Friday, August 31, 2007

Brave Bible Thumpers...

So, I just got the bible thumper visit, I'm not even sure which flavor they were, but I did my best to convince them not to come back.

Don't get me wrong, whatever faith you have, is fantastic, whether you're Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or some flavor of "pagan" if you have a belief system, I think that's a good thing.

Just don't come knocking on my door trying to convince me that your flavor should be mine too. I have my faith, and I don't try to convince anyone else that it's the "right" one and I don't appreciate it when someone intrudes upon my home simply to rattle on about how their particular set of beliefs is the only right way.

So, step one in the scare-the-bible-thumpers-away plan (I'd heard them across the hall so I knew they were coming already) was to answer the door in my sports bra, jeans around my hips bare feet and lots of skin and my belly button piercing showing. Cracked the door, leaned one arm against the jam and said "yeah?"

Blah blah blah, here to share a Bible thought, yadda yadda, we have this book that tells you what the Bible really says (because the whole world is too stupid to find meaning in a holy text unless it's spelled out to them, and of course their interpretation is better than anyone else's because... well, just ask them!) and we'd like to leave it here for you to read....

"Yeah, sure, I'm almost out of toilet paper anyway..." (this after I've accepted the little book and am fingering the pages thoughtfully, still blocking the doorway so they can't come in.)

"Well, um... I'd like to come back and discuss this with you after you read it... er..... are you usually home on Fridays?" She was stubborn, continuing with her spiel in spite of my attempts to put her off of it.

So, I started shifting my weight and wincing, holding a hand to my latest owwie (which, in case you hadn't guessed, is in what you could call the "nono" spot) which was actually aching and making me uncomfortable.

Mildly shocked looks on their faces so I explained... sort of....

"Oh, sorry, I'm a little sore, a couple of days ago I was... playing..." insert a wicked smile here "with this big boy, thinks he's such a stud... anyway, he gave me quite a pounding and I'm still healing up..... But no, I'm not usually home on Fridays, I'm a college student, you know, things to see, people to do..."

"Erm... well... I guess I'll try when I'm out and hope I catch you?" Her voice had risen in pitch until she was squeaking a little bit, then she kind of trailed off and started to back away from the door, while the man, who had been silent the whole time, stepped in and shook my hand... while staring at my chest and telling me how nice it was to meet me.

"Yeah, fabulous... you know, she's got 'em too, why don't you go stare at hers?"

They retreated.... next time I just won't answer my door.


Thank god it's Friday. I only have the one class today, and I'll be going in early for that to work the bay out some and try to get him behaving before actual class.

The name Buck is not working out for him, I tried calling him Buck yesterday, and he stopped dead in his tracks. Called him buddy boy and he was good again.

We stayed in the arena yesterday until my leg started twitching and giving him conflicting signals, and I never did get him lathered. I got him blowing a little, but I was having to hold him to a walk and do figure eights at one end of the arena, because whenever we got close to the end with the gate, he got excited. He kept wanting to speed himself up into a trot and in the interests of me being the boss, I kept him at a walk.

Everyone else went out on the trails yesterday, but the instant everyone gathered at the gate end of the arena and started going out, he started acting up. He'd been better about behaving up until then, I tried a different bit on him yesterday, an o-ring snaffle, and he seems to give to it better than the curb bits I've been using, so I'll keep using it.

Had a couple of hairy moments yesterday, he tried bucking a couple of times, but he only got one jump in at a time and it wasn't very impressive, since the instant I felt him start to jump his reins got a lot shorter. This precipitated the rein wars... he'd hold his head lower and lower until the reins got long enough (so he thought) for him to do what he wanted before I could correct him. Fortunately I've figured out the secret of two handed riding at least in the configuration I use, and can shorten my reins in a hurry now. We also tried to have a runaway a time or two, but his nose got friendly with my boot when he did that. Hard to run at all when your head is bent to the side, and hard to go anywhere but in itty bitty circles when its touching your rider's boot.

Eventually, I'll get him over needing to be plow reined (all the time neck reining, not just when he feels like it) and we'll have enough discussions over things that he'll stop needing every possible cue to turn when we're having our figure-eight sessions. Right now he's being deliberately obtuse unless I give him inside direct rein, outside neck rein, and outside leg. It's been that, or pull his head around until he doesn't have a choice but to turn.

Progress is being made. Every time he tries to back away from me when I try to mount, I simply drive him back, walking by the saddle and backing him with the reins. Every time he tries to wheel we go in a couple of itty bitty circles in the other direction, and then go away from wherever it was he wanted to go. I didn't have as much of a fight with him yesterday as I did the day before, and I won't have as much of one today as I did yesterday. It's all about consistency and patience. He won't be a perfect horse for many years, he's too young and full of energy to be the nice laid back la te dah do whatever horse, but he can, and will, behave better than he has been.

On his back feet, Marylin and the kid that does the trimming up here were discussing giving him a mild tranquilizer. I'm fine with that, we need to get those back feet trimmed or they're going to cause problems, and its going to take a while before he'll relax enough about his back feet even with hosing them down to let someone handle them long enough to get the shoes off and trim. It's the lesser of two evils, really, and better for the bay if we can get him trimmed up.

Talked a classmate into cleaning my stall for me... indefinitely... because she spent all summer cleaning stalls and she's bored with just doing one or two. The price? Keep a cooler of water stocked in my car for at the barn. I can do that. I was thinking about doing that anyway. All I need is a cooler... and I have one of those at home its just getting the time and motivation to go get it, instead of buying a new one. Oh and I need to buy the water, obviously. I'll hit Wally World today, they've usually got some pretty good deals on bottled water.

I'm tired. Most of it is working with the owwies, part of it is the constant battle with the bay, and part of it is, its the first week that we're having real barn classes and I'm not adjusted to it yet. Last week we had classes but they never went the full time, and I didn't have to argue with the bay all the time. I'll get used to it eventually.