Stall Rest Chronicles 28 March, Virtual Tevis Registration

Explanation. We have a horse on stall rest following colic surgery. This has taken over the blog. Mostly. [Begin, Phase IV]

Third month post surgery
Week 3 of four weeks pasture rest

Competitors #50 & #51 ready to go! RunSignup: 2023 Virtual Tevis Cup – Western States Trail – 100 Miles in 100 Miles in 100 Days, Wed April 19 – Sun July 30, 2023.

Starts 6 days after Milton should be cleared for light work. Walking a mile a day will be a great way to get everyone – horses and riders – back in the game.

They do, as promised, have medals this year. Entry includes choice of finisher’s shirt OR medal. I got excited, began clicking buttons, thought they were charging extra for medals, and inadvertently signed up for shirt AND medal. Oh well, there are worse things.

Virtual Tevis
Tevis Cup: Virtual Tevis 2023, January 25, 2023
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Stall Rest Chronicles 27 March, 24/7

Explanation. We have a horse on stall rest following colic surgery. This has taken over the blog. Mostly. [Begin, Phase IV]

Third month post surgery
Two weeks at clinic DONE
Four weeks of at-home stall rest DONE
Four weeks of paddock rest DONE
Starting week 3 of four weeks pasture rest

Aaaaaaand they’re out.

As of Wednesday evening, Milton and Rodney are living the pasture life.

They were out together Wednesday during the day, as they have been. After dinner, we – once again – put on our big people’s panties and turned them out for the night.

No problem.

Two tired ponies the next day. All night partying can take it out of you.

As of Sunday, they have been out four nights, including one storm.

So, they live out. Except for stall separation at breakfast and dinner. And lunch maybe. And if they want to come into the run-in for shade. Or shelter. Or a nap.

But hardy pasture potatoes the rest of the time.


Giving New Meaning to Having A Stone In One’s Shoe

Rodney is fine. Popped it out with a hoofpick. I was checking them often that day, so it wasn’t in for very long.

He was able to stand on it. He looked like he was wearing a high-heeled shoe. Didn’t see him walk with it, as they were standing in the barn. When I saw Rodney, I first thought he was pointing his foot, the way they do when a hoof hurts. Then I got closer. Dang!

Thought about treating the sole &/or soaking the foot. Decided to let it alone and see if Rodney wanted to make a production out of it.

Forgive the photo quality. Clearly, I wanted to be quick. Equally clearly, it wasn’t too much of a crisis if I could pause to take photos.


In Which I Remember France and Find Myself in Google Books

Back in 1995, I contributed a sidebar, “A Moment In Paris,” to Travelers’ Tales France, O’Reilly et al. eds., page 17. The chapter is “River of Light” by Mort Rosenblum, an excerpt from The Secret Life of the Seine, 1995, MR: Books.

In 2002, the book was been reissued (reprinted? updated?) with a new cover, Travelers’ Tales: France.

The Google Books preview of the 2002 edition includes page 19, which is where my sidebar relocated after the redesign. Screenshot taken 22 March 2023.

The book was published 28 years ago. ?!?

The trip was … pauses to think … before I got married .. so, mid-80s … I’m gonna go with 1985.



Wanting It To Be Over and Other Unhelpful Things To Think Before A Horse Show

More rattling on about my nerves. Documenting the process. No answers. Someday we’ll all look back on this and laugh? Maybe it will help someone else feel that they are not alone? Although, I don’t wish this on anyone.

As expected, the show went fine. [Bringing in the Year with Blues]

As expected, I was a mess beforehand. [Thoughts on Future Lessons]

For three days.

That is why the Wednesday & Thursday posts – written together on Tuesday – are long, and the Friday post – written on Thursday when the reality of the show was looming – is short. That is also why you got two from the vaults for the weekend.

This was the same time that the horses started going out together. [Release Both Krakens]

It’s possible I was distracted.

I didn’t feel distracted, but at this point would I even notice?

I knew it would go well. Nice horse. Small class. Small show. Home barn. As unthreatening as a show situation could possibly be.

And yet.

That small part that can’t be reached by words curled up in a terrified ball for three days.

I really did say to myself that I wished it was all over.

If one were being generous, one could say that I wished the waiting was all over. But I really just wanted it all to be over. Eventhough I know I will like the actual classes once I get there.


I’ve established that my agitation disappears as soon as I sit in the saddle, and thank powers of sport for that. [The Crux]

Dr. Margaret suggest that when I am nervous, I think about how I will feel when I am riding. See if the positive feeling I have on a horse will lift me up from the mire beforehand. At first, I was concerned that I would contaminate the good feelings with the bad. Tried it. Turns out, doesn’t affect the ride, yay. Does make me more nervous, quel surprise. Visualizing what I’m going to do just makes me more nervous about doing it.

I can’t find a post about it, but memory says I was not quite as bad when I was riding my own horse instead of a lesson horse last year. Before one of the shows with Rodney, I remember lying down for a few minutes after breakfast. Once I got up and got moving, I was fine, or at least way better than here. I had something to do, something I was looking forward to – i.e. getting my horse ready – that took my mind off of the upcoming classes. Stay busy. Think about the horse.


I am alone too much. Without other humans for balance, I start to compare my level of activity and productivity to a platonic ideal of what I would achieve with perfect motivation. Since this is not possible, I am always failing. Not healthy. The fancy new term is emotional co-regulation. As far as I can tell, this is a ten-dollar word for ‘Hang out with friends and get out of your own head.’

Of course, as I said above, this was right when horses started going out together after 2+ months of stall rest, so I may have been at the end of my rope, low on spoons, out of energy bolts, choose your metaphor.


Bringing in the Year with Blues, Show Report, Spring Fun Show

On the day of the show, dude had a full dance card. We staged a reenactment later.

Stepping Stone Farm Spring Fun Show
Chelsea AL
Saturday 18 March 2023

Transformer (Optimus)
10. Academy Adult WTC Showmanship – 1st of 2
11. Academy Adult WTC Equitation – 1st of 2
Thank you to Sharon Gray and Whitney Cook for Optimus.

Halters were given out as prizes. Pretty snazzy for an in-barn show! I left Optimus’ winnings at SSF for him to use. As I have said elsewhere, Thoroughbreds want prize halters? They can go win them. [Collision of Worlds II]


Despite epic nerves in the days before (more on this tomorrow), I’m pleased with how I rode. Not just well, but rode well for saddle seat.

I remembered to support with the outside rein, unlike last time. [SSF Fun Show 2022]

I held my canters. Ditto & not unrelated.

I remembered a majority of stuff from my most recent lesson. [Optimus Returns]

I remember Coach Courtney talking about balance. So I thought about not flopping forward and thereby not flopping Opt onto his forehand. [Notes From A Lesson]


It was a brisk day. I was concerned that Optimus was gonna be lit. He was. It wasn’t so bad.

a) He had a class before mine, so got some steam out.

b) He’s a basically good dude.

Opt: Horses in the field! A break in the fence line! This! That!
Me: Keep your eyes in the boat.
Opt: Okay.

c) ASBs are used to going right to work. They are not used to floating around on a loose rein, being left to their to their own devices. That sounds nice to you & me but can be scary to a prey animal not familar with this maneuver. Picking up the reins reassured him that I had his back and he was not alone out there.

d) I need to keep reminding myself that my internal alarm is tuned for Thoroughbreds. Being on the alert to diffuse potential meltdowns leaves me twitchy about Saddlebred enthusiasm. As it has since day one. “Particularly given the Saddlebreds I ride versus the Thoroughbreds I own.” [Missing The Saddlebreds]


I remembered NOT to follow with my hands. This is so counter-intuitive for me. It makes sense here. ASBs are all about gather, gather, gather. Making a frame to contain, support, & show off the horse. So easy say; such a hard habit to reprogram.

As I said, I kept cantering! First time in four shows.

ASBs use so much outside rein. Again, they don’t want to be left alone to float around on their own.

Note to self, can’t use lower leg the way I am used to (or the way I was used to and the way I would like to be used to again. But I digress). I figured that I could do some negotiating with the upper part of my lower leg, just below the knee. Particularly for a simple command, such as Please keep cantering.

Thank you, Optimus!


Stall Rest Chronicles 22 March, Lunch Is Served

Explanation. We have a horse on stall rest following colic surgery. This has taken over the blog. Mostly. [Begin, Phase IV]

Third month post surgery
Week 2 of four weeks pasture rest

Sheldon, what did we say about being a nicer friend?
Leonard, what did we say about being a gullible weenie?

The Anything Can Happen Recurrence, BBT: Big Bang Theory Quote 3612

Yesterday, I said that the horses go out and graze all day. [Stall Rest Chronicles 21 March, The New Is No News]

They do. With one exception.

Some days they come in for lunch.

The first day, last Wednesday, I went to check on them. Many, many times. [Stall Rest Chronicles 17 March, Release Both Krakens]

Around noontime, they were hanging out in the run-in shed. We suspect Milton was tired.

Hay snack!

Both horses are in a calorie-acquisition phase. Rodney because always. Milton because of his recent, inadvertent diet and subsequent weight loss. So, they get to eat whenever & as much as they want.

I served hay.

Milton was a jerk. He ran around trying to monopolize all hay piles. Yeah, he was probably tired.

Rodney was not helping. He wouldn’t eat at any of the alternate locations. ‘Hay is served there. I must go there.’

I finally opened the stall door. Would Rodney care to lunch in solitude? Yes, he would.

So, if they are up around at lunch time, I put Rodney in the stall and serve a hay snack.

It is hard to predict which days they will come in. One day on the weekend; not the other. Rained the preceding Friday. I expected Rodney to nope out of the entire day. Yet, they never even came in for lunch. Stayed out all day in little to moderate rain. Go figure.