Friday, August 29, 2008

Serious as a heart attack

Kinda off topic, but I found a pic of this appy in England and for once I really like him. Looks to be very athletic and sporty. See, there are some appy's I do like. He's 17H

Last night "G" was supposed to come over and make home made pizzas. he decided that he had things to do at his house like laundry etc...and asked if I wanted to come over instead. As I told you, my blogger family yesterday I was firm in staying at my apartment. I told him that I had stayed at the barn longer than expected, had to switch my bedding over to the dryer, fold and put away clothes and vacuum and then wanted to relax in my own bed. I immediately noticed a pissy undertone from that conversation on. After I had gotten home, I swotched the laundry, folded clothes and made fettuccini alfredo with muchrooms for myself all the while watching The Color Purple on our new satellite! I love the Color Purple. I am a drama freak "movies, not real life) and the more serious and historically correct movies are, the more I like them.

SO I texted "G" and asked him how the pizza was. His reply was "It'll be fine when I have it." I took that as really pissy. I asked him if he had something to talk about to tell me, but it was a no go. He then texted me after a little while that he was brushing his teeth and going to bed and goodnight, very short like that. I refrained from texting him back because I felt like he was shitting on me and being an ass because he couldn't communicate effectively how he was feeling. This morning I get a text from him saying to have a good day. His idea of "making up" and asking me to let things go. I was still a little hurt by his immaturity last night so I did not respond. I then get some nast messages a couple hrs later saying to have a nice life and accusing me of having a fit about where he went to lunch (lie) how busy he was this coming weekend (lie #2) and the fact that I was only going to the barn to let the dogs run around and them coming home to do stuff. Since when is he my keeper and when do I have a curfew of coming home, especially from the fricken barn!! I asked him why he was acting like this and to stop being hateful. His response "well I am and only to you." I have refused to respond to that. I think he needs some time to process and think about how he is acting and be able to express his feelings in other more productive ways. I have made a revelation today that this is the situation that we used to go rounds in. We both couldn't see past the end of your noses and would just go round and round with each other. No wonder we weren't very happy! SO I'm sticking to my guns and I feel pretty damn good! I know I did everything appropriate and am standing on high ground. I can sympathize with how he is feeling and am willing to talk with him about it, but I refuse to be his verbal punching bag. So with that said, it's Friday and I'm ready for a nice long weekend. I slept great in my own clean bed surrounded by my cat and two dogs.

So the barn last night. I went with the intention of letting the dogs run around and play while I just hung out and watched any activity going on. I let Possum out of his paddock to graze on the lawn, he was very happy with that. The dogs played and I chatted horses with my friends. I helped a woman on her position and her canter work. I went in the tack store and bought some new bug spray in anticipation fo the fair. I don't want any mosquitos or bugs to bite him due to the high volume of livestock and possible things floating around, like EEE. I also brainstormed on my outfits for the fair and was mixing and matching polo wraps and saddle pads. I think I have it narrowed down. There is going to be a navy day. Navy polos, Navy pad, I have a navy polo shirt with tan breeches and my tall boots. Tere is also going to be a white day. White pad, white polos and a while polo shirt that I have with my Kerrits blue breeches and tall boots. Also a black day with the same combination, a purple day and a pink day. On the last day of the fair I dress in my show clothes. I'm having so much fun getting ready for this.

I then helped a friend roll a round bale out since she was doing feeding chores and watched my roomate for a few minutes working on some slow trot and canter work getting her horse to stretch and be more responsive. Then I headed home. I plan on riding tonight, maybe just an easy ride and working on endurance for the upcoming fair. I want him fit as possible. I'll work him about 5 days a week and right before the fair he'll have 2 days off and be raring to go. SO have a good weekend everyone. I have faith in the "G" situation and that he'll come around eventually. I'm looking forward to sleeping in. Might attend a game show this weekend as a spectator and also work with Possum, with definately some galloping!!! POssibly go swimming to the pond as well if it's hot and sunny.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursdays, who needs em!

I can't stand Thursdays, it's not quite Friday and it's not Wednesday, Hump Day. It's just another T day stuck in the week. Anyways with that said, things are actually going pretty well. After work I picked up the dogs and headed to the barn last night. It was unusually quiet an only a few people. Then it dawned on just started Duh! I went to Possum's paddock gate and he greeted me with a nicker. I let him loose to eat grass while I visited with the farrier that had his new horse up for a lesson. My farrier is great. Not only is he very knowledgable and cares about what he does, but he is a great guy and loves my horse. We have an greement that if I die before Possum he is to take over ownership. Possum is willed to him. My farrier is constantly going to trainings and also doing demonstrations around the country. He follows the Natural Balance method of trimming and shoeing, Gene Ovenick is his teacher and mentor and I have had the pleasure of meeting Gene and spending some time with him and hearing his philosophies.

Possum loves the farrier because he makes him feel good. Possum is a horse who needs 4 shoes on at all times. He has very thin hoof walls that crack and crumble easily. He also has white feet which some have argued makes them weaker. So we were chatting about his new horse and I sat with him and watched some of the lesson. I then felt inspired to ride so I dragged Possum away from his grass and tacked him up and we worked on some flat stuff. He was pretty good. I worked on serpentines, transitions, bending, shoulder in and also walking and turning on the haunches. Then I really wanted to work on his flying changes some more. He is absolutely flawless to the right, but to the left he will stiffen his jaw, tip his head in and try to run into the change. It's is so hard to hold him sometimes and keeping him straight before the change, He did OK, nothing spectacular, but consistent. My goal is to really strangthen that lead shange so it becaomse as easy for him as the right is.

So we walked around the farm to cool out, I untacked and groomed him and fed him his grain and turned him back out to eat his hay that was just delivered to his paddock. I went home and threw a load of laundry in the wash and got ready to meet "G" for dinner in town. We went to a little local pub, had an appetizer and a pepsi and were pretty full. He dropped off the truck he was driving for a customer and picked up his Harley and we rode home on the bike. He was all sweet last night. Holding my hand, rubbing my leg smiling a lot. He even went to the bathroom and while he was gone texted that I was hot. It was a pleasant evening and I was able to relax and really enjoy it, and I think he did too. Today he's still all sweet and texting me. He hopes to have Sunday and Monday off this upcoming holiday weekend so we can hang out and maybe go on a day trip. I know Possum wouldn't mind the break since he's been ridden quite a bit lately. I'm really trying to get him in top conditon for marshaling the races since that's a lot of work and miles to go in an afternoon for a whole week. So things are going well. I really want to stay in my own bed tonight and if "G" asks me to come over again I will tell him that. A little compromise goes a long way.

I think I might head to the barn tonight to either hang and relax or maybe just do a small ride on Possum, and maybe even bareback. The mare that I mentioned yesterday is still at the vet clinic. She is doing OK. They took X-rays yesterday and had to wait to do an ultrasound until some of the swelling came down. She has no fever and is on IV antibiotics and comfortable and happy. The vet staff say that she so sweet and pretty. I have to agree with them. She may have to have a small surgery if a quill is still in there, it's just waiting and seeing for now. Thansk for the well wishes we have high hopes that she is going to be completely fine and this is just a set back in her training.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Graduated!

From counseling that is. I went for my last session last night and basically I got kicked out. I have found that over the weeks we have had less and less to talk about and instead of the hour flying by and not wanting it to be over, the time would slow down and we'd always be done 5 minutes early. My counselor believes that I have the skills I need to succeed and my plan of action for myself is solid. I quietly asked her if I could call and talk to her if things got rough again and she said ofcourse. She said that I have done a lot of work and that she really has nothing else to offer me. It was weird walking out of her office without a next appointment scheduled. She gave me a big hug and said that this is one of the happiest times that she has with clients even though it can be sad because we don't see each other all the time now. I promised to keep her updated by email and she might come and see me marshal at the fair.

After counseling I zipped to the barn, got Possum out, quickly groomed him and went for a ride in the arena. I had forgotten my spurs so I knew it could be a tough ride. Many people are under the impression that spurs are for speed, and in some cases I will give him a litttle poke if he starts to get behind my leg or to go a little more forward. However the biggest thing I use my spurs for is bending and making sure that he doesn't collapse his ribs or tilt his hip and also for turning. If Possum isn't bending correctly or is crooked he will easily lose a canter lead behind. Using spurs helps to keep him right between my legs and on the aids. They also can help with crisper upward transitions. Here is a pic of the spurs that I wear.

So it was a rough ride because he was a little dull to my leg aids. And also working on our flying changes on his bad side I really have to use a strong outside leg while also balancing him with my inside leg to make sure that he is completely straight for the change and not tipping his hip in. So we also worked on lengthening and shortening strides in between lines. Since he was such a speed deon at the show I started out by taking a stride out of a 3 stride line, therefore making it 2 strides. He did really well and after a few times started to get tired, so when I asked for 4 strides in the line he was pretty compliant. My roomate was also riding her mare and they did pretty well. SO lesson learned is to not forget your spurs at him in your show boots. I could have borrowed someone else's, but I was lazy and wanted to try it.

After the barn I took the dogs and picked up a pizza for dinner and went to "G's" and took a quick shower and watched a movie. It was nice and relaxing and "G" was all lovey and cuddley. I started to fall asleep so we shut it off and went to sleep. It was nice and peaceful and I got woken up this moring with hugs and kisses from him and the dogs. He is just being so sweet lately. He texted me this morning and said that he misses me and wants a kiss. He called me on a road test just to say hi. He has a job to do after work tonight so I'll probably go to the barn and maybe ride or hang out. Also just talked to the barn owner and one of her 3yo's that got porcupine quills in her leg 2 months ago and is not doing well again. When it first happened the vet came out and had to sedate her to get the rest of the quills, there was about 70 and right behind her knee on her right leg. We have been treating her with antibiotics and it was getting better, although slightly larger than the other. The other day she wouldn't even put weight on her leg and it had puffed up huge. We gave her some more antibiotics and figured that maybe there was a stray quil that was trying to work it's way out. Well after a couple of days she hasn't really improved so the owner is trailering her to the equine hospital to be looked at further and possibly surgery. So please keep your fingers crossed. She was conceived and born on the farm and is such a sweet mare who was doing well in her training. She is a perch/TB cross and her name is Morgaine.

Also the answer to my little poll. Possum and I have jumped 4'6" as the highest to date. Here is a pic of that jump from our barn Christmas party in Dec. 2007.
Thanks everyone who guessed. We hope to jump bigger in the near future and really see how high we can go. We cleared this jump in the pic but I was too chicken to raise it to 4'9" so left it at that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And They're Off!

Those are the words that I can't wait to hear. I am so looking forward tp my week vacation from work so that I can go to the local fair and amarshal the STB races. Now I know a lot of people will look at me funy and ask why I'm doing that on my vacation and what the fun really is in it, but I had such a blast last year.

Basically a Marshal leads the horses in the post parade and makes sure that everyone is set and no equipment is hanging or anything. The marshal also can help a driver is they can't get their horse to turn in practice or in getting to the starting gate. The starting gate in STB racing is usually a car with big long wings that starts out slow for the horses to get in position behind it and then speeds up to race speed and brings the horses to the starting line already pacing. UNlike TB racing where they start from a dead stop. The Marshal is also used for decorative purposes. I like to color coordinate my mine and Possum's outfits while looking neat and professional. Last year I had a different color for every day and then o nthe last day of racing I wore my show outfit. I like to wear polo wraps, a matching square saddle pad and a mathing shirt, preferably a polo shirt to look neat and conservative breeches and my tall boots.

I made so many friends last year and I find it very interestering to learn a new horse sport. It is TOTALLY different from the hunter show world. I like many of the trainers and I get to chat with the drivers too. Lastly the Marshal parades the winner of each race to the winners circle where they get to have their picture taken with the owners and trainer and the family involved. I had such a blast, but it was also a lot of work.

Here is a pic of a marshal catching a run away horse whose driver has fallen off:

Possum also loves this job. He gets to be in front of lots of people and get to do a different job. He never looks twice at the carts and hustle and bustle and goes about his business. Although sometimes we can't help but gallop around the track after parading the horses. It's just our thing that we like to do.

Possum will live at the fair for the entire week. I'll get up early every morning and head to the grounds to feed and water and clean his stall. I usually leave for a bit and hang with the dogs and pack my things and come back early afternoon to get ready for the races. Possum really likes staying there was well. He is in the center of everything, gets a nice cushy stall and all the food he can eat. I bring a chair usually and put it in his stall and read or hang with him during the afternoon while waiting to get ready.

Ater the races we're both pretty tired. I give him a good rub down, some hay and water and then his dinner after. I'll pick his stall again and hang with him until the fair slows down and then leave to go home around 9ish and do it all over again the next day.

This pic is a shot of the races at the Fryeburg Fair, which is a little larger than the Oxford Fair where I will be marshaling, but as you can see, there are a lot of people and it's pretty popular here on the Maine fair circuit.

STB race horses can reach top speeds of most horses in a full out gallop. The races are 1 mile long and the track is half a mile. The different kinds of races are pacers and trotters. Pacers are the faster of the two.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Was It A Work Weekend?

This past weekend did not feel like time off to me at all. I was a busy bee at the barn. Friday I rode and hung out with barn friends. "G" has been on the mend lately and doing well and really treating me like I EXPECT to be treated. The dogs have been great and glad for all the barn time. But I'm exhausted now and it's only Monday, the beginning of the work week.

Satirday got up bright and early to ride Possum before it started to get really hot. The barn was a zoo. Everyone that was going to the show decided to show up at the same time on Saturday morning. So after a nice hard ride I took Possum for our usually pre show gallop. The bathed him and pack out hay and equipment. and let him out to eat grass.

Yesterday was the show. It was a long day and over a 2hr drive to the grounds. The morning was nice and cool but it quickly became hot and steamy. Possum was a little hyper in warm-up which made me a little nervous. We went in for our first jumping class and he was almost racing around. As soon as he had a jump or a line in his sights he threw his head up to get away from the contact, hollowed his back and charged full steam ahead. It was a little embarassing to say the least. We had some OK spots, but he was just really strong. He also put in a little "Possum'ism". At the end of our first course, it ended at the far end of the ring. So instead od doing a courtesy cicrle, I made a big sweeping wide turn and went to canter slowly back to the in gate. Possum caught the outside line out of the corner of his eye and literally jumped sideways to get in front of it to jump. I pulled on the reins and and gave him an outside spur air and he nearly colided with the jump standard. He didn't want to be done and wanted to keep jumping. No one can say that he doesn't like jumping! We only ride in two jumping classes because their expensive. I then had two flats which I won, but there was only a few people in them. Possum is always good on the flat because there is really nothing to be excited about. SO I got back late. UNloaded all of the horses, unpacked and tucked Possum in for the night "G" had the dogs so I went home and took a shower to wash all the sweat and dirt off and then went over to his place cause he said he wanted to make dinner for me. It actually ended up being a great night. He was sweet as pie, we ate and then I basically passed out and didn't wake up once.

Had a hard time getting up this morning but I did it and have had a very busy morning at work. Not sure if I'm going to the barn to watch my roomate ride and let the dogs run around or go home and rest. Possum is getting the day of and then it's back to work for him.

Just a side note. After Possum was bathed and clean and I was finished packing, the barn owner had a scheduled trail ride/lesson for a boarder. He owns a rescued OTTB gelding who is 4yrs old now. He was recently gelded and has started his new life as a western trail horse. He has been at the barn for 2 months and is doing great! The man is the husband to the famous actress Julie Hagerty, his name is Richard. This is a recent pic of Richard of Julie and Richard. You might recognize Julie as in roles of the movie Airplane!, the ditsy flight attendent. Also she was the mom in What About Bob and has also been in many others, here are a few pics.
This one was her in the movie Airplane!
This is when Julie was younger.

This picture below is Julie and her husband Richard and two others actors at a function.

Well Richard is a very nice man and loves his horse and other horses in general. Julie feels the same way, although she is currently starring in a play in New York on broadway so is not at the barn as much as Richard. I tagged along on the trail ride the other day and he got to talking about how he wants to have the barn owner set up a non profit for helping take in rescued and unwanted horses and then training them and making them functional members of the equine community where their chance of ending up back in the situation would be greatly reduced with all of the training and riding and possibly some showing. The barn owner does all of this out her own pocketnow and turns green and problem horses into real gems. He wants his donation to be setting her up with the legal stuff and then having a function at his summer home to raise donations and start the program up. We both were really excited at the prospect and Richard looked very serious about this. He is a very wealthy man but does a lot of good with his money and may want to help the barn rehab and re-train horses which would be excellent! he also knows many other celebrities and people with money to help donate to so I think this may be the start of a great thing at the barn. Keep your fingers crossed.

So yea, it was an OK weekend, but very tiring. I couldn't really get mad at Possum because he was just having fun and I'm not going to punish him for liking jumping too much. So probably gonna take it easy tonight and watch a movie and maybe hang at the barn.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thoughts to Ponder

As I was reading Pony Girl Rides Again's blog and she was talking about family and their support of her horse riding and also being involved with horses themselves, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy.

I am the only person in my family that is into horses at all. My dads sister when she was younger used to have 2 horses and she knew nothing about them, but she sold them when she went off to school and has never looked back since. No one in my family really understands my love and passion of horses. My parents were throughly disappointed in my decision to ride horses instead of pursue other athletics. I have always been super athletic and sports like field hockey and softball came easily to me and I was quite good. In highschool I was on varsity teams all 4 years. But my heart and soul was with horses. I have never been a "natural" horse rider or horse person. Everything that I have learned has been hard fought and a struggle. I had one mentor while growing up and that was my riding instructor. I had my own room in her house for when I stayed over every weekend.

My parents never really went to horse shows. They complained about the cost, they would hardly touch the horses and would leave right after my class was done. Once I got to the age of staying at the barn for more than lessons, they never watched me ride.

Even now as an adult and owning my own horse they still disapprove. They say that it costs too much, that it is frivilous activity. They just don't understand that horses and riding is my life blood. It's what I get excited about, it's my therapy, my horse is one of my best friends and it's been really hard to not beable to share all of the triumphs that Possum and I have had with them. My parents will go to one show a year and that's usually the medal finals. "G" even told me last year that my dad was complaining to him that they had to go. "G" and my dad work at the same place, my dad is "G's" boss hahaha. But that really hurt my feelings. I see all these kids and teens at the barn with supportive parents who pay for lessons and shows etc... Their learning about horses right along with their kids.

When I go to shows, it's usually myself. Sure we go as a group from the barn, but everyone has parents or loved ones there to help them, even the adult riders have a suport system. Last year "G's" family came to watch me and took pictures and asked questions, it was great. Why can't my family take an interest?? I don't know, maybe I'm just having a pity party for one today but sometimes it really sucks to not be able to share the good and even the bad with my family. My mom won't even touch my horse. She still calls him dangerous because all she remembers is his past. I don't know it just sucks. SO I'll be going to the show Sunday. I'll be my own groom, instructor and cheering section all in one. SOmetimes it's hard to not have anyone there. Don't get me wrong, I love my barn family and they are great and supportive and I feel like they respect me and my riding a lot, so why can't my family see that too? Oh well, maybe one of the kids parents will adopt me hehehe. OK, no ore complaining. I'm gonna ride tonight and have a busy weekend and we're going to kick ass Sunday!!! Have a great weekend everyone and be safe.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bragging time, hold your ears........

Went to the barn last night just to putz around with Possum. We have a pretty big show coming up on Sunday about 2 hrs away so we better be on top of our game. We're going to be in the amateur adult classes and also special working hunter which is only 2'6". But I wanted to sharpen up our skills before hand. He was a little tired from the night before jumping big but he put in a really good effort. He was soft and bending and not as heavy on my hands like he can be. We warmed up the flat and then I worked on some of his flying changes. His ones to the right are absolutely perfect, but to the left his his harder side. Every horse usually has an easy and hard side to them, it's rare that a horse will be equal on both. It really takes a lot of left leg to move his ribs over and then a right leg back spur aid to ask him to switch. If he is so much as a tiny bit crooked he won't get his hind end. He was really good last night and I really wanted him to strangthen that bad flying change side.
We did some small jumping and just cruised around the outdoor. He just felt great last night, really pushing up and through the bridle, soft to the bit and responding to all my aids. In turn I was able to work on my position. Heels down, sitting up with back arched, hands together with a bend in the elbow etc...
I was so proid of him and all that he has accomplished. He's really gained a nice top line and muscle in his neck and back which in turn makes him look taller than he is. His eyes were shining last night when we finished, I quickly untacked him gave him a brushing and let him loose to eat grass, one of his favorite things. When he was eating I was admiring how fit and muscular he is. He is literally cut. He has that prominent muscle line on his flanks, his butt is well defined, his neck was nice and cresty after riding. I;ve just been so happy with my horse lately. I always say that a horse doesn't hit his prime until his teens, well Possum just turned 13 this July so he's really growing up. We just love to be around each other now and pal around. I don't think I;m gonna ride him tonight but will let him out to eat grass again and just relax. Will ride Friday seriously and then probably go galloping Saturday which is our typical routine the day before a show. I'll have a lot to do Saturday like packing alll my stuff, waching horse laundry, cleaning my tack and then going to bed early cause I'll need to get up Sunday morning at about 3AM. Well that's the end of my bragging. I was just being reflective today on how far my horse has come. From being green broke when I got him and a man eater to a pretty darn good show horse and the best all around horse, that's a long ways! ANyways, it's supposed to be nice here the next week or so, so i'm gonna enjoy it as much as I can.
On a side note, "G" invited me over to his house for dinner last night and to stay since it was getting late in the evening. He was sweet and friendly and took me aside when I first got there and gave me a big hug. I know that he's just really confused and I hope that he works everything out, because all of this hurting is killing me. He gave me a kiss bye this morning and wished me a good day. It was actually really relaxing last night and I hope that my mood can match the weather today, bright and sunny!
The pic above is of Possum and I last year at a small hunter show. I think the camrea caught him in mid blink, and I'm looking to my next fence. I just really liked this shot for some reason.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


*note, this is not me or Possum, only a pic to use as a visual*

Last night went to the barn and it was very windy and fall like temps, like in the 60's. Perfect riding weather. I was feeling brave from watching all of the olympics and stuff so I decided to really hike up one of the jumps to make a 4ft 3in vertical at the beginning of a diagonal line. We had gotten a lot of rain that morning so the corners were a little slick so had to go slow in the corners and gain some speed and pace on the straightaway before the jump. Possum warmed up great and we did some little practice jumps and getting him all ready. Then I pointed him to the big airy vertical and he went over it completely in stride.

Now being a 15.3H appaloosa who is built downhill and not "made" for jumping he was a superstar. My eye was also right on last night so that helped to pilot him to a good spot. I was amazed at how well he did especially in the iffy footing. We sailed over it about 10 times and he only knocked it twice, and only the top rail and once was my fault for taking a big spot. I really wanted to end on a good note and I could tell that he was getting tired. I gave him a little break and we circled and went for it. I saw my spot and he saw it too, I gave a "heyah". He knew right what that meant and rounded his back and tucked his legs up so much that it basically jumped me out of the tack and I lost my right stirrup. It was amazing to feel all that power. My friend told me that he cleared it by a lot. I gave him lots of pats and a good cool down and grooming and turned him out for some grass. I was just so proud of us yesterday. This horse that came from the meat truck, man killer and starved and look at what he is doing now!! That totally made my night.

On the men side of things, "G" is talking to me some over texts and being decent. Who knows what the future will bring with that.

Above is a pic of a jump at around 4ft to give you a visual, which is also level 6 in jumpers. Do I think we're ready for a course that big, NO, but slowly and shurely we're getting there. Have a great day everyone. Feeling kinda sick today so hoping to make it through with little stress and just chill tonight.
* Also for a challenge, can my little jumping students pick out flaws in rider position and horse movement from the above pic? There are some startling flaws to see and maybe we can talk about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ah Phoey!

*Note this picture is NOT me, but this is always what could happen* And they say that riding horses isn't dangerous, I laugh in the face of danger HA!

This was a tough weekend for me but I made it through and am trying to to smile. Friday was good, went to the barn and rode Possum. We had a fun day jumping anything we could including the rock wall at the corner of the arena, in and out of the side of the arena and even the hay cart. We were just jumping anything and everything. I put one of the jumps up to 3'9" and we sailed over it. It felt good to get some stress and anxiety out physically.

Tried having a phone conversation with "G" and still no real luck. He is stead fast in being distant and resistant. It's emotional to say theleast on me.

Saturday woke up dreading going to a wedding of a co-worker. I wanted so much to be happy for her on her special day but it was nearly impossible being surrounded by happy loving people and love songs. I would be lying if Isay I didn't sneak off to the bathrrom a couple of times to shed a few tears. I get home early at around 8P and I get a message from "G's" brothers girlfriend saying that "G" was at the mud run and drunk but was getting a ride back with them. I was way more sad than angry. WHy was he doing this to himself? What is he thinking? Is he thinking at all? I just text him to make sure he's safe and he says he's home and going to bed. Still cold and distant. I wasa a wreck and just cried and tried to sleep but it didn't happen until real late and I basically passed out from exhaustion. Sunday I woke up late and decided that it was a new day and I was going to keep busy. My roomate and I took all three dogs to a local horse show where someone from our barn was riding. The weather was beautiful and the show was good, but I still had "G" in the back of my mind and wondering how he was doing at his competition. AFter the show we went to my parents and went swimming and even got all three dogs in the water. Stayed for a small cook out and then drove back to the apartment. When we got back we decided to ride to the barn on her motorcycle. When we got there we got our horses out, gave them a quick grooming and rode bareback until it got dark, we then drove back home. It was a busy day and still no word from "G".

Fast forward to last night. "G" was communicating some over texts and said he wanted to visit the dogs and I had mentioned earlier how I wanted to make chicken and didn't have a grill so he said that I could use his grill. I asked him if he would rather I just drop the dogs off and he said whetever and to bring the food and he'll payme back, I told him no need. So I went over and things wert really well we talked the entire time that the chicken was cooking and he was polite and nice.

Later that night after eating we were laying on the bed that I had just helped him make watching the olympics and I turned and we caught each others glances and I whispered to him to kiss me and his face turned dark and he said that he didn't feel like it and sorry and I looked away fighting back tears. I stayed a few more minutes to make it not so obvious but I needed to leave. I told him I was leaving, it was after 9P anyways and said OK and asked if I was pissed and I said no. He said bye to the dogs, I never looked at him as I walked out the door.

I texted him to day to have a good day and still no response. This is just so hard. I don't want to push him into anything, but why would he even ask me to come over in the first place. I know I shouls just stop talking and caring about him, but it's impossible. The truth is that I love him and care about him and know that if he got his life together we could be great and happy and all that crap. I just needed to vent today and the blog is where it's at. It's another rainy crappy day but it's supposed to clear later so I'm hoping to go to the barn and ride and visit with Possum. He can always make me feel better. Watching the olympics and especially the show jumping really gets me going and want to jump higher and higher.

SO enough venting today. Just trying to keep my thoughts of "G" to a minimum and get the job done. Have a great day everyone and enjoy your animals. Sometime I need to have someone take pics of Possum and jumping everything on the farm, would would think we were crazy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thanks Everyone

Air Heads, my new favorite candy of the week. Read below to see how thos relates.

Thanks all for the words of encouragement through the tough times, I know I can always count on my blog family. "G" is just having a really hard time getting over the past. We had a brief but emotionally charged conversation last night prompted by me. He admits it's his issues with the past and his inability to get over it. Well ofcourse you can't get over I think, because you havn't even dealt with it yet. But hopefully going to talk together tonight and see what's up.

Yesterday was tough for me so I tried to keep busy. After work I went to the barn and no one was there, which a rare. I heloed the barn owner do night chores and did all the hay feeding at the barn and watered the main barn. We chatted and hung out in the warm summer air and it was nice. The dogs got to play around and be stupid with each other and Possum got to be loose to eat greass while I was working about. After chores were finished we went to a woman's house who wants to give away her percheron mare and also throw in her TB who used to be really talented, but now he hasn;t done anything in a few years. His name is Danny, he's a solid chestnut about 16.1H but really cute face and athletic potential underneath no muscle and flab. I think she's gonna take them in because this woman wants to get out of horses. The percheron mare can be used in trail rides next summer and we're hoping to make Danny into a lesson/show horse.

So I went home and my roomate was getting ready for bed so I talked to the dogs and watched some of the olympics and chatted with friends over texting. "G" and I then had our conversation and I still couldn't sleep so I ate Air Heads the candy in bed and then waited for sleep to come. I love air heads, my favorite is the blue raspberry and then white mystery. Pretty much a tie for the cherry and strawberry and the green I usually give away cause I hate them. Their so chewy and packed with sweet goodness. I really do need a life if my biggest excitement in bed is eating air heads that's pathetic!

Have a busy day today, but have gotten a lot done already. No real plans this weekend. I may on Sunday go to a local little show and route one of the girls from the barn on. I can bring the dogs and it's a pretty little place and they also have food. I have the wedding Saturday of a co-worker which "G" was planning on going to with me, but not now, so I have to go stag. I asked my friend if I dressed Phineous (my dog) up if he could be my date, she looked at me funny like I was joking. But secretly I wasn't. SO I'll go alone and try and have a good time and see happy couples, *sigh* it's so hard time sometimes surrounded by happy people with few problems, I'm just waiting for my turn. It'll come I know. SO have a good weekend everyone and good luck at shows and any other horsey related activities. I'll def get a ride or two in with Possum as well, thinking about riding tonight if the weather holds out. Keep the encouragement and positive thoughts coming!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trouble in Paradise

Trying not to make a big deal of this or anything, but "G" has pulled anothe,r shall we say mental breakdown. He informed me 3 nights ago that he was not happy but didn't know why and couldn't be with me. I was literally befuddled. I had done absolutely nothing to promote this. I have been nothing but respectful and loving. I'm not beating myself up this time because I know that it is an issue within himself. I know that we're kind of on different plains in terms of getting our lives together. I took the 5 months to work on my stuff and work with a counselor and he choose to drink, play and fool around with other girls. It just sucks because I opened my heart back up to him and now he's just hurting me again. I kind of feel bad for him because he is so confused and not really happy with his life, but why does he always have to shut me out?

We've had minimal phone conact and no physical contact in the past 3 days. He went from being angry with me to now just being really cold. He's got a lot on his plate as we often joke about, but why push away the person who really cares for you and is your biggest supporter. My wish for hom is to go to a counselor or be able to talk to someone who it not emotionally invested and help him sort out all of these negative feelings and hidden emotions that bubble to surface at random times. I'm still human though and to say that I didn't shed a few tears would be lying. But I'm doing much better than I have in the past. I am fully functioning, I'm working, sleeping and even went to the barn last night and rode Possum and Moonshine which was nice, I also took all 3 dogs and just watched them play a lot.

My theory is that "G" treats a relationship like everything else in his life, a job! He is a work aholic and keep busy constantly which leaves little time for mental contemplation or just plain figuring things out. Well if you treat a relationship like a job ofcourse it's not going to be fun or happy. I'm just really frustrated now, but I have my friends and animals to fall back on. I love him dearly and that's just something that you can't shut off. I know he feels the same but is really confused right now because he doesn't know how to read his emotions or why he does the things he does. I'm not saying I'm perfect by any means, but atleast I have some guidance and some kind of plan of where I want my life to go, the person I want to be and being able realise why I cat and feel the way I do at certain situations. Well that's about all. Just wanted to give you guys an update. Like I said earlier, I rode last night and the weather was perfect. Possum was OK but a little strong. After some serious ring work and jumping we went down the road and galloped. After watching all these olympic events it really motivates me to ride my best. Then I took Moonshine out and we had a good warm-up and we jumped around 3ft which is my goal fo her. She was really good, getting her knees up and really makeing a good effort over them. Probably about the best she's been at that height. I was really happy with her. Have a good day everyone and I'm just trying to stay optimistic about mine and "G's" future and hope that he figures some of his shit out.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jumping Clinic!

Ok Everybody, I have to be quick on this after having some time off but thought I would give you all a little taste of the hunter seat equitation world.

And for a quick recap. Had a great few days off. My birthday was Thursday and ofcourse the weather was gross and rainy but it gave me a chance to relax. Went out to eat with my parents and my roomate. Then went to "G's" after and stayed the night. Friday hung out with "G" all day while he ran around and did chores. Saturday was the fun gymkhana show. I had a blast and so did Possum. We did barrels, poles, relay races and everything else in between. I had a ton of fun in a totally stress free environment. And yesterday was a total veg day. I didn't even take a shower until 1P. I ordered out for pizza and watched TV amost all day. I did take the dogs for a long walk/run. I also washed and folded laundry and washed my bed but that was about it. At night "G" and I watched Dances With Wolves, one of my favorite movies and he had never seen it. Thinga with "G" and I are still kinda tense at times so am trying to work on that. But over all it was a relaxing and fun weekend.

Now for the jumping pics.

Our first image here is just pulled from the net. But as you can see the woman is being left behind in the saddle and has no jumping position. She is sitting in the saddle while her horse is jumping, therefore not allowing him to round over the fence. She is also not releasing with her reins and is pulling him in the mouth. An appropriate release for her would be the crest release, her hands about a quarter of the way up his neck with hands resting on the neck and maybe grabbing mane to keep her position from falling back in the saddle and maintaining 2 point. I do have to say that the horse is cute and really showing some effort over this tiny jump and has a nice front end. Would love to see what he looks like with a proper release so he can use his head and neck and also with a ride off the back over the jump. I would also shorten her stirrups about 1-2 holes and this would also help her with hte 2 point position.

This next jumping pic below is a classic example of pinching with the knee and also jumping ahead. This rider, althouth he looks accomplished and this is a good size jump is showing a very dangerous position. Due to little to no weight in the heel and calf grip, the lower leg has swung back and the knee is pinching and acting like a pivot. This in turn has made the rider over compensate by jumping ahead. If the horse were to stumble or stop short this rider could easily be thrown right over the head. The base of support in jumping is a lowered heel with calf and thigh pressure. With that as the base and a proper stirrup length there really is little do no over the jump. Many people think that they have to do more or jump the jump for the horse. I am guilty of this at times. If your base is correct you just let the horses jump fold you at the hips and release properly with either a crest or an sutomatic release which I talked about before. This rider also has what I refer to as "puppy paws" the curling of the wrists. You always want straight wrists with thumbs up for t6he most part withthe give and take coming through the elbow. Cute horse though. Lovely front end with knees up and even. Looks like he is either being restricted by the riders release or needs work on using his head and neck more for rounding over the jumps. Trotting exercises and spreads will help this. The rider is also looking up which is good and appears to have a flat back, hard to tell with the wind in his shirt.

I really like this picture below. There are a few faults that I can see but nothing really major. First this competiton is jumping where style or form does not count against you, but this rider seems to be well versed in the basics and strong with her body. She has a good leg which is right near the girth with a lowered heel. Her stirrup length is correct for this height of fence and competition. Her release is nice and relaxed and she is following the horses head and motion. Her butt is a little low in the saddle although I can see it's not touching the saddle. Maybe up 2 inches would be preferable. Her back is slightly roached but I think that may also be her conformation and plus she is already looking to her next fence. The horse is already on the landing side of the jump so his style is hard to judge but he looks relaxed and is stretching well over this fence. He is in great shape and sparkles and is clean with nice fitting tack.

This Pic below is of a fellow blog reader Heidi. Thanks Heidi for submitting. Even though this jump is very small I can see you are working on the basics. Your lower leg is fairly anchored and you have a proper crest release although maybe give slightly more since it looks like your horses head and neck is slightly restricted. You do look like you've gotten left behind slightly. There should be a smaller angle in your hips and alittle more bend which will get your butt more over the saddle. Keep working on the basics such as riding with no stirrups. Have your trainer or instructor lunge you over small jumps so you don't always have to worry about your horse and steering and con focus on your own body. I have found this very helpful to me to strengthen my legs and core muscles. I also work on hand apart like an airplane to open my chest and stretch my torso. Your horse looks very eager to jump and is merely cantering over this small fence and he is already putting the landing gear down. Bu your head is up and back straight and your smiling!

This pic below is also of Heidi out on a cross country course. Her heel looks good but her lower leg has slight slipped back telling me that the grip in her calf should be more. She is also jumping ahead and slightly standing in her stirrups instead of folding at the hips and allowing the jump to come to her. She has her hands firmly pressed into his neck which is good to not accidently bump your horse in the mouth. Her hack is arched and head and eyes up. I know a lot of the time in cross country riders positions tend to be more defensive due to the footing and the type of jumps there are, but this log appears to have goor dooting on both sides and is on even ground. My advice to Heidi would be to work on folding at the hips and not standingin the stirrrups and also keep constant contact with thigh and calf, her heel does look great though. The horse is very typey and looks to be enjoying his job. He does show little effort with his front legs and is hanging from the knee down. Over a small jump like this it's not a big deal but over something larger, messy knees on a cross country course can cause a hors eto flip. Trotting big fences and takiung off from the base will help clean up this horses front end. I also like the matching vest and pad which is also a trend in eventing, but not in hunters or equitation. Great job Heidi and thanks for the pics.

Lastly, this picture is of myself on Moonshine last fall. I really like this pic but there is one glaring falut other than not wearing a helmet hehehe. I'm roaching my back terribly. Some of that is my conformation and some of that is habit. I am constantly reminding myself to keep my shoulders back and back arched. I tend to roll my shoulders in and roach my back. I do like my heel and stirrup length here. I'm right in the center of balance and have good distribution of calf and thigh pressure. My hand is following her mouth and she is able to use her head and neck to really get a good bascule over the jump. My head and eyes are up and basically I'm just trying to stay out of her way. I remember this day well. This was the niggest she had jumped so I was really trying to support her and then stay out of her way over the jump. She is really an exceptional mare in my eyes. She also has dead even and pretty front legs and has taken off evenly from behind as well. I just need to keep working on my back and shoulders and opening that chest.

Feel free to comment everyone, I can do more as well if people are interested. Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Great Ride!

Above is the training scale for dressage. I refer to this scale almost daily in my riding. Even though I do not ride "dressage" I do believe the basics and foundation of dressage is important in all aspect of riding. The only thing really that we tweak in hunt seat is collection. We do not ask our horses for as much collection obvoulsly as dressage does. But we do need supplenes to have the horse work through. Impulsion is key and rhythm is a huge factor when jumping and for solid ground work. Our horses do not need to work off the hind so much and our gaits are a little more forward and ground covering, but the theory and ideas are all teh same. Just some info to chew on while you read on in my post.

Had a wonderful ride on Possum last night. I got there a little late cause I had counseling. As I pulled up the driveway I called to Possum and he started making his way to the gate. As I was letting the dogs out of the car he nickered to me. My hear melted. I let him out to graze for a few minutes while I got my stuff out and came and got him with a halter. He was filthy again! He had crusted dirt all over him. I swear he finds the muddiest part of the paddock and takes a nap in it. So after about 20 minutes of currying and brushing I tacked him up and we went in the outdoor for some fun.

He warmed up really well and was listening great. He was a little stiff on his usual side, the left but we worked on some suppling exercises and he was compliant. At the same time I was working on my position. Head up, shoulders back, tight calf and thigh with a lowered heel, it was all coming together well. After a good flat I decided to just trot some jumps to get him warmed up since it had been quite a while since we have had a serious ride. With a horse who is naturally heavy on the forehand trotting fences is really good for him, but if we trot into a line he usually would prefer to canter the next fence so he can keep the momentun, instead of sitting back on his hocks, making the reansition to the trot and then jumping the next fence in balance. This took a couple times of stopping him and quietly backing him up a few steps until he gave in and decided that it would be easier to just use his body then have to keep being reprimanded. Once he got it down a few times I let him have a break.

After that there was a gymnastic line of bounces set up, 5 fences in all. They were only about 2ft high each. For those of you who don't know what bounces are it's just as it sounds. Once the horse lands after the first jumps he is immediately getting ready to jump the second. The back feet are on the ground and the front feet are jumping the next fence. We did this 5 jumps in a row. Which is also really good for a horse who is heavy on the front because it makes them have to sit up and prepare immediately for the next one and stay on stride and rhythm. Possum aced it with flying colors, he really likes bounces anyways, he thinks their challenging. Plus it was good for me to work on my position. After a few times, I knotted my reins and went over them with my hands out like an airplane to strengthen my legs, open my chest and shoulders and improve my balance. I suprised myself at how well I did. It was comfortable, correct and I even was able to asking for a flying change with no hands after the line with my inside leg to balance him and keep him from leaning in and outside leg back and a spur to ask for the change. I was really happy with how he did. He seemed pretty pleased too. Wish I had some pictures cause it was really cool to ride. I think maybe next time we ride we might jump height and width to work on him really using his back and getting a proper bascule in the air. Tightening up his knees and really reaching forward. At the same time I'll work on my automatic release which is something I am trying to perfect. Having an independent hand and seat and following the horses mouth and not using the neck as a traditional crest release. I always seem to do better over bigger fences because the jumps movement naturally fold me at the hips and he reaches more forward then he would a little jump and I am able to drop my hand slightly alongside the mouth so there is straight line from bit to hand.

Below is a pic of a good executed automatic release. Although notice the weak leg that has swung back. If this guy has spurs he is probably spurring the horse by the saddle pad. A weak leg like this could cause the rider to be catapulted over the horses head if he were to stumble or stop short. And personally if I had a leg like that I would be wearing a helmet in case of a fly over. I'm thinking that maybe on Monday when I come back form my little vacation I will hold a little jumping clinic, sort of like George Morris does in Practical Horseman. He is waaaaay more qualified than I am, but it's always good to sharpen the eye and know what correct should look like. I also will be a little less critical than he can be. SO if anyone want to send jumping pics to me, either their own or sones they find on the web to be critiques feel free. I think this should be fun and I'll find some time either this weekend or Monday to create a post.

Also to add this horse has incredible scope and is really using his body to reach up and over this fence. Tight and even knees are desireable. Beautiful animal over a very large fence!

My Email is to send pics.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Motivationally Speaking..

Just one of those days that your just trying to make it through. I didn't end up going to the barn last night. I was stressed about "G" and I did some cleaning in the apartment. I scrubbed the bathroom up and down and vacuumed my entire room, even getting into all those nooks and crannies. I took the dogs for a good long walk on leashes. They hate leashes. When we're at "G's" or the barn they just run loose, but now in town they have to be leashed. Not everyone appreciates dog running up to them or running through their yard.

Things with "G" are smoothing out. He's just ultra stressed and actually realized on his own that he was taking it out on me. He texted me this morning and just asked for some space right now because he has a lot to do and is feeling crunched by everything in life. A pretty mature statement for him to make. He said he loved me and to have a good day. Now a stetement like that I can understand. But when he says shit like I don't want to be with you anymore, or this was a mistake, those are things that I just don't like. But statements like I need some time and space to get my life clear I'm completely fine with. SO onto bigger and better things.

Have a long day at work, but have counseling to look forward to tonight. Then I plan on taking the dogs to the barn and riding Possum. Don't really know what we're going to work on, but probably some serious ring work since we havn't been really serious in a while. I've just missed him the past few days so it'll be nice to spend some time with him and hopefully the barn isn't too busy so we can have the ring to ourselves.

It always makes me feel good as I drive up the driveway and call out to him. He pricks his ears and looks in my direction. Then when I come to the gate he always walks over to me. Even if I go into the paddock he'll follow me everywhere. I like that feeling that he wants to be close to me and visit. I had a really bad dream last night that he had turned back into "mean Possum" from when I first met him. He was acting all agressive and rearing up and trying to trample me. I dreampt that he ripped the skin off my arm and was back to being unmanageable. I woke up in a cold sweat. Boy I'm glad he's not like that anymore. SOmetimes I forget and take for granted how he used to be as opposed to how he is now. He's come a long way. I really think that he is happy now and is able to be a horse and not have to worry when his next meal is coming or who is going to hit him before he can get them first. It's amazing how people can turn animals agressive and scared and how they can make a turn around and begin to trust again. Can people be that resiliant?

I'm looking forward to a short work wee. I am taking Thursday and Friday off because Thusday is my birthday and I need a little break from work. Weather doesn't sound the greatest, but it'll be nice to sleep in and and do whatever I want for a few days. I also have a fun little game show this Saturday at a fair grounds. It's gymkhana. Something that we don't do often. But both Possum and I can get pretty competitive. I'm really looking forward to just riding in casual attire and letting off some steam with others from the barn. The classes are super cheap and it's pretty close to the barn so trailring won't be too bad. Maybe I can get someone to take some pics, I'm sure they'll be pretty funny. Well have a good everyone. Give your horses a hug and kiss and tell them you love them. See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

crazy things we do with horses........

Local Christmas Parade. Possum and I and a few others from the barn. The two bays you can see are OTTB's.

Moonshine and I last fall jumping round bales and tires in the field.

Possum and I at the beginning of our 20 miles trail ride. 16 people from our barn participates in the ride and it was tons of fun!

Possum and I in mid trot on the 20 mile trail ride.

Wanted to ask a question in this post. But first a quick update on myself. Had a pretty good weekend. Rode Possum Friday and Saturday. Friday my roomate and I had plans to ride to the pond to go swimming but there were expected thunder storms so instead of getting stuck away from the barn in a big body of water while it's lightening we decided to play in the arena instead. So dressed in shorts, tanks and sneakers we decided to ride jockey style and jump. I quickly realized that sneakers were not going to work as evidenced bu the missing skin and bloody spot on my ankle bone. SO I found some socks, half chaps and paddock boots, as did my roomie. We were a sight to see, strutting back to the arena with boots and half chaps with shorts and tank tops. A big fashion no no in the horse world.

We actually ended up having a lot of fun. I jumped 3'6" with jockey stirrups and did quite well. It's nearly impossible to have perfect equitation with your knees hitting your cheeks. We had a ton of laughs and lots of people starting in disbelief. Possum was great. He definately remembered from the other day and loved tearing around there. After we were going to take them around the loop to cool out. But once we hit the dirt road the temptation to gallop was too much. SO with stirrups hiked up and knees in our chest we took off. It was the closest I have ever raced. We only went about a quarter mile and her mare Casey and Possum were neck and neck the wjole way. He would get an inch in front and then she would and it stayed that way until we pulled up. We had so much fun and were breathless by the end of the gallop. Cooled the horses out on a long walk, gave them a good cold hosing and scrub and fed them thei dinner after we got back to the barn.

Saturday my roomate did a serious ride while I opted to ride bareback because my ankle bones were still very raw and pussy from the day before riding jockey style. Possum and I had fun. We jumped a few jumps and he only did a few small bucks. Yesterday didn't go to the barn at all. "G" was being a cranky pill so instead I opted to go for a motorcycly ride with my friend. We went out to eat and visited my parents and had a good time. "G" continued to get more and more cranky as the day went on. FInally last night he said that he didn't want to be with me and getting back together was all a big mistake blah blah blah. I know that he is going through a tough time now with sobriety, money issues and this damned rainy weather. But Geesh! does he have to take it out on me??? I'm just giving him some time and space right now and hoping that his common sense brain takes over his 6th grade brain he is using now.

So back to the original question. What are some of the wild and crazy things you have done around or on the back of a horse. This weekend was one of mine. I'm alomost 27 and riding like a jockey galloping around and giggling like a 10yo. I also jump crazy jumps, go on trail rides of every kind. My horse followes me all over the arena and we race each other. Obviously he usually wins. If I jump over a jump on foot and will jump after me with no lead or halter. As a kid I also would gallop the ponies in the field while the trainer was away. We would ride double and bareback with no shoes and shorts and t shirts. Oh yeah and wrapping my horse in snow fencing and sticking in pine boughs to carry across the property as a pack mule. I never really think these things are crazy until someone else tells me they are. I like having a horse because I can do whatever with him and he has fun too. We're both adventurists and up to any challenge. SO what are some of the crazy stories you guys have?

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm in pain!

Literally my body hurts and I'll tell you why. 2 days ago I was riding Possum and he was being a little bull headed. All he wanted to do was gallop. I tried jumping and he would gallop through the fences as opposed to listening and jumping them normally. So I said, this will fix you and started jumping him in and out of the gated arena which does not fall down if you knock it and is about 3ft or so. He got the idea quickly and was near perfect. Amazing how they can listen to you when they know they could go ass over tea kettle over a fence that doesn't move when you knock it. I gave him a few pats and as a reward I took him down the dirt road and let him loose.

As I was galloping I was looking at my position and wondered if I could still hike my stirrups up like a jockey when I was a kid. I got back to the barn and dismounted and rolled my stirrups like 8 times. I used the picnic table to hop on and grabbed a crop since I now had no leg aids or even seat. I tell you what, if anyone wants to burn some calories fast ride like a jockey for half an hour. I trotted and cantered and then hand galloped around the arena. I like to think I'm in pretty good shape, but I had to take breaks because my legs would start to burn and then I would loose all feeling. I dared a teenger to ride Possum as she was tooling around on her horse bareback in the arena but she refused. I told her that he was being really good and was fine, but she didn't believe me. I even took a few small 2ft jumps in jockey position and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I could hardly feel the jump. Possum thought it was a good time to gallop the jumps, and due to only having the reins as aids I just let him do whatever instead of hauling on his mouth. The balance in that position is much different. The center of gravity is obviously much higher and I find myself using the neck a lot especially when taking off. Possum also does not have a mane so that can make it hard too. I felt like I was literally over his neck when I was standing up and not crouching. It was very weird and different than what I'm used to.

So I cooled him out and then went to hop down. As soon as my feet started to touch the ground they gave out and I landed back on my ass. The girl riding looked with eyes wide and asked if I had fallen off and I said no I jumped off and my legs gave out. I tried to stand and still my legs felt like a new born foal. It was then that I knew I was going to be very sore for the next few days. Sure enough yesterday when I woke up to pee My legs creaked and moaned in protest, I was pretty sore all day. But today has been the worst, I got up to pee and pain instantly shot through my thighs and to the rest of my body. I was so stiff and sore I moaned out in pain. I quickly shut my mouth and said to myself, "you out of shape loser, suck it up." But Stairs are the worst. I feel like I'm walking peg legged. So as I sit here rubbing my legs and looking at pics of jocks I can have a real appreciation of what true athketes they are. To gallop at break neck speeds on a fit TB and being as small as they are they are truly machines. So kudos to you jockeys and I can feel your pain.