I’m pondering a recent search termI found on my dashboard that someone used to find this blog; “babies made from horses and women” and my first thought was, of course, how miserable do you have to be to even come up with something like that? It was a “what-the-heck’s-up-with-Imus” kind of moment; one of those times when you see or hear something and you cannot imagine how the mind of man or woman could create the horrid phenom. Then I realized that the author of this search has something in common with one of our great American poets, James Dickey, because the search made me think of his very good poem filled with horror and pathos, The Sheep Child.
The poem is enough to make you weep with a terrible sorrow and pity for the misbegotten thing in the poem, who took “one meal of milk” and died. But the thing itself, it also has sorrow and pity for humans, creatures from its “father’s house” how are themselves so sad and desperate about love, life, sex. The humans that the Sheep Child sees are lonely and uncomprehending, full of self-loathing for what they have done and what they must keep on doing.
That’s one of the things I like about the blogosphere, how ideas ping and pong off of each other even when they are not proposed as topics for discussion and debate (“Resolved: that the search term ‘babies made from horses and women’ is agitprop for early 21st century Americans” or whatever).
Thanks to Pony Tail Club for posting this neet-o gizmo on her Web site. In a few moments, you can create a graphical representation of your Web site. Plug in your site and watch it grow like one of those time-lapse images of a plant. When finished, it waves and weaves on the screen like an undulating, underwater green thing or a batch of seaweed washing up on the shore.
If you want to save your image and need instructions, go here for an amazingly simple how-to on creating a screen shot. I had no idea such things were possible and here I am, with my own computer even! I had to fool with the image in my simple Adobe program after I saved it and the resulting resolution wants some tinkering, but I’m pleased with the end product.
Leah said that Moe has much more spirit and what-not now that he has someone to love him. That would be me!!!! Moe is now taking a joint supplement that’s got yucca and a bunch of other stuff. I’m hoping it eases his crookedness because he’s kinda mean when it comes to picking out his back feet. He cow-kicks at me and he hasn’t gotten me yet, but it’s not fun. He’s kind of a pain, Moe is.
And because Moe was needed for a young rider later in the day, I rode Stalker today for my lesson. The last time I rode him, I was in tears. It was winter, I was worried about Gabby, and Stalker kept tripping and stumbling in the frosty, frost air. Today however, I was able to ride his 16 hand butt without fear. Without much fear. OK, a little fear when he sped up on me which led to me slacking off on my commands which led to Stalker coming to a complete stop whenever possible which meant he’d buffaloed me which meant starting over at the beginning, but at least I wasn’t all shook up. I worked with another instructor who has joined the barn, Lynn, and she is good! She always works my legs very hard. We spend lots of time placing them in the correct position, and then replacing them back in the correct position after they slide out of same.
I bought Clicker Training for Cats and started reading it today. I want to start off small — and with one cat — l and see how it works with our little darlings and see if we can’t train them to stop fighting so much. Oh, and both cats are overweight. We went to the vet today and weren’t exactly surprised at this news. What was sort of surprising is that the female, Sophie, is so fat she can’t properly groom herself. We thought it was just bad skin. Er. . . can’t blame it on the cat, can we? (blush). The glorious days of free-feeding are over, guys. Welcome to the new way of doing things.
Thanks! I’m taking notes on all of your comments!
I really liked what Denise said about feeling like a victim and waiting for something to happen and the quote about fear being a misuse of the imagination, what Annette said about reading the horse, and Erica on breathing from your center while riding. I’d like to get to the point where I can comfortably ride a horse other than Moe but like Leah says, why not enjoy him while we’ve got him with us.
I’ll try to talk Leah into buying a HUGE whiteboard and setting it up in the “spooky” end of the indoor ring. Then I can print the message of the day for my lesson/riding session on the board in large, easy-to-read letters and read it every time we go past the board.
So does anyone else have an issue over spooking horses? Does it scare the willies out of you? Have you gotten over it? How have you gotten over it? Maybe it’s never bothered you? How do you feel when your horse moves very quickly and you’re not expecting it? Is it an impediment to your riding?
When Moe spooks at something, I get over it pretty quickly. When I rode Gabby or Stalker, another big tall horse at the barn, I couldn’t recover. The last time I rode Stalker, he stumbled about three times and each time I got more scared until I was in tears by the end of the lesson. After I was done riding Gabby over poles at the Jurgen clinic, I stood back in her stall and sobbed into her mane and into the arms of one of my barn mates, almost sick with fear as I was and also scared to show it.
I don’t want to live in a fool’s paradise about Moe’s height being safer, but at 14.1 (I think; that’s based on determining where his withers come up to on me, then going home and making a mark on the door frame and then measuring the mark) I just feel one heck of a lot better than I do riding 16.1.
So yesterday Moe spooked at a patch of light on the indoor ring floor. His spooking is generally all about stopping dead, but on Wednesday he was a little feistier, doing more of a horse-dance when he thought he something on the ground and then again when he reacted to another horse’s spook over Mysterious Noises. And it’s OK by me. Instead of running screaming for the exit, I’m glad because it might mean that he’s in fine fettle. And I recover very quickly from the sensation.
I started saving Moe-hair (“mohair” Ha ha!) from Mopey’s tail for to make a horsehair bracelet. I think I’m going to go with Twisted Tails for the production because I like the pictures of the delicate bracelets, the price, the instructions on how to get hair and what to do with it, and the responsiveness to e-mail. I think I have enough and so now just need to get it packaged and shipped off.
Looking at if after I collected it was a bit alarming. It’s weird to find yourself with a handful of hair, weird to wash it, weird to put it aside and let it dry. I sort of forgot about it and kept getting small shocks when I caught sight of the long, wild strands of mostly black tail hair drying on a towel. I stashed the towel on top of some books on the bookshelves at just-above-eye-level. “Good God!” I thought, “How did that get in here and what the heck is it anyway? Oh. Wait. I know what it is. And I brought it into the house. *Whew!*.”
I scared myself with the tail end of some beets the other day too. While slicing, one of the ratty things wound up on the floor and when I saw it out of the corner of my eye a few hours later, I thought it was some kind of horrible dead mutant lizard. All this human-spooking gives me an added level of appreciation for why horses spook.
I spent most of the day at the Affaire yesterday, part of it as a volunteer and the rest of it as an attendee. Two hours of work for the Affaire earned free admission and I must say I earned it. I was one of the people standing outside handing out the free flyer for two hours and I tell you what, I am made of less sturdy stuff than the folks who stood there all day taking tickets and stamping hands. I spent the rest of my visit feeling giddy from the cold, rushing in and out of buildings and generally tearing around the place with some good barn-mates also in attendance. I was really touched – they bought Moe a new yellow saddle pad (to match his lead and halter) and a brush for de-tangling his muddy locks. Barn mates rule!
I got to see some Icelandics, which was one of my main goals of attending. They were so gentle and calm, as if the hubbub meant nothing to them! Meanwhile, ddonkeys brayed (Man! I’ve never heard that up close and personal! No wonder they make good guard animals), foals cavorted, stallions checked the air, teachers taught, boots and shoes sold, children had their faces painted, merchants did a land office business in tack and etceteras, and the volunteer office was just so danged nice (home-made cookies for all volunteers!). I love a trade show!
During lessons yesterday, Leah mentioned how much she liked to pick a horse and follow it to see how it fared in the races. And I loved the Derby when I was a horse-crazy child because it was a chance to see horses on TV! And this is back in the day when there were four TV stations: The Big Three networks plus the public television station. And one of those stations had lousy reception and watching was a dicy proposition at best (in Mid-Michigan, it was the ABC affiliate that more often than not came in snowy). Yes, I remember writing things in my childish journal like, “Today is the Kentucky Derby!” and making sure to get home in time to watch the race on a black and white television. Ah, how things have changed. Now we all have color TVs that are Huge Big with SurroundSound (“Whoosh!”), soemthing that only rich people used to own.And now that I am very experienced with gambling (Hey, I won $5.82 in Las Vegas on penny slots), I’m thinking about doing a spot betting on the Kentucky Derby just to see what happens. I need to do lots and lots of research (Hooray! Research!), however, since I havn’t the slightest. Honestly, my knowledge of betting extends as far as that song in Guys and Dolls: “I’ve got horse right here / His name is Paul Revere / And there’s a guy who says if the weather’s clear / Can Do, Can Do / This guy says the horse Can Do.”So I wonder if I could convince my husband to sit in front of our color TV with me and wear white while we guzzle faux cocktails during a certain weekend in May while the horses run. And if I’ll pick a winner. And just like the stuff I’m selling on eBay, I’ll donate 10% of my winnings to The Last Chance Corral.
Five, the big beautiful paint, had her baby last Monday night! Five was one of the three pregnant mares at the barn, so now she’s one of one new mommies! God, baby animals are just so &^%$*#$ cute that I can’t hardly stand it!
It’s pretty wonderful. Dennis went out abut 9 pm to check on Five and everything looked just fine. Then, when he checked back two hours later, there was the baby! Poof! Just like that! No one had to pull the baby out with much hoisting and sweating, there was no panic, no touch and go, no foal watch of hours and hours duration, no lost sleep.
And to show for it, there’s the little shaver looking just like his mommy! Same white face and same white patches in pretty much the same places. The colt has pretty little eyelashes, blue eyes (although this picture doesn’t do them justice), and a flapping trail. It’s alarming when he rests; when mother and baby were outside, he tires and folds up his long legs so he can sleep right on the ground., on the dirt. It makes me want to clap my hands and yell “Get up! Get up!” just to make sure he’s OK. Which I don’t do.