Showing posts from February, 2014

In which Fiddle and I take our Not-Quite-the-Last-Ride-for-a-Long-Time

With four full days remaining with my Non-Augmented Skeleton,  how do I choose to spend my morning?

That was a rhetorical question, obviously.

Fiddle gave my wings the stink eye, but the rest of the horses in our group today are Green Beans, and they gave the wings MUCH more attention, so everyone else opted to fly lower to the ground.  Probably wise.

We started off in a big group, but got separated.

No matter.  We practiced separating and reuniting, trotting ahead and catching up.

There was no rain, no sn*w (other than the remnants left from last weekend), and even a few rare winter appearances from that bright yellow ball in the sky.

For an almost-the-final-ride-for-a-long time, it was pretty awesome.

Actually, it was completely awesome.

What a surprise, that spending the morning with my horse and my friends is a good thing.

No?  Not a surprise?


Y'all know me too well.

It was Good.
(And if the weather holds, I'm going out at least one more time before Monday!)

In which we learn stuff, and Fiddle overcomes fear issues (with COOKIES!)

We had our second ground-driving lesson today.

As before, Fiddle clearly knows more than me--but I'm figuring it out!  She's very patient with me.

After some arena work, we went outside to try some obstacles.

Obstacles = No Big Deal.  So, we moved on to the next stage:

This isn't my jog-cart--that's still in dry-dock for repairs.  This is a cute little chariot made from a steel drum.  Duana not only takes great photos, she also makes a splendid steed!

Fiddle was still all No Big Deal when the chariot was pulled (by Duana) behind her, and then trundled along beside her.

Just another wheelbarrow, amiright?


When the metal shaft clanked on her harness quick-hitch, she humped her back like an orca, her eyes rimmed white, and she clearly wanted to kick out.


She was afraid.  (We still don't know why).  She was VERY afraid.

But she didn't kick.

We even convinced her, with kind words and lots and lots of cookies, that she didn't need to step…

In which we have time to think before busting a bottle on the prow

My new jog cart is in dry-dock this week,  getting the barnacles scrubbed off and all the unsound bits repaired.

Which gives us time to think up some good, piratical names for it.

I prefer names that are wicked sounding, with just a bit of pun.

Here's my working list:

MV Hyperbole       * there are not many "hip" puns, alas MV Hippolyta     MV Idiosyncratic MV Illiterate MV Impaired MV Inarticulate      *a double pun, for a storyteller with a bad hip? MV Inconceivable  *but do we know what this word means? MV Inexpensive MV Inflammable  *my favorite so far
MV Unavoidable MV Unbreakable MV Unhinged        *a nice reference to a certain ball-and-socket joint, yes? MV Unmentionable MV Unmistakable

Please add your opinions and suggestions in the comment box below!

In which I get some new wheels and Fee totally knows what she's doing

Although we've done some cosmetic improvements to my cane, I don't intend to spend more time with it than absolutely necessary.

Instead, Rosemary and I took a little international journey to Canada to pick up

my new wheelchair!

The cart and harness are a gift from David and Freda, who have lived in Western Canada since 1957 but retain the most adorable Very-North-of-England accents, overlaid with a charming Lower Mainland British Columbian drawl.  I could have listened to them both for hours.

Their barn was one of those immediately-comfortable places, not new, but absolutely clean and comfortable, with photos of their racing standardbreds on the walls.

(One of theirs is currently at Greener Pastures--check out Midnite in L.A.!  He's a cutie!)

The cart has been waiting around for a while and needs some TLC.

We crammed it and the harness into the horse trailer and headed South to 'Murka.  But first...

we gotta stop at the tack store!

I saw some awesome purple boots, …

In which it's Story Day, and I am trying to be a bit brave(r)

First off, Happy Story Day!

In more current news, I stacked up all my courage and scheduled my surgery: unless things change dramatically in the next two weeks (very unlikely), I'll head in for total hip replacement on March 3rd.  Wishes for good luck and speedy recovery are gratefully accepted in the comment box below!
But here's the thing about being afraid and being brave and most of all here's the thing about giving advice:  if you give it, you gotta be willing to take it.  So, when I posted some advice to Funder, who is nervous about entering the 20 Mule Team ride, it occurs to me that I should probably apply my advice to my own situation.  Turnabout sucks, by the way.
So, here's what I told Funder, with introspective comments inserted in italics:

Here's the thing about fear: it really IS the mind-killer and the little death. (and if you don't recognize that quote, you need to shoot me and put me out of my misery at once). Fear absolutely can stop you in y…

In which pain is a thing and fear is a thing, and Spring is coming fast!

I learned about pain a long time ago, in what could almost be called a "past life."
For thirteen years after finishing my undergrad work, I studied goju ryu karate.  
Despite being distinctly smaller than most of the other students (and I frequently had to practice with the juniors because of that), 
I learned a lot, had fun, and eventually earned the rank of sandan (third-degree black belt).  Persons of my stature often do well in kata practice, which can be compared to dressage : the perfection of the form, working towards demonstrated excellence of kicks, blocks, and punches.  Those who know me will understand that I did my kata only because it helped with kumite, which is sparring practice.  The relationship between kata and kumite can be compared to the relationship between dressage and trails--the practice makes things happen better when the rubber (or steel) hits the road.
Like every other karate student, I got injured.  I broke most of my toes (one at a time, not al…

In which terrific plans are made and then crumpled up and thrown away

I had such fabulous plans for my 50th year.

I planned to ride Tevis.

I planned to build a "fort" in the backyard.

I planned to write a few more books.

But (as I explained in my last post) I'm grade 4 lame because of degenerative osteoarthritis, and it's REALLY slowing me down.

I had a cortisone injection last Friday that is slowly taking down the inflammation in my left hip, and I'm now under strict instructions to take it easy this week and not aggravate the joint.  Yeah, 'cuz me holding still is a thing?  Fortunately, I'm prepping for a work presentation on Saturday that doesn't require a lot of leaping around.

And finally, I'm at the point where I can discuss surgery without crying...which means it's time to discuss surgery.

I have a consultation with a surgeon scheduled for February 27th, and hope to get a second opinion consultation scheduled soon.  Surgery dates are usually booked 4 to 6 weeks out, but I might be able to "fly standby…