Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's still dark outside and I am sick

I'm calling uncle on my day before it begins. I have coughed all night and don't need to spew cough germs all over the kids...besides, I can't sing anyway since I have no voice...from coughing. So, I'm staying home.  I'm going to color and watch TV and then see my after school kids.  As bad as I feel today, I guess I didn't feel all that bad last week. 

I should know better than to camp on weekends when I'm already sick. I can't believe how many sick people were at the ride this past weekend. Probably because we were all at the last ride and caught all the same germs. Probably because we are crazy to finish out this ride season so intently.  I appreciate all my family, friends and clients who have put up with the frequent schedule changes recently. I'm looking forward to next year, competing just a little, in a relaxed fashion and possibly at a slower pace (cp vs. open still not decided)  I'm looking forward to camping in a leisurely fashion without an agenda.  It has been fun to do all these rides. I admire the people who make ride after ride, year after year. I clearly am not tough enough to do it and work full time.  And ride open.  So for the next couple years, I'm going to scale back to a more modest goal of just having fun again. This year of NATRC has begun to feel like work.

Maggie has made all the rides this year and I have missed one. I'm going to buy myself a jacket this year and embroider 93% on it since that's the percentage of rides attended if you miss one.  I never would have thought she could actually manage to attend all the rides, so I didn't think it was a big deal to miss one. Now I'm really wishing I had gone to LCB with her in March...at the time, though, it was very important to spend time with Peter. I made the right choice. I just wish I would have the jacket as well.  Too bad there isn't grace given for one ride missed...

This past weekend's ride was fun. I have released myself from worrying about the national championship.  I made extraordinary efforts to get a first or second out of state and it didn't happen.  I have had great rides that weren't judged as great and terrible rides where I placed well. I have finally gotten it into my head that I don't control my placing other than turning in the best performance that I can. In this very subjective sport, I may never have the perfection that others do, at  least not consistently it appears.   And even when I see myself and Liberty as being stellar, the judges often don't see that same sparkle. I have NO CONTROL over this. So, I have either had to leave the frustration of placing badly when we do well behind, or i have to quit.  I don't want to quit. 

I think that Liberty is tired too.  His heart rate was low as always, but his respirations were a little high this weekend.  I don't think he was breathing hard or seemed stressed, but he did sniff the air a lot which, while it didn't cost me any points, left me terrified that it would.  Dixie's P&R's were actually better than Liberty's this time.  We were on time or early all weekend, until the very end of sunday when we got stuck in the middle of novice/cp at an obstacle and had 20 minutes of wait time.  Since the pace was fast and everyone else was on minimum it put us in much later than everyone else, though still inside the window without using our wait time.  We cantered a lot a and it was fun not having to worry about the footing or slipping. About the time we still had 7 miles of pasture loops and novice had 3 miles, Maggie said that CP was calling her name.  I told her I didn't think it would actually be easier and that we'd be tired of all the walking very, very soon. I'm not sure Liberty can go back to CP and the slower pace...but I think that Oly and Dixie could walk most of it and we could be laid back next year if that's what we choose to do.

I'm not sure we'll do so many rides next year that it will matter. Right now I'm planning on Christmas ride, Tarrant Ranch and Arkansas in the spring. I will also do the Versatility challenge, but will do that on Liberty after I have given him a rest. Of course, there is a good chance that I will start riding him again after that.  I don't think we'll make Indian Territory next year since I have a school district job, but since it's a holiday weekend we "can" go.  I can't even think about next fall. I need to take Fiera to TTC next year too, so my priorities   may be shifted.  So many ponies, so little time to ride.

I have been thinking about about finding Olympus a new "bluebonnet approved" home. He really deserves to be someone's number one pony. He has so much to offer.  I have mentioned it to several people and of course, no one needs/wants a horse. He'd be free. The person just needs to be bluebonnet approved.  Or, I would sell Fiera and keep Olympus. I really would like to have one less horse...

Maggie thinks that she will join the rodeo team after all. When Last Chance is over, we will move Dixie to Azle and she will get started. I have mixed feelings about her doing it as it will take a lot of Sunday afternoons, but the positive part is that she will be with other people who share her interests.  And if she can have a scholarship for every year that she does it. She is talking about returning to science etc. and going to community college starting next year, but hasn't completely made up her mind yet.  HS has been kind of boring for her.  But, if she gets into a team, she may change her mind. I don't honestly care which she does as long as she's successful and happy and I think that's next to impossible not to fulfill. 

So, when I started writing this it was still dark outside at 7:15, even though I had been up an hour. I don't know why I didn't go back to bed when I realized I wasn't going to school? Probably because i was coughing and draining and realized i was done sleeping, even though I didn't want to be.

I'm going to take a shower and then go to the couch and color and watch some TV today. At least I can get something useful done.

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