Friday, June 6, 2014

Subject ...???

I've been working every day this week which has been a little tiring for my brain.  Miss T. had a bit of an accident (I'll let her tell you about it) so she is taking the summer off.  They hired someone to replace her and we have a two week break starting next week, but I said I'd fill in for her classes this last week of Spring Session.   Wow. I never realized just how much mental energy I use up teaching little kids.  Not only do I have to be "on" but I also have to think on my feet for both helping them and making sure they are completely safe.  It's a little easier to teach the teens because I don't have to be entertaining.  I just need to think on my feet for helping them and keeping them safe.

Part of what I have to think on my feet about is how to help with body memory.  That has become a huge subject in my life over the last year of teaching is how to get the concept past a child's brain and into their body.  Little kids, especially (under about 14 years old) don't have as much control over remembering to change a body memory behavior, so I have to use exercises and games to make the exercises fun to help their bodies learn what they should be doing for being safe and effective.  Some of the kids are sponges and will do anything I ask them if it means they can ride more effectively, but a few (who completely exhaust my poor introverted mind) just need to be entertained constantly.  So, it's difficult to teach them without making it "fun enough to be worth their while".  Wow.  I am so not a gradeschool teacher or children's entertainer.  I can do it really well (entertaining and trying to keep a borderline (or something full on) ADD kid entertained) but after a half hour all I can think is "I need to be alone and drink a cup of coffee and not see or talk to anyone for at least an hour" because all my internal energy is depleted.

I am awfully sad not to teach my teens anymore because they are trying really hard and I've seen them make huge improvements and that is really awesome and I'm so proud of them.  And a couple of my little kids who are very serious about learning are hard to say good-bye to.  One little girl who I've taught all year (she's in kindergarten) apparently cried before class yesterday because it was our last class.  I'm pretty attached to her and her mom now too so I gave them my email and asked them to please update me how her riding is going and to send photos and when they buy her first pony in four years I would still go with them like I told them at the beginning of her lessons.  Another mom of one of the teen volunteers told me her daughter was very disappointed I was leaving because she had specifically asked to have me as a private instructor in summer, and I was disappointed too because I would have really liked to work with her.  She's sweet and smart and has the potential to be a very good rider.  I could've had fun working with her.  Ok, it's quite obvious to me that my teaching days are not over, just on hold for the time being.

My foray into equine massage, small as it is, is very fun too, though.  I was very excited yesterday to hear that my short massage I did on Trainer KL's foster horse had good results.  I'm also happy that Geir is starting to move a little differently since we've been working with him and I've been massaging him.  Not that I want this AT ALL, but yesterday he got irritated because I was asking him to do something hard for him and he bucked a little and I was thrilled.  Not because he bucked which is he is NOT allowed to do, but because I could feel that his back was looser and stronger when he did that and he would not have been physically able to do that nine months ago.  It was not a bad buck by any means (my daughter could've ridden it out which is what's important) but the fact that he had the back strength to do it made me very happy.  I'm starting to get a little more confidence in my beginner riding and I'm learning a ton from Trainer KL on how to ride and support a horse in beginning level training.  I feel like I'm fully back into that "learning groove" I was in with Trainer K. and I was worried I wouldn't find that again.  So life is good!

Here's something random for you. Yes, it's true - I love Tony Bennett.

Monday, June 2, 2014

... and right next to an active volcano.

I spent last Saturday either in bed or on the couch recovering from uber-energy-drain illness I caught from my daughter.  It was actually very good for me despite I was feeling depressed from inactivity.  But as I explained to my co-worker Miss T. (who was doing the same thing because on Friday she had a farm accident and dislocated her shoulder) it is not a sign of being a "pussy wimp" (her words ... mine would probably be "lame ass") it is actually a sign of strength.  It is a lot harder (emotionally and mentally) to rest and take care of yourself than it is to power-through and keep going even though it hurts and you know you're messing yourself up even more.  It's ironic because when I was young and in the worst of panic disorder/PTSD/etc. I had a period of barely being able to even move outside my comfort zone, but in order to heal from all that I had to push myself to do hard things.  Eventually, it became a habit to push myself.  Like when I was in halo traction with a broken neck after being hit by a drunk driver - I had a friend drive me through the intersection a few times where I had been hit because I knew if I didn't I wouldn't be able (emotionally) to drive anymore.  But it's time to find a balance.

On Saturday my husband took my daughter out to the magical island to look at a small horse farm (that I'd been trying to get him to look at for a month) and unfortunately, he got out there and declared that it was absolutely perfect for us and in the perfect price range, but someone had already made an offer on it on Friday.  So, we missed out on that.  I'm sure that's fine because it just wasn't meant to be.  But I amused myself (while watching a marathon of The Good Wife on Amazon Prime) looking at horse properties for sale in hopes of finding one that would be perfect for my rehab boarding facility.  I did find one in Enumclaw that fit all of our criteria (well, except for it being a horrible commute to Seattle) and as I was looking at all the photos and stats I did find myself muttering, "Totally perfect except for that being so close to an active volcano thing."

Yes, Enumclaw is under an active volcano and I must admit that common sense (which tells me I'm incredibly stupid for living Seattle to begin with when we're on such a big fault line but at least we aren't literally living right over the fault line like we were when we lived on Capitol Hill) tells me that we really shouldn't buy property underneath an active volcano.  Then the group, collective mind-numbness-thinking creeps back in and I think "But it's such a beautiful farm at a good price and how often do volcanoes erupt ..."  and then I harken back to the 1980's when Mt St Helen's erupted and that was hard enough on Enumclaw and Puyallup (and Burien where I grew up).  We had to miss school and were told not to leave our houses for a few days if at all possible because everything was covered in ash.  We had to go go my cousin's house in Puyallup about four days after the eruption and it looked like they'd had a blizzard of gray snow and it was still falling.   But Mt Rainier is substantially closer and geological maps show Enumclaw right smack in the path of the lava/mud slide path.   Like all those folks who suffered through the Oso mudslide ... do I want to be one of those people that says "It might be a bit hazardous to live under an active volcano but I haven't heard any warnings from the government so it's probably ok ..."  or do I want to err on the side of caution and the government has enough trouble dealing with it's huge debt and not having folks in their own departments know what's going on? 

I guess it's a moot point because the commute would be far too much for my husband.  And my farrier, vet and riding instructor probably wouldn't come down there.  But it's really a beautiful property.  Here - one of you guys buy it. Really, volcanoes don't erupt here. That's just craziness. (the good news is, is that at least with volcanoes - unlike mudslides and earthquakes - you get warnings and can evacuate yourself and your animals in plenty of time). 

In other news, I still didn't have the energy yesterday do both visit my first real equine massage client as a professional and scribe at a schooling show at Lake WA Saddle Club, so I had to cancel the latter. But it was still pretty great to be able visit my first paying client.  I am actually glad the State took so long to figure out how to do the endorsement on my massage license because it gave me a lot of time to do no charge massages and become a lot more comfortable with what I'm doing and become more confident in my abilities.

I love this photo - it's the view from my client's living room window.  I have dreams of that being the view from my living room window someday.