Monthly Archives: April 2007

The Sheep Child

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).

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A picture of your Web site

riderone-april-2007_edited.jpg

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.

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Little Things (and large)

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. 

cat_07.jpgI 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.

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Thanks for Spooky Thoughts

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. 

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More thoughts on spooking

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?

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Spookin’ Moe

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. 

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Horsehair Bracelet

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.

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