Monday, October 20, 2008

Putting one foot in front of the other

Good morning everyone. Well, here we are, another Monday morning and it is raining and cold. Truly a dreary beginning to another week so far. I can only hope and pray that it gets better. We had a beautiful weekend and as I'd hoped, my husband and I relaxed. It felt nice for a change of pace. We slept in, lazed around and had our coffee. After all the horses and the poochie were fed, we took ourselves out for breakfast. How nice it is to have someone else cook for a change! For some reason, it always seems to taste better to me, if I'm not the one cooking the meal. After breakfast, we went to a local park and went for a walk with Annie, our dog. I took a few pictures of the beautiful fall colors and basked in the warm fall sunshine. I feel the overpowering need to soak in as much as possible knowing that there will be many dark days ahead. I don't do well in the winter usually. I'm not sure if it's the lack of bright light in the Northwest, or if it's the damp, cold days; but it's always a struggle for me mentally. I get depressed sometimes, and I actually feel fearful of the coming winter months.

But anyway, as I'd hoped, we did go for a short ride on Sunday afternoon. The sun was out, the temperatures were brisk, and the horses were feeling fine. Maybe a little too fine...we set out across the field and at first, everything was great. I felt good, felt relaxed and we were settling into a quiet, companionable ride. But, for some unexplicable reason to me anyway, Harley, my usually trusty steed, soon became turbo-charged. It felt like I was sitting upon a keg of dynamite! I could feel every one of his muscles beneath me tautly strung. His head was held high, neck arched, ears erect and his hindquarters were well underneath as if he were ready to launch himself into the next dimension! What on earth?? I tried the usual stuff, got him busy moving his feet, tried to give him a job to get his focus back on me and took several deep, steadying breaths to calm myself. Everything seemed to be of no use. He was tightly coiled and ready to blow and what was worse, I was growing more nervous by the second. We were obviously feeding off of each other now and this was going south rather quickly. And to make matters worse, my husband was riding Ladde who was taking cues from Harley to be a butt!! I swear, they are peas from the same pod, those two. Ladde decides to "spook" over the dog who he knew was there - that was the best excuse he could find, I guess. Yi yi yi, I could visualize myself getting dumped right there in that huge field on the top of that hill right there in front of God and everybody! And what's worse, I haven't been dumped in years and I have enough aches and pains without being dumped - thank you very much! So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I started to panic and I made the decision to get off. Now, I don't hardly ever advise anyone to get off of their horse when they get scared. I try to tell myself and others to stay put, take some cleansing breaths and GET MOVING! The horse's energy has to go somewhere and forward is always the direction of choice. I should have kicked him into a nice, easy trot and took hold of the cantle as a pacifier if necessary, but by all means, moved him forward and stay seated! I am so disappointed in myself. My patient hubby rode my "spotted pill" (borrowed from PonyGirl) back home while I walked with Ladde and the dog. You see, Ladde is way too tall for me to mount without a tree stump or a very deep ditch or a mounting block or something, and I already had myself worked into a fine tizzy by this time, so getting on top of the "LadMonster" at this point in time was out of the question. I walked home with my tail between my legs feeling like a loser. So, after getting back, I mounted Harley and rode him for a half hour or so in the ring just to show him that he wasn't the declared "winner". I had managed to regain at least a small portion of my dignity before retreating inside the house for some lunch and an afternoon nap. It truly is hell getting you think that God strengthens our fears as we get older as a form of our own self preservation?? Or do I just need to ride my horse more often so that these things don't even become an issue? *sigh* I was never like this when I was younger, you know before things hurt so much or before mortgages and responsibilities...

So, here we are back to Monday and like I said, it's raining and it's gloomy, just like my mood. My boss, the "doc" is out of town until Wednesday, so another veterinary clinic was on-call for our emergencies over the weekend. Looks like we lost two of our patients - one to a colic and one to an almost completely-severed calcaneous tendon. Both horses were euthanized due to a poor prognosis in each case. I will need to contact our clients today and give my condolences for the loss of their beautiful horses and then, once again offer up a prayer of thanks for His continued protection of my beloved ponies.

Sending well wishes to all for a good week. Good-bye for now,
Lorie aka C-ing Spots


the7msn said...

Hi, Lorie. Thanks for coming over to visit, and for becoming a follower. I just read about your Sunday ride, and I can't count the number of times I've felt exactly as you did, sitting on a time bomb waiting for it to go off. I do think God strengthens our fears as we get older, but I'm also guilty of not riding my horses enough and expecting them to be angels when I do. Shame on me!

You have a fascinating job and one I would want ... if I lived in a city ... and the patients never died.

Wishing you a sunny week and a short winter.

Linda at the 7MSN

Melanie said...

You know what? I have done what you did (getting off vs. riding it out) more than once in my 25 years of riding horses, and every time I did, I did not regret it!

Sometimes you just have to do what makes you and the horse comfortable, and it is better than having a sore hiney or a broken bone, when you are old enough-and smart enough!-to know better.

About that police officer is definitely winning over!!!

allhorsestuff said...

Hay there now...
Well nice to meet you and also I get to talk about something that I have not even blogged about.
My Baymare Pill! They can all be that way I guess.

I don't know about God making the mortality base greater when they do those weird things..but it is happening to me too, of late.
I have gotten off early, like last night...and sometimes gotten off to kick my mare's she was standing up on the back legs -while I was on!

I have tried everything in the past 3 years....lessons form a multitude of folks, natural horesmanship, gadgets(made it worse) teeth, farrier,massage, chiro...AND mare wants me off in a bad way when we are in the arena.

I do think she has a piss poor (excuse me for being forward)attitude for work. being out to pasture most her life and then given to me has proven...sooowa, harda.

I think I will check her teeth again..but other than that, I am just starting over again. Proove to her that trotting and canter does not mean Kill the rider!
Well, I will return with better news soon...
glad to see you here and lets talk more!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like you did the right thing, especially coming back and working your spotted pill in the round pen, so he'd know he wasn't rewarded for acting like a mad cow. lol!

Riding more often has made a big difference for me and my painted gal's riding relationship for sure.
And also, because she has barn sour issues, never letting her think, that going back to the barn means relaxation and no work, unless I say so...has made a huge difference.

When I take her out and ride, I come back...and ride some more....and then head back out again.

It really keeps her guessing and doesn't allow her to turn into a battery operated toy instead.

Sorry about the dreary weather and the sad deaths of those beautiful horses. That must be so difficult to deal with :(