Friday, August 31, 2012

I have an idea ...

That is one of my husband's most dreaded phrases from me - "I have an idea ..."
My latest idea isn't really an idea it's more of a daydream.  My latest daydream is to have my own horse farm, only it wouldn't just be my horse farm I would move my friends there too.  That way I could have my horse in my own "backyard" but not lose all the benefits of boarding my horse.  The biggest benefit is that if Trainer K. isn't there then often Trainer Jim is there and when I run into a problem I can always run and ask them.  And it's nice social time to see the other students.  Anyway, when I run across that extra million dollars that who knows where it will come from, I'm going to buy my own horse farm.  And I will have some sweet-tempered mini's who I will make available to therapists to use as equine-assisted therapy horses and we'll have clinics with classical instructors and we'll have educational forums on how to train your horse correctly without rushing them or using hurtful mechanisms or terrifying them into submission - instead how to gain respect and trust with them.  And we'd have a full-composting system for the horse poop and sell it to the public through local garden stores.  I even thought of a name - Northanger Farm - after the first Jane Austen book my husband gave me (Jane Austen is one of my all-time favorite writers).

I have my budget all written out on how we could afford to financially maintain the farm, and a work schedule of things I would need to do and the few things we might need to hire out for.  And I even know the few boarders I would invite.  I wouldn't be open to the public except for clinics and educational forums so that it would be very low drama.  Just me and my friends.  I even know the the property I want to buy.  But alas, I do not have the money to afford the property to get the whole thing started.  So, if an extra million dollars were to fall out of the sky I could do it but I don't foresee even being able to afford a small version of that farm any time soon.

So, despite not getting to have Toadie and Girlfriend at home where I can wander out back in my pajamas to see them any time I want, or look out my window and see them, at least I can be happy that they are boarded in a place that they are well cared for and I have the trainers there most of the time for resources.

I have my first homework for training this weekend.  I'm supposed to do some lunging with a new configuration of the lunge line to help with lateral bending and work with Toad on softening her jaw.  Right now she's got this thing going on where she clamps her jaw shut and "hangs on the bit".  Sure, if you yank the reins really hard in one direction or the other she'll turn, but she'll still have her jaw really tight if you do that.  I don't know where that comes from and Trainer K. is trying to figure it out herself.  I asked if it had something to do with how the bits work on the race track and she said she didn't think so.  I looked up some racing bits though and damn there are some serious torture devices out there!  Like the Springsteen bit which has prongs on it that poke into the horse's mouth. Good God.

What I'm working with her on is applying pressure with the rein - about where my hand would be but from the ground - until she softens her mouth.  Then I immediately release and praise her.  It's very cool that I actually get to be part of the training process and am finally able to do some of it by myself too.  I'm starting to be glad that I bought such a green horse because I'm learning so much from being hands on with her training with Trainer K.   Even if it is frustrating that I really wanted to go on a trail ride this summer and I don't know when Toad will be ready for that.  Maybe in five years.

In other news my daughter now has braces.  Fun. Fun. Fun.  They seem to be bothering me more than they are bothering her.  She got them on Wednesday and yesterday didn't really eat anything except a little yogurt and ice cream because her mouth hurt so much.  In true motherly fashion this upset me far more than it upset her.  Every night I have to "turn" her palat expander in order to open it up more to stretch out her jaw.  I had one of those when I was a kid but it was much more like a medieval torture device.  Hers looks like a plastic retainer and is very mild.  Mine was a large metal bar  across the top of my mouth and the first time they had to turn it I developed a fever and had a horrendous headache (which we were told was to be expected).  The weirdest thing was that last night was the first night I had to turn it and my daughter was a trooper and totally fine with it, whereas after I was done I suddenly had this taste of metal in my mouth and this phantom aching feeling radiating throughout my jaws and head.  It was actually really creepy to have such a vivid sensory memory of something from so long ago.  I've had some nasty vivid sensory memories of traumatic stuff in my past but I never considered having braces to be traumatic - just annoying.  I would prefer to not have that happen anymore although I guess it's just part of life.   There's just a lot in my past I would prefer to not vividly remember.  But then I guess I had that feeling years ago when I was watching first-person horse riding video game that my daughter had while I was watching her go over the jumps I had a very vivid, sensory memory of what it felt like to be riding horse over jumps - but of course that was a *good* memory so I didn't think twice about it.  Can't have the good without the bad.

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