Thursday, October 30, 2008

Smile for the Camera

OK, I realized I haven't posted many pictures of the Boys. Since I cannot photograph myself riding, it does get kind of hard to get action shots. I did try some pics of Tuck on the long lines tonight, as I gave him a short work.
First, Tucker on the lines, trotting, then cantering. It is hard to long line and take pictures at the same time!!
Tucker at the trot
Tucker at the canter.
Then, I "tied" (looped the reins over a little tree branch that would break if anything happened--more a psychological "tie" than anything.) and took some still shots. Herewith the photo gallery.

Chance's head shot

Chunky Chance's body shot. He's not quite this light in color

Toby's head shot.
Toby's body shot. Not the best pose. And he does look older now.
Tucker's body shot. Uhm, a bit of a chunk too, eh? He is not downhill as the picture looks!!
Tucker's head shot. I think he likes to pose!

I have a good friend who once spent a day taking pictures of Toby and PJ for me. Out of the lot, very few were really good. Getting really good horse pictures is an art and usually the bulk of the ones you take are not the best. Still, for a really quick shoot I didn't do too badly. But, for sure, I need to spend some time doing it right.
And, I should have done it when they were all slick and shiny in their summer coats!! Winter coats just don't do them justice.
And I do fear Tucker looks really fat in the pics. I don't see that when I watch him in person (horseon) but perchance the camera does not lie?? He also does not look as tall in the pictures. He stands a touch over 16.3. Maybe I should try a lower camera angle. How do they make those Hollywood starlets look so good, anyhow??

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rain Again????

Well, I Might Have Missed the Raindrops...or Not

But, I decided to do some quick shopping after school and, on the way, passed my hairdressers. Since I needed a cut, I dropped in.

That would have been just about the time I would have saddled up somebody to ride.

What timing that would have been. The skies opened in rain/wet snow showers. It was not pretty.

The sad part was that the day had been windy enough to dry out the footing so it would have been decent riding. Now, with the new rain, it's wet again.

And it's cold.

I'm glad I left the heavier sheets on the Boys for the day as they needed them. I'm not too sure about tomorrow as it still doesn't look to be warming up, but on Friday, the forecast is for temps in the 60's F.

Suffice it to say that when I did get home, the Boys and the kitties were quite pleased to see me. The Boys had plenty of hay so I wasn't too worried about them. And the kitties had dry food in two bowls. However, they always want that canned food. And Paprika, the outdoor stray, needs his food too.

I would be nice to think I am so well greeted when I get home purely out of love, but I fear tummies are the stronger motive. *lol*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Handsome Chance posing on the snow day.


Unbelievable. The rain changed to snow this morning somewhere around 10 AM and for a while it looked like a raging blizzard.

The roads are supposedly slippery and they had to plow and shovel the sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots on the school grounds. It is wet, miserable, sloggy, slippy, and downright uncomfortable out there.

Fortunately, the Boys are switched over into their heavier waterproof sheets, as I noted earlier, but they might have been just as well off in winter blankets. I am sure they would have been quite comfy even with the extra insulation.

Tucker and Toby sharing the east side run in
I am not looking forward to the utter sogginess the snow causes. And the mud.
Had to laugh. The alert expressions on The Boys' faces were caused by the overturned black trough covered in snow. Both Toby and Chance were spooking at it. *lol*
The spots on the pics are from the rain on the camera lens. Some of the snow had already started to melt by the time I got home as it was raining again. The horses' sheets were wet but they seemed just fine.
When I tried to get the pictures, Chance just kept moving towards me. The head shot was a lucky one when he spotted that trough and "froze" for the camera. A second later, he bucked and bolted off, snorting. Silly boy. He does look awfully cute and I think this picture captures his character and intelligence. He is a very clever fellow.

I also do not have the fence fixed in the arena to allow me to turn Tucker out there should the mud get really bad.

The early snow has caught me completely unprepared.

All I can say is, "ICK!!!!"

My back yard and paddock in the first snow of the season.

Monday Off

And Me Off

I took the morning off from school because my neck was so sore I'd hardly slept all night. I went to the chiropractor, got adjusted and felt immediately better. Then I went to school and taught all my afternoon classes.

I had a physical therapy appointment after school. That took up over an hour and by the time I was heading home it was getting dark. It's so frustrating this time of year. The clocks will be going back an hour this coming weekend, so I will have even less daylight when I get home each day.

Since Monday is traditional horse day off, I had not planned on riding. Another possible regret because by 8 or 9 PM it started raining and, according to the forecast, is supposed to rain all day and into the evening.

It's also suddenly gotten quite chilly. The Boys are wearing waterproof sheets--their slightly heavier ones. I'd had the lightweight ones on and Chance was soaked anyhow, so I swapped to the heavier ones. The big boys hog the run in on the west side of the barn and Chance tends to hang out nearby--in the rain. While I do feel sorry for him, he has plenty of options, including the new run in, or the stalls and run in on the other side of the barn. He's very independent about hanging out on his own other times, so I don't know what this is all about.

Guess he won't melt.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Three Again

On a Beautiful Day!

Perfect weather. Just cool enough and sunny.

I took Toby out for a short hack. Nothing special, but he just loves to browse on the laurel bushes along the trail. He had a nice big fat carrot when we got home.

Schooled Tucker for a good session in the arena. Canter on both leads was just fine. I even advanced to some walk/canter transitions. Since he didn't fuss about the departs I am now guessing the trouble yesterday was his anticipating pain rather than feeling pain. Still, I will take it easy with him. We did a little canter half pass. The angle was really shallow, but he didn't seem to mind. We had a few stops as he questioned me, but nothing serious.

When I'd gotten on him, he, like Chance headed for the gate to the woods, so after the school we had a nice little hack. He seemed quite happy about that.

I took Chance out for a bit longer hack. I'd planned to go even farther, but as I topped the ridge to the little lake, we heard voices. Sure enough there were three male riders coming up from around the lake. This is really the first time Chance has encountered other horses out there. He was fairly good about it until one of the guys passed us and started trotting up on ahead. I'd told them I was riding a young horse, but they seemed oblivious. Chance started dancing around, and fussing. I let him trot on a little, but he was not at all settled. I'm not too keen on just letting a horse go whenever he wants to, so I wasn't too happy about that. Good thing the other riders (3 of them) were heading back to their barn in the opposite direction of my place. Once they took the other trail, Chance calmed back down and we had a quiet hack back home.

I must admit, that aside from tossing his head up in the air and yanking the reins, Chance really didn't feel as if he were going to explode--Thank goodness I was not on Tucker!!-- but I haven't tested him too much in exciting circumstances, so I don't know how much I can trust him. Toby might have started bucking too, by the way, and once he gets riled up, he does not relax again at all. Then he is downright dangerous. Tucker would probably settle in again, but I doubt I would still be in the saddle after the first explosion. My two Thoroughbreds are not exactly reliable when things get exciting.

Toby has done hunter paces and once the first half hour goes by and he gets the jumping around out of his system, he's fine. He dumped me off the first time I tried one and he's scared the heck out of me on the later ones, but then he calms down and gives a pretty nice ride. Tucker? Never tried. Probably never will. Still, when he was down at Kenny Harlow's he was out for 5-6 hours at a time with a full group and they certainly didn't walk the whole ride. Trouble is, around here, there are no real groups to go out with and I'm sure, by now, he has lost the equilibrium the "Kenny Experience" had instilled in him.

That's fine. We have our own little set of trails to hack on. If I want to be more adventurous, I have Chance, the "Trail Master!!"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No Rain, So I Rode!!

Everybody Under Saddle

I took Toby out on a hack in the woods to see if the bugs were gone. It was breezy, cloudy and on the verge of rain and, to my delight, bug free!! We only did a short hack as it is the first time I've ridden him since he was lame due to the abcess/stepped on shoe. He felt fine, so that's good, and he does like to loaf around on the trails out back.

I gave Tucker a very short school in the arena, testing the canter again. He is resisting, but I'm not sure what it's all about. When he kicked the fence rail on his own as I was asking for the right lead, he thought better of it all and gave me a series of very nice trot/canter/trot/canter transitions. He feels fine when he is cantering so it is one of several things: 1. some remaining soreness, 2. anticipation of pain that's not really there, 3. just general Tucker attitude. If he is still a little sore, there is not much more I can do at this point without x rays and a vet workup--kind of a financial strain at this point. And then what? Hock injections? Not keen on that...yet. I'll just give it some time.

After the school, I took him out for a short hack. The only glitch was then one I expected. My farmer next door had dropped a load of dirt along the edge of the woods. So, we had to pass the "dangerous dirt" in order to get out along the field. Oh, my! But, actually, Tucker was quite brave. He did spook, balk, and think about making an escape. But then, when I reassured him, he walked cautiously by and we were just fine for the rest of the ride. I made a big fuss over him when he finally did go for me, so perhaps he will think he's a big brave fellow from now on--at least about THAT dirt pile. *G*

Chance was really funny. I mounted up and he headed right for the gate out to the wood and when I tried to get him to go on around the arena for his short school, he stopped dead and didn't want to budge. It was quite clear he was determined to go out on a hack since the other two had. I convinced him that was not yet to be and gave him a little school. Again, I was pleased that in the canter he is really starting to offer a stretch into the bit with a lower, more relaxed head carriage. He is making definite progress.

After the school, I did take him out on a hack as well. He didn't even give the "dangerous dirt" a second look, except perhaps to see if there was any grass growing out of it to nibble on. We too had a nice little ride. There was an ATV rider out there, passing along one of the other trails and that got Chance a little excited. His head went up, and he jogged a few strides, then nearly tripped over a branch or two craning his neck to see where the guy had gone, but soon he settled right back down and we finished up in good style. He really is a good, steady fellow. His attitude is going to be great for me as a nice retirement horse.

I did some barn work afterwards and now my knees are protesting. I'll go to the grain store to get my feed tomorrow as I think I've done enough for one day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nothing To Report

Meeting and Choir

Had a teachers' meeting after school and choir pratice.

Add to that some very sore knees so I couldn't really rush about once I did get home, and I ended up not doing anything with the Boys. Nice day, too, and I may regret it as the weekend forecast calls for rain. *sigh*

My Principal told me yesterday, that the play may be the selection the 11th grade classes will be required to see to meet their theater arts requirement. Problem is, that usually happens in the Spring. Grand idea, on one hand, but on the other, the performing arts students will then be in full swing rehearsals for "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and the Senior Showcase. Don't know if we could mount a performance then. It would be far better to do it now while the production is still "up."

What will be, will be. I guess.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pics From the Play and Horse Update

Jessica portrayed the girl killed on prom night.
Link Doesn't Work Too Well

I am borrowing these photographs from: JASON TOWLEN/MyCentralJersey, online. I can't get the link to the newspaper to work well enough and it might not be accessible across the pond.

The street racers, Scarlett, Dan, and Monica.

Gabe, the young photographer killed while chasing the sunset.

And Emily, the heavy metal rocker who played her music too loudly.

Took me a while to find these as the newspaper had the play listed as "The Other Side of Stick River Bridge." It's actually called, "The Other Side of Stick River Road." The photos are nice, though and convey a good feel for the talent of our students, I think.

We have one DVD completed. It's OK, but the sound is not really good as it was recorded from the back of the theater with no microphones. The technician is editing a better version now. Still, nothing quite conveys the "feel" of seeing a live performance, especially in a play like this.

Horse Update: I lunged Chance tonight. Sent him over a small jump as well.

What I like most watching him is how he has relaxed about his body. He no longer looks as if he is concerned about his balance and his gaits are soft and relaxed. He jumped quietly as well, not at all excited about the effort.

I rode Tucker. He gave me a bit of "attitude" about my leg against his side when I asked him to step into the bit. I tried the canter early on, had no issue with the left lead and none with the right when I trotted across the diagonal for the change. But at some point things fell apart and when I asked for the right lead again, we had some mini-bucks. Nothing big, but I certainly do not trust him not to escalate. So I growled at him and gave him a good bend in front. From then on the departs were fine. I'm not sure if he still aches a little or if it is a challenge to my aids.

I took him over the same little jump and he was really good about it. I have lost just about all my expertise at jumping, that's for sure. (Used to think nothing of tackling 3'6" or higher in my past career.) Now, a foot and a half is a challenge. Of course, I could work at it if I really wanted to, but I don't want to. However, I certainly think every horse should jump at least a little and it is good for dressage horses.

After I finished up over the tiny jump, I took it down and did some lateral work. Haunches in, shoulder in, and then half pass at the trot. Both directions were just fine. The canter half pass might be revealing, but I didn't try it tonight.

I have to save something for another day. *G*

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whimpy Me

But I Don't Want to Get Hit By a Tree

Terrible story at the medium's presentation the other night about a girl who went out with the hunt a few Thanksgiving's ago (US National Holiday--last Thursday in November). Apparently a tree uprooted in the wind, hit her in the head and killed her. True story, I fear.

Where does this lead?

This afternoon when I got home, the wind was ripping. It started kicking up as I left school and by the time I was home, it was pretty stiff. My arena is at the edge of the woods. I am never really keen about riding out there in the wind because of that. The horses do get silly, of course, but it can be dangerous just by nature.

I was getting colder too. Nothing overwhelming, but not exactly pleasant.

I've been putting sheets on the Boys at night and this morning I forgot to take them off. Either I was going to have to race home during my hall duty period--after getting someone in power to say it was OK to leave--or, find someone to take care of the Boys for me. Fortunately, I called a friend who lives not too far away. She has had horses all her life and was quite willing to help me out.

When I got home, the Boys were just in their flysheets, enjoying the sunshine. When I called my friend to thank her, she said they were absolutely perfect to handle. Good boys, apparently. She was wise enough to bring some treats so I am sure they were quite pleased to have that kind of attention. She brought a friend with her as well, so that was good.

I often blanket and un-blanket my little herd in the field, so I know they can stand politely for it. I'm glad to know they will stand for someone else besides me.

Reminds me of a funny PJ story from years ago. My farrier came to the barn unannounced one day to shoe PJ. No one was around and the horses were all turned out in a big field. There were a lot of bays as I recall. Apparently, my farrier did not recongnize PJ in the group so he went out and started picking up hoofs until he found the right ones.

I can see him now, checking one horse after another. But the best part was that at the time, PJ was being very difficult to catch. For everyone, apparently, except my farrier, who had no trouble at all finding him and picking up his hoof so he could recognize him.

Well, PJ always said he liked the farriers I've used. He said he great respect for Scott, my current shoer, especially, because he was "Very serious about his work." PJ was a critic, it seems. *G*

May lunge Tuck a few turns at late night feed. I plan on going out a little early to get those sheets on before it gets too cold.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nothing to Report

On The Horse Front, At Least

Mondays are reserved for things like physical therapy, so I usually give the Boys off. No exception today.

We ran the play this morning for a better video recording. Time pressure does not allow us to do a proper video, so I have no idea what the finished DVD is going to look like. The run through was OK, but definitely not a peak performance. I didn't help that is was freezing in the auditorium. Guess they never turned the heat on.

Speaking of, I put sheets on the Boys last night and again tonight. It was down near freezing, or at least frost temperature. I covered the rogue tomato plants that grew up near my neglected patch to protech the green tomatoes on the vines. If they don't ripen in all this cold, I will pick them and hope the ripen a bit on a windowsill. If not, they are tasty green--fried or cooked somehow.

Trouble is, last week the temperatures were close to 80 F and now they are hovering around 40-50 F, with drops into the 30's. Perfect fall weather, but a shock to the system.

The Boys seem happy, though. I guess the chill in the air perks them up and keeps the flies away. Might be time for a hack in the woods without the bug armor!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

RIP, Buddy

Lost My "BW" Kitty

Buddy, my black and white kitty died sometime between last night and this morning. He was on the back porch and crawled behind a cabinet, where I found him early this afternoon. I was kind of expecting it. He was not eating well in the last three days, but he was still interested in things, so I didn't think he was actually sick. However, he did have a very bad heart and I was suspicious it was giving him trouble.

The vet had said there really wasn't anything to do for him if he did start to deteriorate but I did need to watch if he went into distress. I saw none of that and last night, when I went to bed, he was snuggled in his cat bed out there. About a month ago he had decided he wanted to live on the back porch instead of the back rooms of the house. He did not get along with my other cats, so the porch was a nice haven for him and he seemed really happy out there. One day he even managed to escape and spend part of the day outdoors. (Note: I adopted him already declawed, and I do not let my cats out as the road is VERY dangerous.) Still, I guess he had a good day. His life here was not ideal, but he safe and well fed for the several years I had him.

He is at rest now, free from his poor little heart. I buried him near the rose garden. Bless my little Buddy boy. RIP.

I rode Chance this afternoon after setting one fence post to replace one of the ones the Boys demolished this summer. He was wonderful!! While still not steady on the bit, the two week layoff did nothing to stop his training progress. He kept his head down for most of the ride, even in the canters! And, even better, I had at least one trot/canter transition on each rein with his head right where I wanted it. I am so proud of him. Not only is he a smart boy, but he remembers his lessons.

I tried some leg yields at the walk for the first time and again, he was a super student. A few more times and he will have mastered that concept enough that I can try them at the trot. I gave him a nice big fat carrot as a reward.

Because my knees were aching after riding Chance, I decided to long line Tucker. What a good decision. And, what a good lining session! Tucker looked super. Watching him canter, I am now wondering how long his hocks might have been bothering him before he started "telling" me when I was riding him. His stride had a nice fluidity to it and he was very willing to move forward into the rein contact.

We only had one little "incident" when he decided the horse eating monster in the woods was going to get him, so he bolted off for about one rather "over impulsed" circuit at the canter and then settled in again. All in all, he was a star and really did look like a dressage horse.

I didn't work Toby, but when he trotted out to the pasture he looked pretty sound. If I have the time and energy I may take him out for a hack this week. I will lunge him first to make sure his abscessed hoof is OK, though.

Lovely weather here is encouraging me, but I surely do need to find my energy again.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

OK, I Rode, Sort Of

And A Stiff Neck Again

Woke up on the verge of another migraine--too much tension and extra hours this past week.

Instead of heading over to Pat's to watch the lessons with Jamie, I headed for the chiropractor and THEN over to watch the lessons.

From the lesson I watched, Jamie is a good trainer. She offered some excellent exercises to correct issues with the horse. I am looking forward to riding with her to see how she gets along with Tucker the Opinionated.

I stopped for Chinese food on the way home, ate lunch an surrendered to being super tired and still kind of sore in my neck. If my nerves get irritated by the misplaced vertebrae, it can take all day for them to settle down. I still feel some pain, so I guess it will take a night in bed to clear it all up.

That said, I did go out to work the horses and finally decided to just deal with Tucker. I lunged him a bit first, thinking that might be it, but I simply could not resist a ride. I saddled him up and went out into the arena.

He felt great!! His trot was nice and bouncey forward and then when I asked for left lead canter, he moved right off. To avoid trouble as much as possible, I rode the left lead for a while, then crossed the diagonal and trotted through a change to the right lead. Again, no problem. I did my circuits on the right lead, brought him back to the trot.

I rode a half pass to the right, then a half pass to the left and both of them felt even and quite good. I had him in a moderate frame, not demanding he be too collected but the exercises were easy, so it was fine. Then, on the long side, I asked for a right lead canter depart as a final test. He offered an uphill, foward and immediate depart. I cantered just a little bit more and called it a day, praising him mightily.

This was fantastic!! Tucker has been off the bute for a full week, so the only reason he would feel so good is the Adequan and, possibly the rest. Considering how much success I had with the Adequan each time Toby showed some hock soreness, I go for that as the primary remedy.

Tucker had his 6th Adequan injection today and gets one more. I am also giving him a joint supplement in his feed, so that is another plus. I suspect we will have hock issues again down the road, but for now, they seem to be resolved. I'll just be quicker next time in picking up on when he first starts to become a little uncomfortable.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tomorrow I Ride???

That's the Plan

I am not taking a lesson on Saturday even though Jamie, the other trainer coordinating with Gabriel, will be at the farm where I take my lessons. Since I have not ridden in nearly two weeks since the play production began, I decided it would be entirely unfair to test out Tucker's hocks or wear out Chance's muscles in a lesson. I will probably go over to watch at least two rides to get a feel for teaching style, etc. and perhaps introduce myself to Jamie.

Then, when I get back home--as that will be in the morning--I will saddle up a Boy or two and do a little schooling. If Toby is sound, we may go out on a hack in the woods. It is supposed to be chilly all day so I am hoping the bugs will be out of commission.

I was out tonight at a jewelry party, but I didn't buy anything. I was a very good girl. Met some good friends there and we had some nice chats.

Meanwhile back at school, the play phenomenon continues. I am filing a legal copyright of my script to protect myself and my play's future--that is the written version. The performance, however, has taken on a life of its own. The plan was to create a DVD of the performance, as I think I told you all before. Originally, it was to be finished in a week or so. Suddenly, the expectation is to have it complete on Monday. We will be filming the play again on Monday morning, however, so I don't quite know how that miracle will be accomplished.

From what I am gathering, the play had such an impact it has become the "talk of the town," or at least all the school Superintendent meetings or something. My Principal dropped by my room to ask me to send him, then the higher up academic supervisor an electronic copy of the study guide so they could prepare it for distribution with the DVD.

As this spirals out of control, I keep wondering where it will all end up. Apparently, a TV station in a nearby town wants the DVD as well. All of that is fine with me, but, since I now know the script is "that good," I would like to be able to sell or distribute it as I wish--hence the copyright which I should have filed this weekend. Writing gives an automatic copyright, of course, but I feel this needs more protection.

My fellow teacher, next door to me, read the script and reacted almost as strongly as those who saw the performance. Guess I managed to touch the right tone for this one.

If anyone is interested, the National Public Radio broadcast I heard that helped inspire a part of the play is available on line.

BE WARNED: If you do decide to open the link and then listen to the mother tell the story, be prepared. It is heavy duty, powerful stuff. Rich Stark was a 9 year old boy killed by a reckless driver. His mother tells the story of his death 31 years later. I change the circumstances somewhat in my play, but the core of the tale is there. Here's the link, listen at your own risk, the teenagers at our school....learn a lesson about the risks of driving.

Our motto is "Drive Safe For The Ride Of Your Life." If only one life is saved because someone heard Rich's story or saw my play, it's all been worth it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Even More Tired

But I Am Spiritually Fascinated

Went to the "Night of Spirit Communications." This was an actual medium/telepath who communicates with the dead and sometimes the living.

I cannot confirm anything she said to others but I had two interesting little sessions. Herewith the notes since I am too tired to write it all out in coherent sentences.

Ruth, my mom, (not a really common first name) told me to ease up a bit and not be so detail oriented. She too was particular but has learned it’s not that important, especially as an educator. (I had not told her I was a teacher as was my mother) Said she knew I was frustrated with the way things were (with the school) and wanted to see them changed. (I am) What I was doing would change things but I had to be careful within the political system of the school. (Our school is very political) I needed to be careful working the politics. The change would come, (she pointed to a poster, chart or something on the wall which showed the change) but other people were going to try to take the credit for it. (This may refer to the play, and yes, that is a serious possibility) Said I was strong, independent, strong enough to do it but I had to be careful. Went on to say that my mother was also a very independent women/self confident as well. (which she was.) She also said, though, that I was very smart and intelligent in handing such things and I would be able to work it all out successfully. She said I need to watch the end of my bed as my mother would come and sit on it when she was with me. Said the bed would indent and I'd notice it if I looked for it.

Maybe my Grandma talked to me. A milkman connected with the name Jack. Grandma used to deliver milk with a horse and wagon. Her name connected to the letter “D” (Family name, Dvorak?) At one time I think she had a horse named Jack. (Not sure he pulled the milk wagon, but I have a picture of her riding and I think it may be on Jack.) Anyhow, she said I had missed a chance at love/marriage. (Could be, though I have never exactly been proposed to.) I was, she said, “too busy” and didn’t have the time or courage to take the leap of faith. That, I guess was a little disappointing to her. Then she asked if I had problems with my foot. (Yes indeed I do.) Said my foot needed support…did I wear orthotics? (Yes I do.) Said Grandma wanted me to be sure I wore them (I was) as it could also cause problems with my back if I didn’t.

Nothing from the horses, but I don't think they needed to tell me anything. Some of the other people were really emotionally impacted. I have an open mind about all this, walking the fine line between believing and being skeptical enough to analyze things a bit. Nothing above that I could confirm or deny, but I must admit the orthotics statements kind of surprised me. I did not have "orthotic" type shoes on and don't think my foot issue was noticeable. Yet, she never mentioned my bad knees so that is equally strange.

Curious about the mention of politics in regard to our school. That was very significant. To top it, I was having a conversation with someone there today who was offering me advice as to just how to handle the tricky political situation of getting that play to go somewhere and accomplish something beyond our district. Though some things in that part of the "communication" were not really specific in many ways, the ways that they were specific were kind of startlingly so.

Suffice it to say I was both intrigued and fascinated by the evening.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Am So Tired

The Play was a Smash Hit!

At least from all the comments I heard, the play "blew them away." Especially the powers that be. The Freeholders who are the political force behind the school system, the administrators there, and the miscellaneous audience members seemed more than impressed.

Why 10:30 AM and why so fast? The play was part of a kick off event to promote teen driving safety and the program was set for the morning with a luncheon. We had discussed this back in June and I kind of volunteered to write the play over the summer. The theater teacher agreed to produce it with her students on October 15, today, the week before the State of New Jersey's decreed teen safe driving week.

The time pressure built up because there was another production running in our theater/auditorium on October 8 in which a number of theater kids were involved, so thing were tied up. My play was cast and the students had the scripts to memorize. Once the other show finished up, we were in full swing.

Amazingly enough, we had our first full dress rehearsal this morning at 9 AM for the 10:30 performance. The dress went well, and about an hour later the house opened up and the play itself was on.

The performance was virtually perfect. The kids were tremendous. The stage technicians running the lights, sound, and visuals (there was a screen with videos projected on it at various points) were spot on. And the audience was totally involved right from the start.

All I can say is, "Wow!" A number of people asked if the show could go on tour to other schools. We are filming a DVD to be distributed around the county's high schools and I have already written up a study guide to go with it.

These young actors pulled off an almost impossible task at a close to professional level.

And one of the administrators I know fairly well came over to me to tell me he was crying during the show as he was so moved, and he was even finding himself tearing up as he was telling me this. The actors had said if they made the audience cry, they had done their job.

The job was done.

I am, however, exhausted. My legs hurt from standing up so much. I did my part well, I guess. Hard to say, but I felt pretty good.

The Boys will have to wait until the weekend for some work. Tomorrow is the "Night of Spirit Communications," and Friday I have a jewelry party to go to. (Not that I need any jewelry--but it's a good friend.)

Rigth now I could use a good nap. Maybe I will head out to the run-in shed. *G*

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z's

At Least Not Last Night

The Boys were up and about when I went out for late night feed. Guess it wasn't nap time

Spent the entire day at school in tech rehearsals. By 8 PM we still had not managed a full dress rehearsal.

So, we'll do that tomorrow before the 10:30 performance. The theater teacher--a professional director--has never put up a show so fast. It has been an extraordinary experience for everyone involved.

I am exhausted.

Will go out to feed in an hour or so and then just climb into bed to go to sleep.

Play report tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleep In Shed

At Least I Think That's What's Happening

When I went out for late night feed last night, all three Boys were in the riding arena near the new run-in shed. I did not turn the arena lights on, but I do know Chance was lying down just outside the shed. I am suspicious that Toby and Tucker were lying down inside.

Tonight I will go out with a flashlight to see if I can catch them in "non-action." They used to settle down in the sand in the paddock by the barn, but apparently the deep sand of the new shed is more comfy. If so....too cute for words.

I spent nearly the entire day in the theater. Teachers' workshops were in session, but I was excused to work on the play. We set up the projector, set up the sound system and finished up the study guide and sent it to the "powers that be" for approval. Hope the "powers that be" look it over so it can be printed up before the show on Wednesday.

Getting all the technical aspects of a show is tremendously complicated. At least this time, a couple administrators (the principal and vice-principal) got involved and did some of the work. And, they have been very supportive in giving us the time to do it.

I had physcial therapy tonight and an adjustment. When I got home, it was a little late for the Boys' dinner, so I fed them and that's that.

Still planning on sneaking out later to check out the nap spot. *G*

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday At the School

Do The Boys Really Care??

Went to church in the AM, then drove over to the school where the theater teacher, her husband, and two volunteers were working on setting the lights for the play.

I ending up working the light board, a computer system set up to control the stage lighting. I also moved around on stage as an actor might so they could figure out where to aim the lights and focus them. (Adjust the opening in front of the light so it covered just the right amount of the stage.) I rigged some gels--covers for the lights to creat various colors, and generally helped out in any way I could.

The project took the entire day and I did not get back home until 6 PM or so. I fed the Boys at once, since it was late for them. They didn't seem to mind my not doing much more with them.

It is a little frustrating because the weather is so nice, but until the play is up, I'm kind of stuck.

And then Thursday, after the play is done on Wednesday, there is a "Night Of Spirit Communications" to benefit one of the hunts at the big saddle store not too far away. A psychic will be there giving telepathic messages to the audience. It will be one of those random things where whatever messages come through will be shared, so it sould be kind of interesting. I'll tell my Boys if they have to tell me something important, that's a good opportunity, but they will have to be pretty determined if they want to be heard. There will be 50 people in the audience all hoping for some kind of message.

Should be fun, but it will take me away from the Boys for another evening.

I am looking at it this way. Tucker has sore hocks and this will give the Adequan a chance to help him. Toby is recovering from the abscess and sore foot from the misplaced shoe, so he can't really work. Chance is fine, but again, there's no rush with him.

I guess if I had to take some time off, this was as good as any.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

OK, Well I Horsed Around, A Little

Lazy Saturday

I went out to breakfast with two of my very best friends, Shelley and George, this morning. The three of us were a team in the community theater and formed a tight bond. Now they live quite a distance away and we don't often see each other.

I did manage, however, to lock my keys in the car when I got to the diner. Had to call the auto club to open it for me. Actually George ended up taking care of it as my auto club card was in my car. No charge for either of us on our plans so no problem there. Haven't done something that dumb in years.

We had a really good time. Shelley is very busy now as a supervisor in a Northern New Jersey high school where she is starting an arts program with both theater and dance. If the play goes well I may send a copy to her to use with their students to encourage safe driving. We'll see. It all depends on what happens Wednesday.

Then I went to the chiropractor for a tune up as my neck was still "asking some questions" after the migraine.

I came home and I'm not too sure what distracted me, but I took a short nap and then headed out to the barn. The Boys wanted nothing to do with me. Even Chance took off with a snort and a flick of his heels. Chance!! What? Leave them alone for a few days and they all turn into wild stallions of the plains?

I took the halter and lead and went out to the pasture and just sat down with my back to them . The sun was lovely. Not too much later, I heard some snorting behind me and hoofbeats in the grass--walking, thank goodness. Tucker was headed my way with Toby not too far behind. Chance had been dancing around a short way off, totally baffled by my strange behavior.

Soon Tuck and Toby were grazing around me and I had to get up to avoid being trampled by their enthusiastic socializing. I caught Chance first as he'd decided I wasn't a monster after all and took him into the arena for a lunging session. He was super and never once pulled out to the left as he often does on the right rein.

I lunged Tucker next. He looked good with no sign of anything strange in his hind end. Chance was standing at the open gate to the arena and when I shooed him off with the whip, Tucker took that as a perfect excuse to bolt off in a mad, bucking gallop--never once putting any kind of extra tension on the line, by the way. He was really wound up, so I just let him act silly.

I must admit when I managed to drop him back into the trot, it was really forward and off the ground. He looked great!

I did not do anything with Toby except spray him with fly spray and give him a carrot. He is a bit lame due to the abscess. I'm not too keen on soaking it with the shoe on because that will loosen the shoe. So instead, I am washing it out and wrapping it with icthamol. I may put on an epsom salt poultice tonight in lieu of the soaking and change to the icthamol tomorrow.

Back inside, I have just finished up creating some classroom materials for the play study guide so teachers can use them along with the play.

Busy few days ahead. Apparently the Boys don't care if I ignore them. As long as I feed them, they are happy as can be.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh, My Goodness!

I Have to Learn More Lines!!

I am into the sixth rewrite of parts of the play. All kind of cool, actually, so that's fine. Mostly things to make the play work better as a stage piece and with the time/actors/"stuff" we have to work with.

Only....I have this teeny bit part that somehow has escalated into a fairly significant dramatic role in the story. I get to tell off an annoying reporter who has spent the better part of the play using the stories of the victims of auto accidents to advance her television career.

I am dreadful at memorizing lines. Always have been. I can write up a storm and then not even remember whatever it is I've written--for someone else to speak. Now, I am writing a rather momentous set of lines for myself to learn, and then perform! Eeeeek!!

Fortunately, I can make stuff up if I have to. Just hope I can act my way out of a paper bag and actually make it sound real. The kids in the cast are SO good! The only other adult is a very professional, very skilled actor. And then there's me.

I've been on stage plenty before doing bit parts and singing, so I'm comfy up there. It's just those lines!!

Anyhoo...the play is "up" on Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM. There will be: school officials, the politicians who fund our school, some 25 or so school counselors from all over the county, (New Jersey has 21 counties with their own governments), newpaper reporters, representatives from various companies that have safe driving projects for teens, and a group of selected students. Afterwards, there will be a luncheon, and awards presented to the students who won contests in designing a safe driving bumper sticker, a tee shirt, and posters. The whole thing is to help launch Middlesex County's Safe Driving Initiative for Teenagers. So it really is a big thing.

I am very proud of who well the play works. Just didn't plan on taking such a role in it.

Meanwhile "Back at the Ranch," Toby was shod today. And so was Tucker, who was gracious enough to lose his shoe last night. When I got home, they were in, and Toby had two bell boots on. Not a match, but at least two. I turned them out.

Then when I got in the house tonight after rehearsal, I discovered a phone message from my farrier that Toby had an abscess which they had opened and I might need to soak it.

Hey, maybe I needed to wrap it too. Maybe he should have stayed in? Maybe a little note on the door??

Ah well, men. They don't think of things like that.

I'll give Toby a good look over before I go to bed tonight.

I honestly cannot wait until Scott is back in action shoeing the Boys. His substitute is a good shoer, but my Boys are suffering from his learning curve. Scott's been shoeing my horses so long he knows just exactly what works and what doesn't. I guess there is an art to it his replacement just hasn't quite mastered yet.

No riding again, as you can tell. Until Wednesday, I am finding the theater taking up all my spare time. I may even need to go to school on Sunday to help out.

Honestly, I will say it again. The kids in the show are fantastic. The theater teacher is an amazing teacher who has trained them to be fine and very "real" actors. They take direction and critque like pros and are truly skilled at creating "truth" on stage. More than once they have moved me to tears with their performances.

The play also has tons of interesting technology, interspersing taped scenes with the live action. And when people are being interviewed by the reported, the audience will be seeing the camera feed on a screen above the stage. Too cool for words.

Oooops. My enthusiam is showing. Better go study my lines. *G*

Thursday, October 09, 2008



Guess the busy week got to me. I woke up on the brink of a migraine...again.

And, I had the day off. And the weather was gorgeous. And my chiropractors were not in.

Fortunately, there are two other chiropractic options at the office, so I called to get a physical therapy session. Then, when I went in the physical therapy doctor who is also a chiropractor was able to treat me.

Even so, it was a little bit late and the nerves in my neck/head were already irritated enough that I ended up wasting the rest of the day just lying around trying to get rid of the last effects.

And I thought I was going to be able to ride. Now, I have to go to choir practice.

I taped Toby's hoof up again and let him out after I got back from the chiro. He was all sweated up from fretting. Don't know what time the shoer is coming tomorrow. I really don't want to leave Toby in all day waiting. It is just too stressful for him.

I suppose I can lock Tucker in too to keep him company.

Such a shame as it's supposed to be warm and sunny.

Which for school, means hot in my classroom. I am breaking out the summer clothes again. It is school colors day--black and orange (yuck) and I do have a sleevless orange top to wear with a pair of short capris. That might be the option.

Wednesday, my room was like an oven even though it was cool outside. The heat was on and the system that's supposed to regulate it was not working. I sent in an emergency request for repair and, surprise, surprise, the heating man showed up from the company that services the system and got it working--until it breaks down again as it has a habit of doing. *sigh*

I figure when I finally retired they will air condition my classroom. Too late for me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ooopsie Doo

Looks Like I Won't Be Riding Much

The driver safety play has come to get me back. As I am acting in it, I need to be here at school for the rehearsals.

This means: tonight, tomorrow, Friday, and Tuesday right after school and into the evening.

I am going to rush home, feed the Boys and then come back. I can't leave the horses until as late as the rehearsals run.

No word from my farrier, so I fear poor Toby will be stuck in until I get home later tonight when I can let him out for a little while with a boot on. If it's dark by then, that will be a worry, but his poor little brain needs to be out with his friends before he totally overloads with sadness.

He called out to them numerous times last night and in the wee hours of morning. I guess Tuck and Chance had gone out to the pasture. He worries every time they are out of sight.

Update to the above:
Thought I had posted this, but it was still in my drafts folder.

So, for Wednesday. I let Toby out for the day after putting layers and layers of duct tape on his hoof. He was happy as anything, but he came in limping at dinnertime. My shoer did call and his substitute cannot come until Friday. Toby is back in for the night and since it's raining, Tucker is keeping him company under the run in roof.

The play is going well but everyone is under pressure due to the tight timeline. We have no school on Thursday. Rehearsal on Friday, and then the students have no school on Monday due to teacher workshops. That only leaves Tuesday to finish up for a performance on Wednesday.

I have a script change to make which I will do tomorrow when I have some time. It's nothing big, but it will make the play work better under its current format. I've already spoken to the actors involved and they seem fine with it.

Busy, busy. I haven't been directly involved with theater for close to ten years since the community theater we ran shut down. I'd almost forgotten how involved and involving it is. I do enjoy it, that's for sure, but it's quite intense.

Having the horse at home does really make a big difference, though. I used to have to rush out to the stable between school and rehearsals and I never got home until late at night. Now, it's an easy commute home--only about 6 miles--from school to feed the Boys and then back for the reahearsal. Once I'm home again, I have the satisfaction and comfort of being able to go out to check on them or do any little chores any time I want.

Hope to ride. Looks like the weather will clear up by early afternoon.

Monday, October 06, 2008

No Ride Today

Monday Off

And a physical therapy/chiropractic appointment. So, I got home later than usual.

Toby was content as Tucker was hanging out right at his door.

No word from my shoer, but that's usual. He often calls the morning someone is coming. Still, it's frustrating as I feel so sorry for Toby.

My cold is still hanging on. I am on the verge again of losing my voice. Kind of hard to teach effectively using sign language. *G* Still, I just march along.

Still need to go out to soak Toby's foot and clean his stall. Better do it before I get too settled and content in here.

I did not soak Toby's foot, but just rewrapped it with the medication. With the bandage he was hardly limping on it. Still waiting for a call from my farrier.

I put Tucker on the cross ties in the aisle while I worked on Toby as it kept him calm. Tucker was very gracious about it so he got a big carrot treat.

Toby is hardly eating. I hope to entice him with a small bran mash at late feed. He is eating hay and drinking some water, so that's good. But he is such a worrier. It is really sad seeing him so upset. Even my hugs don't seem to help.

If my farrier does not come tomorrow, when I get home from school I will see if one of the hoof boots I have will stay on and let him go out for a while. I just can't risk his damaging his foot to the point of developing and abscess or bad bruise.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Made It Through the Day

Nice Weather Again

When I went out to feed this morning, Toby was limping really badly. When I got him in the barn, I saw he had lost that front shoe again. I had to lock him in the stall for the morning while I went to church. This is getting frustrating.

I did manage to sing in church this morning, though it was a little dicey. I really had to concentrate on my vocal technique to get my voice to work. The high notes were fine, but my lower register required some careful thought, breath control, and focus to get the notes out right. Fortunately the anthem was not vocally difficult, and stayed essentially within a comfortable range of notes. Whew!!

I was going to go out with the choir gang for lunch, but when I got into my car, I realized I'd left my wallet in the truck after I'd gone for alfalfa cubes yesterday. Not having any money was not the problem, but driving without my driver's license was. I opted to go home instead and had more of my chicken soup. Would have been nice to go out to eat, but...oh, well.

After lunch, I suddenly felt really tired. Might have been the cold medication. I lay down and took a nap.

When I woke up, the kitties were telling me it was time for them to eat. I fed them, and headed out to the Boys.

I saddled up Tucker for a short school. Three cheers!! He gave me the right lead with a minimum of fuss after I corrected him for a bit of a threatening kick out. Once he knew I was determined, he took the lead and cantered on just fine. I didn't demand much more than forward and on the bit. The left lead was fine too. I did several sessions of trot work and finished up with two figure eights at the canter, trotting on the center line to change the lead.

Now I am mindful that Tucker is on two grams of bute at day right now, so that is contributing to easing his hock issues. He will get his third injection of Adequan a bit later tonight. I will taper off the Bute in another day or so, down to once a day. Hopefully, the Adequan will have started to do its job by then. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

After I rode Tucker, I saddled up Chance. I planned on riding the property to see if I could find Toby's missing shoe. I started to head out and suddenly, Tucker whinnied and started galloping straight towards us. I bailed off Chance, and once safely on the ground, led both horses back into the barn and locked Tucker in his stall. Then I tried again.

Chance did not want to walk the pasture without a lot of persuasion. Then I realized there were all kinds of flying insects teeming up out of the grass. They were either gnats or mosquitoes and Chance was very upset about them. At least that explains why neither he nor Tucker were out grazing.

I finally ended up riding him in the arena. Accomplishments?? He put his head down in the canter on both leads!!! This was a major break through. He relaxed into both leads and started reaching down to the bit. Fantastic. We're still not solid about it, but the improvement is obvious.

After I finished up with Chance, I soaked Toby's foot, gave his stall a good cleaning, and then wrapped his hoof with icthamol, vetwrap and duct tape. Hope it stays on this time. I can't feel any heat or a significant pulse in his foot, but he is quite sore without his shoe.

Don't know what's going on with the shoeing situation. Toby rarely, if ever loses shoes.

Hope we get it sorted out and he is OK.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Feeling Crummy

It's a Beautiful Day, Too

Frankly, I don't feel very well. The stuffy head, sniffles, and cough have worn me out. I had to go to the chiropractor early this afternoon as well since I was on the brink of a "neck out" headache and had to go back to bed after I'd fed the Boys and the kitties.

Stopped on the way home to get some broth and stuff to make chicken soup.

Then I had to go get alfalfa cubes for the Boys, and unload them.

By then, it was feeding time. I thought I'd feed the Boys and go back out to ride. But I came back inside, cooked up a nice pot of chicken soup and kind of crashed.

Guess I just need to rest.

Did go to the performance last night. It was a dance/theater production based loosely on Hoffman's short story, The Sandman. I had to read the story when I got home as I had only a passing familiarity with it. Once I did, the theater piece made much more sense.

However, the theater teacher whose professional company had created the piece, really wants my imput as it is still in workshop and they have hopes of getting it to New York eventually.

There were some brilliant elements including a combination of filmed performances interacting with a live actor. And some very talented dancers telling another part of the piece. What I am not sure of is whether it managed to communicate a very important part of the tale to the audience, and whether the audience would have to know the original short story in order to appreciate the stage interpretation.

When I have written for stage in the past, I always had to wrestle with just how much I needed to explain to my audience in order to tell the story I wanted to tell them. Sometimes being too subtle and indirect does not work.

This is not what I would call a "commercial" piece--something created for the general audience--but rather something that would appeal in an arts theater setting where people appreciate the more avant garde. I guess I will have to talk to the author (the teacher's husband) to find out just what kind of audience he wants to appeal to. It is a very interesting and complex issue to hash out.

I am flattered that my opinion is valued here. I hope I can contribute something to the whole process. It's definitely going to get my brain working.

Don't know what tomorrow will bring. I will give Tucker his bute in the morning and hopefully ride him a little after church. The weather is perfect, cool, crisp and wonderful. Wish I felt better.

Hey, my soup is pretty good!! I'm getting the hang of this cooking thing. *G*

Friday, October 03, 2008

Not In The Saddle Tonight

Decisions, Decisions

When I came home, the guy from the solar energy company was here to look over some of my wiring panels in preparation for intstalling my solar energy system.

He'd already introduced himself to the Boys, who were, apparently quite happy to entertain him in hopes of getting a treat. He didn't give them anything, but that didn't stop them from trying to convince him he was "Their best friend."

As it turned out, it took us a lot longer to figure out the details of both the installation and the financing. It's gotten kind of complicated, but it will all work out eventually. I really do believe installing the system is the right thing to do, but for now it will be costing me some extra money until I can pay off the loan.

The whole process took up the time I'd normally use for riding. I could be riding now, but I am going to go back to school shortly for a theater performance, so the time is too tight.

That means the Boys have the night off...again.

So the horse blog continues to be riderless, though not quite horseless.

By the way, the solar panels are going on top of the barn. I'm sure the Boys will appreciate that. Should be fun watching them watching the installers installing.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Well, Better, Anyhow

Rode Tucker for short schooling session. I had given him a gram of bute in the morning.

He was, however, being a little bit more nasty about my leg on him even as I was trotting. Pain or not, there really wasn't an excuse for kicking out even when I was trying to use my leg to turn him.

"Shades of Caroline," I hopped off and gave him a talking to on the ground with a few taps of my whip and a verbal thrashing about how that was not acceptable. (Mind you, the kick outs were just short of a pretty good buck.)

He was rather surprised by the lecture and changed his whole attitude when I got back on. The trot attitude improved. Then I asked for left lead canter. He was pretty cooperative so I tried the cross the diagonal, change leads tactic and sure enough, got the right lead. I kept him on it for a reasonable amount of time, brought him back to the trot and asked for one more canter depart. When he responded reasonably well, I went back on the left rein and repeated the exercises.

Interestingly enough, Tucker was perfectly willing to half pass at the trot both right and left with no real issues.

Some of his nastiness is caused by pain, but there is also the "I'm just gonna get away with something and bully you," attitude he's always had. I am walking a fine line between pushing him too hard if his hocks hurt, and demanding the respect from him I am trying to offer in return. "OK, your hock hurts. Just tell me. Don't shout at me and don't threaten to hurt me because of it."

Chance was a temperament relief.

On the other hand, he is still a challenge to get down and round. While the trot is so much better, he is still stiff to the right, and hollow to the left. I have to work the right rein constantly and never do quite get him to step into the left hand. It will come, as it has with every horse I have trained, but in the meantime, it's hard work trying to fix it.

But he is very willing to work and takes both leads with ease. The left lead is more balanced and he will drop his head a little into it. The right lead is more of a challenge and he still uses his head for balance. We'll get there. It just takes time.

I lunged Toby for about a minute. He is still definitely sore on his front foot where he lost the shoe. His lameness is slight and only when he's going to the left, when that foot is on the inside. He stepped on the toe clip with the outside of the left front, so it makes sense that when he is circling left the outside of his left foot is taking most of the impact. This was identical to how Tucker reacted after he stepped on his shoe. As long as the lameness progresses as it is now, we should be fine. But it's going to take a few more days.

I did a little mane trimming/pulling on everyone, so now they don't quite look like field orphans.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

And We're All Wet

Or At Least Two of Us Are

The alarm guy was a bit late because he got stuck in some road construction traffic. That was fine as it gave me time to finish straightening up the kitchen.

It did not take him all day to install the new panel, but it did take several hours. That too was fine. While he was waiting for the central office to do some remote programming, we had a nice chat or two.

I also got to hear some political speeches on TV given in the "heat" of the financial disaster on Wall Street. I cheered on Barack Obama at one point when he spoke about education funding. He noted we needed to pay teachers more and stop the "teaching to the test" that's gone on since President Bush's "No Child Left Behind," program forced each State to require a graduation test for students. What has happened is that rather than exploring the vast world of knowledge, teachers have indeed been forced to teach kids to pass the test. Then, he added, that we needed to teach kids the arts. Yippee!! Music, theater, dance, fine art....YES!!

OK, so much for politics.

After the alarm guy left, I invented a recipe for chicken with cashews...turned out pretty tasty, and then headed out to horse around.

It was nearly feed time, so the Boys were by the barn and Tucker was happy enough to put his head in the halter. I gave him his Adequan shot--I think I am one day late--and saddled him up. His trot word felt awesome. Nice and forward, nice and even. I didn't collect him up too much, but he did feel great. Then I asked for right lead canter. Ears back, bucky, twisty, balky. I let it pass. I reversed, did a bit more trot and asked for left lead canter. Ears back, canter. I didn't push for too much but he was willing to go for me. Tried crossing the diagonal to switch leads...ears back, bucky, kicky, balky, no canter. Obviously, one hock hurts more than the other, most likely the left one.

My vet said it would take a week or so on the Adequan and I had not given him any bute. I will give him some bute tomorrow morning and see how he is in the afternoon.

Then I haltered Chance and brought him in. I spent a little time using the solo comb to shorten and thin his mane. About two minutes after I started, thunder began to rumble off in the west. Usually what happens is that I hear the thunder in that direction, then the storm circles round, there is about a half hour break and it starts in again close by.

I hurried and saddled Chance up, headed out, and it started to rain. Not heavy, but wet, as rain often is. *G* No thunder, so I mounted up and gave him about a 20 minute workout, concentrating on trying to get him laterally supple and round. The canter was a little sticky as he kept trying to break every time we crossed the little mud puddle on the side, but otherwise it was a pretty good ride.

Finished up and brought him in just as the thunder began to roar overhead. We were both a bit soggy, but at least we accomplished something.

Then I backed the truck up to the barn and unloaded the 11 bags of feed I bought on Sunday but didn't feel well enough to unload then. I fed the Boys, carted the garbage and recyclables out to the road for pick up tomorrow and here I am.

How come when you are wet a nice shower feels so good? I would think getting more wet would not be refreshing, but it is.

So I am clean and sitting here. Just in case you wondered. *lol*