Friday, January 6, 2012

Take me down to the paradise city ...

I am feeling like I need a vacation.  Last night my mom said that at the end of the month my cousin is flying down with their new puppy for two days and I said I wanted to come just for a vacation.  Just to spend a couple days as a grown-up who is not taking care of animals, children or other people.  My mom said it was too expensive for such a short time and our family would be coming down in April anyway.  But I want a vacation now!  Sigh.

Meanwhile, I am getting some time off this morning from everything and getting my Guns-n-Roses fix.  I realized just now that I am officially "old" because I start stories with "I remember when ..."  Good lord.  "Well, Sonny ... I remember when I got this tattoo with a pin wrapped in thread and Indian ink.  It was the day after I overdosed on heroin and we were listening to Guns & Roses second album and wondering how Duffy got so successful ..."  Yep. The good old days.  I really have a hard time imaging that was me at this point.  Oh wait ... my mother reads this blog.  That never happened!

I also want different weather.  Either snow or sun and warmth.  I was looking at the weather report the other day and it really felt not like it was going rain and be in the low 40's for the rest of the week, but for the rest of my life.  If it's going to not be warm and sunny it at least should be snowing! I bet it's nicer in Mandeville.

Toadie was quite wound up yesterday.  I had about twenty minutes to lunge her in the afternoon before going to pick up my daughter after school.  Nothing really spectacular was going on.  One of the teens was there with her horse and M. and Trainer K. were meeting with a saddle fitter to get the right saddle for her new horse, Favio.  But I went into the arena to lunge Toad, as I turned to close the arena door she reared up, twirled around and galloped off, which yanked the lunge line out of my hand as it also yanked my arm really hard for the split second I foolishly thought I could keep a hold on it.  Luckily, I had been told years ago to NEVER wrap the lunge line around your hand exactly because of something like that.  It has never happened to me and I guess I figured it never would but I just kept following that rule.  Now I am glad I did!!!

I walked down to the other side of the arena and told her to whoa and to calm down but before I could get close to the lunge line she took off again, galloping and bucking full speed around the arena with the lunge line flying behind her.  Ok, I admit that I wasn't totally calm.  At one point I yelled, "Goddamnit! You dumbass! Knock it off!"  But then I remembered I had to be calm and firm, not angry.  So, I firmly said "Whoa. Easy." and she finally decided to stop (on her own accord - having nothing to do with what I was asking her).  When she finally stopped the lunge line was wrapped around her back leg so I had to tell her to back up for a ways until she stepped out of it.  I was actually impressed that I didn't even have to touch her, I just walked toward her and said, "Back ...back ..." and she kept backing up until her foot came out of the tangle.

I gathered up the lunge line and took her over to the other side of the arena to lunge and she walked in one circle, started rearing, then tried to gallop away again.  This time I had a better hold on the line and my feet planted and I kept hold of the line even though she dragged me a little ways across the arena.   The pressure made her angry so she reared again right as M., Trainer K. and the saddle fitter wanted to come in to use the arena.  I asked them to hold off a moment until she at least stopped rearing because I was worried about her running them over and I know that M. is tentative about horses out of control (Trainer K. could care less - nothing scares her).  I saw Trainer K. coming to the front by the gate to come see what was going on and help, but thankfully by then Toad had calmed down enough for me to feel like she wouldn't get away from me.

Of course, then she started trying to gallop and on Trainer K.'s instruction I pulled her in to the smallest circle I could to me and she was literally cantering as fast as she could just a few feet away from me which meant that I was literally spinning around in order to keep hold of the lunge line.  Finally I got her to stop and I was so dizzy I could not move.  I had to just stand there while the room spun around me and I felt like up was down and down was up.  I said, "I'm so dizzy I can't move," and Trainer K. started to walk over to help, but thankfully by then Toad was just standing with her head down, not doing anything and looking disturbed herself.  Trainer K. said, "She's dizzy too," to which I said, "Really?" and she said, "No, you're not going to get that lucky."

After a couple minutes when the dizziness passed enough that I could move without falling over I changed the direction of the lunge line on Toad's bridle and asked her to just walk (mostly so I could continue to get my bearings!).  She did pretty well, but she would not go all the way out on the circle - like she wanted to be as close to me as possible.  I commented that she is not a chihauhau and is a strong, empowered horse and didn't need to get in my lap but it didn't help (obviously).  Then I noticed that every 30 seconds or minute or so she would make this high-pitched squeaking sound and look freaked out each time she made the noise.  Finally I called over to Trainer K. and asked what was wrong with her and at first she said she might be holding her breath because she's so wound up.  Then she watched her a moment and laughed and said, "She gave herself the hiccups!"  I had no idea that horses could get the hiccups!  It was the funniest thing - especially the look on her face every time she hiccuped and that the noise was so squeaky and high-pitched for such a large, noble animal!

Later I was texting with Trainer K. about how inept I felt and how embarrassing it was to have that happen in front of the saddle fitter (who unlike many horse-folks was not a casual redneck professional, but was one of those perfectly dressed, chiseled features, well-groomed types - the type I will never be).  Trainer K. said not to worry because he's a 3-day eventer and actually commented that Toadie acts a lot like his Thoroughbred.  Plus, oddly enough, Trainer K. said I did a good job with her.  I guess I should not worry so much what strangers think when I know nothing about them!

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