Regular Programming

…will resume after this update on my Weekend Plans.

Horsemanship Challenge
In retrospect, I should not have worried about the Horsemanship part of the day. As the lone adult, I had been riding 2-3 times longer than my competition had been breathing.

However, the Challenge aspect was worse than I anticipated. My understanding was that I would drawn a horse’s name out of a hat. Yes – for each round. I am glad I did not know I would be riding three new ASBs instead of one. I would have gotten even less sleep.

Spotted on the rail.
Spotted on the rail.

It all went fine. My first ride threw a bit of a fuss, I yelled at him, and we moved on. The second ride got a smokin’ trot going. I could tell because it started to feel deeply weird. I was warned that my third horse could get obstreperous if you let his head drop. Better believe his head stayed UP. From any perspective, a successful day.

Unfortunately, the demon’s in one’s head do not always bow to reality. Generally, if you confront an activity that freaks you out, you realize you can do it and you get braver. Occasionally, it leaves you even more freaked. An extreme example would be to force a person with aerophobia onto an airplane. Just makes it worse. People kept asking if I was having fun. Although I knew the correct answer was yes, I harbored more than a trace of surviving the moment rather than owning the moment.

The upshot. I will do this again, but not until 2015. In March 2014, I will have just started cantering at saddleseat shows. After a year of cantering in public, I should be able to face whoever leaps out of the draw. That’s the plan. LW&TCDR.

Back to this year. In the walk-trot division, they awarded a champion and reserve. Both were from my barn. The rest of us received undifferentiated thank-you-for-playing ribbons. A little bird told me that I was close but I’m happy that I didn’t win. We have established my competitive nature [Showtime]. If they had waved a tricolor in my direction I would have grabbed it with both hands. The softer, not-totally-sour-grapes side of me is glad I didn’t take a ribbon from a kid.

Of course, it was easy to be broadminded when I knew I would be picking up two big, fluffy ribbons the next day.

Spotted flaunting ribbons
Spotted flaunting ribbons


Spotted at table
Spotted at table

Why do we gather? What atavistic need causes us to huddle in bland conference rooms, eat a steam table lunch, and talk with folks we see at the barn and the shows anyway? All in order collect a fistful of acetate that could have been sent through the mail for a fraction of the cost & effort.

Dunno, but I don’t see it ending anytime soon. That’s why I think no amount of video chat will replace conventions or professional conferences. At some point we need to gather to breathe each other’s oxygen.

Tooth is gone. Did it solve a long-term problem? Well, a chronic cramp in my neck is ebbing. I can now check my truck’s blindspot without having to turn my entire body. Whether the effect is physiologic or placebo, I think it’s real, so mox nix. Of course, it could have been anxiety over waiting 2 months for the appointment. Bah.

On an equine note, the dentist kept asking his assistant to retract my tongue. All I could think of was grabbing a horse’s tongue. It made me giggle every time he said it.

Around the Internet
Since I have been away, my friends have been busy.

Life, the Universe, and Everything
Random Riding Thoughts” at has a story about my first horse:

One day we happened across a length of plastic corrugated pipe. Bentley was closest to the pipe, and he ducked around Priney so she could protect him. The look of disgust on her face was palpable, and we were laughing like crazy. She was a most expressive mare.

Rodney reminds me of Bentley, only braver.

Been There, Done That
In keeping with the mission statement of “commentary on many different thoughts,” recent topics have included cake decoration, feminism on TV, and the Civil War. Horse topics include the similarities of treating horses and humans:

Interesting to realize that most mammalian systems operate in essentially the same manner. Muscle is muscle and bone is bone and the degree or ingredient may vary, but the treatment’s still the same. More Different Strokes.

& great pictures of Crazy Opinionated Jumper Mare in Hot Buttons!!.

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