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.