Here there be dragons...

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

In our game, the ball has a mind of its own.

Lesson booked for 9:30 this am.  So of course last night Lexi felt the need to throw a shoe.  Superstar farrier agrees to come at 8:30 to solve this problem ;)

However, this was an unauthorized change from Her Royal Greyness's regularly scheduled program.   And she was not amused.  Oh dear.  Lexi is usually remarkably good to mount.  Today...  Not so much.  I got on a vibrating llama who was moving the second my foot hit the stirrup -- if she ever paused at all.  hmmm okay then...  Fortunately after a few strides she remembered she is, essentially, lazy.  This resulted in a bouncy walk -- which, really, is fairly ideal.  So I was okay with it.  The llama aspect I was less thrilled with, but sobeit.

She was also, as is her tendency when she is high, being remarkably spooky.   She's *really* good most of the time, but when that little switch goes in her brain...  Oh dear.  Amusing when combined with the laziness aspect as she doesn't tend to go very far -- or just straight up with all four!  But still less than ideal when you'd like something that vaguely resembles dressage.  

So coach shows up and we work and we work and we work and eventually the walk is moderately successful.  And then a horse gets turned out nearby and we start all over again ;-P  Finally we get something that can progress to the trot.  The left - her easy way - is pretty atrocious.  Just to keep life interesting, the right is mostly brilliant.  Awesome.   While pretending we actually improved and didn't just change direction, move up into the canter -- also pretty brilliant.  Woohoo!

And then go back to the left.  Oh dear.  I'd wonder if she needed her teeth done if she hadn't just had them done ;}   Yeah, that kind of ride.  Grab the bit, imitate a giraffe, and run.   On the plus side, most giraffes run with their butts tucked reasonably well underneath them ;)   This is something we've been working on.   Yeah for hill work!

Yeah, just like that

Alright so eventually we get something that vaguely resembles an acceptable canter and do some work on transitions.  Of course my coach wants the transition to sitting trot -- which, now that we've actually *found* the trot is proving to be a remarkable workout for my poor, abused, abs ;)   Pluses and minuses really.  It was, shall we say, one of those moments I was rather glad my students weren't watching.
Yeah, just like that
 However, eventually pony found a brain and rider remembered (sort of) how to ride, and the world was good.  All done.

Or not.  Apparently now it's time to jump.  Sweet.  I see no way in which this could be a poor life decision.  And the left rein was our challenging one so let's opt for gymnastics off the left.

She was a little ambitious about our tiny warm-up fence *g*   hahaha but I took that as a good sign that she wanted to play this game.  Fence grew and was a very simple concept -- placing pole, 9', vertical.  Out of the trot, no problem.  Out of the canter, jump the pole and the jump together.  Every. Single. Time.  Coach's response: "well you know spreads won't be a problem."  *sigh*

Spread the placing pole out to 12'...   You're not new here.  Yup, same game.   Apparently it's just easier to throw yourself over the fence from a ridiculous distance than tuck your butt even a little for that one extra stride.

Oh well -- ignore that minor detail for now (with instructions to do lots of bounces for homework...) and build up the gymnastic.  Last fence in the end is not super tall (maybe 3') but very wide -- wide enough that it requires a pole diagonally across the top of it so she's not inclined to step down inbetween.  Ummmm really?   Have you read the last couple paragraphs?   Definitely had to laugh at that, but if any horse would oxer the placing pole and then bounce the oxer, it'd be mine.  So the pole stayed on top.

Anyways -- it was a significantly bigger fence than I've been jumping with her and I was really pleased that it required no effort whatsoever.  Just felt like she was loping over it.  Woohoo!  Seriously -- she was putting more effort into the pole at the start of the line than the oxer at the end ;)

This grid was set along the fenceline, and she was drifting in (left) slightly.  Now the gate was open and is in the corner at the end of the line.  So option instead, jump grid, halt, turn right. Which we *almost* got.  Except we skipped the halt.  hahaha most balanced 90 degree turn out of the canter ever!  Seriously shocked the two girls coming out of the barn though -- got one of those "did you mean that to happen or is something going horribly wrong?" looks.   They stuck around to watch the entertainment of the next couple rounds and seemed to decide it was just another odd thing that crazy eventer was doing ;)

Anyways -- by the end she was jumping beautifully out of the canter, treating the placing pole like a placing pole three out of four times, and landing straight and on the correct lead.  And through it all, was jumping like a horse who has some idea how long her legs are and what to do with them.  So overall, I was pretty thrilled!

And after our ride, and the completely uneventful hack afterwards (yeah!!!), I turned her out in the valley and was super pleased to watch her go through the river of her own volition.  I currently have no xc jumps to train over, but I have a ditch, two steps, and water and she does all of them.  My horse is going to be a xc machine :)

So certainly far from a perfect ride, but it feels like we finally have *some* of the pieces to work with to start to put the puzzle together.  This is a very good thing.   And on that note -- sweet dreams.

Whenever you think you're having a bad day, just remember... some people have babies.

So it turns out a domestic goddess I am not.  Who's surprised by this?  Anybody?  Awww comeon....

hahaha and those of you who can identify and are looking for a light read -- The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella is reasonably entertaining.

Some of you may be aware I've recently moved to Paris.  No, not the exciting one that'd give this blog a whole new fun twist, the one that Weather Network doesn't even know exists in Ontario.  Whose sign at the edge of town reads "Home of the ".  Yup, that's right, it's blank.  Oh dear.  hahaha I'd take a pic but, you know, it's a good 45 second drive away.

Anyways -- I'm trying to settle here and having a whole day off with the place to myself, I figured instead of going to the barn I'd stay and organize, and just generally try to make things feel more like home.

It started out incredibly well!   As in I slept a *solid* eight hours.  Unheard of.  And woke up relaxed and happy.  Sweet.  And then I made my first mistake...  I got out of bed.  I had a book and a phone; I could've stayed there all day.  And it would've been wonderful.  But alas, I deemed productivity a better option.  Right.  About that.

Came downstairs to discover the couch had been turned into a beach.  Which would've been amazing if it meant we'd been magically transported somewhere tropical.  Unfortunately what it really meant is that Sasha brought the outdoor ring home from the farm.  Oops.  I even gave her a bath last night!  If she had that much sand in her left after the bath, can only imagine what would've happened if I hadn't bathed her.  So yes, the couch was completely covered in sand -- not a light sprinkling either, you could make castles out of this stuff.   And the floor had a fabulous exfoliating quality to it that it generally lacks.  Oh dear.

First task -- vacuum.   Np.  Like most boys, Chris enjoys his toys -- even the mundane work-related ones, and as such has a pretty top quality vacuum.   Which did an awesome job on the floor.  And then didn't want to release the hose to let me do the couch.  Boooo.  And being A - not mine, and B - likely more money that I'd be inclined to spend on a vacuum, I deemed it best not to force the issue.  And so the entire stand-up vacuum got loaded onto the couch to eradicate the beach.   The kinda awkward you'd see on a bad romcom *sigh*   But it did, in fact, do the job.   Score: Laur 1, Inanimate object: 0.

Let Sash back in the house and she curls up on the couch while I putz around making breakfast.   When she comes to see if I'm inclined to share, I discover...  Not a beach exactly, but a definite sandbar.  Poor puppy has to have another bath -- possibly her least favourite thing ever.  And I got to vacuum the couch a second time.   So. Much. Fun.   Let me tell you.   And Tucker had a huge temper tantrum when Sasha got a bath.  Barking and growling in serious attack mode.  Seriously dog?  You *really* want me to throw you in the tub too?   So random.

But now only part of the house is clean.  Which makes the rest of the house look really bad.  Argh.  Toss on some laundry and while that's going clean more.  Definitely not what I was aiming for with my day, but sobeit.  Plans change.  In my world they change more often than they play out ;)

Cleaning the kitchen and the stove is disgusting so taking the various pieces apart to clean.  Let me tell you, people may mock my microwave and telephone style of cooking, but my stove *never* gets dirty!  Significantly easier to keep a kitchen clean when you never use it ;-P    Anyways, lift off the burner protector (I'm sure that has a better name) and a huge piece comes off that, well, I'm pretty sure is not supposed to...  hmmmm Try to put it back on and it won't attach.  I can see how it *should* attach, but it's just not inclined to co-operate.   Gas stove.  Don't think I'll play that game.  Score:  Laur 1, Inanimate object 1.

Anyways -- with things a little less sandy, and slightly cleaner, I could start organizing.  Go to put up a picture...  And promptly knock another one -- that's actually my favourite -- to the ground.   Glass everywhere.  *sigh*   Score:  Laur 1, Inanimate object 2.   Get picture hung with minimal difficulty.  Add buying replacement glass and rehanging the original photo to my list of things to do.  Score: Laur 2, Inanimate object 3.

Okay so list of errands:  deposit cheque at bank, drop mail in mailbox, pick up some things at the store -- I even had a list!  Lists are good.  Especially on days when the inanimate objects have a chance of winning.  And now get new glass for frame.  And I got smart and brought the frame *with* me.  Score: Laur 3, Inanimate object 3.

Walk to town.  Yes seriously -- I slept through my morning run remember.  And town is...  Well not quite the size of Paris ;-)   Carrying my mail, phone, wallet, and keys.  The world is good.   Until I get to the bank.  Ummmm did you notice the cheque was *not* on that list.  Fail.  Score: Laur 2, Inanimate object 3.   Ah well, stupid should hurt.

The store actually had everything on my list!  Woohoo!  But, that unfortunately was counteracted by the fact that the photo store was not open.  Seriously.  Welcome to Paris.  Apparently they don't open on Wednesdays.  So random.  On the plus side, I also discovered an ice-cream hole-in-the-wall (literally, like a drive through window for ice cream).  On the down side, it was also closed.   Boo.   So just considering that a net zero on the score chart.

Actually remembered to detour and drop the mail off!   Normally that wouldn't be worth a point, but today I'm scrounging ;)   Score: Laur 3, Inanimate object 3.   Get home, still a little bummed about the picture frame fail and decide the porch needs to be swept.  You'd think I might've figured out by now that today is not a good day for domestic tasks?   But apparently too much sleep makes me stupid.  So sweeping away, reasonably productive, until I move something and come up with my hand covered in sap.  Ugh.   Score:  Laur 3, Inanimate object 4.

Giving up on the great outdoors, manage to get stuff put away all good, and decide to attempt the stove again.  This time after just a little fiddling it went back into place.  Woohoo!   Score: Laur 4, Inanimate object 4.

And I deemed that a good time to quit ;)  Will attempt another trip to the bank shortly, but for now I'm going to just pretend today hasn't started yet.