Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hard decisions....

Zydeco has been a big topic of conversation in my house of late. Usually we discuss Zydeco's condition late at night, once the dogs are settled in bed and there are no people to interfere. Supper is done, the dishes are cleared away. I'm usually having a light, no-name beer and wearing a blank expression on my face.

These discussions are frank and without emotion. When my parents bought my horse for me, they knew as well as I did that he was arthritic. We knew we would probably only get two good years out of him. I know it is fortunate that I got three. The luckiest girl in the world, I am, because that horse gave me every ounce of everything he had in him.

And now I have to be fair to him because at this point, he is here for my sake. He is the one I pet and love, the one who greets me when I come home from work. He doesn't call to me the way Tia calls to my dad. He stands at the gate of his pasture and he looks at me with that Thoroughbred-y look on his face.

I was grooming him outside today in his pasture, going over him with his curry comb and his brush. I bought them as a matching set three years ago and I love my brushes despite the fact that they are too small and not very sturdy. But they are Royal Blue and Royal Blue is Zydeco's color.

I was grooming him furiously and cursing myself for all the times I didn't groom him. All the times when he should have been brushed and loved and instead I was too tired or too wrapped up in something else.

And now I'm thinking, there isn't enough time. There isn't enough time for me to make up all those other times. There isn't enough time for me to stand beside him and whisper the lyrics of Serena Ryder's song "Weak in the Knees" in his ears.

Zydeco and I are having portraits done this coming week. I want shots of us together, doing what we do best: Just existing. Me and him, him and me...

I'm just focusing on the positive right now. Looking up at the red ribbons that adorn my kitchen and thinking how he got me those ribbons, how he took me further then I ever thought possible.

Positive. That's me!


Friday, June 25, 2010

I Want To Feel Like That Again...

Two weeks ago, I rode Princess. After two lessons with a new coach and much fight on my part, Princess and I finally came together as one. We were flowing, we were on the bit, we were working our best.

We achieved that which riding is all about: A partnership and an understanding. I was sweating furiously by the end of it all, soaking through my tank-top and my six hundred dollar George Schumacker breeches.

At the end of our miraculous ride, I was able to cool her out, long and low. There is nothing better than cooling out long and low, when horse and rider are moving forward with impulsion and are happy together. There is no relaxation in the world like cooling out, long and low. I don't care what kind of masseuse you have or what kind of pharmaceuticals you take: Cooling out long and low is the most relaxing and exhilirating thing in the world.

After the ride, I wanted to cry again. (Something leads me to believe that all riding successes and failures this year will result in tears. Tears because I'm happy that I can do it on another horse, and so very, very sad that I am not doing it on Zydeco, my one true horse.)

But, there were people all around and I had no desire to expose those poor, innocent souls to the emotion-ful-ness (Is there a word I could use there?) of my riding.

And so, like after so many other good rides, I cracked open a beer and smoked a cigarette, going over the ins and outs of the ride with my mother (Who, despite what I may say, remains my one true coach.)

The following rides were not as successful on Princess but I have been left with this: There is hope. Hope that another horse can teach me the way Zydo did, hope that I can continue riding and hone some skills. Hope that another horse may one day be mine who will fill the void that only a horse person can understand is there.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

On Having a Blistered Ass

Our first ride together was spent weeping. Rides after that were both successful and unsuccessful. I have put more blood, sweat, and tears into this new horse than I care to think of at this point in time, but hey! That's what the sport is about! Right?




Riding this new horse has blistered my ass. I am not making this up, this new horse I have a lease on caused an enormous, loonie-sized blister to pop up on my butt. Quite the uncomfortable situation to be in when sitting at an important meeting with a bunch of important big-wigs and you need to shift your position. And then you cry. Because your fancy pants and the chair you are in has opened the blister again. And the big-wigs are looking at you oddly but there is a lesion on your ass that causes you immense pain while sitting in an important meeting.

The thing about an ass blister is that it is ever-present. I have tried every variety of underpants I can think of to stop the rubbing on this ass-blister of mine and it continues to plague my life.

Poor Mal, all the way out there in Newfoundland, getting random texts about the blister on my ass. I feel for her. I really do.

I've been riding for over a week since the blister occurred and every time I do something, the blister is upset again and refuses to heal.

So, this new horse, this delightful Princess and I are working together and we have had a great number of successes together.

This ass blister though? The ass blister is not creating a great amount of happiness within me.

I'm working on it.

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