Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Riding today and future decisions

Well, after riding Olympus today, I want to go back to Liberty. I'm sure this is just because I know Liberty. When he does whatever he does, I know what it is he's going to do so I can expect it and be prepared. It's scary riding a new horse, even if it is a well trained, beautifully gaited, comfortable horse.  Today Olympus took the bridle great (I took it apart, and did not put the browband over his ears) I then put the browband over one ear, but not the other. he did great for most of the ride, but then the bridle began to slip further and further back on his neck and then the browband touched the hair on the inside of his ear.  Then he shook his head, causing the browband to slip back even further. He began to shake his head and longe a funny way trying to get away from the thing on his ear (or the bit...it is time to do his teeth, so I'm not ruling anything out)  It became a vicious cycle which stopped only after I put the reins on his halter and put the bridle away.  Then, with no bit, his normal head carriage was gone (miss that!) and he was a lot faster (hmmm, could be good, could be bad b/c I'm real attached to his pokey little trot and canter) and he still shook his head around.  But he did not take off after Rascal when Rascal took off, which was way cool, he did trot out more steadily once he adjusted and he did not have any trouble stopping, so it may just be an adjustment on my part. He's not in great shape and he tends to protest about being ridden when he gets tired. Olympus is not made from the strong "nights who say ni" stuff that Liberty is made from. He's more the wimpy tight to complain about "everything".  I was feeling bad about how much I had to get on and off (suddenly, he could not traverse several ravines and ditches and had to be led down) and I was worried that he wouldn't do water either. But then Susan, wanting to catch up to Alanna, let her horse canter and he really went off super charged...and I was reminded why Olympus is such a nice boy. He just sort of watched, but never sped up. Good boy Olympus. I was also reminded that i have really only had this horse on the trails about 11-13 times in all, so really, he's fantastic! I think he's just now starting to figure out what he can get out of.  The new halter bridle will arrive soon and that will help.

When I brought him back, Liberty came to visit me. I hugged my boy tight and smelled him and I was instantly reminded why I love my main squeeze...and reminded that I haven't been on him since October and how much I miss him. With Liberty I know what will go wrong potentially. I know he's a wreck on the trail on his own. I know he's a loud mouth at the P&R. I know that he's afraid of birds and that he always spooks left and if I can hang on he won't dump me. I also remember why he's harder to ride in some ways (way more narrow...I can't stick as well) but also how he thinks so much of himself and is just such a blast. i"m wondering what to do. I rode Olympus at six O b/c Maggie was going to compete Liberty...but now of course, she's not (never mind the conversations about not changing her mind). She's going back to Dixie. So I find myself wondering if I should go back to Liberty...and if I go back to Liberty do I just do the CP thing or do I go back to Open even though it means Maggie and I have to work things out logistically.  Do I ride Liberty in LA and then see who I had the most fun with?  Do I need to care about getting points this year and trying for a year end award (which negates caring which horse I ride more often) Do I try for a national championship knowing I'll be up against Jonni's horse, Hank, Alanna and Rascal, and Tory and Bam...I hadn't thought about that this year at all b/c I really thought that I was going to be working a lot more hours. The idea of riding so far after working 45-50 hours wasn't at all appealing...

which leads me to the next bit.

I found out today that my friend I have been filling in for will be back next week. I asked the Executive director if that meant I should plan only to work through next week, but I haven't heard anything yet. I did mention again that I really liked my job and would be happy to stay on resource for as many hours as they could/would give me. I knew this was temporary, but I don't think I expected to be this fulfilled by the word.  Not just making more money (though that has been nice) but just what it has done for me as a therapist. While I have been given to patients, and they seem to be happy with me, i have been receiving validation that I'm a good therapist. That I have always been a good therapist.  Before I kind of wondered if I was good at what I did. I wasn't sure b/c I didn't get a lot of feedback and validation, but now I'm sure that i am a good Music Therapist.  I know that I have grown over the last few years as a MT and that I'm able to work in areas I never really thought I'd be good at. I'm sure that i will go to some nursing homes, or maybe hospitals or wherever and begin a marketing campaign for more work for myself. I'm going to develop a brochure and I'm going to get more work (if the hospice can't keep me around for whatever reason). I have gone to DSSW and emailed them for more clients, but I honestly don't have a good feeling that more will be forthcoming. I have a friend who has more hours than she can handle and has cut back, so I know the hours are out there, but I don't think that I'm popular there right now. I want the work, but I have one person I have worked with there that just doesn't seem to like me and she doesn't think I do a good job. I have had a couple clients quit me that were hers in the last year and while I can see why I may have done something to be quit in one case, the other one was just ridiculous.  I'm not sure that she didn't actually cause my problem with both clients, she's just that hard to get along with. The people I have now are great. We seem to get along and the clients seem to like me, but I know that this can turn on a dime. I treat my work with DSSW way more seriously than I used to when maggie was in school. I treat it like I would an 8-5 job and I try not to take off...I learned the hard way that flexibility means that the client can change up their schedule all they want, but we'd better not change ours and that even though you have told a client for 2 months you're going to be gone an entire week, they may be still get made at you when you do take off...or when you change the schedule to see a client in advance of a coming snow storm this does not necessarily make you popular and the client may say that you change your schedule too much (even though they change theirs more) Anyway, enough of that...lets suffice to say, I want more work if it's not with hospice then I'm going to have to regroup and look for more.

Which brings me back to the horses: If I'm going to work less, I can't afford to go to so many rides but I won't be as tired and worried about getting back to work on Monday so I could ride open. If I work more, I'm tired and can't ride as much during the week and so CP is better. I'm not sure that I didn't like how much energy I had on Saturday when i came in. Olympus is easy to ride and I was relaxed and not exhausted and sore...of course, I only did one day since the ride got canceled.  It might be fun to ride Open heavyweight against all the really good horses and see how we stack up. We did OK last year, but we didn't really have the normal people to ride against, so it wasn't a true test. I'm sure I'll ride him open at the Arab championships in September...unless Maggie wants to do it.

I asked Peter if he had an opinion and he pretty much outlined what I already think. So, no answer there. I think I'm just going to have to see who gives me the most joy and go that route. I think that I don't mind going to slower and shorter and having more time to hang with my friends and play the guitar and sing in the afternoons...or give the occasional massage again which I have the energy to do if I'm not riding open (and could use the money for gas, lol) So I suspect I'll stay in CP, just have to decide on the horse. I need to get on Liberty and go riding. I miss him. We have fun together. Oly is sweet and I have fun with him too.

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