Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Baaaack

Holy cow, what the heck was THAT?

I had a cough that was so bad, I pulled a muscle in my back. Parts of my left lung are lying around here somewhere and my daughters have become so immune to the sound of hacking they'd feel right at home in a TB ward. And I am really, really sick of cough drops. That's all I ate for three days and I slept with one in my mouth - can you say choking hazard?

They finally gave me something to turn off the cough center in my brain when the delightful mucinex, aka the pflegm flavored horse pill, didn't work worth a darn. I didn't even know I had a cough center. Is that like a Christmas store, only open for a few months out of the year?  Turning it off artificially sounds kind of scary, but better than getting 15 minutes of sleep between coughing.

I still have some residue cough, but I'm so much better I consider myself largely healed. Exhausted, but vertical for most of the day today! Woo hoo!

During a brief respite in my two week coughing adventure, I went for a ride in the arena. It was last Sunday and the winds had kicked up as some artic blast wandered down to Texas (eventually dumping SNOW in Austin and the Hill Country by Monday).

Windy days are a little iffy for riding in the arena because of the barrels.

We have these vinyl barrels at the stables. Vinyl horse eating barrels. Apparently the horse eating aspect of these evil barrels is activated by high winds. *sigh*

I've spent a good number of days taking Canyon around these barrels in every possible position. Standing up barrels, leaning over barrels, crumpled on the ground barrels (he hates those). But the last time he bucked in the arena was when a wind came through and drastically altered the shape of the barrel just as we were circling it. Canyon bolted to preserve himself from the deadly barrel, I attempted to slow him down by pulling on the reins and he bucked in a panic.

Anyway, that was before our bucking school. I've gotten better at handling these situations - when he's in a panic I make sure to do something different rather than pull on the reins.

So there I am on a windy day on Sunday, riding in a bareback pad because I wasn't feeling so hot and didn't want to tack all the way up. I was only going to ride for 20 minutes. We were working on transitions, then circled a barrel when...


You know how they say a horse has reactions 5 times faster than we do?

They are not exaggerating.

In the exact instant the wind activated the horse eating barrel Canyon did the fastest side pass ever. Pretty impressive since I can't get him to side pass at all. It was  a quantum side pass - one moment we were in one spot, the next instant we were five feet to the right - without ever moving those five feet in between.

Well that's how it felt anyway. LOL

I would have thought I'd have been on the ground, especially since I was only on a bareback pad, but apparently I've developed a better seat than I realized, or my guardian horse angel was working overtime.

But Canyon didn't run. He basically spooked nearly in place. Well, it qualified as in place for my panic prone boy.

He stood there waiting for further instructions, a little concerned, but calm enough to listen.

And most importantly, THE BARREL DID NOT EAT HIM.

I swear we are making progress. It feels like progress anyway...

Tonight was the first time I'd been back to see Canyon since. We had fun, but it's late and I need to crash. So I'll write more tomorrow.

I took a few pictures today, here's two of the beautiful  moon tonight...


Unknown said...

You ARE making progress!

I think spooking horses inspired Gene Roddenberry to put a transporter on the Enterprise!

Really though, I think, personally, that when a horse feels bonded to his rider, he spooks to get BOTH of you to safer ground!

20 meter circle of life said...

Hooray you are back..WOW that does not sound like it was fun at all. I agree with what Cara says. I once had a Pheasant fly up and hit Abu in the chest and he simply froze, I could feel his heart beat through my saddle, but he did not FREAK out. Horse eating barrels are tricky, but it sounds like Canyon is on the right track!

Melanie said...

Yay!!! Another horse and rider who were not lost to the carniverous barrel!!!!

Glad that you are feeling better, and the comment about your "first" totally cracked me!!!
I am so honored! :0

Unknown said...

Cara, you must be right. Maybe if I tweak his tail we could end up at the MALL!

And if a pheasant hit Canyon in the chest I have a feeling we'd be on Saturn. (the planet, not the car company)

And Melanie, seriously these deadly barrels are underestimated by lesser horses all the time.

Oh, for a lesser horse. LOL