It feels strange to write about the little problems and triumphs in my life when someone I know, respect, and care for is suffering so deeply. Another thing that I can’t help but strike me as strange is that I’ve never met this person face to face, yet her mere internet presence has clearly made an impression upon my life.
My life continues here in California, though. I taught my first two sessions of the Summer today (I have a 100% teaching appointment which will hopefully get me through the paycheck drought of September/October) and while my sections are being purposefully overenrolled to allow more students into the class, I think we’ll have a good time. Both classes were engaging and fun and that is much preferable to the sleep-deprived zombies I seemed to be teaching last quarter.
Importantly, I have a couple of opinion questions for you all. Temps at the show next weekend promise to hit 105 on dressage day (guessing XC will definitely be split) and I suspect this will get our coats waived. Agree? This makes me super sad that I won’t get to wear my new Horze soft shell with subtle bling but also means I won’t have to roast my boobies off. Also, it means Murray will probably behave (I am not above using the weather to my advantage). However, it means I have to go find a nude or white sports bra — nude is preferable, right? — and make some stock tie adjustments. Any suggestions from my fellow show-folks on the best way to tie your stock when it runs the risk of slapping you in the face? Also, will a dime-sized purple unicorn stock pin be out of line?
My ride tonight promised an interesting test next week. Murray has been having Resistance Face going left the last few weeks so our circles are kinda, uh, squares. And today he decided to Just Say No to canter departs. So our beautifully cultivated canter departs — that we got a 7 and 8 on last year at Intro — are now giant piles of crap that shame me. I know this is at least partially my fault. In my ride today I specifically wanted to re-crisp up those puppies but when I put my leg on Murray was like “nah” and so I asked with a slightly increasing aid two more times and then went WOMP and he was like “well fuck this shit then!” and poof! No more pretty canter departs.
But for real, what am I supposed to do in that situation? Let him decide when and where we canter depart? Alana always advises me to lighten up my aids when he gets fussy and resistant, but this wasn’t even fussy resistance. He was straight up ignoring me.
LE SIGH. PONIEZ.
We got back to almost-acceptable during our ride, but it took a while. I had to be like “no remember this, you like these!” and made a HUUUUUGE fuss over Murray when he did a semi-reasonable one which seemed to appease his tortured soul. Also, my dressage girth when missing which threw me into an absolute apoplexy of rage. Do people not know my horse is GIRTH CHALLENGED?!?! And so am I. I had to borrow a leather girth and it was on so loosely I had to get off to hike it up a bunch of holes. It was embarrassing. BUT FOR REAL BRING BACK MY GIRTH. It’s literally the smallest girth at our barn that’s still in use — no joke — so I GUARANTEE nobody wants it. GIVE IT BACKKKKKKK GREMLINS.
Fortunately, my garden has started to yield quite magnificently. I’ve been snacking on Sun Gold cherry tomatoes off one bush for the last two days, and another is showing the first blush of promise. Eggplants are starting to come out, but really seem to be getting absolutely scrooged by some kind of aphid pest that is eating the crap out of their leaves. Kale and basil are taking off and I’ll start some more basil here so I have a continuous crop. Cucumbers going nuts. Squash are — as squash will do — spreading out. There is a heinous watermelon pest eating my vines though — and not even eating the whole vines, just cutting them in the middle — so I let Ellie go all scorched earth on some fossorial mammal tunnels we found today in the hopes that would deter them.
Only six more rides til show time.