Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big Ride and greedy, greedy Harry!

On Sunday Tony very kindly drove me out to pick up a trailer load of hay, drove me and the trailer back to the paddock and helped me stack, cover and tie down 50 bales of hay. We then went and shot some bunnies for his cat, Dave, who adores them and I got to play with the .22 and the shotgun. Wicked.
On Monday I went out to the paddock only to find that my dear Harry had managed to find a spot to get under the tarp and had eaten roughly half a bale of hay. I fixed that gap, removed the half a bale to the small shed we use for convenient hay access and picked up twice as much poo as usual.
On Tuesday I went out to the paddock and found Harry had moved some of the pallets I had leaned against one side of the stack and had demolished another half a bale of hay. I used the remains to stuff a hay net and tied the pallets to each other, the stack and the tarp.
Today I went to the paddock and found Harry had managed to pull one of the covering tarps halfway off and had demo'd another bale of hay, somehow managed to knock some of the top bales off the stack, and re arranged the pallets. I used all the twine from the recently demo'd bales to tie the tarps, pallets, and hay bales to each other and crossed my fingers that it's all over now, right? After all, I may never be able to get in there again myself! Fortunately, in his cheerful consumption of my winter hay supply, Harry has made the stack just small enough that the tarps cover it much more easily.
He has still been begging me for more dinner through all of this.

At any rate, I figured with the quantities of food he has eaten lately he really needed some exercise, so I tacked up and off we went. Harry has decided that the best warm up is to walk up the grass verge on the side of our road until he can cross over and say hi to the mare in the paddock at the end. Going along with this is a much easier way to get him loosened up and moving forward than having a fight with him over going the other direction. He has this whole passive aggressive thing going on where he doesn't really DO anything... but he makes it a lot of hard work and likes to drift closer to the trees and swipe me with branches. Brat.
So I lined him up next to the bank, stepped up, swung my leg over... and as I settled in the saddle we were facing a hundred eighty degrees the other way and moving off at a sedate but purposeful walk. Oh dear. I may have to work on this.

We went to the end of the road, said hi to the mare and came back again, then across the main road, around the corner and down towards the equestrian center. Harry is feeling so much better on his bare feet that he insisted on walking on the tarmac today, rather than on the grass. This is fantastic, except when there is traffic on the road as well. Harry is of the opinion that the traffic will get out of his way and shows no concern for cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, tractors, motor homes, 12 tonne diggers, etc. The only thing of any concern to him were the bags of sheep poo being sold as fertilizer as a fundraiser for the rowing club. We had to stop and stare at those for some time before moving off.

Approaching the Equestrian Center we caught sight of a bay horse cantering around a jump course. Harry was enthused and wanted to meet this new friend and it took some urging on my part for him to continue past this horse to the gate. I managed to open the gate from horseback (whoop whoop!) but was concerned it wasn't open quite far enough, being jammed on a pile of fallen leaves, so I jumped off and led Harry through, closed the gate and remounted (from the ground, with no helpful slope! Go me!!) At this point we set off at an even more purposeful walk back towards where he had seen the other horse. I let him explore the grounds for a while (the other horse had moved on, Harry was most disappointed) and he trotted over poles and and up to a makeshift dressage arena. This had poles marking the edges and markers around the edges. He appeared to recognize it because he wandered around to 'A' and trotted the most perfectly straight center line I have ever had from him. I sat still with my hand on the buckle and my mouth gaping open in surprise.

After that he appeared to loose interest in dressage and went to explore the drainage ditch. We marched right up to it... and popped over. He must have enjoyed that because we came back to the same place no less than three times and did the same. After which I decided it was time for some real work and we did some huge trot circles, working on having him move off my leg and lower his head without sticking his nose out, and a little bit of canter. More for fun on that one, it makes us both happy :)

From there we headed over to the gate again, I unlatched it from the saddle and gave it a push. Harry thought it hadn't gone far enough and proceeded to give it a few shoves with his nose before walking through. Clever boy :) I did have to do some convincing on getting close enough to close the gate again from the other side though.

A cruisey walk home again with some small trot and canter moments. We are getting good now at spotting places that might be good for some speed. If I feel his energy come up I can either leave my reins on his neck, in which case he remains walking, or pick them up and cluck and he moves off at a trot or canter quite relaxed and happily. Why are our transitions never this good in an arena??

Un tacking him at home again I realized he hadn't even broken a sweat! Wait, when did my horse get fit without me?? He's in a winter coat and I'm in a t-shirt! I'm confused...

All in all, a very good day and I have my fingers crossed that my hay will still be safe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Indian Summer

Wonderful weather the last few days. Had the best ride yet with Harry on Monday. Up the gravel road by his paddock and then down to the equestrian center where we met up with some friends and cruised around the race track a few times. I've never had him on a racetrack before and wondered if his racing past might come back to him but no, we cruised happily around calmly even when the pony with us was throwing tantrums and chucking his rider. Oh dear...
We had our first canter as well and for the first few strides it was lovely and flowing and up hill and OMG Harry where have you been hiding that??? And then I think I interfered. Damn my riding... and we went back to down hill cantering into the ground. At any rate, I know he has it in him and it's my job to sit back and stop getting in the way! I was thrilled anyway, and Harry was glad to have company and to go forward a bit more. Think he is getting sick of endless walking but I feel mean if I ask him to do more on his still sensitive bare feet. They are getting better though, and he's now just slow on tarmac, not head bobbing lame as he was right after getting his shoes off. The quality of the horn and the concavity of the soles is much improved also. Looking forward to seeing what the trimmer has to say when he comes back :)

Yesterday I met up with a few locals at 9am and drove down nearly to Beaumont. The tops came off a few beers before we even got there, and that trend continued most of the day as we kayaked down the Clutha to Clydevale. We arrived home just after 6pm. A fantastic day in amazing scenery with excellent company. Couldn't ask for better. Check out Clutha River Cruises- the company in charge of the kayaks. I think the guided tours don't involve quite so much alcohol though... We had the advantage of taking a local vinyard owner with us- he provided several bottles of wine so every now and again we'd line up all the kayaks and refill our glasses as we floated past blazing yellow poplars and deep green native beech forest. Brilliant.

Today I am feeling rather the worse for wear, but the weather is fantastic and I want to get out and about with Harry again :) Also, I have banana cake to make.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A successful day!

Worked this morning and discovered that the book I've been eyeing up was actually mine. No, really. Several weeks ago a customer had been reading it while eating his lunch and we'd had a brief conversation, during which I mentioned that I hadn't yet read it, but would like to.
Yesterday that customer came back, said he'd thoroughly enjoyed it and hoped I would too. I am now the proud owner of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Came home, got changed, made a few phone calls and now have my name on 50 bales of meadow hay. Finally! It's like hens teeth this year! Went out to feed Harry before the weather got any worse (12 degrees and blowing a gale) He was very pleased to see me. Or the bucket... yeah, probably the bucket. No riding today, but I did give him a quick groom- he's beginning to really fluff up for the winter and his feet are looking SO good!
Met Gila at the paddock and had a bit of a chat. Her boss is looking for another barrista for a few hours a week, possibly full time later on. Gila's talking to her tomorrow. Hopefully I have another job sorted out! Whoop! If not that one, Brownie wants someone to come deal with SAP at his work for a few hours a week. I haven't had much experience with it, but I'm sure I could learn pretty quick. Looking pretty damn good on the job front anyway!
Had a few drinks with Wendy and Anne and came home to find confirmation that I was indeed owed a tax return. Should be seeing nearly $700 in the next few days. Hoorah!

You know, despite the nasty cold weather... it doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sunny Wednesday Morning

Turned into blustery Wednesday afternoon when I went to see Harry. I'm sure the weather does this to me deliberately, it's just thinking, "let her chill out in the sun, and do the laundry and hang it out... and when she leaves the house to do something fun... Turn up the wind chill factor and threaten to rain. *insert evil laughter* "
Despite the weather misbehaving Harry and I had a nice ride. His feet are still tender on the gravel and the road, so we're looking for longer grass stretches without low hanging trees. Had a trot on the way home for the first time since I've had him back :) Feels good to be making a bit of progress!
We got back to the paddock and did a few carrot stretches- minus the carrot. It's a little more complicated to make him do it this way, but we got there eventually. Then we just chilled out and had cuddles. I love that he's such a snuggle bunny. I can bury my face in his neck and stroke his forehead and we both just stand there totally relaxed and breathing each other in...
This is why I own a horse...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's Tuesday, Again.

So once again I headed out at a reasonable hour (10.30am) to do reasonable things (feed my horse, poo pick the paddock, do a bunch of ET sessions in Cromwell) and once again I am home unreasonably late. Though, at least it is still today. Wound up drinking cider and taking a random road trip to Wanaka for dinner. Got roped into a quiz night (the dude had the most amazingly freakish hair. We thought he'd have personality to match!) but were bored rigid and buggered off home again. Hence it is 10pm and I am home again.
Is this an improvement over last week? I'm not sure.
In the mean time, Harry continues to gain weight (as do I! Damn having a drivers license! All that cycling was good for me!) and is looking much improved now he has had his feet done also. The trimmer commented his front feet were in good shape, especially for a thoroughbred. Personally I think his hind feet are better, particularly his white foot, the heel has de-contracted considerably, the frog is tough and of all four feet it has the most concavity. The two front feet are still quite flat, though the soles are beginning to shed. If the weather is nice tomorrow I will take him for a ride and see if we can't hurry it along. Wish I had a camera and could take photos of his progress!
Adore having him back with me again, though I'm still freaking out a bit about how I'm going to keep him fed now my hours are being cut back. Thankfully I am making headway in my case studies and should be qualified soon! Huzzah for some extra cash! Not to mention a job I love :)
Soooo Life is good, but would be better with ooooh.... maybe an extra $10,000? Stuff it, if I'm dreaming I want to win the $29million lotto's up to this week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


So, I went to feed my horse about 4pm Tuesday afternoon. It's now 9am Wednesday and I have just got home.
Tuesday night included copious quantities of alcohol, hot tubs, meteor showers and self lubricating lesbians.

I love my life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Farce Moments

This morning was one. Well, several really.
Was reading last night when I suddenly realized it was 3.30am. Whoops. Decided to go to sleep at that point and slept well until awoken by my flatmate stealthily preparing for work at 6am. Got up around 8, went and did horsey bits and peices. All was going well until I got home and sat down for a minute.
Next thing I knew I was awoken by the cat vomiting noisily in the hallway. Leaped off the bed to throw her outside and caught sight of the clock: 11.35. I was due at work at noon. Crap. Still covered in horse hair, hadn't eaten, cat vomit ALL over hallway. Crap.
Cleaned up cat sick, jumped in the shower and realized I did a load of washing last night and due to my impromptu nap I hadn't hung it out to dry. As such I had no towel. Wandered damply around the house to find one. Put toast on. Went to get dressed and realized I somehow managed to put BOTH sets of work uniform in the same load of laundry I had failed to hang out...
Put on wet clothes. Ate toast. Cycled to work.
Limped tiredly through day. Laughed at myself a lot- Only I can do this shit to myself. Some days I think I have my life under control and everything works out so well. Other days... well.
Left work after nine hour shift. Arrived home to find party in full swing. Sat down for several glasses of wine and taught 14yo daughter of a friend to play Metallica: Nothing Else Matters intro. Oddly, her parents want me to teach her more "Classical guitar." Whoops.
The party has moved on to town now (its TUESDAY. Where the hell is open at this time of night? morning? ) so I am going to bed. I think I deserve it at this point!

Does anyone else have days like this? Where you just have to laugh at yourself because you've completely lost your grip on life? I find if I laugh it off I can get it back under control in about an hour of laundry, dishes, vacuuming, phone calls, writing lists etc. If I freak out and start having nightmares about drowning I have to take a day off and work my butt off to get sorted out.

Being organised takes Waaaaay too much effort... but if the alternative is to live like this perpetually... well I guess I'm gonna have to make the effort. It's getting better. One day like this a month is a whole lot better than the 29 days a month I used to live this way. Thank God for growing up...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Got Harry back a week ago today. Alarmingly thin with too long feet. Yes, I have felt incredibly guilty over this. Even having had a dozen reassuring emails from the guy looking after him I should have been down to check on him myself. Sadly, I believed the tales. And really, I think the dude believed he was taking good care of my horse. Only, horses are not dairy cows- you should NOT be able to see ribs or hip bones or spines. Ever.
Live and learn I guess. Will be taking care of him myself from here on in.
Anyway, he's eaten four bales of hay this week and is getting a feed of chaff, speedibeet, minerals and apple cider vinegar infused with garlic (Gourmet, I know) None of this is serious weight building food, mostly concentrated amounts of fiber with low sugar and starch contents. This is deliberate. I've been doing a lot of reading in the last year about the digestive tract of the horse and the effects of high sugar/starch feeds (not what the horse is designed to live on) on the bacteria of the hind gut and then on the rest of the body, especially the feet. Had he not put on as much weigh this week as he has I would be adding ricebran oil and barley. However, the tailbone and hip bones are disappearing nicely. He's still a little ribby, but they are less frighteningly obvious and looking at him now is a little more, "Hmmm Rather light condition." and a little less, "OMG! Skinny horse!!"
For a weeks work I was rather pleased with it. And today I got on. Hoorah! For a very short ride, only at the walk but on a variety of surfaces including grass, tarmac and gravel. For a horse that has been out of work since September he was incredibly forgiving and remained calm and relaxed throughout with the exception of a giraffe impersonation at what I thought was a man wandering through an orchard. I was reassuring him about the existence of orchards, sprinklers and people in this area when he let me know that he was, in fact, only interested in the smell of the horses at the race track about a km on the far side of the orchard.
Otherwise, absolutely wonderful. I spent a long while afterward just hanging out in the paddock. Love the way he lays his head on my chest and closes his eyes while I rub his forehead :)
I remain, Harry's most devoted fan,

Sunday, March 13, 2011


A short shift at work finally :) Was beginning to get used to the ten and twelve hour monsters! A good few "Ducking Cumu's" in today, and yet somehow we managed to drop four glasses of OJ over the child of one of the few pleasant customers we had. (a tray full of glasses. I promise we didn't drop all four individually.) The kid was fine, if a little sticky and a wasp magnet for the afternoon.
Took off after work and headed down to visit dad. Spent the afternoon faffing about drinking wine and eating good food. Finished up this evening with fresh fruit and ice cream drizzled with "Holy Plum Sauce." Or, the stewed juice of the plums from St Patrick's. Dad's thinking of making more next year and selling it as a fund raiser. I have suggested my brother help out and we make it "The Father, The Son and The Holy Plum Sauce, Ltd." Suspect we'd have a few complaints though. Either that or accidentally start a whole new branch of fundamentalists...
Picking up my horse tomorrow morning. Looking forward to seeing him again, though a little worried. The last time I saw him he'd lost a lot of condition and I upped the payments I was making to the guy looking after him on the condition he was fed more. The guy told me he was looking better and picking up weight, but dad's now saying the horse looked awful when he went to visit last week.
It's been too long being so far away. Glad I'll have him back with me from now on. Hope he's ok!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feb 15

It's my day off today and I've been thinking too much. I'm worried I guess. And trying to look forward to a trip that I don't even know is going to happen and seems impossible at the moment. I'm thinking about turning my life on end again... maybe twice even, in the next three months and I really don't know if I'm doing the right thing or not.

I really like where I am right now. I'm enjoying my job, the people I work with, my new house. I love having my cat with me again. I have old friends popping up again, and some new ones. I'm meeting lots of useful people for my ET studies and have good reviews so far.
(Case in point- just off phone to a woman whose horse I worked on last thursday. She wants me back this thursday and has given me the phone number for a woman competing in dressage in Cromwell who wants me to do her horse also, and has offered to pay gas money for me to come up there. She apparently knows EVERYONE competing in central, so another brilliant contact.)
The problem here is that I am simply not making enough money. I know that is likely to change in the next week or so, with so many staff heading off to Dunedin for university, but I don't know if it will change enough. And the expenses here are... well. Steeper than I would like, certainly. I know my Harry and Heks are... luxuries I guess, and maybe I can't afford them. But the idea of letting them go is... I don't know how to even put it into words.
Staying here, with the few extra hours and whatever donations I make from my ET stuff I have enough to live on, and to look after the animals. But not enough to pay off the debt to Telford any time soon, or to save for this trip to the states. Certainly not both before May.
I really, really don't want to be in the states with no confirmed work and still paying bills over here.
I'm faced with the options of finding ways to make more money (ET, a second job, a different job, winning lotto....) Or ways to reduce my expenses (selling Harry, giving Heks back to Ainslie, finding a cheaper flat)

Wendy and Anne and Erica-Jane are moving to Queenstown. They want me to come with them. In Queenstown I'm likely to find a job quickly, and between four of us rent and power and food and what have you are likely to be less expensive. I guess, it sounds like a good idea, and I like the idea of living with them, and Alexandra wouldn't be at all the same without the three people I'm closest to.
But as I say... I like it here. And I'm just starting to feel like I'm finding my feet again, and I still really, really want to be in the states this year... so, I'll be just barely sorting myself out there when I leave.

This year has the potential to be so utterly fantastic and I feel like I'm already making a fuck up of it. And it's only February.

I guess I'm wondering if I am making this harder for myself than it needs to be. Certainly I'm having crazy stressed out dreams about shit hitting the fan (and spiders. Those ones are really beginning to freak me out.) and I know if I just take this time limit off myself I will breathe a lot easier. But I really. Really want to make this trip. I just don't know if I've got anything left to give to make it happen. And the idea of taking the rest of the year to pay off Telford, and actually having a little bit of extra cash behind me before I go is really appealing. And if I decide not to go now, then moving to Queenstown makes a lot of sense. I just don't know that I want to up root myself again so soon....
Ugh, I'm going round in circles again.

Financially, moving to queenstown, finding a job with more hours, selling my horse and not going to the states in May makes a lot of sense. It's just... not what I want for this year.


Dec 23

Why do people think I'm mad? Really, what's wrong with WANTING to bike home at midnight? It doesn't bother me in the slightest but everyone else gets worked up and worried as fuck and I don't get it at all.

Good night at work. Eventually everything dropped off til there were only a dozen or so people drinking and a couple of kids hanging about. I had a paper plane making competition with an 8 year old. I won and then his parents gave him shit about being beaten by a girl. Bugger. Still, I taught him how to make the plane, so maybe he'll win next time.

Sat down and had a few whiskeys with the last couple of people there and Janine was hard out stressing about how I was going to get home as Wendy and Anne dropped me off without my bike today. I kept going, "it's only ten K, I'll walk, it's all good!" Apparently that's not good enough. They tried to give me the van to drive home but Christmas eve with no license and a third whiskey I probably shouldn't have had as I didn't have dinner. Actually... I think all I ate today was a banana and a six inch sub at about half eleven. Hmmm no wonder I feel a bit pissed... Anyway, driving didn't sound like a good idea.

Eventually Steve lent me his sons bike and Janine gave me a massive torch to take with me as there were no lights on the bike. Didn't need the torch. The moon was huge and orange and hanging on the horizon and it lit up the dirt road like a highway. Got half way up the gravel road (so about 7 K) and saw headlights behind me. Pulled over and stopped and Nicole pulled up with Wendy and Anne, pissed as newts and laughing like drains out the windows. Left the bike in the bushes and got a lift the rest of the way.

Got back to the house to discover Wendy's new four wheeler has arrived. She got all excited and wound the dogs up no end, "Look at my new bike Willis! Look! Come up here!" Finally got some use out of the torch spot lighting the dogs. Laughed my ass off. We woke the olds up and they were out in their dressing gowns and pissing themselves at Wendy being so excited. Like a kid at christmas haha! I guess that's exactly what she is.

Dec 19

So long as nobody asks me if I'm ok, I will be fine at work tonight. Isn't it amazing how strong you can be, until someone puts a hand on your shoulder and says, "Hey, are you ok?" And suddenly all your carefully constructed bright smiles fall by the wayside and you're biting your tongue trying not to bawl your eyes out. God forbid someone actually gives you a hug!

Willis has just come and stuck his tongue in my ear to cheer me up. Love dogs, but really, their methods are pretty unorthodox! Effective though. He's a sweet beast really, even if he does slobber a lot. Comes with being a bull mastiff I guess.

So, started at three in the afternoon. Got ten minutes to eat dinner standing up, with half an eye on the bar around 1700 and a five minute break at 2230. Closed the bar, cleaned up and had a whiskey around two, and then got on my bike and cycled home. Nearly shat myself when a flock of sheep jumped out of nowhere and ran across the road in front of me! At least it was cooler biking home than it was when I went in to work, it was 32 degrees this afternoon.

Think whatever wake up that bike ride gave me is wearing off, 0300. Time to go to sleep.

Dec 18

Variety is the spice of life they say. If that's true, I really think I've had enough of curries.

Drove to Dunedin this morning, abandoned mum and dad and went shopping. Good times, wandering round town listening to Kora, chatting to sales assistants. New clothes! Stoked! It's been a while... Hooray for a paying job finally!
Met up with mum and dad for lunch, sat in the sun in the octagon drinking coffee and eating good food, then more wandering around town. The wind was howling a gale but it was a good 30 degrees out... Celcius that is.

Met up with mum and dad again around 2pm. Went up to the crematorium. Dear grandpa arrived in his home made coffin on the back of Kelly's ute. This is the first “funeral” I've ever been to. It consisted of saying hi to my aunt and two uncles, passing the hugs around. It's the first time we've all been in one place in probably 6 years. Then we backed the ute up to the back entrance of the building (grandpa wanted nothing to do with the chapel.) Slid the coffin off and onto a funky motorized table on wheels. Had a chat to the dude working there and watched him open up the kiln and scrape the remains of the last occupant to the end (I saw the head of a femur and half a pelvis still intact) Then the funky motorized table thing fully HURLED the coffin in and sparks flew everywhere until the door came down again. We all peered in a tiny little window on the side at the flames. Auntie Alison took bunch of photos of the whole thing. Everyone had a bit of a weepy moment, more hugs were shared around, then we all got in various vehicles and left. The whole event took twenty minutes. Max.

Mum and dad dropped me back in town about half past three. and I walked up to Fix to meet Tama, a guy I dated for a full three days in 2004. By this I mean we had coffee a couple of times, then he asked me to the movies. The movie was so boring we made out the whole way through. That was Friday. By the following Wednesday he'd stopped speaking to me entirely. This is the first time I've seen him since. Got take away coffees and sat in the park talking for ages, then decided it was too hot and migrated to the pub. Mmmmm Emersons Pilsner. Yum.

Said goodbye around quarter to six and walked back to the other end of town for dinner with the family. Amazing food, good wine, excellent company. (yellow fin tuna steaks. Roast pear, bacon and walnut salad. Italian chocolate torte, macchiato, chardonnay, shiraz.... you get the idea.) Apparently some guy my mum worked with when I was a kid told her I was a Mystic. Cool.

Sat in the back seat on the way back to Lawrence, with my knees pulled up to my chest, staring at the scenery flying past with tears dripping off my chin. Didn't stop crying the whole hour and a quarter long drive. Laughed at myself for being a melodramatic emo kid. You ever get that? Where some part of you is so full of feeling, and another part of you is looking at your behaviour and thinking, “well Fuck this is stupid.”?

Uncle Jack is staying with us. Mum gave him his Christmas present already. An Inflatable leek. He loves it. Yes, my family is WEIRD. Really. (This is the man who gave me two dog bowls with my name on the side in big pink letters. He'd asked me what I wanted and I said, “something I've never had before.” I guess I should be thankful he didn't go with his first suggestion: "How about an octopus down your trousers?" Another year he gave me a block of chocolate and “something to eat it with” - a teaspoon.) No, he's not crazy, he just has way too much fun with life. He is a librarian with a semi automatic rubber band gun.

In summary:
Shopping! YAY!
Funeral. Suck.
Coffee date! Yay!
Dinner. Lovely, but uncomfortably tense and emotional.
Drive home. Sad as fuck.
Tea and inflatable Leeks! Hysterical!

... Can't I just have good days and bad days? These frequent emotional ups and downs are getting too much for me.

Nov 15

Sometimes I twist myself up in knots because I know there's so much I'm capable of doing and yet I have trouble getting off my ass and DOING it.
Sometimes I think I've spent too much of my life with my nose in a book and I've missed something... Something that would make being with people and feeling like I belong even a possibility. I'm good at first impressions, I can be charming and kind and friendly and flirtatious... But I have trouble keeping it up. Maybe its just that at the moment I'm forced to study and eat and live with a bunch of people I wouldn't otherwise associate with.
In years of traveling and moving from one school/city/country to the next I've gotten far too good at letting go. Letting go of stuff I don't mind, chucking stuff out can be cathartic. Its the letting go of people that worries me. I'm not usually good at keeping in touch with people after I leave a place. I just... let them go. All the same, there are some I can still call, after a year or so and know I'll be able to crash on their couch or sit down over coffee and talk for hours with ease... Maybe I just let go of the ones that don't make the grade. i don't know. But I don't fit easily into any of the groups of people at school. I get along with everyone OK, but there's the group of hot blondes who laugh at everything and I never seem to get the joke (I'm beginning to think there isn't one, they just laugh lots to look cute and disguise their complete lack of intelligence), there's the group of average people that I can have a laugh with and who ask me the answers to all the assignments (I don't mind helping, but for fucks sake I don't ask to cheat off your papers, why would you ask to copy mine?? Sorry, pet peeve there.) And there's the one or two girls who spend all their available time getting drunk and secluding themselves in their rooms with their boyfriends. All of these people will bitch constantly behind each others backs when given the chance, and that's something I've tried so hard not to give in to. I don't see the point. If I have a problem with some one, I work it out with them. telling everyone else I have a problem isn't going to fix it.
Oh shit, that's what I'm doing now, isn't it? Whoops. Though, it is kinda therapeutic, I'll give it that.
Sigh. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it feels a whole lot like being in high school- being surrounded by people and yet feeling alone and like you didn't really know who you were supposed to be... i don't want to blunt who I am by trying to fit in, but damn it's lonely being me in a crowd of people who still want to be carbon copies of each other.
Guess I'm still trying to find the place in the world where I fit.

Home can be such a foreign concept.

On a lighter, but possibly more frightening note, people are making rude jokes about me today. Apparently I look like a rape victim. Damn bruises! Have been asked by all three of the hostel supervisors if everything is ok, have I been in a fight? Oh my God! What HAPPENED?!

...Damn horses.

Nov 13

So, Today was my riding assessment. Re assessment. Whatever.
I've improved beyond belief this week. I really have. But I am such a fucking pussy! I want to beat myself over the head with a rock. Or hit something. I am so frustrated. So angry at myself. I know I have fuck all experience, but confidence is the ONLY reason I failed today. I asked Kevin what I could improve on and he said my position is really good, my seat is excellent, I ride the horse really well. I failed because I psyched myself out. That's all.

Which is maybe really good, it means I CAN do it. I am capable. But at the same time it makes me SO DAMN ANGRY! All I had to do was DO it and I was too chicken shit.

How do you get brave? How does it work? I want to ENJOY this. I do enjoy the jumping bit, once I actually get over myself and do it. And I did have a bunch of small brave moments today. Nearly vomited while warming up. Made myself do the practice fence in cross country anyway. I get so scared before I start. I don't know what it is that scares me, only that actually pointing the horse at the jump is the scariest thing in the world and it is SO hard to make myself do it. Had to keep going cos I knew if I stopped I'd never get started again. But I MADE Tom jump the first part of the combination after he ran out and took out the jump stand with my knee. Ouch! Made myself jump the roll top for the first time. And again. And the Pallisade, after Tom refused. Jumped the drop for the first time, and then staying on and getting back under control over the rough ground afterwards, bringing him back and jumping the last two fences. My hands didn't stop shaking until 1800. That's three hours after I got off the horse.

I guess in the end, it's not my fault I have so little experience. And I have tried my heart out this week. But I am such chicken shit and I hate hate HATE it!

So I sat on the floor of my shower and cried with frustration, and laughed at myself at the same time for being so pathetic. And I want to smack the shit out of something. Why are emotions so confusing? Could I not just have one at a time??

And now I'm going to eat chocolate and drink and hope I feel better soon. My whole body aches. My left knee is still hugely swollen, I ripped the skin off the inside of it when I fell yesterday. I have bruises all up and down my arms. I still can't sit comfortably on my right ass cheek. My right knee is still swelling up after I took the jump stand out with my kneecap this morning, all the muscles in my shoulders and back and neck are tight and sore, pretty sure I got whiplash from falling off Thursday.

Yeah, I feel like I tried DAMN hard. Just not hard enough.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's been HOW long??

So, I have neglected this blog disgracefully. I have been writing in the mean time, it just hasn't been posted here. I'm thinking I can post some of my various long winded emails/diary entries/rants here as a reminder to myself what the last few months have achieved. After all, no one HAS to read any of this :)

Nov. 9 2010

Saturday afternoon is my re-sit for my riding practical. At least this time I have a whole week of one on one jumping lessons with Bridget. And actually getting feed back, thank God. The last instructor wasn't particularly helpful. She'd just get you to jump that. and then that. and then the other one and if you didn't fall off, she'd make them bigger and make you do them all again. Didn't really learn much. Certainly didn't learn to ride the horse very well. He operates on different principles than mine. On Harry, if you drop your reins and stop asking for anything, he slows down and stops. On Tom, who I'm riding in the assessment, if you drop the reins and stop asking for anything, he goes faster and faster and faster and faster... He also throws tanties every now and again.
On Friday Anna was mounting and was just throwing her leg over his back and he freaked and took off, bucking and pig rooting. She landed behind the saddle and he went faster, jumped over the second part of the double, an oxer, backwards. Anna lost her reins, he took the two strides and went to jump the first part of the double as she bailed. She landed in the jump, broke one of the rails even. They're pine, about 6" diameter. Tom was freaked, she was freaked and she has a really amazing bruise across her lower back now, about kidney height, where she hit the rail. Ouch.
This is the horse that ran over me when I came off and fucked my back last term. So I'm (understandably, I think) nervous about riding him again. Every time I ride him, it's either the day before the assessment (Oh shit, Tansy's never jumped more than 65cm, quick, put her on Tom and make her jump a meter.) The day of the assessment (don't freak out too much, it only determines whether or not you get into Advanced and get to be here the rest of the year.) The day I crash and wind up in the hospital with a concussion and nerve damage in my lower back ("if you get tingling or numbness, call the ambulance: If your spine moves further you may never be able to walk again.") The day before the Advanced assessment, (oh, that's right, Tansy hasn't ridden in weeks, has only jumped twice since the last assessment and she has to jump a round of 1.10m tomorrow. Chuck her on Tom, we'll work it out [See facebook profile photo, that's my first attempt at 1.05m. The day before our assessment]) and the day of the assessment (with swine flu, couldn't walk a straight line, fell off twice god damn it. But did jump the meter ten and got best marks for striding through the double and the related distances anyway. Hah! )
After that I couldn't physically get out of bed for the next four days, and I've ridden 3 times in the 5 weeks since.
So now when I look at this horse I get nervous. Like, full on freak out, shaking hands, pale as a ghost. I got on anyway. Tried to relax, cos he picks up on it when you're nervous and that freaks him out even more. Anyway, we were doing Ok on Monday, I was cantering around the arena in my jump seat, (ass out of the saddle, leaning forward a little, balancing on the balls of your feet and letting the horse really move.) We were just coming up the the big arena doors when a flock of birds shot out under Toms nose. He spooked sideways, chucked his head in the air and slammed the breaks on. I toppled forward and landed sitting on my ass in front of him. Not really hurt, but gave me a hell of a fright. And I don't know if it works the same for everyone, but for me when I get a fright I cry. Not big nasty wailing crying, but can't stop the fucking tears from streaming out of my eyes and my lip wobbles a bit. Hate it hate it HATE it. Can't stop it from happening though.
Got back on. Can't get my right heel down now, it's swelling up pretty fast, think I must have twisted it somehow when I fell. So now I'm cantering around with tears streaming down my face, white as a sheet again and trying to smile and act like everything is all ok. Did go over a few jumps, felt really good, and at least when we're doing grid work he can't get too fast. Still, for the rest of the day really little stuff kept setting me off. The head of school asking if I was OK, for example. Or Nana giving me a hug. Suck. I hate crying in public.
Think it's a combination of being stressed out and scared and lonely and still in shock a little about Gordon dying. Oh, and Kala telling me right before my lesson, "well, if you haven't got it yet you're not going to learn it in 5 days." Gonna smack her in the face one day soon... Gonna feel SO good... Sometimes I hate that I think before I act. Life would be more interesting if I had just jumped the fence and broken her nose. She's already been threatened with expulsion though if she doesn't change her attitude, and I'm the "good girl" who doesn't drink, smoke, fuck, or disturb the peace in the middle of the night. Or so the general population of Telford believes. Hah. How people think I'm sweet and innocent, I will never understand!

Spent the evening Icing my ankle, (36 hours later It is an interesting shade of purple and about half as big again as it should be.) and secretly drinking tequila out of a water bottle. We're not allowed alcohol on campus, but I mixed Erica, Becky and Tessa mugs of margueritas and we sat around watching Harry Potter and drinking. Catherine, the hostel supervisor, asked me if, now that I was sober again, I'd mind working on her shoulder (the last time I had a go at it it was midnight and I'd just got home from a piss cruise to Tapanui.) I kinda blinked at her and was like, "um... sure, Cat. No worries." However, when I got back to her office she was gone. Thank God.