week of Riding

I had my first dressage lesson on Liberty on Wednesday. My lesson was with Danielle at Turning Point Farms It was really great and I learned a lot about Liberty and myself. Problem is that I learned that he is kind of a weasel. I have been riding him all soft and light and thinking "poor little guy, he's new, he's confused" Only, it's not true. It's more like "poor little Alice, I have put one over on her big time" I know part of it was b/c we were in a new place, but we would start around the circle and every so many strides he would tuck his nose, throw out his shoulder and take off in another direction. WHAT THE HECK??? So we started an exercise of having him circle in a 5 meter circle off the big circle in the problem locations. I had to really move him off my leg to get him going forward and not get stuck. The good news is that he is moving off my left leg now where he wasn't before! The bad news is that he still doesn't actually want to make a whole circle to the left. I'm convinced it's a balance issue. I think he gets upset b/c he feels out of balance and tries to right himself in the wrong way, so I spent some time working on bigger circles tomorrow with better results, but we have a long way to go. We did these exercises at the walk and trot and he got tons better for me as the lesson went on. Then Danielle got on him at the end and darn if that little guy didn't do everything to her he had just done to me even though we had spent an hour riding him! What a stinker! We spent an hour working on one exercises and I went home with instructions to longe him in side reins and to do more of the same work. I"m to work on keeping my hands lower and I have added a martingale to keep him from giving me a bloody nose!

Today is a big day! Maggie and I are taking Freeley and Liberty to the grasslands and he's going to go a "Real" ride. I have control over him. I can stop him, back him, rate him and turn him. It's not pretty but I have control I haven't decided what tack to use yet but it will be good whatever I do. The English saddle fits him much better, but I liked using the rubber training fork for the head slinging and I"m not sure I can hook that up with the English breast collar. I also don't know if the English saddle is going to be comfortable for 3 hours yet as I haven't been in it that long. I think it will probably be fine, but I"m not sure. So, I'm doing what I always do in moments of indecision: I am taking all my tack and will decide there!

Peter is coming with us to hike and hang out so I have to get moving or I won't be there in time to ride with my friend Nancy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Very strange tuesday

I woke up this am feeling like I was getting sick, with my head hurting so bad I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. I rallied, got some coffee at starbucks and went to school to see clients. I saw the first two and then ran to walmart to replace my stereo, which has broken, came home to eat lunch. I found I had a fever, but didn't really feel that bad, so I called a few clients to see what their preference was. I found out that a couple clients were sick on their own and another never called me back so I didn't know if she wanted me to come or not. Yet another has never returned my calls at all. I also heard from the agency for whom I work and they said that one of the clients called the office and said I hadn't come (at least that's how the message got translated to 2 different people)...they were the one who was already ill and they didn't want me to come. When I called the dad said he was sorry that mom hadn't called to tell me.

I'm sort of glad that I didn't have to go anywhere, but I wasn't able to get any rest as whenever I dozed off a variety of things happened. I think we have another rat and he was working under our sink (yuck!) Then the phone rang and then Maggie and Shawn stopped by to pick up some things they needed for her days with him. So, here we are at 6pm and I still feel icky and tired, but it's too late to nap and too early to sleep. I think I will try to get to bed by 9 tonight.

I'm supposed to have a lesson tomorrow on Liberty...Hopefully if this is a cold and not the flu, it will have set in by then and I'll feel better. I'm feeling so icky and I have had such a couple of spotty weeks working that I hesitate to give up any ground...I can't bear the idea of not earning the money and I can't bear the idea of making people angry and having them quit using me. I have grown to like my schedule and my work. I think I never take time off b/c when I do (like last week) I end up getting sick and missing b/c i was sick and then it looks like I'm a slacker, which I'm not.

I was telling Shawn today that I worry a little about doing a good job and keeping the jobs I have. I go to Springtown every Thursday and while I know that I would rather be doing massages full time, it's such a great opportunity. I love the kids and I love the work. I want to keep working for them as long as they'll have me back. I worry that they'll find someone who is better at it and then I won't have a job and I don't want that to happen. It's valuable to me both in career and in monetary terms adn I hope I can continue that relationship for a long time! I feel like I need to know more than I do know. I'm rusty and don't really know who to turn to. I read posts on email groups of other therapists and I want to watch them work, yet I know that other therapists are all busy and don't really want me tagging along with them. I'm trying to set aside time for reading each week and for activity development. He says he worries about it too but since we travel, our bosses often don't tell us anything unless there is trouble versus telling us when we are doing a good job.

So, today I am here wishing I felt better. Yesterday was such a great day. I was in a good mood, I rode horses I was positive. TOday I have no energy and feel blah. I guess since I have a temp, I'm "ill" vs. "down in the dumps" but I hate having my moods swing like this. Yesterday I could have said that I was fine and didn't need any help with my mood. Today I'm all pitiful, but questioning how sick I am versus how lazy I must be. I don't feel good, so I stay home and then I feel bad b/c I've let people down...not a good way to spend my week.

I have thursday to look forward to though. Lee is coming to town from FL and i have taken off work to see her. If the weather is OK Susan and Lee and I will ride. More likely though we'll just have lunch b/c there is predicted bad weather. Then I will see a couple of clients on makeups since I missed them yesterday hanging out with Maggie on her day off, so it will be a full day.

Some days I wish I could just have money and not work. I wish I had a Motherlode key, like in sims2 and whenever I need money I just pick money off my tree or type in Motherlode...which obviously isn't going to happen :-) But it is a nice thought.

Peter is hungry and I'm not cooking. Back in a few to write about Liberty.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rainy Saturday and Muddy Sunday

No lessons today b/c of the rain we had yesterday. This is the first Sunday in months where I haven't been out of town or teaching at the barn. I changed the one lesson I had today to tomorrow. I will be going to do a massage or two here in a little bit, but at the moment I"m still in my jammies.

Peter, Maggie, Jena (cat's daughter) and I have been playing with our American Idol Karaoke game. I have changed the judging to harder on my singing to make it more fair, but I still keep winning. Fun to win, but I wish that they would win sometimes. I even changed myself to random song so I could get songs I don't know...Poor peter got an even harder song on random than I did. Sometimes he just gives up and starts cutting up. I laugh so hard I cry. LIke now...he's singing "Don't let the Sun Go Down on Me" and it's really awful and I can't help myself. He is so much fun and tries so hard.

I got a couple songs that I don't know and I bombed too, so we're even.

Now the girls are starting a new game and we're all going to do it on random. I've promised to change my vocal judging to medium to level the playing field b/c even when I don't know a song I typically have a good enough hear to hear it. I can usually gather enough points by the end not to lose completely. Now it's set up for hte game to choose a random song...last round I cheated and picked different random songs for Peter since the one he got wasn't a good choice. Unfortuantely the one we ended up with wasn't in his range at all! It's been a fun day.

Tomorrow I hope to ride Liberty and teach my lessons. It will be a busy day to be spending with no school.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

video of Liberty

video

This is a video of me working Liberty in the round pen last Friday. He finally has started to "get it" in the bridle. He still objects to the piece of metal in his mouth by working his jaw all the time, but he's starting to understand that it's for steering and stopping just like the bosal is.

Today was a short but successful ride. I ground drove him in the round pen, something I confess I am not very good at but he takes it very well. I'm always amazed how sweet and forgiving he is considering how green he is. I got on him for a few minutes after working on the ground with the bridle and bit in my english saddle. He seemed uncomfortable today even when i rode him on a totally loose rein. I worried that it could be my English saddle (which I just bought) that he doesn't like. the fit appears to be pretty good to me, but I have learned that there is no way to know until you use it awhile. He was squirrely on the trail though in a different saddle, behaving in the same way, so it could just be how he's acting at this point in our training. It could have as much to do with the bit as with the saddle. I need to see about having the chiro see him. He is reactive to my left leg on him when I want him to move his hind end over, but does really well when I move him over from the right.

The good news is that he's doing so many things well. He's keeping all four feet on the ground and he's stopping and backing well. He's going down hills better. He's standing for me to mount, even from the off side. He always comes up to me no matter how much work we've done the day before. He's just amazing.

In a few weeks we're going to the Texas Trail Challenge. That will be the longest I will have been on him. I'm just so impressed with this little guy. I have to get in shape so I can be lighter and rider him better. We also have a lesson next week with Danielle of Turning Point Farms. She will start us wherever we are using whatever tack we're comfortable with.

Unfortunately Freeley is feeling left out. I need to take him out and ride him so that he doesn't feel left out. He's still my heart and soul. He's my favorite horse that I have ever had.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Gift From God

Yesterday was a crummy day all the way around (see yesterday blog where I whined about my glorious, but mundane existence on a pretty Sunday) Today I woke up and I could tell I felt better than yesterday. I'm sure now and was sure all along, that it was just hormones, but yesterday I was just so sad that I couldn't go and play with my friends. I felt like such a brat, but I guess I"m only human. Usually I cancel my responsibilties when I feel that blah and maybe I should have yesterday, but I pushed through, ended up happy and no one suffered too much for it!

Today I was pleasantly surprised by a phone call from someone I don't know really well, but would like to know better. WE talked horses and riding and just whatever for the longest and it was so wonderful. It made for a nice contrast to yesterday. IT was a real gift from God!

Same friend requested new photos of ponies, so I will put them up and change out the old ones. Hopefully I can get some video up too. I had a great little video on my phone the other day and it had an error and wouldn't upload.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On Feeling Left Out

Today was a beautiful day and I wanted to ride...only I had to teach a lesson at 2pm. It's supposed to be a father and daughter but lately it's been just the daughter. I love this kid and I like her dad really well too. I like them well enough to forego trail riding with friends most weeks to see them and teach...but today I was feeling really sad and sorry for myself. I found out that two of my friends were off to Decatur and I hadn't been invited b/c they knew I had to teach at 2pm today. No one was at the barn with whom to ride. I have been delegated to teen trail riding babysitter. The friends I used to ride with all the time are no longer available when I am able to ride. I have tried to rework my schedule to get my social riding friend fix, but so far haven't been able to figure out how to get it done. I have been keeping my own schedule and going out to play with my horses at least 2 times per week alone. I like being out there by myself, but sometimes it's odd to be out there all alone with no one except stable hand around. I can't ever get Cat to go. Her reasons range from no gas money to just don't want to. So many people I know out there work during the day and they just ride on weekends or at night, which is when I'm working. Even if I weren't working, I have begun to make an effort to be home at night so we can be together as a family...honestly, there are many times I'd rather be at the barn at night b/c it's when everyone is there, but I know Peter likes us home, so I keep that schedule. Susan and Bird went riding today and I couldn't go. They were actually being nice not asking me since it was their belief I couldn't go, but I feel so left out of things. Every Sunday at 2pm I teach these 2 lessons and it's when everyone is off riding. Most of the time I just accept that it's my life and i really like teaching and being with the students. I just felt like today I had traded all my freedom for $20. I was just feeling so lonely and left out. I feel like I'm in this huge transition period and I know where I've been but don't know where I'm going. I want riding friends who are my friends and love to go riding. I don't want to have to beg someone to ride with me. I want it to be like it used to be when I had more people to ride with and more places to go than I could keep up with in a single day. I really miss seeing Susan every week or every other week.


I'm hoping to get their lessons changed to later in the afternoon so I can have some social riding time and then come back and teach. It was a good lesson today. I worked with Maggie and Emily on negotiating better hills and they did great. Emily is doing fantastic on this horse, Bobbie. I wish her folks would let her have a horse of her own as she would realy excel I think. Bobbie is very laid back, a little on the slow side: perfect for kids!

I tried to talk Mary into going to the trail challenge with me...but she let me know that she just doesn't camp. I'm so bummed b/c Maggie is going to be at the cheerleader's lock in and I can go by myself and have an adult weekend...only I can't get anyone to go with me. I don't know if it will be more depressing to go alone and be alone all weekend on my own, or if it will be worse to just not go.

I don't guess we're going to the Scamper either. Maggie just doesn't want to ride Freeley in competition. I can't understand it. He's so awesome and I know if she would just ride him they could be a great team. But, to be honest, he was a little off today. His canter wasn't right. He's just missing some of his get up and go...he's almost 19 and he shouldn't be "old" but he's starting to feel like he's slowing down. Maybe it was just a fluke today, but he just hasn't had the same motivation the last few times I've taken him out. I feel like his heart just isn't in it these days. I don't know if he's just hurting and trying to fake it and pretend he's not hurting, or if he doesn't really like Maggie riding him either. I think he's a little jealous of Liberty, but since Liberty actually seems to want to hang out with me, I admit that it's easier to grab him and play.

I have got to get over feeling so down. I can accept that part of it is just hormones, but I can't drag on being this emotional much longer. I've been sad the last 3 days thinking about all these things...Maggie is growing up and would rather ride with her friends. I'd rather ride with my friends too, but don't seem to have any that are free. I feel like I could just go in a corner and cry and cry. I hate feeling like that. I hate crying and having no one comfort me and I hate crying when there is anyone around...quite a contradiction. What I mean is that I could cry right now and I am home and feel like I wouldn't be comforted, so if I can't be comforted by someone at home, I would rather just cry where there isn't anyone to see me, so I don't feel quite so ignored. He's not ignoring me to be mean I'm sure...I just don't think men in general know what to say or what to do when women cry, so ignoring us is so much easier. Or I get told what it is I have done to cause this situation myself, or how I should fix it, when the bottom line is that I'm just sad and needing to be held while I have a good cry.

I usually ride on Monday, but weather.com says it's going to rain, so I guess I will come back home and do paperwork tomorrow and Tuesday. Hopefully I can ride again on Wednesday. Jackie and I were going to ride tomorrow, but she has other things she has to do, so I'd be on my own again anyway. It some how feels less lonely to be home alone than it does to be at the barn all alone. I'm just so tired of feeling blah.

Where Have I Been?

Well, I finished reading the entire Harry Potter series at 2:15 am on Wednesday. For the past three weeks I have been alternatively listening and reading the last 3 books of the series. I have been tired ever since! I liked parts of how it ended and didn't like other bits. I was sad that characters died, and really sad that it's over and I'm finished. With characters like those, they start to feel like friends.

Working with Liberty has been fun and challenging. I need someone to work with who isn't condescending. Someone who will look at what I'm doing and acknowledge the good and then help me improve. many of the people I have looked into working with want to do it for me, or want to tell me how I don't know what I'm doing and this doesn't sit well with me.