Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back on the Farm

Phew! It feels good to be back on the farm. After getting back from Stuart, I turned right around and flew out to California for a few days to visit some friends and see James Taylor and Carole King in concert (!!!!!!!!!!). The latter has been a dream for sooooo long, and it lived up to all expectations and then some. I could listen to James Taylor all day, every day, and he was even better live than in recordings. Plus, they played two of my three "wishlist" songs! "Mexico" and "Sweet Baby James." So awesome.

While there, I also got to get a lesson with Rachel... on her I-2 horse Kristal! I've never ridden a horse as well-trained and sensitive to the aids. It took me a little while to realize that all I had to do was pretty much assume the position of the move I wanted to perform and think about it, and away we'd go! Once I got the hang of it, I got to do some pretty cool stuff, like half pass zig zags, 4-tempis, and then a whole diagonal of 3-tempis!! I felt so lucky to get to ride such a wonderful horse with such a wonderful instructor. I'd never felt such rideability and lightness to the aids, and it definitely gave me something to point towards in the training of my own horse. Thank you so much, Rachel and Kristal!!

Now I'm back on the farm alone, as my parents have left to visit my dad's family and childhood friends in his home state of Oregon for the weekend. It's been a good time for some inward reflection, as I've been pretty light on rides and pretty heavy on hand grazing. I've realized that I'm not very happy with the way I interact with people, and especially people in the horse world. I'd like to think that I'm a kind and genuine sort of person, but I'm realizing that all too often that gets lost in pride and defensiveness when I express myself around others. Just as I'm trying to overhaul the way I manage my equine partners, I also hope to overhaul the way I manage myself. If I can make some progress in those two departments, then it will have been a summer well spent, regardless of ribbons earned (or in my case... not!).

In better news, Kiki's leg is looking 1000% better. The vet came out a few days ago and she was glowingly sound, showing just a minor positive reaction to a whole limb hind leg flexion evenly on both legs. I still want to get some ultrasounds done, just because I've become so paranoid from Ringo and because the swelling was so drastic and frightening when it occured (and, at the time of the vet, she'd been on stall rest in wraps with twice daily icing, so it was hard to tell how recovered she actually was). At the very least, we'll have a baseline for the future. And, now we're walking! Exciting stuff.


jenj said...

Although I only "know" you from reading your blog, you do seem like a kind, considerate person, and never forget that! However, it's never easy to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that other people may not see you the way you see yourself. I had that happen to me several years ago, and as uncomfortable as it was and as unhappy as it made me feel, I knew that it was in my power to change myself. Good for you for being introspective enough to at least think about it, and remember that there are always things to improve on. Character development is a lifelong process!

And, that's great news about Kiki! I hope she continues to improve so rapidly. Why is it that when you want to ride the MOST, the only thing you can do is hand walk? Such a bummer!

ItsOnlyAnna said...

I think it's a lifetime goal to manage how others in the horse industry see you. It's one of the hardest things to do, because so many people hold their pride very close, but it's so fragile. We all want the same things, and that competition doesn't always make us see everyone as friendly! Just today, I had a woman ask me how the lines rode in the jumper ring. I replied to her in meters (because I train with a South American, it's all I know!) and she got very angry and quite rude with me because she didn't know the metric system, and walked away from me in a huff. I had to stop and reflect for a minute, and wonder if I came across as talking down to her. I did take some pride in sounding 'better' than the 'local' people...and I think next time I might just have to be a little more humble, or I'm going to build myself a bit of a reputation...haha.

On another note, I'm glad Kiki is feeling better! Hopefully you're back in the saddle soon! And your lesson sounds amazing! I want to ride a dressage horse so badly, and know what that feels like! In the H/J world, I'm just happy when I find a horse that can leg yield at the sitting trot, haha.

Kerrin Koetsier said...

Its amazing how much horses teach us about ourselves, and about communication...

As I always like to say, my horses are my self-development program!

Kerrin Koetsier
Parelli Central

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