Category Archives: Mopey

Mo is hair. It’s true.

It must be spring because a recent grooming yielded horse hair. Not SOME horse hair, not a LITTLE horse hair but drifts, scads, clouds, tons and tons and tons of horse hair. It’s coming right off with the barest touch of any kind of brush you want to use. The shredder blade is best because it doesn’t have long enough teeth to catch the hair and hold into it, like the dog brush I’m also using to try dislodge some of the dirt on Mo’s skin so that Leah’s trimmer doesn’t get ruined again. Someone asked me how long it took to groom him. It’s not how long it takes, it’s how much time one is willing to spend on the task.  time for the lesson to start? Time to go home? Then grooming is done.

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Whump II

By virtue of falling, I discovered that my left leg is weaker than my right. Had my left leg been an equal to its mate on the starboard side of my body, I would not have fallen when Mo spooked last night. And what did Mo spook at last night? Why, Mo spooked at another horse last night. It’s just a small horse, too, about a year old, cute, wouldn’t hurt a fly but Mo Didn’t Have Anyway of Knowing That, Now Did He? Espeically With That Woman On His Back Who Was Sitting Funny.

I was sitting funny because I was riding with my right leg out of the stirrup. When I do half-seat, my right leg burns, which should have been a clue. Instead of interpreting this clue, I was just cheerful about my left leg muscles not bothering me. Leah suggested that I ride around with my right foot out in order to strengthen the left. I was also trying to post like that (which I kinda sorta did) and then, while totally distracted and all over the place, Mo saw fit to defend himself from Things Unknown (aforementioned colt) and off I went.

No bruises or torn flesh this time. Got back up as soon as I was sure I could do so, went to Mo, kissed him in the nose, and finished the lesson with my crop tucked in my boot. Didn’t want to add to things.

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Filed under Mopey, Riding Skills, The Rider's Body

Outside, on real dirt

Two weeks ago, Leah told me “We’re going to step our of our comfort zone tonight.”

“Ha!” I said, “And who is ‘we’? Got a mouse in your pocket?”

Such hilarity was not appreciated and Leah calmly ushered me out of the nice sand outdoor arena into the bottom, where, last year, I screamed my head off when Mo took off through a pond and up a hill. “Scream” is too nice of a word. Actually, I wailed pitifully and the sound made me want to smack myself, so I stopped and hung on as per my teacher’s instructions. “Hang on, Leslie!” were her exact words as Mo tore up the hillside.

But we were both under much more control this time, going up and down little slopes (“Are you sure he can do this?” I asked, the slope looking to me as if it were 90 degrees, easy. “Yes, Mo will be fine,” said Leah). Plus, Leah was right there with us the whole time, figuratively holding my hand. 

And he was. And so was I. Fine, I mean. We walked down little hills and I was coached not to lean too far back (not like the cowboys in the picture), because it pinches Mo’s back and he can’t really do much. We trotted on dirt and around a jump, and I went into half-seat for our climbs back up the small hills (haven’t sat half-seat in For Ever so I mostly couldn’t balance) — and we even kinda-sorta jumped up the little incline with the “stair-steps” dug into it. 

“OMG!” I said, “Did we jump?”  (I do NOT jump)

“Yes!” said Leah.

But what was the best was trotting up a gradual hill. It was so smooth. Going up hill gave Mo real suspension and in half-seat, it was like we were floating, gliding along, soft as feathers on on the wind, like birds skimming just above the ground.

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Mo’s pal Buddy

When I take Mo out of his stall, his neighbor, Buddy, complains. The poor little pony squeals and carries on as we leave, and squeals and carries on when we come back. It seems that if I call out to him, “Hey Buddy! Don’t worry! Mo’s having a lesson!” or “Hey Buddy! Don’t worry! We’re on the way!” he calms down a bit. I guess he’s learned the sound of my voice and knows that it means things are OK Mo-wise, that he’s not loosing his friend, and that he’ll get a treat because he bunks next to Mo. They get scared, I think. Leah told me that Mo was depressed after his previous roomy was taken away and never came back and maybe Buddy would do the same if Mo never came back. Ugh. Sometimes all I think about is the end of things and how sad it is that the horse companions will die some day.

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Scratching Mo’s head

Sometimes, when I’m early, I just stand in the stall with Mo and rub his head, between the ears. He doesn’t do anything except blink and I take the blink as a sign of relaxation. It’s nice to just stand there with him, both of us breathing, me rubbing his head, him blinking and standing still.  Quiet old horse (sometimes).

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Cool Christmas Present that was in time for my Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday!  I’m 48!  I love being 48!  It’s such an easy number to remember! It’s so . . . so . . . so darn even!  Twice times four is eight! Half of eight is four! What I like best about my birthday is that I have permission to run around all day saying, “Today is My Birthday!”  I want to buy some coloring books to celebrate — even though it’s the day after. So yesterday at my lesson, not only did Mo and I both experience the fruits of the  of the InSynch clinic, but I got a great Christmas present from Leah’s girls:  A picture of Mo all cleaned up for a show!  It’s so sweet and he just looks like dynamite; the camera caught his face at such an angle that the delicate tracery of Arab is clearly visible in his large and noble head.  Most of the time Mo looks like a stack of hair (even when he’s groomed), so the pictures was a nice surprise.  Leah told me that one of her girls even pulled out a  tooth to get money in order to afford the Christmas presents.  I guess I must have looked pretty alarmed because she quickly explained that the girl’s tooth was loose to begin with.  *whew!*

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Three Hour Clinic!

I spent most of the day on Saturday out at the barn for a Terry Myers Clinic and rode Mo for the whole three hours.   It was hard work but I grinned like a fool the whole time and I’m very much more in-synch (Mr. Myers’ philosophy) with Mo than I have been.  It’s humbling to be told that one is a green rider, and told this by an expert.  I kept my mouth shut and did not pipe up protestingly, “But I’ve been riding for 3 years!” because if I’ve got to tell rather than show . . .well.  There you have it. I hang on to Mopey’s head too much, just like everyone has done to him for all of his 26, 27, or 28 years (I’ve been quoted all three numbers for his age and I figure one of them has to be right eventually). And pray tell why do I hang on his head too much?  Because I am so stiff and so tense and still so nervous (I mean, I heard about Sam Shepard getting his teeth kicked out by a horse, just heard about it when we went to hear the New Velocity Ramblers , and got scared to death to ride AND was made even more nervous when an acquaintance at the concert nodded with great sagacity and said, “Yep, that’s why we raise sheep!”) — where was I? Oh yes — still so nervous that I hang on for dear life even though this most basic of human survival instincts (“Hang on! For God’s sake hang on!”) is totally worthless when riding. But totally. 

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