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October 10, 2018: Being a Guest

Being a guest isn’t always easy. I am always concerned in such instances that I’m doing the right thing. There are so many ways to gum up the works. For example, I fear doing small things wrong. For instance, I sometimes forget to move the floor mat to its rightful place on the pole after taking a shower. And I do not know if stripping the bed before I leave where I’m staying is the right thing to do. Additionally, I’ve most likely never loaded a dishwasher correctly.

I blame my mother for my lack of hospitality savvy. Who else is it that teaches one such things? My mother was in many, many ways a very attentive mother, but in other ways she was a neglectful mother. How does one explain this to those who take you in, with the expectation that you’ll be good company?

My having a good sense of humor endears me to people, as does my being low maintenance. I’ll eat just about anything that is plant or fruit based, and I will gladly sleep on a couch if that’s all that’s available. I also am willing to assist with household chores, cleaning bathrooms included. All this, I think, makes up for my failings.

moving the manure of 21 horses
Moving the manure of 21 horses

As far as horse people go – I feel most at home in barns and around animals. I am adept at going with the flow. If a horse needs its feet picked out or to be tacked up, I’m on it. No, my mother did not teach me these things. What I know has something to do with what’s called ancestral knowledge. Way, way, back, in the days of wagon trains, one of my far distant relatives jumped into the equine gene pool and did a swan drive. I later acquired some of this genetic make-up.

My day began with a living room riding-related lesson. Karol and I figured out that perhaps I should use my outside eye when making turns. I practiced this while sitting on the edge of a coffee table. There, on a stationary object, this as opposed to a living creature, what I was attempting to do, which is move from my core, was relatively easy.

Next, I watched Karol’s daughter Kelly do two agility lessons. The first was with Bella, a three year old green broke mare who is about 14 hands high. This horse was given to her current owner, Linda, 78 years old. She one day found it in her yard and her then owner said that Linda could have it. She is now boarding it at Karol and Sally’s place. If I had the money and a larger place, I’d have made Linda an offer she could not refuse. This mare is really smart, calm, and inquisitive. She’ll someday be a dynamite trail horse.

The second lesson was with Pharaoh, an older Arab gelding. This horse was extremely patient with Bonnie, his owner, who was determined to get him through the course with as few errors as possible.

I learned a few things that will serve me in good stead when doing agility on the home front. One of the most important things is to loop the lead rope through the halter instead of hooking it to the ring. This is a good intermediary step, one in between having no contact at all and having more direct contact. I think that this will work well with my horses.

And I rode Gabby again. Again, when turning, use my outside eye, bring my awareness to my inside leg, think, think, think about this and that – there, I nearly got it. Got what? that I need to still my stream of consciousness. Eee gads.

This evening I worked with Sally’s young daughter Megan, who elected to ride her gelding Bear in the outside arena as the day’s final lessons were taking place. The question she asked me was how do you train a horse for trail riding? In my head I went back to the time in which I was at Raudi’s breeder’s place, and I tied Raudi to the panels. She immediately wrapped her head around the line and I freaked out. This, really, was how it all began. And, here I was now, attempting to explain some things to an aspiring trail rider. Must be in my DNA to do this kind of thing.

Next: 284. 10/11/18: Rain Day

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