Friday, August 27, 2010


Rode three times and none of them ideal, just in distractions, which, ironically, is fine, maybe even perfect. Sunday it had been very wet and I didn’t ride until the last thing before evening chores. I started on some hills but not my usual ones because the back gate of the back arena was closed and I didn’t want to dismount to open it. They were a bit slick, so we just did a few and went to the back arena and did a few things, the laterals and trying to work (without a lot of success I must say) on that stretchy circle thing. And we didn’t buck into canter.

Monday I was getting on first thing after morning feeding and as I walked into the arena, lawn mower guy drove in. Rolinette hates pretty much anything motorized. We were able to school just fine as he worked a little ways away from the arena but when he got to mowing right around it, she wanted to scoot. So having had a fine work already, we quit. I had wanted to ride the test again just to feel how it flows. It still seems to be a really fast moving test.

Tuesday the lawn mower guy was finishing up the weed eating early and I didn’t get on until he left. So as soon as I got in the arena, the next door tractor started up. Which isn’t as bad as the lawn mower guy but still created some tension in that end of the arena. Nonetheless, I did a regular sort of warm up, about twenty minutes, and then rode the test. Three times. She’s in really amazingly good shape. Of course, it wasn’t as hot as it has been, but she wasn’t huffing at all really. She was sweaty and I think at the end tired (she stumbles when she is tired, and sometimes when she isn’t but more when she is), but not in bad shape at all.

I am unlikely to ride the test again so from here on it is seeing it clearly in my mind. Ride serpentines to practice changing that bend. Ride specific canter transitions. Practice walk-trot-canter in a short period instead of “I’m gonna trot until I get it together and then canter.” Stretchy trot stretchytrotstretchytrot. And lots of halts and all other transitions of course. In the walk series, I have to keep her energized in that first medium walk to free, but when we come back to medium, legs almost off or she’ll jig. Ask her to relax AND do the work. And hold that canter.

And so a VI girl came back from her summer the other day and informed me, while I was cleaning a stall, that cleaning stalls was what Mexicans were for. I kid you not. Such a position of privilege and self-importance overlaid with complete cluelessness. But there is also the how small a peon she was talking to in her estimation. That would be me and pretty much everyone else at the barn too. I’m sure this is not a politically acceptable response but we’ve all got our “Mexican” names now: Juan, Julio, Lupa, Taco, Carlita, Margarita, Corona, Pedro.

But in all seriousness, wouldn’t we all like to ride more? I’d asked someone I’d run into who has seven or eight horses if he needed any of them ridden and boss asked if I didn’t have enough riding opportunities with her. My response was in the form of a question: “Do you have enough riding opportunities?” “Not that people want to pay me for.” Well, bingo. What if I could ride his horses and get paid? Would that be so bad?

Someone observed the other day that I was doing what was perhaps my “dream” job. Well, it isn’t my dream job. It is, perhaps, my ideal job, the job I can actually do and be good at and LOVE and progress and still be multifaceted as a person. My actual dream job is probably something I either don’t have the skills for or would take me entirely away from my real life, the stuff that really matters to me. But I’m always looking at how to move toward that ideal without ruining my real life. I’m not sure how much of that is possible, but I’m real sure that more of it is possible than is currently manifested. I would prefer to get there through my friends moving toward their ideals too.

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