Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gentle (and not so gentle) Friends....

Let me tell you a story.

Once Upon A Time, there was a young woman. This Lady was intelligent enough to count to ten without using her fingers, literate enough to read the newspaper without resorting to a dictionary, and not ugly enough to cause small children to start crying when they saw her.

All in all, she was ok.

Well, one day, the Lady met a Gentleman, whom she came to hold in the highest esteem. For some reason, quite a mystery to the Lady in question, the Gentleman returned her regard.

They were happy.

Now, this Gentleman was not a young toff, fresh cut from his mother's apron-strings. No, he had been out in the world, and had some experience with life, including a failed marriage, and children.

Three children.

The Lady, while she was fond of young people, and enjoyed them immensely, had very little experience with this many children, and being their primary guardian, for any appreciable length of time.

Circumstances conspired, as circumstances tend to do, to throw her into that position with the Gentleman's children, for a period of three days.

The first day, they had fun. Although the Lady wasn't feeling entirely well, she had enough activities to keep them entertained, and they had a good day.

The second day, they had great fun, visiting the park, and taking a long walk on the hiking trail. The Lady pointed out various natural wonders, and small creatures, for the children to gaze upon.

The third day, well. The Lady was never certain precisely what started it all off, but the third day was Hell On Earth, with the middle child.

Keeping in mind that the middle child has a minor developmental disadvantage, effecting his emotions far more than his intelligence, the Lady attempted to be firm, but compassionate.

As the day wore on, her compassion, however, faded. If the Lady had been faced only with this child, she would have been fine. Alas, there were two other children to care for, and all were running our fair Lady ragged.

At the end of the third day, when the Gentleman returned from his labors, the Lady beseeched him, "Darling Gentleman, is there any possible way that another could care for your delightful offspring, soon? For truly, though I care a great deal about them, I have not had the experience nor the training to be prepared for such circumstances as have recently been common. I do not wish to say that I refuse to care for your precocious young ones, please do not mistake me! I simply mean that, as a full time care-giver, I am not, yet, fully developed. Some period of adjustment and mutual learning is necessary, for the children's well being, and for my own."

To which the Gentleman replied: "I'm surprised you lasted three days!"

Ya'll, I am not cut out to be a house-mother.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Hello NASA!

Was just checking out my sitemeter and when I hit "who's on?" it popped up with... that's right... a NASA computer!

I'm flattered to be getting attention from someone at NASA, although I'm not really sure why. It wasn't a search so perhaps one of my readers works there?

Regardless, it's yet another of those nifty things that sitemeter allows me to know, and another demonstration of why I'm addicted to it, even when I'm not posting much.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Great Man....

Is gone.

I didn't get a chance to surf the news as I usually do yesterday, so I was shocked, literally to tears, to discover this morning that George Carlin died yesterday.

I'm dripping as I write this.

Just Friday I was listening to a special interview on XM Radio, in which Carlin detailed his rise to iconic status, starting out as a disc jockey.

I've been a fan of the man since I first heard his comedy many, many years before most would have considered it appropriate for my age. The amazing thing is, as many times as I listened to, watched, or read his routines, they never ceased to make me giggle, and they grew with me.

Once I was old enough to think, they always made me do so. I've long maintained that Carlin is... was... not only a fabulous comedian, but a modern-day philosopher, who happened to make you laugh till you wet your pants, while forcing you to consider things in new lights, or bringing concepts to your attention.

A great loss to the entertainment industry, comedy, and mankind as a whole, as well as to his multitude of fans individually.

George, I hope that wherever you are now, theres a stage, and more importantly, an audience.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go blow my nose and hit Youtube, to honor the man in the only proper way... with laughter.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Boyfriend Is The Abominable Snowman

Time to pull out all the fuzzy warm pajamas, and my big soft fuzzy robe, and my nice warm slippers that I'd put away for the summer, and take them over to CM's apartment, so that I don't freeze off what little ass I have.

Every time I sleep over there I wake up, all nice and toasty in bed, comfy and well-cuddled... and then I get up and start shivering. He likes it cold.

This morning he laughed his ass off at me standing in the kitchen trying to wrap my whole body around my coffee cup, muttering about breaking out the long underwear.

But then, he wakes up and puts on jeans, a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, and socks, right off the bat, so of course he's not cold. Meanwhile I'm in a pair of athletic shorts and a tank top, with roughly three miles of exposed, goosepimpled skin.

I also need to figure up a schedule so that I'm actually spending enough time in my own apartment to justify the rent. Four hundred bucks a month is a bit much to pay for a storage unit....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Roughing It

So, my good friend R is having some (elective) surgery today, so I'm up in even-more-BFE-than-usual watching her children. The youngest is just a baby, pretty typical. The older boy is hell on wheels, but definitely doable. Her daughter is staying with a friend.

The daughter took the laptop, though, which made me sad.

That is, it made me sad until I realized that it meant I had a perfectly acceptable excuse to play with the Tablet PC. That's right, Farmdad. I've got a tablet in my hot little hands, and I'm having a blast with it.

R's husband works at a place where they just have things like this laying around. He won't just "lose" one for me though, he's stingy.

I've also got an adorable eight week old schnauser pup snoozing in my lap.

Man, the next couple of days are gonna be rough...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

For My Bookworm Friends...

Especially those of you who read sci-fi/fantasy...

We've been eased into "non-traditional" heroes and heroines in these genres over the years. We even have vampire characters who are unarguably blood-suckers, but still good guys. The vamps have come a long way since Bram Stoker.

Is there any reason that a writer couldn't take a leap further into the ever-blurring good/bad character zone?

Is there a line, in your minds, that separates what can be a good guy and what can be a bad guy, based upon what the character is rather than what they do?

With vampire White Hats in books and serial killer vigilantes on TV, is it simply a matter of time, or is there a sensibility line that can't be crossed? And if so, where does it lie? Blood sucking is apparently ok, and being a crazy mofo that does The Bad Thing for the right reasons (Think Edward from the Anita Blake books, god I love that character) but what about animal sacrifice?

If you're squigged out by the idea of animal sacrifice in books and you read Anita Blake though, I'm gonna have to whack you upside the head with a clue.

How about zombies? I mean in the traditional sense (Haitian voodoo) zombies are slaves to their creators, but popular culture has morphed them in many ways over the years. From shambling undead killing machines (either moaning "Braiiiiins" or grunting, it doesn't seem to make much difference) to coherent raised remnants of the dead (a la, you guessed it, Laurell K Hamilton, sorry, I love her books and she pushes the line that I'm addressing so well, it's easy to use her as an example) to movies where they're not really zombies but act like them because of a virus, there's a wide variety of interpretations on zombies now.

Same with werewolves, vampires, witches/wizards, technology, aliens, you name it.

But could you fall in love with a zombie hero?

Is the distinction the characterization? Is it ok to have a creature that would usually be stacked on top of the Black Hat category be a White Hat if he's really a good person, fell into it through no fault of his own, made a mess of things before but had a miraculous bout of leaf-turning and now fights for the side of good?

Or is it the overall tone of the book? Do you prefer a "gray hat" hero in a kick-ass mystery type, or is it easier to love them in a less intense setting like Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels? And does there have to be some kind of "bad" material to the character to make it believable? Ms. Harris makes us love Bill the Vampire right along with Sookie for a while, but then it turns out that he's an ass, although more on a personal level than a life-or-death one.

Where are these lines for you?

Just how smudged and stained can a writer make that white hat before he's not a good guy anymore, to you, the reader?

I'm very curious to see what the responses are on this one.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why The Hell???

Or alternately: Time To Start Shelving The Baseball Bat By The Dryer Sheets.

I've been doing laundry today. It's a harrowing experience, because the building only has one washer and two dryers, for twelve apartments. I also have a lot of stuff which means if I don't catch the washer open when I have time, I tend to say "oh well, I still have clothes" and try again another day.

Sometimes, this results in the Mountain-O-Laundry. Today it's the Mountain-O-Towels, mostly.

I've been doing laundry steadily since ten this morning. At one point I went out and someone had opened the washer (presumably after the cycle had finished since I knew it was nearly done the last time I was out there.) Ohhhkay someone else is needing to do their laundry. Unlike a couple of others in the building, if I'm doing my laundry and see someone peeking into the laundry room (more like a laundry niche) every ten minutes, and I have enough done that I'm not in danger of having to go to the grocery store in my unmentionables for lack of a t-shirt, I'll leave the washer open once my current load is done cycling. Generally they jump right in there and get theirs in, no fuss.

So, I left the washer open. Nada.

Went out to check on the time on the dryer, and someone had opened the door on it, thus halting the operation, but not the timer.

I'm having a major Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment here. Why the hell would you do something like that? It's bad enough that the complex won't allow you, under any circumstances, to put in your own damn washer and dryer because they get a kickback from the coin-op company, without someone wasting my $1.25 on top of it.

Leave my damn laundry alone. I don't mess with yours.

Of course, the repeat has me wondering (in my suspicious twisted mind) if it's not some skeez looking for women's skivvies to paw. For their sake, I almost hope it's just your run of the mill branch of the peckerwood tree, or Sumdood's slightly-less-evil cousin, the Laundry Gnome.

I catch someone other than Cowboy Mechanic coon-fingering my butt-covers I'm gonna give em an excuse to get a brand new pair of their own, the absorbent kind the nice nurses put on you when you just can't help yourself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wait, What?

Perusing my sitemeter I came across this link.

I'm not really sure what the heck is going on with this but I'm kind of flattered that they included this little blog in it.

Anyone have any ideas as to what the heck this is all about?

Ohhkay Then

Well. Apparently I've become an organized writer over night. Either that or I'm being possessed by a character that I didn't know about.

That new thing I mentioned briefly before? It's taking on a life of it's own. It's been cropping up here and there (at least once a day, not always when I'm writing) for a while. I finally decided to sit down and take some notes on it. All of a sudden I have a concept, a general plot outline, an idea of who my villain(s) are, and a list (yes, a list... I never list things, except on the blog for clarity) of Questions That Must Be Answered.

I'm stopping now because I'm starting to get dizzy and I think if I don't I'll come back to myself in six months with a finished novel....

And everyone thinking I'm dead.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dumb Question, Lady.

The customer service craze has gone entirely too far when people stop noticing critical details, in favor of a generic greeting.

For instance, if a young woman walks up to your grocery store check out line looking pale, droopy, wearing baggy clothes and purchasing only the jumbo size Jug-O-Pepto, a cheerful "And how are you today?" Just isn't all that appropriate.

I spent yesterday with one end or the other aimed at the toilet. Today isn't so bad, I've been able to stay out of the bathroom for significant amounts of time and I've even felt brave enough to leave the house a couple of times. To get the Pepto, for instance. I haven't puked at all today, yay me! But I do have a knot in my stomach that is just not fun at all.

Regardless, when I'm feeling like something that got run over in the pasture, I don't want some chirpy cashier making me feel that much worse by being (argh) perky.

Writing, Writing, Writing away...

Ya'll have been woefully neglected lately, and I sincerely apologize. I've been writing my coon-dog butt off lately, and none of it has been for this blog. Bad Farmgirl!

But, I have made some progress on Jane, and I'm considering starting another book that's been floating around in the back of my head. Just gotta draw up an outline so I know what the heck I'm writing about. And figure out my characters. The protagonist is already jumping up and down in the back of my head screaming for her chance, and screaming at me that I made her a hooker in an earlier short version of the concept. Sorry, lady, but you won't even tell me your name....

Meanwhile, I've been reading Miss Snark's Blog like it's holy writ. Stumbled across it through some of my web cruising in writers resources, trying to learn a bit about the publishing business before I finish the book or books and start diving in with query letters. Miss Snark, while no longer posting, unfortunately, is an agent in New York and she straightens out some of the more convoluted pathways to that great brass ring, becoming a published author.

She's my hero. Whoever she is.

Also, I've been trying to write some more currently publishable stuff, short stories for magazines and such. Haven't gotten them to the polished gem state yet, so nothing is sent off, but I'm working on it.

Trying to break into writing for money is a bit frustrating, to be honest. I'm working hard and getting a lot done, without a lot of real results except for the ever-increasing word counts on my own personal hard drive. Once I get something published, I'm going to be doing a happy dance, and rubbing Cowboy Mechanic's nose in the check.

He's very supportive of my writing, in a "that's cute honey, you go ahead and write" kind of way. He asks about progress, how much I got written on a particular day, and makes appreciative noises when I say that I came up with a fantastic concept for a short story... but he's not a writer, so the finer points escape him, most of the time. Ah well, can't have everything, and I have other writers I can talk to, when they're not just as swamped as I get sometimes. ( Ya hear me, AD?? I'm gonna be sending you some more stuff soon!)

And, that's what I've been doing. I'll try to share more with ya'll as I can. I'm going to withhold Jane, evil person that I am, on the chance that she'll get published, but I'll share some of the short stories.

I'll try to be a better blogger from here out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On The Road Again, Just Can't Wait To Be On Th.... Hey! Slow Down!

Well, Farmgirl is back on the road, albeit perhaps for a short time.

Got a call last night from a good friend who happens to be a Stuporvisor for the old company, and he was in a bit of a bind. Sure thing, bud, I'll work a day or two and help you out.

Gratitude is always a good thing. A paycheck ain't nothing to sneeze at either.

Friends... your loving scribe may not be getting swivel-chair spread (ha, like I'd ever be that lucky!) from her newfound devotion to her writing and schoolwork, but she is woefully out of road-work shape. And color, although I got a good start on rectifying that little problem with the spiffy sunburn I got today.

I also ran into yet another of those people who know, and like, and remember me vividly.... and I have no freaking clue who they are. Maybe Farmmom can help me out on this one, T.L.M. company supervisor, long black hair, goatee. He mentioned you too, woman, so I'm halfway hoping you don't know who the heck he is either, at least then I'll know I'm not the only one.

Meanwhile, I had the "easy" job today (unfortunately not the easiest, I wasn't boss's little helper) in the middle. Got to stand by the hole they're digging and watch them play with their over sized Tonka toys.

The minute problem with this is that the hole they're digging is apparently smack on top of the "seepage" area for an old gas station. And by seepage, I mean massive tank failure.

We're talking black, slimy mud, that smells like old diesel and gas. You know, that stuff that granddad bought forty years ago and stuck in the barn "for later" and forgot about, until he wanted you to clean out said barn and the fifty gallon drums disintegrated as soon as you touched them.

They dug it up. They covered it over with fresh dirt. At this point I breathed a sigh of relief that was entirely too early. They dug it up again, played in it, made mud pies, turned it over, did a pagan rite that I'm pretty sure isn't legal to participate in in private in at least three states, let alone in broad daylight on a public highway in rural Colorado. In between each of these activities they'd stand around and look at it.

This, for those of you who aren't familiar with the road construction (and probably any other construction) biz, is what is known as "the FUBAR mind meld."

It is used when something is Effed Up Beyond All Recognition to the point that no one can even think of something to do that looks constructive. So they gather in groups and stare at the problem, willing it away.

Frankly when things like that happen outside of the area I have to run traffic in, I just erect a simple SEP field (linkage provided for the non-Hitchhikers in my readership) around it and continue with my day.

It would have worked too, if the odor hadn't been so danged obnoxious, jumping up and down and causing drivers to suddenly lose consciousness as they went past.

Farmgirl has a headache. And feet aches. And knee aches, and back aches, and sunburn aches. And she smells like a hooker on an abandoned oiler rig.

I'm off to shower, take some Advil, and collapse into my loving bed. Tomorrow, I'll probably be in jail for murdering my friend, who learned too well from Farmmom and asked me if I could work the rest of the week this morning when I was feeling good.

*grumble* Nine hour days means I can work through Friday before I get shut down on hours. Thankfully, they plan to cover the muck up again tomorrow, although I fear that leaving it exposed tonight means that we'll discover two-headed giraffes have invaded Holly tomorrow.

Either that or Zaphod Beeblebrox will show up to tell me that I'm an insufferable prat.

As long as he's holding a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster that I can use to burn out my nose, I'm fine with that....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Quitting Smoking, Redux

So. I've come back around to another stab at quitting smoking, but I'm trying to be smart about it. Last time, I tried cold turkey (again) and it didn't work (again.)

So, Stage One, list all of the methods I've tried that didn't work:

Cold Turkey: Several times. Not a pretty sight, trust me.

Nicotine Inhaler: Yeah, these did squat for me, except give me something to grind my teeth on.

Nicotine Gum: Two words: Nasty Shit. Maybe it could have helped but after the third piece I just couldn't bring myself to use it anymore.

Meditation: Hey, it's my head, I can control it, right? Wrong.

Self-help style positive thinking: I put post-it notes with reasons I should stop smoking and motivational phrases everywhere. The major benefit of this was to give me targets when I got to the point of throwing things.

Homeopathic "Happy Camper" pills: Anti-depressants help with withdrawal symptoms. It's fairly well proven. Course, I figured I'd try the natural stuff because I could get it over the counter. I actually tried the brand name Happy Camper, main ingredient Kava Kava. I was happy enough on them, sort of floaty and "meh" inside. Problem is, the "meh" part. And, you know, the complete inability to show much emotion whatsoever.

Wellbutrin: After the Happy Campers, I decided to actually go to the doctor and see what she said. She slapped me on Wellbutrin and told me to use a nicotine replacement therapy. The Wellbutrin made me high as a kite in thirty minute cycles for about a week, and it did help a little with the worst of the mood issues, but over all it was yet another failure.

Some of these were tried in combination, some on their own. The only thing they all really have in common is the fact that they didn't work.

Stage Two, research methods that I haven't used.

Patches: Well, these I'm leery of, because they lower your blood pressure, and I run pretty low to begin with. As in, when I go to the doctor at home where the nurses know me they jokingly ask if I'm going to be dead today when they take my blood pressure. Grandpa can't use them for the same reason, except I think his doctor offered to just knock him in the head and toss him in a hole if he was that determined to kill himself.

Losenges: Hmm. I don't know if these lower your blood pressure, but I'm looking at them from the perspective of knowing myself. When I start putting things in my mouth when I'm trying to quit smoking... I don't stop. So, there's the definite chance that I'll just keep popping the suckers compulsively till I OD. Say what? Keep to the schedule? You're funny.

More Homeopathic Stuff: I've been researching this kind of stuff for a while, and there are several brand names that seem promising on the surface of things. Of course I don't trust claims of miracle cures, but looking more at the possible actual benefits there are a few that I feel might actually help.

The issue here, of course, is the lack of reliable studies. Certain things, like hypnosis or acupuncture, some people swear by, and others swear at. A serious shortage of independent information is an issue here. I'm discarding any methods or treatments that seem inherently dangerous, including one blogger's assertion that he quit smoking the simplest way in the world, no outside gimmicks necessary. He simply put his hands on his neck and squeezed for one minute every time he had a craving!

Now, every homeopathic quit smoking method or aid has it's own dedicated cheering section. Some of them are made up entirely of company stooges, and some of them aren't. Its digging through the hype to the real meat of the product that is the challenge, when faced with flashy ads and miracle claims.

Now, I'd love to putter my way through all of these methods till I found one that worked for me, but frankly, if I were that rich I'd hire someone to slap me upside the head every time I lit a smoke, or have myself put to sleep for a couple of weeks and in a small padded room for a couple more.

Thus, research.

I'm leaning towards methods that don't require me to take pills every day, because frankly I'm not that good at remembering them. That's why I use OrthoEvra instead of the pill. I know, I know, TMI.

That's not to say that I'm completely discounting methods with pills, just that they're not my first choice.

So. Calling all former smokers, all across the intarwebz! What worked for you? What were the upsides, the downsides, side effects? How was your mental state while using the product or method and were you able to stop using the product or method easily?

I want to know what didn't work for you as well. Why didn't it work?

I really want to know, folks, so please, email me, or leave a comment here. I don't care if you stumbled across this blog from an internet search, you're a regular reader, or a monkey with a computer and a pogo stick, I want to know. I want to know about any method or product that you've tried, I want to know about all of them. Even the ones I mentioned here as not working for me. Maybe I was doing it wrong, and you can set me straight.

Fun Fun Fun in the sun.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


There are a lot of techniques out there for everything, these days, especially horse training.

Everyone thinks they have the ultimate training regime, to make the best possible horse. A few people are open enough to accept new ideas, and incorporate them into their own ways of doing things.

I'm going to talk about a couple of different philosophies and how I feel about them, here. Feel free to put in your own opinions in the comments, of course.

We'll start with the most recognizable: Natural Horsemanship. Pat Parelli and Clinton Anderson are two of the more famous advocates of this philosophy.

I like Natural Horsemanship, the basis of the technique is working with your horse in a way that speaks to his natural inclinations, that he can understand. There are a lot of things that can be accomplished this way, and while they may take a little longer, I think they turn out a better understanding between horse and rider.

I use several of Parelli and Anderson's specific techniques myself, from teaching a horse to lower it's head to avoid needing a stepladder to bridle or halter them, to using the round pen to establish or re-establish my dominant position in the herd. I use other techniques that are Natural-esque that I've figured out on my own, and a couple of those are what brought Monkey to the point of showing properly at halter from not wanting to lead at all, and also brought him to the point where you can pick up his feet without him going bug nuts on you.

One thing that I feel Natural Horsemanship is lacking, for all of it's value in communicating with the horse on a level that his mind can understand easily, is the consequences side of the coin.

Yes, Anderson uses harder work as a consequence, especially for gate or barn sour horses, but a herd doesn't trot or lope a horse in circles if they do something the more dominant members don't like. That's a consequence that the horse comes to understand, but not one that speaks to his natural bent.

Horses in a herd environment punish bad behavior with nips, and kicks. So why is it wrong to slap a hip with a cupped hand to simulate a light kick, or use fingers on a neck to intimate a nip? This is how your horse's mother taught him the social niceties of living in a herd in the first place. I'm not talking about beating a horse, or even making it hurt, I'm talking about just enough to get their attention.

Again, take Monkey for example. When I was working with him on his feet, it started as a matter of trust. I had to desensitize him and let him know that I wasn't going to hurt his fragile legs when I handled them. We spent a long time after workouts just touching and rubbing and asking him to stand still when I did it.

After a while, he started letting me pick his feet up. So I started working with him when he wasn't worked. And he went right back to his old habits. He knew what I wanted from him. He simply didn't want to comply. A little patient work, with very little result, and I found myself in a conundrum. That is, until I tried a back foot and he kicked at me, and I reacted instead of thinking. I hauled off and smacked him on the hip, it made an impact and a sound, and he started a bit. Then I went to pick up the foot again, and lo and behold he didn't try kicking me again.

I had already established my dominance in his herd, and he was responding to the natural heirarchy. I didn't hurt him, but I did give a consequence that made him understand that that wasn't acceptable, in a way that he's learned and lived with all his life.

That's what I mean about consequences the horse understands.

Now, a little further down the line from Natural Horsemanship falls Alexander Nevzorov. If you haven't heard of him, and I would be surprised if very many of you have, you can search his last name and find his website.

His precept, that a horse should be trained without use of a bit, spurs, or any form of restraint, is a bit extreme for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the kind of communication and camaraderie that allows you to work with your horse without those things. I just don't agree with doing away with them altogether.

Frankly, I don't see how it could possibly be safe. Of course, if you're going to learn his methods, or even participate in the online school forums, he requires that you first stop riding for at least a year, and reject completely all horse "sports." Which takes out the possibility of an exited horse running off in a crowd setting, to be sure.

The thing that really rubs me the wrong way about Nevzorov is the ego, honestly. He's demanding of his "students" and that's fine, but he's also placing demands on the general public, vilifying anyone who rides with a bit at all, and maintaining a PETA-throwing-paint-on-furs-esque drive to show the cruelty of bits in general.

Oh, and the hypocrisy of demanding that students or even curious passers by swear to his ideals before even going to his online forums, and at the same time maintaining a photo gallery of the "vicious sports" and encouraging the like-minded to haunt events to get more of these pictures is astounding.

So, while he may have methods that are useful, insightful, and downright genius, I don't know them. I won't go into his forums to see if any of them are posted, and I won't purchase his video.

You can find video of his results on the internet, on Youtube, and I admit that they're rather impressive. It's a beautiful thing to see a horse playing with a person at complete liberty, jumping and kicking and never touching the man standing in front of them. It's enough to give you chills when you see the horse perform a flawless courbette without any prompting at all, just because they enjoy it.

It's too bad that the master of these techniques is more concerned about immediately solving the problem he perceives in horsemanship than in sharing the knowledge that allows him to do these things. He'd probably win more hearts freely showing people his techniques and speaking gently against the things he eschews, than by adopting his extremist moral high ground.

I have to wonder how many people out there are like me, intrigued by the concept and thirsty for knowledge, but completely turned off by the manner in which the precept is presented?

Surely I'm not the only one?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Equine Difficulties.

I hate leaving a horse by itself. It's just not good for them, mentally. They don't thrive and they get into trouble.

That's why, back at the beginning of the last semester, I moved my older mare Legs.

Well, Farmmom did the actual moving, seeing as how I had three horses to settle in at the college. And, Farmmom had a few difficulties, including not being able to get her backed out of the trailer, or turned around. She had to take this extra large mare out through the emergency door in the front of the trailer.

Today, we got her moved back, and I blithely assured Farmmom that we'd be able to get her out of the trailer just fine.

Well, we did when we brought her home from the sale...

'Course, she's put on quite a bit of weight since we brought her home...

I could not get that mare to back out of the trailer. She'd back, one step at a time with me cajoling, pushing, cussing, and sweating, all the way to the back of the trailer... and stop.

Then she'd take that one last step back, her foot would hit the ground, and she'd hit the front of the trailer like a rocket.

And she's too fat to bend enough to turn all the way around in the four horse anymore.

I tried bribes, I tried getting in front of her and waving my arms, I tried blindfolding her... nothing worked.

I opened that escape door, and walked out, and she unloaded nice and easy.

I swear that horse will follow your lead straight into Hell, as long as you don't try to get her to back up to it.

Of course, it helped that she's been on pasture for a long time, and the last two months she's had free access to the high-protein ground grain that we feed the cattle. All the grain she can eat.

Plus, the hussy is in heat. To say that she was on the muscle today would be the understatement of the century. She looked like a high strung race horse on the end of my arm, and I was wishing for a chain shank lead rope by the time we were done with the walking we needed to do.

We'll see if she continues to be this much of a handful during her estrus, or if it's due to the combination of the grain and the hormones. If it's the latter, being off the grain will help. If the former, and I'm not sure because I haven't had to handle her much during her time of the month, then I'll put her on Regiment when I take her to the college.

I don't want to deal with her being flighty and on the muscle, and I don't want to deal with the consequences if she flirts with one of the unruly little two year old stud colts hard enough to get him to come to her through/around/over fences and then kicks the valuable little sucker with those dinner plates she uses for feet.

But, she's back with the others, and she's happy to be there. When I turned her loose they met at the gate to the corrals and then took off at a high lope bucking and kicking across the pasture, with Miss Legs in the lead.

All I can say is, after wrestling with her today, I'm really glad that she's fairly laid back about doing what we want her to do... cause frankly if she was just the slightest bit rank, she'd walk all over anyone in her way.