Let us ride together, Blowing mane and hair, Careless of the weather, Miles ahead of care, Ring of hoof and snaffle, Swing of waist and hip, Trotting down the twisted road With the world let slip. Anonymous riding song.
Along for the ride:
Sunday, September 18, 2011
At the risk of jinxing myself, there has been horse activity in my life for the past few weeks, on a regular basis. The first time back in the saddle was horribly depressing as my usual skill-set was no-where to be found. It's been 8 months since I rode last. Note to self: "I resolve to not accept life getting in the way like that ever again."
Sunday morning riding lessons with a mixture of flat work and jumping, on a cliche-palomino named Sunny, have revived some level of competence and a lot of smiles and contentment. To be continued...
Yesterday, a couple of fire-trucks pulled into the parking lot below the riding arenas and there was a training session to familiarize the crews with the basic anatomy and needs of a horse, should they ever have to rescue one. Horses can get stuck in ravines, or man made hazards such as swimming pools. I thought it was a very smart exercise for them to plan.
Abbey, my time-consuming foster dog, has made tremendous behavioral progress. She no longer barks and lunges, with all her might, at every dog she sees. She'll always be a "reactive" dog but she can be managed and we can go out in public; stop for a coffee; have a chat with other dog walkers and even join in and walk beside them.
We are in the process of training Abbey's potential new Mum. Barbara and I have walked together a couple of times. I like her. I believe she has "the right stuff" to make this work and she is willing to qualify to take on this special needs dog. Her long term goal is for Abbey to be a service dog, visiting young people at the juvenile detention facility. Abbey is one hundred percent reliable and respectful with humans. She will have a job to do and a life-story that will not be wasted.
It was really important that Barbara realize what she is getting into. She hasn't been exposed to Abbey's dark angel, as I have learned to preempt any slight tendency to fixate (what we call stink-eye) on another dog and so there is no escalation. I told Barbara to imagine her car loaded with nitroglycerine. If she is alert and observant she can avoid the bumps that will otherwise lead to an explosion.
Every walk is a learning opportunity. Every successful encounter increases the positive brainwashing that is turning Abbey, from an outcast, into a member of society. I've involved a trainer who is as much a behaviorist of people as of dogs. Barbara is taking private lessons and joining group classes. This is also a good way of transitioning Abbey. If this adoption goes all the way. She will have built a bond with Barbara and the changes will not be as abrupt. To be continued...
If I were a tree, I would be a London Plane. I am gregarious but enjoy solitude. I am English in my heart and soul, but still have room for other nations. I have lived in six countries and picked up a French husband along the way. We have a wonderful, kind, strong-minded daughter who has become a "Human of whom to be proud". I am a magnet for the lost. I foster collies (and collie cousins and the occasional, accidental, cat or crow). Those I have saved have saved me in return. I notice the world around me and often talk to strangers. Traveling alone is interesting, liberating and fulfilling. I am good at most things that I undertake but have few formal qualifications. I am able to have and treasure friends with whom I disagree about almost everything. My life is not over. Who knows where I am headed?
A ponyism is one of Life's Truths perceived from the perspective of an Effing Pony: - Life's a Bluff! - Those who aspire to make their mark on this world must expect to scrape some skin on the walls of experience. - The greatest value of money is as the currency of Hope.
- To be an Ass or an Asset, that is the question?
-Selective memory is but the first step on the path to magical thinking.
-Not all Baggage comes with wheels. -When your hero is a horse you are less likely to be disappointed than were he a human.
-Unfortunately, great wealth does not always equate with class.
-A dick, surrounded by puppies, remains a dick. -What better antidote to evil than kittens? -Any time you have something heavy, ready to drop, your cat will sit right below and look up at you.