Friday, October 17, 2014

My life flashed before my eyes...

Okay not really. But just a little! We had another riding lesson yesterday. Oh how I love these riding lessons! And I now own the first pair of cowboy boots I've EVER had. But back to the title of my post. Here I am on Bonnie, aka Bon Bon...


Bon Bon was sporting some ATTITUDE yesterday, testing this useless newbie ider for all she was worth. But I was doing fine, until all of a sudden, something spooked mah horse! Gordon thought a bug flew in front of her. I dunno what happened, but all of sudden we went from quietly sauntering along to crazy-ass jerking around... I don't even know how we ended up in the middle of the ring!

And then I prepared to die. Fortunately, my instructor's voice cut through my thoughts of imminent death, and I did the "spook circle" thing she'd taught us, pulling on just the right rein so that Bon Bon would turn in a circle instead of bolting forward. And it kind of worked, except (a) I was so freaked when she started to spook that I immediately wrapped the rein tightly around my right hand and (b) I forgot to ease off the rein once she was circling, so she kept spinning like a top and I kept squealing like a girl. For one brief moment, I thought "That's it, I'm going to fly off the back of this horse and it's going to hurt and rhen I'll die!" I think I had that feeling people have when they are about to drown. But then Linda, our teacher, called out to me to ease off the rein, and I did, and Bon Bon came to a halt.

So I survived my first spooking! In reality, I wasn't going to fly off, and Linda said I did mostly all the right things (including leaning forward on the horse) and that she was really pleased. And despite the fact that I wanted to run screaming from the riding ring at that point, Linda made me keep going. And it turned out to be a great lesson, because I learned that I can actually control a freaked-out horse. No, maybe I won't be able to all the time; I don't know. But I did this time!

I can see where that expression about "getting right back on the horse" comes from.

That Bon Bon was in some kind of mood yesterday! She was being such a pain that Linda took her around the ring a few times to remind her how to behave, then I got back on. But she was testing me on every corner as we did a posting  trot, until finally I sucked it up and became the leader again. And then I made Linda and her daughter laugh as I trotted past them and said, "I am not taking any more sh*t from this horse today!" 

Yeah, Bon Bon must have heard that, because we did great for the rest of the lesson. But  I think she knew I needed a little push so that I wouldn't get complacent. The horses we ride are actually very well behaved and well trained, but they are animals, not machines, so sometimes things happen!

I really wish I'd started this about 30 years ago, but better late than never. It's one of the things I love most in my life right now, so I hope not to break bones or get crushed or anything like that. They are big on teaching us safety, so fingers crossed that those lessons stick, because I really LOVE riding a horse.  

Speaking of which, here's how things are looking in the lower barn where the four box stalls are going...


Luc is pouring concrete next week, then the walls and doors will go up. Those posts are hemlock and weigh about 100 lbs each!


It's exciting to see all this progress down there. The pig palace is currently being winterized too! And we just had electricity put in the granary (where the pigs live), and we finally got a new barn door installed, so there's lots going on.

I took these pics out the bathroom window Wednesday...



It was a madhouse out there!

And today I took Missy to the vet...



She wasn't pleased, but she was a really good girl! We had her tested for toxoplasmosis (which killed her buddy Lionel.) In two weeks, we'll repeat the blood test. If she has it, and the levels have risen, they will know it's an active infection and treat accordingly. But I'm just hoping she's fine. The vet checked out thoroughly and found her healthy, and she got a FIV and Feline Leukemia vaccine (she already had the others.) So I think she's good to go! I had her microchipped as well.



I don't think Missy was too impressed with the pirate dog in the waiting room!

Have a superb weekend, my dear readers. I will try to catch up on my blog reading now that bee season is almost over.



27 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry,Natalie.....I laughed. When I was in Navy training I went horse riding at an army barracks..one Navy guy ,Jacob,had never been riding in his life.He got a horse in a bad mood..as we were trotting round the ring his horse took off,bolted out the doors with Jacob screaming like a girl, bouncing up and down in the saddle.
    Jane x

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    1. It's okay, I laughed too. Well, after I stopped shaking!
      I got a great image in my head of Jacob screaming like a girl as he bounced. I am so happy I am starting to get the hang of a posting trot, instead of just feeling my bottom slamming against the saddle!

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  2. Congratulations on triumphing over your first spooking Natalie! That's a wonderful accomplishment.

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    1. Awww thanks. I just wish I could have done it without squealing. :)

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  3. My wife was thrown about two years ago after galloping through the woods. We think she cracked a rib or two (she didn't bother with the doc), and was in pain for about 2 months. It could very easily have been much worse; fatal even. Do make sure your horse is suited to your level of experience!

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    1. Not to worry! This horse was actually very good but she saw a fly or something. Gordon watched it and thought it all looked very innocuous, even as I thought death was imminent! :)

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  4. How exciting to find a completely new thing to do and better yet, one that involves animals.
    Your experience was one more example of how animals each have their own personalities and moods.

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    1. Boy, do they ever! Even the pigs' personalities are very different from each other.

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  5. All animals are the same. Ya gotta be da boss. Keep at it learning to ride does much more for you than just a pleasant ride.

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    1. It really does! It's a very "in-the-moment" thing. We both find we forget all our worries when we're riding.

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  6. It sounds like you are doing great with your horse riding. Glad you managed to get him back under control :-)

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    1. I'm hoping I'll squeal less the next time it happens!

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  7. You look great on that horse! Wish I had the nerve to try riding again. My horse bolted and ran away with me when I was about sixteen years old. Horses are so beautiful!

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    1. Well, I think I'll freak if/when MY horse bolts and runs, so I don't blame you!!!

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  8. I used to ride a lot when I was younger... and after we got our daughter a horse. I loved it... and we've all survived being thrown at some point (myself, daughter, and grand daughter). Luckily we were never seriously injured (I did have a concussion when I was 9). But you did exactly the right thing with pulling the horses head to the right so that he can't bolt forward (at least that's what we were always told). Even good horses have *their days*...

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    1. Our teacher said there's no such thing as a "bomb proof" horse and I believe that! They're animals, not machines of course. I am just hoping we don't injure ourselves badly. I have two friends who have done just that in recent memory, yet still we want to ride! :)

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  9. I'm so glad that you survived unscathed, and with confidence for the next time! Gordon is amazing, hauling around those 100lb hemlock posts!

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      That would be the amazing LUC who hauls around the 100 lb hemlock posts! :) Although he does manage 50-lb feed bags quite nicely.

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  10. It's brave of you to take up riding in your post-teen years. Many adults who start late find horses pretty scary. Good for you! Your barn's looking good!

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    1. I suspect I may be more stupid than brave! But I've always loved horses. Just hoping I don't maim myself in the process. :)

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  11. HI Natalie...just visiting from Deb's...man she is bossy! hahaha!
    You certainly live in a very nice part of the country!
    How kind of you to help Deb with the 2 kitties...kudos to you!
    Feel free to visit me...I will check in with you from time to time..
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Heyyyyyyyy! Linda ...you sound like my husband. hahaha!

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    2. THank you for visiting Linda! When Deb wants something done, it gets done! :) WHich is why two cats are arriving here Friday... ha ha ha...

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    3. Bossy.......😊

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  12. Hi Natalie, I've popped over to your blog from Deb's blog. Well done on not being thrown, I love all creatures but am petrified of horses and they sense it. I pray that Missy soon receives a clean bill of health and that she and Redford get to know each other. I'll be back to read all about Mootie and Pip's move to your barn. Greetings, Jo (East Africa)

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    1. Welcome Jo and thank you for stopping by! I am optimistic Missy will be okay, as she's doing just fine, but we're erring on the safe side due to the severity of Lionel's illness. She is running around the barn with Redford now and having a blast.

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  13. I wish I had learned to ride. Both my sister and brother loved it. I did, however, have cowboy boots (and I still have a pair of Luchese Ropers)... because they were stylish!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!