Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday

First a Musing, Then a Ride

I sing in my church choir, so I have been to many Easter season services. I always thought the emotional power of the closely following holiday services was amazing.

First, of course, is Palm Sunday, when Christ made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem, acclaimed as King. Shouts of joy rose all around him as the people cried, "Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" Maunday Thursday marks the Last Supper, the celebration of the First Communion, and Christ's betrayall and arrest. The service begins in light and ends in darkness as realization of the coming crucifixion shadows the world. Good Friday marks the darkest of all days. And then the celebration of Easter and the Resurrection brings and overwhelming elation.

Then, why is it that nearly every year, my pastor preaches a betrayal and crucifixion sermon on Palm Sunday? It happened again today as the chosen scripture was the entire chapter of Luke 23, the story of Christ's trial and crucifixion? Huh?

Maybe he is being practical, figuring that most people who attend on Sunday morning will not be there on Thursday night when the passage is most appropriate. I have a feeling we will be hearing it again that night, but somehow it deflated today.

OK, off the religious soapbox and on to the horses!!

Trails all around again. Toby went out first and we rode back to look at the flooding. The water is definitely receding, but I am very worried about the trees that have been underwater for over a year now. They are far too tall for me to assess the buds, but I am afraid they may be dead. There are also some trees in the interior forest that have been flooded for months as well.

Another concern is that I did not hear and spring peepers--tree frogs--singing at the vernal pond. Again, my worry is that the flooding has kept the pond wet long enough for fish to breed in there and, if so, they may have eaten the frog eggs, destroying the breeding area. It was a big chilly today, so there is hope that the quiet was more a weather phenomenon than a fish phenomenon. But the flooding may have changed the ecology of the area and that is a serious concern.

I rode Tucker next, starting off with a short school in the ring. He was a good boy, but I do have to be precise in his leg yields as he can slide to easily sideways and not keep his stride forward into the lateral moves. I worked a bit on the simple changes again, trying to get him to go immediately from the canter to the walk with no trot strides in between. He would much prefer to "trickle down" to walk, but I did find out that if I said, "Walk" just before the transition, that is exactly what he did. Guess I need a verbal cue.

We had a nice little hack afterwards too ending the ride on a pleasant note.

Chance finished up the day. I rode him first in the ring too and I am really pleased with his progress. Not only was he straighter, but he was very obedient to being steered, and, more importantly, he is beginning to get the idea of stretching out and down instead of holding his head up like a giraffe. He still isn't sure about it, but he is offering more and more. If I do some consistent work over the next couple weeks, I think he'll have mastered it!

I took him out for the medium length hack just for some variety and, as always, he was lovely and quiet. He really does enjoy going out, and that makes him a truly fun ride.

Add the nice rides to a great lunch with my friends from choir right after church and I would say it was an exceptional day.


  1. so are you on holiday now for easter as well? schools out over here for two weeks (next door neighbour teaches physics to teenagers....)

  2. I have just a week off, this one.

    I'd prefer the week after Easter, but apparently they coordinate our break with Passover as well.

  3. ah - our lot get two weeks at easter! but i've a feeling you get longer in the summer? our schools get 6 summer, 2 christmas, 2 easter, plus half term breaks of usually a week.