James cannot comprehend why it is that I can work all day and yet get nothing done. Today I had a classic example of why this is. I was out in the barn sometime early afternoon getting ready to get on another horse, and I hear JJ calling, "Help! Help!" So I go out behind the barn to see him stuck about halfway down his slide. As I walk closer I realize that he had attached the hook end of a bungee cord to the back of his underwear elastic and the opposite end somewhere to his play house, so when he slid down, about halfway the bungee cord was taut, giving him a monster wedgie and leaving him, well, stuck. So I had to detach the bungee from his underwear and his underwear from his butt crack, the whole time asking myself, "Why? Why?"
This is precisely the reason I work all day and get nothing done.
Between the accidents in the pants, answering the thousands of "why?" questions, (most of which are irrelevant to the tasks at hand) cleaning up spilled juice from the kitchen floor and having to mop it twice (the first time was before the juice spilled) to the emergency situations of having mud inside his shoes, (Lord have mercy, there is MUD inside his shoes! Imagine that!) or just the random boo-boos that just happen all at the most inconvenient times, a woman just can't get anything else done. So yes, I feel a little bit of resentment towards the hubs when he complains about how mind-numbing his day job is. He has no idea how a little bit of "mind-numbness" in my daily life would be welcome. And then when I come home from the gym late in the evening to find them both sitting on their butts in front of a movie, child unbathed, neither of them fed, as if nothing can get done around the house unless *I* am there to do it. Right.
Oh, and my washing machine literally went up in smoke this morning. Now we have that to get fixed.
So back to my day. It wasn't all spinning my wheels. That's just what happens most of the time.
I rode Drama first and had an excellent ride. Mostly the same as yesterday with a better canter and better stretch through the topline at all gaits. Magdalene came out with Frosty and I traded Drama out for Big Bird, who, was being as cute as can be today and a complete show-off. I have this thing with him, where I say, "Wanna go trot?" and as soon as he hears the "trot" he bounces right up into it, no leg or other aids given. I showed Rhonda how he listens for that word and he took right off. Then before I knew it he was up into the canter, right lead. I let him bounce around the arena in a big, frisky canter, I could tell he was feeling his oats and just wanted some self-expression time. Then when we came down from the canter he gave me a humongous trot like he had a couple of days ago, and instead of trying to reel him back in I just let him fly around with these gigantic strides, I could see his front hooves extending waaay out in front of his shoulders. Then we went up into the canter, left lead, for a few big circles, again, him shaking his head and exulting in the spunk he was feeling. And then another humongous trot. I thought to myself, "tell me this horse doesn't want to do Dressage!" with that freaking huge extended trot. Of course it needs a lot of cleaning up, but none of my other horses just float across the ground like that for the heck of it! He was really having fun, and I love to see him exploring his talents, even as rough-around-the-edges as they are.
And then when it was all done, he went back to the walk, snorted and put his head down to the ground and completely relaxed again. Magdalene took Frosty out of the arena and he got a little worked up over that, but we trotted a few circles, and when he gave me something good and brought his focus back to his work rather than on the fact that he was alone in the arena, then we walked out and went on a short cool-down walk through the cow pasture.
I had lessons with Ansley and Magdalene today, Ansley is working with Starbucks to improve his canter departs and to nail down his leads (which are about 8 out of 10 times correct) and Magdalene took Gallery over a crossrail a few times to work on her position over the fence. She has an IEA show this weekend where they are judged solely on equitation, on the flat, and over fences. She also took the crossrail also a few times without stirrups. I noticed that when I had pulled her stirrups, when she asked for Gallery to go up into a canter from the walk, that not only was Gallery's canter depart quite clean and prompt, but Gallery almost had an expression of surprise because Magdalene was using much more contact through her legs than normal, because of being stirrup-less. Gallery hasn't necessarily been taught how to depart to the canter from the walk, but when asked, she will tend to dribble through the quick trot. I mentioned that to her afterwards, that the stirrups often allow Magdalene to "cheat" in a sense and not use her aids to create the clean and prompt transitions. We are working on helping her to learn how to ride her aids effectively through all the way and not just to add them here and there. Having your aids "there" cleans up a lot of things for the horse, their balance and regularity of gaits, clean transitions, etc. This was a perfect example.
I did not get a ride on Sammy, even though I had him tacked up and everything, because I had to hook up the truck and trailer to meet James so that he could leave right from work to get to the Hay Depot before they closed at 5:30. JJ went with him so I went ahead and went straight to the gym to swim. I barely got in 2/3 of a mile before I noticed the pool area was filling up with old people and a radio was playing. Figures I would get there just in time to get kicked out for the water aerobics class... here I thought I was finally getting ahead of schedule and getting my workout done early!
Nevertheless I went home and cleaned the house, made dinner, folded laundry, gave JJ a bath... it's almost 10 and I have more to do, but I am determined to get to bed early tonight because I have another long day tomorrow. :)