Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sharing the Love

Nothing's impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip,
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

From the 1936 film 'Swing Time'
(Dorothy Fields & Jerome Kern)
Performed by Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers

My chin and the rest of me were on the ground Tuesday night, for sure! I breathed and ate dirt. You know the expression, "It's no skin off my nose"? Well, it was, and off my forehead and forearms as well. I have colorful bruises in some pretty strange places. I called Mike as I was driving home and had him draw me a bath. I iced my hip that night and almost all of the next day. I was pleasantly surprised to feel much better on Thursday, and was thankful for strength and resilience. Riders of a certain age know what I'm talking about. It could have been much worse.

This weekend, I hosted Kat, a coworker's 12-year old niece, whom I met at a party a few years ago. It's easy to recognize the soul of a fellow horse lover. It took me awhile, but I finally made arrangements for a visit. I can't begin to say what it would have meant to me at that age to have someone reach out to me. I don't want to sound like some sort of philanthropist, because I'm not. There wasn't anyone for me, but I feel compelled to share what I have with little girls who have horses in their souls. I picked her up after work on Friday.

Kat and I began our Saturday morning with a trip to Paul Taylor's, where I got that great pair of cotton split reins Poco is sporting in the photos. I love them! I also picked up some coal tar & sulfa shampoo for Amber's seborrhea, and some flea stuff for the dogs. Kat agrees with me that the best smell in the world is tack store.

I called Nita when we were a few minutes away from the farm, but she said Jason was using the tractor to dig post holes, and the arena hadn't been tilled yet. We moved the barrels and ground poles out of the way, and it was then we realized how HOT it was already — in the 90's. We decided we would wait until later to ride, and pulled a couple of the yearlings up from the pasture for baths. The two, Sweetie and Phoenix (who is Vera's full sister and a carbon copy of her), were hanging onto their woolly first-year baby winter coats and looked like unshorn llamas. Both babies stood well for the primping and looked much better for our efforts. Of course, we were all soaking wet, but it felt good!

Me on Poco, Nita on Jaz, and Kat (pink) on Doodles

Thank you Jason, for tilling the arena and moving O.

Kat & Doodles

I took Poco into the arena before I tacked him up and desensitized him to the barrels. I kicked them, beat them with a crop, rocked them, knocked them over. He was unfazed. I think Heather was right that his panic on Tuesday had to do looking back after hearing the whump of the barrel, and seeing the huge thresher coming (in his mind) straight at him. He couldn't know it was across the road. He showed no hesitation when we rode the barrels.

Like most of us in the beginning, Miss Kat has much to learn about the true nature of the beasts. After our ride, we tacked down the horses in their stalls and Nita got grain. Doodles was over-anxious, careening around the stall while Kat was still in there. Nita and I yelled, almost simultaneously, "Don't let him do that!" She wedged herself in a corner, but Doodles kept circling, demanding his grain. She didn't have a crop, so I said, "Throw the brush! Kick him!" Kat looked horrified that I would even suggest such a thing, and said, "I will not!" Nita and I rescued her and made Doodles behave. We tried to explain the logic, but I'm sure she thinks we're the most cruel, barbaric people ever.

Kat was asleep before we ever even got to the main road. Her mom will pick her up later this morning.

I will bathe Amber again, and putz around here for the rest of the day — normal weekend household chores. If I can muster the ambition, I need to clean my tack, which has been permeated with red dust and sand.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend. Don't forget to smooch your ponies.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I would have loved to have a horsewoman take me under her wing when I was a kid, or even now. I tried working with one of my daughter's friends years ago. All it took was one spook and minor bolt, and the girl almost fell off. I told her to ask her parents to take her for rides at public stables after that. I really would like to work with kids on horses, but the liability is one problem I don't need. If I ever get time to volunteer, I'll do it through a riding therapy program. I'm glad you are healing and were able to replace the reins and climb back into the saddle right away.

Leah Fry said...

Believe me, it's only the occasional visit, not a regular thing, for that and selfish reasons.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Glad you had fun.
Sorry to read about your spill...yep we don't land quite the way we used to wen we were younger.

Paint Girl said...

I am so glad you are feeling way better! Looked like a fun day, and that is so nice of you to take Kat riding!

Esther Garvi said...

So sorry you were hurt! Glad there were no serious injuries and that you're back in the saddle again. You guys sure looked like you were having fun! Sahara would have LOVED to join!

Jenn said...

I know exactly what you mean about bruises in odd places...makes you wonder how the HECK you managed to get some of 'em! I'm glad you're feeling better.

There is a woman at work that comes out to ride with me occasionally...she is VERY green. Unfortunately, with the world the way it is today, I asked her to sign a form (available online, you could even write your own) releasing me from any liability if she falls off. It's also a good idea to have those legal liability signs posted at your farm...just in case.

Leah Fry said...

Heather and Nita have one of those signs at the farm, but I will definitely download one of those forms.

I probably shouldn't have ridden on Saturday. I'm limping again today.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Are you nuts riding so soon after falling, girlfriend? Take care of yourself. Give your muscles time to heal and the bruises time to change into strikingly interesting colors. hehe!
Ignore me really. I know how awful it is to take it easy and rest.

You did look great out there on Poco, though. I'm glad you had fun and touched the young girl's life. I'm sure that meant a lot to her. You might also want to suggest to her to remember to keep her heels down and toes up, for safety's sake.

I hope you have a comfortable pain-free week. :)

Leah Fry said...

Lisa, yes, yes I am. Well, it only hurts when I walk.

But I unpacked my truck, cleaned and conditioned everything, put it all away and covered it up until I am healed.

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