Monday, November 5, 2007

Yes, I AM the Toughest Cookie

And don't you forget it!

Foal training started today. We didn't get to pick our foals, we had to draw for them. I drew one of the smaller ones, but then I'm probably the lightest in the class, so that didn't make much difference.

I was also one of the last to get my foal, which meant I had less time to work with her. I drew a little sorrel filly, dainty head, pretty brown eyes....

And completely fucking psycho, or she was for a bit. They didn't snub her long enough, and she freaked when she felt a tweak on the halter... my gloves didn't grip the rope and she got loose. So I took the gloves off. But, she got me off my feet and I whacked my head... blacked out for a second and she was gone.

Keep in mind that there are nineteen foals in the arena at this point, and five or six horses. All of the foals are whinnying and neighing, and a good chunk of them all came from the same place, so they're all buddy buddy, and when they're scared, they want to be with their friends. They also rear, kick jump up and down, and basically do anything they can think of to get away.

Now me, I thought I had it pretty good, my little filly let me touch her right off, smelled my hand, all that good stuff... but then some of the others started going nuts and she had to jump on the bandwagon. Every time they got her caught she'd stand calmly after a little fight and look around, I'd take her, and talk to her... she was listening to me. Then one of the others would freak and she'd start struggling.

Picture this. Nineteen foals of varying descriptions, eighteen students (one girl has two foals, because they got too many in) all in a medium sized arena. I'm at one side of the arena, talking to and petting my little filly, when our neighbor, a big stud colt, goes nuts, and backs into her.

She rears, turns from me, and I keep my feet for a while. Then she somehow got a strong yank on the lead and I was down. Didn't knock my head this time, though, so I kept the rope.

Of course, she's got momentum, and I don't weigh much, so she's headed off for never never land... and I can feel the wind from her hind feet right above my head... not good. So, I let the rope slip a little, as we swung into a graceful turn... I'm on my back, one arm over my head, one behind my back, both hands on the rope.

About this time I began to notice that my pants, loose enough to fit around my hips, but not normally loose enough to fall off... are beginning a southward migration, thanks to the growing beach inside them. I looked down long enough to realize that everyone was gonna know what color underwear I wore today, and then realized I had bigger problems, as I began to feel the beginnings of road rash on my ass.

The filly finally stopped, and I lay there a moment wondering if she was facing me, or if I was about to get kicked, before getting up, and snatching my pants back up.

It was then I remembered that I had an audience, because they all started cheering.

Apparently, people had been yelling for me to let go, and once she stopped, get up... I had no clue.

Apparently, everyone else in the class had decided to stop what they were doing and watch me get drug in a nearly complete circuit around the arena.

Apparently, according to Sparky, I had a big grin on my face when I went by him.

I got a lot of "Are you ok?" But I just looked at my filly and told her "That was fun! Let's do it again!"

I've been awarded the tough cookie award for the class.

But the filly... who will remain nameless because they won't let me call her "Bitch".... went back to her pen on the end of a lead rope, with me on the other end... and she was leading, not being drug, like some of the others.

Meanwhile, I had to hit Wal-Mart before I came home to get some peroxide and a jumbo sized tube of Neosporin Plus Pain Relief.

Scrapes on the knuckles of my right hand, a chunk out of the palm right at the base of my birdie finger on that hand. The ring finger of my left hand the nail got pulled part way off... not really bad, but bad enough to bleed like a stuck pig, and the pinky nail bled a little, but it just got the skin pulled away from the side of it.

Road.. or arena... rash isn't too bad, just a few places where sharp gravel got me. Back is soring up, neck too.

And my watch stopped. Damnit. I liked that watch.

I wonder if I'll get a plaque? Or maybe a trophy...