Saturday, February 28, 2009

Easy, There, Seabiscuit...

This is the post in which Joomy does not become an aunt once more.

The saga of this pony continues. We have come to realize that the pony is not actually a pony, it is a small horse. And he is not actually a he, he is a she. And she may well be in foal (pregnant) although we do not know how far along.

Further, she costs twenty five hundred dollars.

I do not have the facility to house a foal. Nor do I have twenty five hundred dollars at my disposal.

I had fun dreaming, though. And my parents tell me that all is not lost. The man who currently has the small horse knows where I live, he knows what my offer on the small horse is, and knows that my heart is dead set on having her in my posession. Maybe the phone will ring in the next week or two, maybe it won't.

In the meantime:

The names I picked out for the not-pony that is not mine are:

Painted Premier (Rena for short)

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump (Skipper for short)

Star of Wonder (Wonder for short; although my mother thinks this name is blasphemous as it is the title of a religious Christmas song. I just liked it because I would always wonder about the history of this petite mare, and she would possibly be a star. Sigh.)

And finally:

Know When To Hold 'Em (Emily for short; although the full name sounds quite like a boy's name. 'Know When To Fold 'Em' Just doesn't sound right for a horse you want to succeed.)

I never set out looking for this horse, just like I never set out to look for Zydo. You sometimes just meet the one for you, and when I met this horse I felt that way. I thought it would be a fun investment, a good project, and a possibility for me to try out my riding prowess (or lack thereof) on someone new.

And so, I'm not shopping for a new horse. I happened upon a lovely young mare and thought for a few days that she could be mine.

I visited Zydeco in his stall tonight and he knew that I had been mentally cheating on him. He could smell the different horse names swirling around in my head, he could sense the sadness that this horse is not mine on me. And so he pinned his ears, twirled his butt towards me, and ate his hay as though I was not there.

Zydo is my one true horse. If another happens along the way, I'll accept it, but I am not entirely heartbroken that this new horse was not meant to be.

I'm just a little sad.

And I'm also constantly thinking up new horse names.

Perhaps the next one.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Occupation of all my Thoughts

I met someone the other day.

He is beautiful.

A little shorter than the sorts I usually tend to go for. But lovely eyes, fantastic shape, perfect teeth. I'm a sucker for the teeth.

I was watching him with his friends, his hair blowing in the wind, his feet gracefully wandering around in the crisp snow.

And I knew that I had to make him mine.

He doesn't yet have a name. Or if he ever did, I won't likely know it. But I can come up with a new name for him. Provided he lets me catch him out in the pasture.

He's a rescue pony who I met while visiting Tia at her boyfriend's house. Well, I guess its her boyfriend's barn, but I digress.

And I know. I'm supposed to be making wise financial decisions. I'm supposed to be saving up for my next car, spending on things that are only necessities, hoarding my money like crazy old ladies hoard cats.

But this is a horse we're talking about. Only crazy people go around buying horses, and who is writing this blog?

The craziest one of them all.

I'm daydreaming all kinds of wonderful things about this pony. Maybe I can make him mine, train him up, and sell him next year. Maybe he will steal my heart and I'll keep him forever. Maybe I'll try to catch him in his pasture, he'll turn his hind legs towards me, and send me flying across the yard.

Who knows?

But I'm going back to examine him again tomorrow, because I can't stop thinking about that pretty little pony. If you know me at all, you know that once I get a thought in my head, it generally needs to be kicked several times in succession before the thought is gone.

I'm blaming this one on the Big Crazy. There is simply no other explanation.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Fare Thee Well, Darq Lucretia...

Tia left the premises of The Ranch here early this morning in search of her one true love.

My father saddled her up early today and brought her over to a neighbor's farm, where we are hoping that his studly horse will woo her with gifts of carrots and fine clover, and that the results of this wooing are a fine Arabian Canadian cross baby.

Yeppers, Tia is going to get knocked up. All subsequent blog entries from here on in will be recounting Tia's progress, her morning sickness, swollen ankles, tired and cranky moods...

Zydeco is somewhat upset that his trusty stallmate has departed. I went down to clean him out this morning and he was pacing back and forth in his stall, looking worriedly out the door, hoping that she would return at any moment.

He was quite distressed, to the point that I said "If you don't stop being such a dillhole, I am going to smack you! Yes. I just said the words 'smack' and 'you' in the same sentence." He straightened up immediately. Of course, Zydo doesn't know what it is like to be smacked by me, seeing as I have never had the heart to smack the old boy thus far. But he had pushed my patience as I was trying to shovel out manure from under his pacing hooves.

And I could see the upset-ness in Zydo's face as he looked sadly at the empty stall across from him. It was like he was weeping after a bad breakup, and saying "But who is going to BITE MY FACE now that she is GONE?!?"

He currently has a gauge on his nose left there by one of his grumpy stablemates. I'm not sure who it was, but since Tia has the most open access to his face in the barn, I'm blaming her.

I think it is rather sweet that despite each of their idiosyncracies, Zydo and Tia have become such a pair. I'm sad for my boy now that his girl has left him, if only for the week.

I just hope he calms down so that future stall cleanings can be less of a dancing fest and more of a cleaning fest.

No need to draw out the act of forking shit, that's for sure.

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Still Truckin'...

I wasn't home in time to see Zydeco tonight before he was tucked into bed for the evening, but reports from my trusty stablehands (A.K.A my parents)are all positive. Zydo's leg was like normal this evening when he was brought in from the pasture, where he lives to torment Summer by hauling him around the field by his halter. Zydo is sometimes kind of a jerk like that.

I'm currently in show-season fantasy land, whereby I go through every day dreaming of the show season to come. I guess the trick here is to not actually TELL Zydo of any of my show-y plans.

We face the same issues for this season as we did for the last: Zydo has arthritis, and while sometimes he works perfectly and seems fit as a fiddle, his medication is contraband in the show circuit, and so he can't go in certain shows because of it. I, personally, don't consider Zydo's medication to be performance-enhancing, but The Powers That Be do, and so, if he requires this medication to continue on, then we will only go in non-recognized shows from now until ... Well, I'm not sure when.

Two shows that have caught my eye right now are ones judged by people I love and respect (respectively) more than any other people on Earth. My long time friend will be judging one this April (April!?!? I'm supposed to be able to do a twenty metre canter circle by April?!) and another come July. The one in July is judged by a woman who used to coach my mother, and I would love to have her comments written out on my scoring sheet.

I crave ribbons. The taste of winning ribbons that I got last summer did me in entirely. I did not expect to get ribbons last year, and Zydo won me a first and a second place prize. I often still feel my winner's high from that day, and occasionally when I have nothing else to do, I look over the pictures from that day.

However, I also crave the feeling of not getting a ribbon. It's odd, I know, but I want to go to a show and simply be proud of my performance. I truly feel that if Zydo and I went to a show and came out with nothing, I would still be happy to have gone with him, to have been in public with such a horse, to have ridden my best and to have completed the mission. So if this show season brings me nothing else, it will be one more experience with a horse I love to death. Last year, the ribbons were just perks from time well spent. I didn't expect to get them, and when I did, I felt like I was sitting on the moon.

I want that again, but at the same time, I'll be happy this year if Zydo can show up, do what I tell him to do, and go home again in one piece.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Woes in Horse Ownership...

This morning the telephone rang and when I saw that it was the Berry Queen on call display (Good Lord, how I love me some call display), I decided to be funny. So I put on my most professional voice and said "Good morning. You have reached the Injured Horse Capital of Ontario, how can I help you?"

And then the Berry Queen was silent. And then I said "Hello?"

And then the Berry Queen said: "Did you just say the Intercourse Capital of Ontario?"

And that isn't even how I started my morning. I started my morning out in the barn rubbing Polysporin on my horse much before the Berry Queen ever deigned to pick up her phone and dial the lovely people who reside here at The Ranch.

Zydeco (that wonderful, marvelous horse who I love to death) has yet another injury. It seems that he has kicked one of his hind legs with his oh-so-sturdy winter shoes. The ones with the metal spikes sticking out of them so he won't slip and fall on the ice. (You know, the ones that are supposed to PREVENT INJURY??!?!)

And really, the injury itself is nothing. I think I have a bit of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or perhaps a touch of Post Traumatic Horse Injury Disorder.

You see, the last time Zydo had a minor wound to his leg, I simply washed it, applied antiseptic, and moved on. I planned to have our first big show over fences, and I told him all about it.

And then, he began to kick himself until his left front leg practically fell off, and our show season was kind of a bust.

So last Tuesday, I walked Zydeco out of the barn and we had a few brief minutes to chat before my trusty Ground Crew was able to get to the ring. I told him, with great excitement, about our plans to show competitively this summer. How I loved the feeling of getting ribbons last year, how we would surely woo the judges of many fine horse shows come the summer of 2009.

And then I rode him, and something seemed off. So I walked him a bit more, and still, something seemed off. So I asked him gently for a trot, and he said "Uhm, No. But how about this lovely slow-motion canter?" and I promptly decided that he should have a day off.

He went out into the field, frolicked and played like a yearling, and kicked himself in the left hind with all his might.

Seriously. Show season is months away. And still, simply because I mentioned the word SHOW near the horse, he has come up with another injury.

I am scared of this injury. The last time seemd like a big ol' nothing cut on a leg, and it turned into a nightmare in which my horse almost lost his life. I've been looking at it, examining it, staring at it, willing it with the force of my glare to not swell up...

And tonight I came home from work to find the leg swollen. And I would love to bandage it to provide some relief and support, but I own a horse who lives to eat bandages. If I were to bandage his swollen leg, he would either A) wrap it up around his leg in an attempt to eat it and cause the swelling to multiply or B) choke to death on the bandage while attempting to eat it.

Neither seem like good options.

And so, I am simply writing about it on the Internet in hopes that it doesn't turn into the disaster that occurred last summer. I'm hoping that in the morning, I will go once more to my horse's stall, find him in perfect condition, feed him an unGodly amount of grain, and move on with my day.

Here's hoping.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Winter Blahs and Riding Hurrahs...

I hate winter.

I detest the short days, the blowing snow, the infinite coldness, the dark, and the despicable driving conditions.


Here we are in February. I've noticed that last week or so that the sun has a newer, different quality to it. It has joined us for longer periods of time each day, and it just feels... Good. I feel alive.

And part of being alive, when you're me, is to ride.

I have an entire collection of winter riding gear, from head to toe. I've purchased a new coat this year that was designed specifically for winter riding. It is super light, fitted at the waist, has a tonne of shoulder and arm room, and a bum flap! So you don't pull on your shoulders sitting on your coat! It outdoes the plaid jackets I was riding in last year by leaps and bounds. AND it is waterproof and windproof.

Zydeco has had two months off, which I firmly believe he deserved more than any horse in the world. He worked hard last summer, harder than he's likely worked in a few years. He went down in girth sizes, he muscled up like a body builder, he had the best condition I've seen on a horse in some time. He almost lost his leg at one point, and recovered swiftly enough to show off for a fourth level dressage rider and take me to my first ever dressage test. And, Hell, let's not forget the FIRST and SECOND place ribbons he allowed me to bring home.

The boy deserved a break.

And despite his two month break, he still remembered the fine art of maintaining my weight on his back while keeping his nose DOWN! What a guy!

I only rode for a short period today, because I didn't want to kill him on his first day out. He stood like an angel while I got on, took off at a fast paced walk for about twenty seconds, and then said: "Yes? What is it you would like me to do for you today?" He's like a high class maitre'd some days.

And damn, do I love him for it.

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