Sunday, February 23, 2014

You gotta wonder

Social media is such a strange thing because it now has the ability to show you who is still thinking about you even if you're no longer involved in their lives at all.  Most of the people I still think of I am either still in touch with or have made effort to be back in touch with again, and the folks I don't want to think about anymore I'm not and I don't bother trying to figure out what they're doing because honestly, I could care less.   So, I always wonder why people who I've had a falling out with would bother to look up what I'm doing?  It'd be one thing if they wanted to be friends but the two (past employers) I'm thinking of who were checking up on me on social media recently definitely don't want to be friends.  Which makes me wonder why bother?  Some sort of masochism to find out what people who think badly of you are doing?  I think life felt a lot less "heavy" when we didn't know this kind of stuff.  And isn't it creepy too that people can tell when you're checking up on them on social media?

I was talking to my neighborhood BFF yesterday and she said that her kids were having a melt down because they were having trouble with their new DS game.  When their dad offered to help, they eschewed his offer and went straight to Google.  That made me laugh and I said I was trying to imagine me telling my parents I didn't want them to help me figure something out, no, I was going to ride my bike to library and look it up myself, damnit!  In a way it's good because it is teaching kids at a young age to learn how to do their own research, but at the same time to old folks like me it is just weird.

I have a new favorite show, Sherlock on BBC.  I'm enamored with the strange relationship between modern day Sherlock and Watson, but now after the third episode of the first season (I'm a little behind so I'm catching up on Netflix) I'm enamored with the actor who plays Moriarty because he plays it so creepy and evil.  It is inspiring me to write some characters that creepy into some fiction writing like in my first three novels.  (My fourth being YA fiction about a girl and her horse and no serial killers or demons or psychotic stalkers).  Of course, this comes right on the heels of watching a really good documentary on Salinger.  And one of the most disturbing things in the documentary, that I had not realized, was that three different people have attributed their inspiration for murder being Catcher in the Rye.   Now, I don't believe that book did drive anyone to murder, I think they just had it in them and they would've done something like that even if the book hadn't been written.  But would I want three different crazed killers to be carrying a copy of a book I wrote when they killed someone? So, it brings up that issue, do I want to create something that will speak to the darkness in people so that they don't feel alone in that darkness, or do I want to create something that encourages a light that is always there?  Maybe I could pull off both.  Good lord - that would be a challenge.

The horses are all doing well.   I am far too excited about having access to all the ponies at pony school to practice my new massage skills on.  One of our horses has been on break at a friend's farm the last four months because he'd been having a stiff neck and he just came back and I was asked to check him out.  I released what I believe were a couple of stress points yesterday but he still has a lot of work to be done to really loosen up.  Horses are so genuine and open with how they feel without any of those "what will people think of me" inhibitions (ah - lack of frontal lobe ...) so they're so fun to give massages to.  When I was standing in front of Dually with my arms on either side of his neck, working on some stuck fascia on the right side (and stabilizing with my other hand on the left side) it started to work to loosen things up, and he let out a big sigh and just let his head drop down over my shoulder and started drooling on my back! It was so sweet!  (although I'd never seen a horse drool before).

Classes have been going well too which is nice.  I'm finding a groove with all the different personalities of my students and having a lot of fun sharing information with them.  Yesterday I amused myself because about the only thing that drove me nuts about Trainer K. was she was such a stickler for semantics and she was always correcting the way I expressed things.  Then yesterday with one of my teens I wanted to work with her on her use of leg aids and I asked her to explain to me the difference in a leg aid for leg yielding vs. turning in English riding.   She said in the leg yield you are pushing the horse over with the opposite leg and I said, "Stop! We don't push the horse over, we direct the horse's movement as to how we want him to move.  We don't push ..."  then I had to stop and laugh and explain how Trainer K. used to always do that with me and it drove me nuts, but it was so important to understand the meaning behind the words and using incorrect words either meant you didn't understand the true meaning, or you weren't realizing the importance of the distinction.  Ha! That really did amuse me to no end.

I thought I'd like working with "the babies" (the tiny little four year olds that come in) but I actually like working with the tween, teen, adult beginners more because I get to explain why they're doing things a certain way.  My new Trainer KL is a lot like Trainer K in that probably 60% of my lesson is physically working and having her coach me on how to do what I'm doing and 40% is walking around the arena while she's explaining to me why she's telling me to do what she's telling me.  And I'd much rather be doing that than just being coached the whole time on what to do while riding.  I don't want someone to tell me to slightly lift my outside rein, I want someone to tell me to do that and then tell me why I'm doing it.  I find it hard to believe that there are people who have been taught like that (there really are - I've seen them try to teach and it's not pretty)  but apparently there are.  I guess that's ok if you're always riding a Prix St George horse who just needs their buttons pushed, but what would be the point if you wanted to ride just any ole horse or wanted to teach?  Luckily, the couple of my friends who are seriously into learning to ride are also apparently taking from instructors who not only tell them 'what buttons to push' but also why they are doing what they're doing.  I always want to ask instructors who are super focused on "heels down" and nothing else regarding a good, balanced seat what they are trying to achieve with heels down - like seriously explain to me what they are trying to achieve in the physics of movements between the human body and horse's body when they ask the student to put their heel down.  If they were to say "with this student it seems to be the one component that will bring them up off the back of their butt and into an upright position that will bring them in alignment so their center of gravity isn't falling in front or behind the vertical, they're not falling in on themselves in their core and they are more easily able to move in synch with the horse's movement"  - that would be ok.  But it's frustrating there are people out there teaching who would only be able to say "Because they're supposed to have their heels down".  I'm very lucky to have instructors in my life who are the former.   And I really do mean lucky because when I came back to riding after twenty years off several years ago I didn't remember anything and I could just have easily ended up with someone who just told me to put my heels down cause "that's what you do" because I wouldn't have known any better.  That's why it's so important to me when parents bring me their little kids and neither the parents nor kids know a thing about horses I really want to educate them if nothing else on how to achieve a good education.

Random video that has nothing to do with what I was just writing about.  My daughter and I really like this song and I was thrilled to see that they'd done a video in the spirit of the movie Omega Man! I also like that lead singer looks like a conglomeration of my boyfriends from the early 90's.

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