Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Snow hack!

Yesterday had reasonable snow hack weather, so I texted my working students for today and suggested if they were interested in such an adventure, they should bring warm clothes.

Both seemed pretty excited about that idea -- it did occur to me it's possible they've never *been* on a snow hack before.  One of those things that when you don't have your own horse you may or may not ever get to do...   So today had *perfect* weather for a snow hack.  Not too cold, brilliantly sunny, no wind, and light, fluffy snow.

Alright, but first I need to get there.  On my way to school a client's horse and somebody else's car is stuck sideways in the unplowed road.  So myself and another random person helped get them going and then I was on my way again.  About 10 mins late, but I had an easy day lined up so figured if things got bumped by 10 mins it wasn't tragic.  Text first people that I'm running late and on my way again.  All good -- until I end up getting stuck in their driveway *sigh*  I didn't think that was *quite* how karma was supposed to work!  >;-P    Ah well -- while I was riding one of the owners freed my car :)  So all good!

Get to the barn, pretty bummed that I have yet again forgotten my camera *sigh*  Also pretty bummed that it's the perfect day for a snow hack, and my pony's not broke.  Some day she's going to be a lot of fun, but we're not really there yet.  But ok, arrange so that the girls will come into the ring and w/u as I'm finishing with Lexi so she can get used to being in the ring with other horses.  Lex was pretty lazy today -- willing enough, but not nearly as interested in life as she usually is.   Rode with both Bella and Athena in the ring and she really didn't care.  Even had her sit while the others cantered around and she was cool with that too.  Way better than the last time we tried that game *g*

So I decide I'll lead Lexi while the girls hack.  In the back of my head was the idea that if all was going well, I'd let the girls gallop -- and I'd need a third horse for that so I could send one out and the one behind would have a buddy, so having Lexi along would be a good thing.  And of course also good for her to get out.  And of *course* I'm just going to lead her...  Absolutely not going to ride.  Putting on my crash vest and helmet...?  Ummmm merely for warmth.  Yeah, that's it!

And the other method to my madness -- a snow hack would be great for Sasha!  Poor Sash -- while this week's been wonderfully relaxing for me with no lessons in the evenings, she's been going stir crazy!  hahaha she's used to running full tilt around the barn for at *least* 12h/day -- usually more.   So sitting at home every evening is kinda driving her insane.  So I thought a good snow hack, complete with frisbee, would help her a little :)

Victoria showed up just as we were heading out, so she tacked up and came out to join us.  So four horses, three riders, one walker and one puppy all went out for a snow hack.  Umm can I just mention that walking in snow is a *lot* of work!  hahaha omg.  I thought I was fit, but wow am I going to be sore tomorrow.  We went all the way around all the fields (well, Lexi and I short-cutted a little!) and played frisbee with Sasha most of the way.  All good.  Then we went to the galloping field :)  Woohoo!  Victoria's horse was a little hot, so she just did one lap at the trot and then hung out with Lexi (who was quite happily digging through the snow to munch the hay).  Brena and Rebecca both got to do a couple laps at trot and canter and then a gallop run :)  I was soooo jealous!  hahaha I LOVE galloping through the snow.  Or, you know, just galloping :)  But especially galloping in the snow.   And black horses (well one horse and one pony) galloping on white snow makes quite the picture.

So we head back before the ponies get to have *too* much fun >;-P  Since I can count on one hand the number of times those girls have galloped - combined!  :)   So I thought I'd better call it before things got exciting.  But I still *really* wanted to hack.  And Lexi was being sooooo good.  Even with Sasha bounding in and out of the trees.  So when we got back to the mounting rock I hopped on her and we went out again :)   Just a short hack this time -- down the tree-line and part way through one of the fields.  But still, I was so happy :)  She was super-good!  I realized pretty quickly that I had no breaks and little steering (thinking I would when I don't in the ring is one of those handy delusions I'm so good at :) so I tried very hard to arrange it so she stayed in the middle of the pack *g*   So we didn't go far, but we did a little loop and she was awesome!  Woohoo!

And now, thanks to Rebecca, I'm officially on vacation!  Pretty stoked about that.  Started out with a wonderful bubble bath complete with candles and a new book to read.  And now I'm going to sit myself in front of either a movie or my book until sometime way past my bedtime when I am NOT going to set an alarm!  hahahah can we say "it's the little things in life"?  :)

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. - Alice in Wonderland

Ok so I've been running adult camp for the last few days, which was quite an adventure.  hahaha a seriously intense three-day clinic.  In some ways way more challenging than "normal" camp and in some ways way more fun!  I'd say those two things balance, especially as I generally like that kind of challenge :)   However, there are now FOUR different posts (three of mine and one of Amy's) on the GRS blog about adult camp, so you can go read those if you're interested, and I'll move on.

Now, the one plus side of camp, is me having to teach all day justifies me paying somebody *else* to do chores *g*   Yeah camp!  Even better since Rebecca agreed to do it and she's pretty much a superstar, meaning I *really* don't have to do chores when she's there.  Don't have to supervise or help or take care of the difficult pieces - if she says she'll do it, I can relax and know it'll all be done and done right and I can go do the job I *really* want to be doing.  So I rode first thing in the am and then taught all day and then went home.  Perfect.

I was really looking forward to sleeping in today -- first time in a long time it's been an option. But my Sat am person backed out, so I had to go to the barn. *sigh*  Ah well - I DO get to sleep in on Monday since Rebecca is giving me a *whole* day off for Christmas :)   Woohoo!!!!

I have the coolest puppy ever!
Anyways - back to my story, sleeping in got vetoed.  So I went to the barn and did all the usual chores.  Then had a huge snowball fight with Sasha - hahaha omg so much fun.  But since I failed to dress appropriately, I ended up soaking wet.  Yeah for tons of clothes at the barn -- both mine and the lost and found *g*  So back to work and I start doing stalls.  And am on speed - like super-fast.  hmmmm random.  Oh yeah, haven't done stalls since Tuesday!  hahaha amazing what happens when you give your muscles a couple days off every once in a while.

So I did as little as possible and went home.  Right.  That's the way the story *should* go.  But you're not new here...   No, I decided it was time to gut the barn and start over...  hahaha I'm just not good at taking it easy.  The only part I wasn't happy with is I'd already mucked two stalls when I decided that, but they were the two worst ones, so I went back and gutted them anyways.  Not as though there weren't a dozen *other* things I could've been doing at the barn (ummmm riding my pony?) but you know how it is when you decide something *has* to be done.  Now, to do the same thing to my home...  hmmmm maybe Monday.  The list for Monday is rapidly getting a lot longer than Monday actually is.  Although I'm seriously considering that the first thing I'll actually do on Monday is tear up the list!  Might be the only way I actually take a day off.  hahaha and one of these days I'm actually going to get to use the massage gift cert that Steph and Paula got me for my bday...  You know, the birthday in July >;-P

And on the "relaxing note" -- when I was a kid I was completely addicted to the "Sweet Valley" books.  Comeon admit it - if you were a girl who read at all, you were hooked on them too!  hahaha closely followed by Saddle Club :)   Babysitter's Club was a distant third...  And I'm sure there were a ton of others, but those are the ones that come to mind first.  Why did they come to mind?  Because when I was in Chapters tonight (yes, that *is* the highlight of my Saturday night...) I found the Sweet Valley twins grew up!  I don't even know how it caught my attention, but in the normal fiction section there's an adult version.  Premise being the girls have grown up and are living adult lives now.  hahaha I didn't end up buying it, but I'll admit I might've read the first chapter standing in the aisle *g*   Might be a guilty kobo purchase at some point in the near future.  Made me smile but also made me feel *old* at the same time!  hahaha ah well.

Lexi's ground work is going well, but I'm having some issues installing forward aids.  Think I need somebody on the ground with a lungewhip who knows what their doing...   Lesson next Friday could be entertaining :)  Friday's a long way away though -- before then I have a full day of teaching tomorrow, day OFF, two horses moving in, moving one horse out, organizing the next semester, finishing the syllabus and plans for our EC theory lessons, and a whole bunch of other odds and ends that need to be done this week.  Yikes!

Anyways - off with me for now.  Night!

Silly pony stories

Wrapping Christmas presents with a puppy dog is an entirely new challenge.  hahaha omg I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time.  It might've taken several times as long as it should've and the wrapping is of a, shall we say, less than professional quality, but it was highly entertaining *g*

Having a lot of fun with Lexi -- who I'm pretty sure is at least part dog *sigh*  So the first time I discovered this was the day I decided to play with the liverpool.  I wasn't expecting much drama since she's been pretty cool about everything.  I should know better by now.

Lex walks up to it, totally calm and stops.  "I am *NOT* going over that."   Touch it with nose.  Kick it.  All good.  Step over it?   Have you heard recent rumours of ice skating in hell?  No?  Me neither.

She was showing no signs of fear, just plain no.  I was standing on the ground - she's not ready for riding challenges yet.   Tried leading her, just about got kicked in the head for that one.  Tried lunging her, suffice to say that did not work.  Really did not work.  *sigh*

So try a combo of lunging/leading -- ie leading with a lungeline held very short -- just long enough so I can be slightly behind her with lunge whip...   Ummmm yeah.  Pony's fairly athletic *sigh*   That *also* did not work.

So now thinking, these are going to be a part of her life forever.  Can't screw it up now.  Ok back it off a bit - lunge her around it.  Yup, still no fear.  Quite happy to lunge around.  Within a cm of it (legit - I think two of her feet actually went over a corner of it).  Ok fine.

Take pony back in barn and untack her.  But I really didn't want issues with it, so I thought I'd bring her after-ride carrots in the ring and have her free but put them in the liverpool so she'd at least go near it of her own volition.

Uh huh.  She's *really* good about following me when she's loose -- she'll stick right by whatever side I put her on.  Can stop, turn, change direction, etc.  And really, it's an indoor ring.  So I unclip her and she's following me.  All good.  Then she spots the carrot (I don't usually have carrots in the ring).  Wants the carrot.  Following the carrot with 100% attention.  So instead of putting the carrot in the liverpool, I walked it over it.  Pony followed with only the very slightest hesitation.  2 feet actually stepped in it.  Pretty thoroughly proving my "you're not afraid" theory.   Turn around and carrot leads her the other way over it.  Happy pony.  Then go across it lengthwise - so at some point she actually has all four feet in the liverpool (it's only *just* wide enough that that can work).  And she's calmly waiting for her carrot. Omg.

And yet, all that is still very much pony behaviour.  *Smart* pony behaviour, and exceptionally food motivated, but still within the reasonable realm of the equine.  It was later that evening that I met the puppy version.  After I finished teaching (so roughly 12h since our morning activities) I brought her back into the arena.  The plan at this point is just to walk around calmly.  I let her go and instead of sticking with me as she always has, she leaves and goes straight to stand in the liverpool and then looks at me.  The "ok I'm in the liverpool, where are my carrots?" was so very clear.  And very much something Sasha would've done :)

hahaha anyways - she amuses me :)  My coach has informed me he expects to see her in my next ride.   "Ummmm, you realize she's not broke right?"  "You have two weeks."  hahaha sheesh.  So now pony's in boot camp  We walk and trot reasonably well but canter... ummmm not so much.  hahaha ah well.  It'll come.  Hopefully sooner rather than later *g*

So it's Christmas Eve and Norad says Santa's getting near, so I'm off to sleep.  Night!

#FridayFlash 58: A Perfect Day

So I *finally* got a FridayFlash in! My last one was last November! OMG. That's right - I haven't written anything since the move *sigh* But tonight, I manged it :) hahaha totally not my usual style, but hey - I'll take what I can get when it's a once/year occurrence!

As always, comments very welcome.

Enjoy :)


The air was warm and quiet. The lake was still and reflected the brilliant blue sky. He took a moment to appreciate the gift nature had provided. It was, he decided, a perfect day for murder.

“I’ve got the beer, you ready?” The greeting broke his contemplation. He schooled his expression to reveal no indication of his darker thoughts while he responded appropriately. It didn’t take long for the two men to load up the little fishing boat. Rods, bait, and the all-important cooler.

“I’m so glad you talked me into this,” Jake commented with a relaxed smile as they shoved off the dock. “It’s been way too long since I’ve had any time off. And it’s perfect fishing weather.”

“You work too hard. Everybody needs to escape once in a while.”

“You should tell my wife that!”

“I’ve tried. She’s not inclined to listen.”

“Yeah she’s a tough one, but she’s increased the business ten-fold and, you have to admit, she’s usually right.”

“So did you tell her where you were going today?” His question was perfectly timed with just the right easy tone.

“That would hardly be a wise decision,” Jake acknowledged. “No, as far as everybody’s concerned I’m in back-to-back client meetings downtown today. That way, if anybody tries to reach me and can’t, they’ll just assume I’m in another meeting. I’m covered for hours.”

“Brilliant,” he said with a smile, knowing Jake would misinterpret it. Everything about his attitude and conversation suggested he was happy to be relaxing with an old friend, but inwardly he was vibrating with excitement over what was to happen and what would come of it. This wouldn’t be his first time; that had been years ago. And there’d been others since. Several. But this would be the first time with somebody he knew. Somebody he used to respect.

He’d planned this one far more carefully than any of the others. He had a solid alibi lined up. Nobody could know they were out together, or even that he’d ever been on this trip. He’d thought through everything. The location was perfect; Jake’s lake was private and deep. Nobody would see. And it would likely be months, if ever, before the body was found. If he was even slightly lucky, Jake’s wife would sell the cottage property shortly after the funeral; after all, it’d been his hobby, not hers. She had never approved.

With location established he needed a method. A gun would echo for miles; hardly good for a subversive act that required a long time for a getaway. A rapid acting poison would be perfect except that Jake always brought the cooler. There was no easy way to change that tradition smoothly. A knife would be too messy and too risky; Jake might get the upper hand. He didn’t like to admit it even to himself, but success was more important than ego. After all, it was a perfect day for murder. It’d be a shame to waste it. And finally he came up with it. Sheer brilliance.

The only question had been whether Jake would tell his wife. The one who had put an end to their fishing trips and gambling excursions and general enjoyment of life. The one who had turned Jake into a boring, law-abiding, workaholic. And of course, the one who took over the books and stopped his handy access to cash. Jake had let her take over his life, but he hadn’t told her who he was meeting. It was indeed, a perfect day for murder.

He briefly considered actually fishing for a while first; it wasn’t likely he’d be out on a lake again anytime soon. But, he realized, success was more likely to be achieved by getting back to town as soon as possible. There was still a slight glimmer of a chance he might actually need an alibi this time, and getting back faster would make it stronger. Especially if he managed to get back before anybody noticed he’d ever left.

He was just about to make his move when he heard a sound in the distance. A sound that shouldn’t be there. A sound distinctly like a motor. “What’s that?” he asked, as though nothing more important that his fishing were being interrupted.

“Oh, I invited the rest of the old gang to come join us. I thought since I don’t get to see you very often any more it’d be great to have the whole group together.” The look Jake gave him was one of an excited child revealing a barely-held secret. He feigned the appropriate enthusiasm while feeling the crushing disappointment of wasted plans. But then he philosophically shrugged it off and settled in to enjoy the fishing.

After all, there would be other days.

An evening escape

Got to go see 007 tonight.  So much fun :)   The fact that it was so much fun tells me it's been *way* too long since I've been anywhere *g*   Oops.   I used to love going to the movies; one of my favourite methods of escapism.  hahaha   HUGE thanks to Superwoman for once again taking care of my real world so I could escape :)

But at the movies I saw a trailer for a Jack Reacher movie -- I quite like most of those books...  Not sure I can handle Tom Cruise as Reacher, but might still be a good excuse to escape one more evening *g*   Or might have to just go reread the book.  Although I made that mistake last night -- opened an old favourite "just for a chapter or two..."   Then suddenly it was 3am.  Somebody want to tell me how that happened?  Sheesh.

An evening of watching somebody else's writing makes me want to go write myself...  It's amazing how much I miss that...  hmmmm well I have an hour or so till I should pretend to go to bed...   Also have about 5h worth of work to do...  We'll see.   GRS blog post first though.  Off to write that one now.