I haven't posted in a few days, because I haven't seen my pony for a few days. The holidays are upon us, and that means long, exhausting weekends for me. Luckily, I am a money-whore, so it doesn't bother me. I'll work until I drop.
Saturday night I made the huge mistake of consuming too much alcohol, and ended up in NO shape to work Sunday afternoon. I pride myself in having become a semi-responsible adult when it comes to drinking on school nights, but i thought since I didn't start work until 3pm, I'd be ok. No such luck. I was still puking at 1pm. Fucking Bacardi.
Unoccupied Area IV is an...interesting place, to say the least. It's like a disgusting version of Melrose Place, meaning everyone gets wasted and sleeps with each other but hardly anyone is good looking.
Me? I just sometimes get wasted.
It's like a freaky Hitchcock movie. You come to this town, having been from a 'normal' place and you're shocked at the way people act.
Here's an example of some of Unoccupied Area IV's finest parenting. Yes, that is a 3/4 gallon bottle of wine in that chiller, and that is a real infant baby in the car seat. And yes, they drank it all and then drove out of the parking lot. Did I mention this was 11:15am on a Tuesday?
Unoccupied Area IV tries to come off as god fearing Christian State, but from where I stand, nothing is farther from the truth. I've never seen a town with so many churches and so few Christians. From the cheating/swapping, to getting wasted around their kids. The classlessness is endless. Here, getting an M.I.P is a badge of honor and a measurable percentage of the senior class was pregnant. Here, several teens die every year in drunk driving accidents. Here, getting married at 17, to some Air Force guy you've been fucking since you were 15 is totally normal. Why? So they can live on base together and get free housing. And the parent(s) are ok with it. Like I said, Twilight Zone.
So, here's a toast to burying my head in the snow for the next 6 months until I can go home to where the people are somewhat sane. I'll even keep the wine classless, just for you; Minot.
5 degrees, sunny and no wind? No big deal. The Fancy-Schmancy Pony/Future Event Horse took it all in stride in his mid-weight blanket.
His HW blanket has been ordered, and is shockingly, back ordered.
OK, maybe not so shockingly.
We'll find a way to make do until it arrives. If we get some really nasty days with wind, I stuff him full of warm beet pulp mash and bring him in mid-day, for a break from the cold and a big flake of alfalfa.
OK, I confess. Mostly I wrote this post to share this awesome picture I took today. Hope your week goes well! Stay safe, warm and dry!
Although this schedule is a bit tiresome, I really like it. This morning we struck out to the field under a cloudy sky, balmy 46 degrees and....NO wind! Nekkid pony time!
Fancy-Schmancy Pony/Future Event Horse was certainly feeling his oats today. We put in a hard trot set to the top of the hill, and on the way back down he was really wanting to move out. Sorry, pony. No Can Do. I didn't want a fight on my hands, so I did the next best thing; I distracted him by ignoring him and paying attention to the rocks in the path. Now, these are no ordinary rocks. They are about the size of tennis balls/softballs. No bueno for the two of us, once the deep snow settles in. So, I set to the task of going from side to side on our path, covering about a 10ft area and chucking whatever rocks I could find, far away from us. After a bit, Rigsby was as interested in the rocks as I was and I had a semi-calm pony for the rest of the trip home. This is going to be my 'on the way home' task over the next few days. I'm looking forward to hitting the drifts when they are up to our knees (hellooooo cardio!), and I don't want a twisted human ankle/pony leg, to ruin our winter workout plans.
Playdate #2: These are usually occurring between 11pm-12am.
Things I have learned: Rigsby isn't a big fan of stall confinement. He's taken to such charming vices as: right-brained behavior in his stall, and chewing on the wood walls.
This is where playdate #2 comes in handy. I've asked my BO to make sure Rigsby is the last horse brought in, to minimize his time inside. This also minimizes the time he's exposed to the commotion of people in the barn. Then I show up 4-6 hours later and bring him to the indoor to stretch his legs and most importantly; LEARN. After our sessions, which are usually no more than 45 minutes long (15 min of stretching/30 minutes of classroom), he walks back in his stall quite contently and hopefully, sleeps through the night.
His weight gain is coming along well. I'm hoping by December 1st, I'll be able to cut his grain intake by 1/3, and add another alfalfa flake to his evening feed program. More hay, less grain! I also ordered his new winter blanket. He'll be rockin' a HW 1200D Weatherbetta Freestyle for the days it gets below 10 degrees, and for the REALLY cold days, I got him the matching neck attachment. I'm working on a bad-ass warm beet pulp mash for his morning feed on those cold days, as well.
Another thing I learned this week: Rigsby LOVES carrots! And, if you throw a carrot into his water bucket, by morning the carrot and all the water are gone. We're talking about 30-40% increase in water intake. That's HUGE.
How long does it have to be "winter" before I'm allowed to gripe about the weather?
It's been 5 days. That's long enough.
Now, although this may not look that bad, and yes I know it could be (and will get) 100x worse; but please allow me to read between the lines, and explain the weather you DON'T see.
Monday: Sun/Rain. Ummmm...bullshit. There has been no sun all day. It's dreary and raining. Oh, did I mention the wind? Yeah, it's blowing out of the south at a balmy 25+mph.
Tomorrow: Sunny/43 degrees. Ummmm...I'm already calling bullshit. Will it be sunny? Maybe. Will it hit 43 degrees? Maybe. Will the horses be able to frolik in their mud wrestling pit nekkid? Very unlikely. Why? Because that Sunny/43 degree day will very likely be accompanied by todays 25+mph winds, making it around 19 degrees with the windchill.
The wind here is what gets to me. I can handle the bitter cold, the snow, the rain and the heat; but the wind makes everything that is already a challenge, absolutely miserable. Now, I didn't mind it so much in the peak of summer when it was 90+degrees and it blew away the humidity; but now I'd like it to fuck right off and not come back until July.
Knowing I have zero chance of that happening, I will now end my gripe, and move onto the better news.
Today Rigsby and I braved the wind and rain and hit the muddy field for some trot sets. This is the part where I love having an Arab. Being bred for war and companionship, they are down for pretty much anything Life throws at them.
It really started to pour as soon as I pulled him from the field, so I kept his blanket on (mental note to self: order a lightweight rain coat for these days). The muck was very hard going for me, so he didn't have to work up much of a sweat. He was as forward and willing as ever. When we turned around at the top of the hill to return home, he was nowhere near feeling the workout (I'll probably never use the word 'tired', as it's nearly impossible to wear an Arabian out, especially on foot), so I thought we'd try doing a few trot sets on the way home.
He took off LIKE A SHOT. Luckily, all those bending exercises I've done paid off, and I was able to slow him before I was walking home solo. Although, I think that might have had been better, because then I wouldn't have had to bear witness to his disdainful looks all the way home about having to WALK, and have to explain to him that I can't run 30mph. After a hundred feet or so of dancing and sidestepping, he settled back into his springy, relaxed walk. Not bad for a 2yr old. **insert heart icon here**
After our workout, I brought him into the barn for a chunk of alfalfa and gave his legs a good scrubbing, then returned him to his paddock. I'll go back tonight around 11pm, to put in the mental work of stretching and transitions in the indoor. And just let him mozy around nekkid, with solid footing under his feet. I'm sure he's dying for a good roll!
Everyone has a favorite cause. Some folks like feeding starving children, some are into civil rights, some like to save cats. Mine is the Horse. I could never own/run a rescue, because I'd probably end up like one of those hoarders that authorities take horses AWAY from, so instead I donate undescribable amounts of my money to reputable rescues like ReRun, Old Friends, Beyond The Roses and Pure Thoughts. This cause is what's inspiring me to write this post tonight.
I set my alarm for Midnight, to wake up and make a last minute bid on the Da Hoss "Moneigh" on Ebay; to raise money for ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption. After seeing that the bid has been considerably upped...
...I decided to watch his 1998 BC Mile race for the 1327th time, to remind myself again, why I want this so badly. In doing so, I set into motion, another 50 minutes of watching past BC highlights, and that inspired me to write this post tonight.
I think this is all related to my blog, because a huge percentage of our Event horses came from, or were bred for the race track. So, to pass the time until I can bid on my the Moneigh, I've compiled a list of my top BC moments. I hope you enjoy them, they come from my heart. Oh, and I'll let you know if I won the Moneigh.
With my friend, the late Tim "Tiznow" Reynolds; his biggest fan.
The date was 10/26/01. Less than two months after 9/11, in the battleground of New York; Tiznow set out to defend his 2000 BC Classic championship. In the final furlong, as he battled the Saudi-owned colt Sakhee, Tiznow wasn't just running for his fans; he was running for his Country. Still have those tissues?
There is something special about horses and winter, is there not? The clean smelling air, the first snow crunching under your feet. There is a peace that surrounds a fuzzy pony contently munching his hay in a cozy warm stall, or blowing steam out of his velvety nose in the crisp night air...
The people change, too. Maybe it's the anticipation of the coming holidays, or that the weather brings everyone to the indoor arena. There is an unmistakable joy in the common bond that we all share, and for a very short time makes even the most hardened dressage diva, suddenly seem tolerable.