Monday, April 29, 2002

So, if I ride until 5:00, I can untack, groom, put Em back in his pasture, change clothes, and drive over to Hollister all by 5:30, right? Um.. right?? Monica and I are going riding at 3:30, and we were planning on riding until 5 and then going over to breed a mare. Well, of course, then the refridgerator door of my brain opened and the light bulb went on, and I realized that I have a MK meeting at 6. And that oh! I have two models coming that I need to pick up at 5:30! Am I willing to sacrifice 15 minutes of riding time for punctuality? Being late to pick up your models is generally frowned upon, you know. However, so is showing up for a meeting with hay in your hair. But to ride for only an hour would also be a very sad thing. I’m torn! Torn I tell you!!

Isnt it sad that just when the most is going on to write about, we have the least time to write? I mean, it technically makes sense, but it still makes me sad. On days when nothing has really happened, I have plenty of time to rest before my keyboard and tell you silly little things, but on those days when a lot has gone on, I just don’t have the energy. For one thing, I think I need time to kind of clear my mind and relax before I can write, and I have had NONE of that time lately.

I got home from work on Saturday… oh, wait, have I even told you about Friday yet? Let me check. Oh holy momma, I haven’t written since Tuesday! Okay, lets go way, way back. On Tuesday, my plans had been to go ride with Susie, and then go out to Silver Dollar City with Monica in the afternoon. Susie had to work though, so we couldn’t ride, and Monica also had extra work, so she couldn’t go out either, and so I quickly went from a very full day to one with nothing at all going on. Wednesday I decided to go out and play with Emmett for a while, as I hadn’t seen him in months (Yes, I already feel unbelievably guilty about this, so please don’t rub it in.) I was very, very happy that he came right over to me when he saw me, I had this dark fear that he would have forgotten me. (Super-quick biography for those of you just tuning in who have no idea who Emmett is: “Annetts Freckles” (registered name) 6-year old chestnut American Quarter horse, 15.2 hands high, three white socks, and blaze. Colonel Freckles and Boon Bar bloodlines. Love of my life that I’ve owned for over two years now. My life. Currently residing about 10 miles north of here. Pictures can be found by clicking the Emmett link over there on the left side) Anyway, I was thrilled to see my boy, and I think it was a pretty mutual feeling. I slipped a halter on him (he practically stuck his head into the halter! Good boy!) and led him out the gate so that he could eat some grass, as he’s lost a lot of weight. I noted that it was definitely time to worm him, and he really really needed a bath, as his entire right side was caked in mud. He also had his little skin thing that he gets in the spring, so I figured I would pick up some iodine shampoo and give him a good medicated bath the next day. I talked to Brian, the guy who owns the land, and he told me where I would find a hose that I could use, and told me that he had gotten some hay about 6 weeks ago that none of the horses would eat much of, and they all lost a lot of weight. I spent about two hours with Ems without even realizing how quickly the time went. Oh, I should mention that Monica had called me up at 8am to tell me her mare was in labor, and she wanted me to go check on her. Well, I got out there at 11, and she was far, far, far from having the baby, so I thought I’d go spend a half hour with Ems, and then come back at 12:30 when Monica got home to discuss the pregnancy. That half hour very quickly turned into two hours with the Super-Horse, so I missed getting back to see Monica by a long shot. (side note-almost a week later, still no baby.)

On Thursday, I got up extra early so that I could drive up to Ozark (about 25 miles away) to get some horse wormer and iodine shampoo for Emmett. The wormer even came with a free bag of horse treats, which made me happy, because Em is one guy who loves to eat, and I was almost out of my usual treats. I drove back to Emmett, and got some grain from the shed, which I mixed the wormer in with. Now this is not general worming practice—you’re supposed to stick the paste-filled syringe in their mouth and squirt the stuff up in there, but this is really not a pleasant experience for any of the parties involved. So, in my book, mixing it with a little grain is the way to go, and Emmett agrees 100%. After that was taken care of, I led him up to where the hose was and let him eat grass while I gave him a much-needed bath. I think I got enough hair off of him to build an entire pony, he was shedding his winter coat. About a half hour later, I had a shiny clean horse! I let him eat grass for a little bit longer so that he could dry off a little bit (I had forgotten to bring my sweat scraper to dry him with), so that he wouldn’t immediately go roll in the dirt and dirty himself up again.

Monica was picking me up at 3 to go out to silver dollar city (local theme park), so I had trying to stick to a rough schedule all day, and actually followed it exactly. I was ready to go when she pulled in. We rode the new roller coaster out there, which takes you upside down six times I think. We checked out all of the foreign food from the World Fest, and mostly sat around talking.

While we were sitting, Monica and I made plans to go ride on Saturday, which I was a little bit nervous about, having not ridden Emmett in around six months. Then, on Friday morning, she called me up and said we should go ride that afternoon. I whined and complained and such because it was rainy out and a little cold, and just not my idea of perfect riding weather. Of course, by 3 it had cleared up, so I was stuck! I met her at her house, where she had her mare waiting in her trailer to take over to Brian’s. We got ready quickly, and then Emmett decided he would play his game of dancing around when I’m trying to get on. I had to spin him in circles every time he moved until he finally stood still, and I finally got on. Success at last! Our trail started by crossing a creek. Now, there was the easy way- crossing on the road/bridge, and the other way- climbing down into the creek and up the bank on the other side. Of course, we had to go the difficult way because Monica’s mare Gypsy had only been ridden three times, and she wanted to get her used to water. Emmett say Gypsy freaking out at the water, and decided that looked like fun, so he used this as an opportunity to spin around and try to head back to the barn. Simultaneous battles of who was in charge began, and a few minutes later, we both emerged victorious on the other side of the water. Everything from that point was smooth sailing. I easily fell into the familiar rhythm of Emm’s walk and trot. I couldn’t believe how easily I sat his trot, as its usually pretty rough. We followed the road a little bit until we came to a big field. Now when I say big field, we’re talking BIG field… probably the size of 10 football fields. It was horse and rider heaven. We rode across it, and came to another gate, but weren’t sure if the land beyond it was still Brian’s or not, so we decided to just turn back for the day. Monica hadn’t wanted to run because she had forgotten her bridle and was just riding with a halter and lead rope, but the sight of this huge field before us with its gentle inclie was just too much for her to resist, so we decided to run up the hill. I was still a bit too nervous about not riding Em in so long that I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I should have, but it was still great. We crossed back over the creek with no incedent, put Emmett up, and called it a day. We’d only ridden about an hour, but I think that was about right for Em’s first time out in so long. He behaved beautifully other than the mounting and creek episodes, so I was really proud of him.

Saturday I had to work, and it was one of those days at work that never seems to end. I got home, microwaved some leftover lasagna, and was just checking my email when Monica called asking “Well, are you ready?” “Ready for what?” “We’re going riding!!” and so my tired feet pulled on some boots and I was out the door for Act 2. We ran into Brian and his son as we were getting ready to ride, and invited them to come with us. Brian couldn’t’ but his son Kyle who is 13 was all for it. I got Em ready while he got his horse Pepper ready. While I was putting Emmett’s bridle on, I heard him yell “Help!” and then “My horse passed out!” Monica was already on Gypsy, so she rode up to see what was going on. It seems that for some reason, his horse had just decided to lay down while he was putting the saddle on. She was fine though, so we were ready to go a few minutes later! We were just getting ready to leave when Brian’s sister asked me to move my truck up by the barn. I had Kyle hold Emmett while I did, and no sooner was I back on when Monica’s pager told her she had a call from her mom, so she had to run to her truck to call back. We were starting to wonder if we were ever going to get to ride, but of course we were off a few minutes later. The horses gave us no trouble crossing the water this time, and we went across the same field we did last time, but then continued through the gate at the end which led us to the trails. Kyle was a handy guy to have around- he knew where we were going since he lived there, and he got off to open all the gates for us! Woohoo! We chose the trail to the left, and rode for quite a while that direction. We had to turn back around 5:30 because my sister was supposed to be coming that evening, and I needed to get home. As we were coming across the field, Kyle’s horse laid down again! He managed to get off on her way down, so he wasn’t hurt. Strange! As we were running across the field, I decided to see if Emmett remembered voice cues, so I sat deep in the saddle and said “Whoa… whoa…” softly, and he DID! I was unbelievably proud of him. We got in the creek at a different spot, and rode in the water, which was a lot of fun. At one point, there was a pile of gravel about four feet high blocking most of the creek, so I had Emmett go around it. He decided he’d rather be on dry land, and jumped up onto the bank! I got him back down into the water just in time to see Monica’s mare climb up the gravel pile, and slide down the other side. I couldn’t help but break into old cowboy songs, and was really sad that I had to get back to my house and couldn’t keep riding. When we got back to the barn, I untacked Ems while Monica and Kyle continued to ride. I was really proud of Emmett- he had been great all day, and hadn’t given me anywhere near as much trouble getting on, although there is still a lot to work on there. I put him up and went to my truck, only to discover that I had locked my keys in!! My window was down about two inches, but there was no hope of reaching them. I found Brian in the barn to ask if he had a phone I could borrow to call Ford (I loooove that roadside assistance thing in my warranty!) but he thought he could probably get them out. He tried to fish them out with a lunge whip, but was having trouble keeping them on as he pulled them out, so he drove up to his house and came back with a wire hook duct-taped to the end of the whip. A minute of fishing with this brought my keys right out! Woohoo! I thanked him profusely and set off for home. My sister still hadn’t called, and I was exhausted, so I decided I would just go to bed really early. I was just getting in bed about 8 when she called, saying she would be here around midnight and asking if I would still be up. Grr! I told her I’d probably be asleep, but mom would be awake to let her in. I was pretty frustrated that I’d quit riding early so I could get home, and now she wasn’t going to be there until midnight. I fell asleep, and right about 1am, knocking on the back door woke me up. I crawled out of bed to let her in, and then went right back to bed, hoping to fall back asleep (I wanted to be up at 6:30 for work). Well, she decided now would be a grand time to try to hold a conversation with me. I cant be too mad, because she did buy me a box of Star Wars cereal just because it had Ewan McGreggor on the box. Now that’s sisterly love.

I ended up oversleeping till a little after 8 Sunday morning (I was supposed to be at work at 8), but nobody at work ever cares, so life was good. After work, I ran out to see Ems for about an hour, sad that I couldn’t ride.

Anyway, that pretty much brings us to today. I’m going riding at 3:30 with Monica, and am having the dilemma stated in the first paragraph of this entry of being done on time. A lady named Deb who keeps her horse out where Em is is going with us too, so it should be a lot of fun. Its 1:11 right now, and I don’t have anything ready for my meeting, plus I’m not dressed, so I really need to get on the ball. I just need to figure out some kind of quick-change strategy to get me from trail to meeting very, very quickly. I’ll try to write tonight if I’m not totally dead, and let you know how the ride and the meeting went, but don’t count on it. Wish me luck!

(a few hours later)

I cant even begin to tell you what a great day I had today! Unbelievable! I did things I didn’t think I could ever do. I learned I’m a lot stronger and more capable than I think I am. I rode with Monica, Deb, and a lady whose name I have forgotten already (I really need to work on that! Sad thing is I remember her horse’s name). We went on a trail I’ve never been on. It was really rocky with steep hills and a lot of branches to duck under. After riding for quite a while, we came to a huge hill. Massive hill. Mammoth hill. The mother of all hills. Think Mt. Everest in Missouri. Well, you get the point- it was a damn big hill. It was probably at least a half to ¾ mile climb up to the top. Plus, it was rocky, and therefore kind of difficult footing for the horses. It was definitely intimidating, looking up and up and up, balancing weight forward to help the horse climb better, while more and more hill just seemed to loom ahead. By the time we reached the top, Emmett was breathing hard, but oh was it worth it. We rode on forward for a little bit after reaching the top, but then had to get back to the barn because we were all under time constraints. We turned around, and came back to the hill. I took one look and said “You mean we have to go DOWN that thing now!?” If you’re not a horse person, trust me- up is WAY WAY WAY easier than down. I basically had to fight the urge to just close my mind and pray—I pointed Em in the general direction of the bottom, gave him rein, and let him pick his path down- horses always seem to be able to figure out the safest route. I concentrated on little things like not sliding out of the saddle and landing on the sharp rocks, and just talked to him all the way down- “Easy boy, watch your feet! Good boy! You’re such a good boy! Easy now…” Somehow, we made it down. I turned around and looked up, and I just couldn’t believe what I had just done. Awesome. At the bottom of the hill was a herd of cows which Em thought were really, really cool. I think he wanted to herd them (he’s bred to be a cowhorse). Maybe next time I’ll get the courage to see what he will do with them.

We got back to the barn, and all parties involved of both the two and four footed variety were covered in sweat. It was already 5:05, and I had really needed to leave by 4:55, but Emmy really needed hosed off, and he comes before anything. I gave him a quick rinsing down and returned him to his pasture, telling him how proud I was of him, how good he had been, and how much I loved him (aww!). Then I jumped in my truck, praying the whole way that I would make it to Hollister in time. I was supposed to meet my models for the evening at a gas station at 5:30, and they would follow me to the meeting. The problem, of course, was that I was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, muddy boots, and sweat when I needed to be wearing a skirt, pantyhose, and makeup. I got to the gas station at exactly 5:30 (don’t ask me how!) ran into their bathroom and did a super quick change, and then went out to the parking lot to wait for my models. They arrived at 5:58, and therefore I was late for a meeting for the first time ever. However, I think they’re good recruit prospects, and will all probably order stuff, so its worth it.

Wow, long entry. I really need to make an effort to get words onto paper (computer) before I lose the moment. Its hard for me to tell you how great all these rides really were since I’ve slept since then, and I have so much to write about. We’re planning on writing tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to, and then we have the Debut & Dance on Friday, which I’m looking forward to bigtime. I never told you my costume! I’m going to be Marilyn Monroe! I really need to write about the costume shops and such, but I’m totally worn out now, and this entry is already five pages long, so I’ll get back to that. Its so nice to have a life again!

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