Sunday, June 20, 2010
Only a Dish
A beautiful morning, this morning, without extremes of heat or wind. Much appreciated as my riding lesson was cancelled on Friday due to the chilly and turbulent wind storm. The covered arena was full of pony-club camp kids and the prevailing opinion was that alone, up in the jumping paddock, if falling branches didn't kill me, Jeddah just might.
Today was perfect. 10 am on a Sunday morning, a few minutes early so I grabbed my schooling book and went over the aids and figures for leg yielding. I have ridden Jeddah twice before and he has the sensitivity and responsiveness of a thoroughbred, ex-racehorse tempered by a few years of being ridden by somewhat inexperienced riders. The first few times I applied some serious leg I was met by tail swishing and kicking out. He also has an opinion about cantering only on the right lead, whether we are going clockwise or not and is in the habit of falling into the slowest walk imaginable, rather than maintaining forward movement, when we transition down from trot. He is not fooling me. I can feel his potential and achieve some tangible results during my half hour private sessions. After a dozen minutes of warm-up we got good rythmic trot gaits and improved downward transitions. Half halts, serpentines and repetitions of trot to walk, trot again, then back to walk and repeat. The leg evasions have greatly diminished and he is tracking-up with his rear end, so very nice in my hand.
The leg-yielding went well, now that he is no longer flipping out when I pull my leg back behind the girth. We had no more of the pokey nose, upside down neck and back feel that was in evidence initially. Progress is progress. Little steps forward are fine with me. I've asked to ride Jeddah again so that we can keep at it. Once or twice a week is not enough, of course, but it's better than nothing.
Back home with a sweaty smile on my face, Hubby was launched into the preparations of Saucisson de Lyon en Croute, a large pork sausage boiled with leeks, potatoes and carrots then fished out, wrapped in pastry and baked in the oven. The house was already filled to over-flowing with tasty aromas.
I wanted to share my pleasure and try to explain why I get a kick out of riding. I haven't completely given up on some kind of understanding dawning one day. (It's only been a few decades, I don't give up easily).
As Hubby was preparing the pastry it caught my eye that the electric stove-top ring, on which he had placed an empty pyrex dish, was getting redder and redder. I should stop here and explain that this issue has come up before. As far back as 1982, when I took my Artistic Frenchman on a tour of Britain, to meet his soon to be family-in-law, we had a similar incident at my Aunt Helen's house in Scotland. One cracked pyrex dish, a melted plastic spatula and eggs, milk and cheese gratin dripping everywhere sent poor Aunt Helen off to bed with a headache and a twitchy eye. We cleaned up, purchased new kitchen equipment and tried not to frighten any other family members during our stay.
It is hard for me to understand someone who repeats the same behaviors expecting different outcomes. A sign of madness, arrogance or optimism? I retrieved the dish from it's glowing perch and went to gently place it on the metal stove top. (I knew not to put it on the cold tile counter). It was too far gone already and began with a small cracking noise, like an ice cube going into an aperitif. It blew. Glass crystals spread far and wide all over counters, stove and kitchen floor. I left to go take my shower. Nothing to say on my part, that has not been said before. "I always hope they will improve the quality of their dishes" said Hubby. " Now I must find another one"
Lunch was great and very tasty, we were lucky that the glass bits didn't make it into our food. I swept up and we opened a bottle of wine to enjoy with our lunch. I did not go down the thorny path of recriminations, although I had lost my "Buzz" from my equine encounter rather more quickly than usual. C'est la vie!