will provide family members, friends, and fans with the big picture.
There are times when I truly wonder, why in hell am I spending so much time with the horses? And in addition, why do I spend so much time writing about them? Most likely, I am autistic. There is no other way to explain it. We are talking a time commitment on my part of upwards of five friggin hours a day. The first thing in the morning, the very first thing, I head out and feed, water, and clean up after them. And the last thing at night, the very last thing, I head out and feed, water, and clean up after them. And in between the day’s beginning and the day’s end, I groom them, ride them, and do ground work with them. At all times, I feel great joy to be in their presence.
I will never know why I do this. I could get away with spending less time with them. I do know that once in a great while, I’m rewarded for my efforts, and this makes the time spent with Hrimmi, Tinni, and Raudi well worth it. Today was such a day. The horse part began with Pete and me going for a lengthy trail ride on our trail system. I have been working at getting Raudi to go down hills slowly – I finally figured out that her rushing down them is due to my being off balance. I have solved the problem by (when going downhill) keeping my head up my shoulders back, and my seat bones in the saddle. This works. I also have been working on getting her to be more responsive to my legs by taking my legs off her side, and using them only when I wish her to go forward or sideways. This too is working.
Got home, sat down to lunch as Josh, our farrier arrived. All the horses behaved for Josh – even Raudi who the entire time was eyeballing Hrimmi, who as she was being shod was at the hitching post, wolfing down hay. Raudi did really well, considering the human equivalent would be a hungry human being getting a pedicure while someone next to them ate something really good. She was very good most of the time – as Josh set down her final foot, she barged in the direction of Hrimmi’s dinner. Raudi isn’t like most horses, who waste energy dancing around for no apparent reason. Rather, she takes action when the situation merits it. I would not want it any other way for reactive horses scare the bejesus out of me. I would constantly be on edge if I owned such a creature. I need to be able to relax.
Pete and I resumed work on the December agility course. I laid out the obstacles I had on hand while he “decorated” the shelter/aka grotto with the items that I purchased at the thrift store four days ago. I said to him that had it been him, that he would have looked around the thrift ore, and in his mind, figured out where things went in the grotto. Me? I purchased some items – I had no idea where they would go or what I’d do with them. Nope, no idea at all. I got lucky – especially with the blinking light wreath – what a find that was. It was, however, Pete who discovered that the lights were battery operated.
Pete hung up the blinking light wreath, three Christmas stockings, tinsel, and candy cane. And dang if that shelter didn’t look downright festive when he was done. The wreath – at dusk – looking at it, I suddenly understood why people have light decorations. Light evokes the holiday spirit because it is key to our survival. We use it in decorations because we are so lacking in it this time of year.
Raudi wasn’t as taken by the blinking light wreath as I was – it was by now dusk – she saw it and all the other holiday ho hah and planted her feet and refused to move on. I had to admit that she who was wearing a Santa hat looked pretty dang cute. And when treats materialized from the magic pocket, that is the source of all good things, she strode right into the Christmas grotto.
Raudi and I continued on – she meandered through the shelter with its three sides festooned with streamers, and also had no problem with a sack of hay being placed on her back. And she marched right through the plastic bottle square, sending them flying in all directions. As for the star obstacle (five buckets laid out in a star pattern) – no problem – I figured this one out – I need to stay on the inside, facing the buckets in making the pattern.
All the while I was working with Raudi, Hrimmi was walking around, checking things out. Near dark, there she was, in the streamer shelter, snorting and blowing on the streamers to make them move. And there she was, in the Christmas grotto, pulling on her stocking. And there she was, following Raudi and me around the buckets. As I later told her, being number two agility horse is tough – but she will have her day. As for Tinni – he was content to watch, hang out, and eat Raudi and Hrimmi’s share of the hay. Agility is not his thing, and I respect him for this. I’ll forgo riding and set up the course, then take Raudi through it on a few practice runs. I won’t do this too many times because Raudi, being Raudi, easily gets bored with my antics. Even upping the reinforcer doesn’t work.
I’m really enjoying doing agility, now on a more formal basis. Tally ho ho ho.
Next: 342. 12/23/14: Book Review, Part 1: Zen Mind, Zen Horse