I'm glad the title of this journal is rather open-ended [thanks Caroline!! Haha] because it's basically just devolving into general stories about my life...
On the horse front, Lacey's starting to get cranky about all this Bute in her system. I had forgotten that she gets like this...but NOW I remember! Haha After about 5 days on Bute, she starts getting really short-tempered and fussy about everyyyyything.
I have to wonder if maybe it makes her tummy not feel good or something because she doesn't just get cranky...
Anyway, her eyes looked super good tonight [I've been triple dosing her MSM - double dose is the "eyeball dose" and triple is "A++ eyeball dose"] so I didn't give her any Bute tonight. I'll start her on DC-Y tomorrow for pain, the 'natural' stuff doesn't make her cranky like Bute does. Thank goodness! Haha
Poor baby. :(
Her eyes are looking really pretty good, on the plus side! Still obviously "recovering" and are therefore a LOT more sensitive to everything but they're looking much better, all things considered.
I don't know what I would do without this horse. She really is one in a million.
And to think that I almost didn't "choose" her, 5 years ago, because I thought we didn't 'click'. HAH!!
Also, I realized the other day that that song from Pocahontas, the one about all the colors of the wind, most people identify with that song half ironically..............and that song is basically my life. Awkward.
In unicorn news, I was watching Project Runway the other day and the most annoying contestant, who got voted off, thank GOODNESS, was pretty convinced that unicorns have cloven hooves. Does this mean I have TWO unicorns? Lacey AND Hazel???! YES PLEASE.
Work news - nothing to report. Oh! Except that on the horse hoofcare front, I braved talking to my boss about the horses hooves and she's totally open to trying a new farrier for them. I figured out a non-judgmental way to describe how I felt about their current shoe jobs: "I don't feel like you're getting the work your money is paying for." My boss apparently already had concerns herself about their farriery and I was able to suggest Lacey's previous farrier who really did a pretty good job [I just started doing Lacey's myself because I have overly high standards - better that I don't live p to my own standards than someone else, you know?...that hoof trimmer would be perfectly acceptable, and MUCH better than the current trimmer, for the therapy horses]. Anyway, that's really great.
I hate seeing such bad farriery and I feel bad for the horses, walking around all day on hooves like they have...you know? It's one thing if they were just sort of bad...but they aren't anywhere near "sort of bad", unfortunately.
Ugh, I am SUCH a hoof snob! I try to keep it in, I really really do!! That's one of my pet peeves about myself, I really can come off like a huge snob. Or, at least, I think I can come off like a huge snob.
Certain people, like Gentleman Friend, claim that there is no way on this earth that I could seem snobby.............but I live with myself. He does not.
Anyway, super excited that we might be able to get these horses into some better hoof management!
Oh, other hilarious story. Well, hilarious. You know.
So, there's a 17 year old, just turned 18 year old, that I work with every Tuesday. He, from day one, has basically been creeping. He's super nice, in a "haha, he's my brother!"-way but SO 17 and basically the opposite of EVERYTHING I would ever be attracted to.
But anyway, he just turned 18 and now he's thinking that he has some kind of chance with this action because he's legal.
[for the record, I'm almost 23]
Anyway, I'm trying to think of it as being really funny because otherwise I'd be really freaked out.
He keeps asking me "what I'm attracted to in a man" and weird junk like that. Luckily, everything that is attractive to me is the opposite of what he is. Of course, that's not deterring him at all.
I think part of the problem is that I'm kind of a flirty person...like I act really familiar with everyone as a defense mechanism, basically. Otherwise I'm super socially awkward. Both ends of the spectrum, no middle ground. Haha
Unless I know you super well, then I can be pretty normal. But even normal is "flirty".
AND I'm one of those "say mean things and laugh in a positive way" people which digs me an even deeper hole. Ahhhhhhhhhh!
This poor kid. I keep being all like "yeah, in 2 months I'll basically be your sister!" and stuff but he's just goin' on past that. I've even told him about Gentleman Friend!!!!! And I made Gentleman Friend sound basically like my boyfriend. HAH. Not phasing him in the least.
MY LIFE. Can't get the boy I want to be in love with me to be in love with me, can't get the creep to stop creeping.
On a happier note: GENTLEMAN FRIEND. Well, happier. I don't know.
I'm mildly confused again.
1. On Sunday, I had texted him Saturday night around 10:30 and he had apparently already gone to sleep - I wake up to a text from him at 6:30am. Later on Sunday, during our time, he mentions that he work up at 6:30 = texted me as soon as he woke up? Adorable.
2. He was telling me about he was SUPER tired while we were having our time on Sunday so maybe that was just it...because he seemed less jazzed than usual. But really, he told me a bunch of times that he was tired and he did give me THREE hugs in the span of about 15 minutes...AND he did the whole "well, I better leave...go back to the kids" thing...then stuck around for at least 5 more minutes. SO I think I really need to just stop worrying about it.
3. Have I mentioned that he has the most perfect smile I have ever seen? Well, he really does. This has no bearing on anything, but it is true. The most perfect teeth and the most perfect smile. Like movie stars and Ryan Gosling included.
4. I'm really nervous because in 2 weeks he's going with his female "one of his closest friends" to see their mutual best friend [a guy] who's going to grad school in Virginia. They've been friends for years but still. It freaks me out a litttttle bit. The fact that he has a female "really close friend" freaks me out a little bit but really, if Mr. GMan has feelings towards me, he's not going to get into anything with Lady-Friend. He's the most loyal person evvvvvvvvvvver, AND I don't think he would be increasing our friendship levels if he was just planning to switch her into the girlfriend spot and me into the "closest girl friend" spot..or something.
But. You know me. Captain of Overthinkers Anonymous!!
I'm hoping I might be able to ask him about it next Sunday, in an innocuous way. Like he said before "if it's bothering you, you deserve to be heard out". I need to talk to him about this stuff, or deal with it some other way, instead of just letting it fester inside.
He deserves better than me thinking he's less than he is. He's really one of the best people I've ever known and I need to assume that he's going to function on that level...not suddenly hop way way way down to dirt-bag level in a single leap!!
In any case, I think things are going well. Last night when I texted him and today, both times he offered information about himself within a response to a statement/question I made. He's not a huuuuge fan of texting so the fact that he's "talking" is kinda good, I think!
And he NEVER talks about other girls [except for the "old ladies"...but that;s different! Haha] when we're together. Even the "one of his closest friends" girl. I've read that that's a pretty excellent sign. Especially from a guy who's mostly friends with girls [but who can blame them, he's kinda a hotttttie. Just saying. ]!! Haha
I am SUCH a high maintenance girl. OH. MY. GOSH.
I am so tired. I should go involve my bed, and sleep, in my life.
Anyway, that's 'the news'. So fascinating.
I hope you all are doing fantastically!! <3
[and I'm seriously sorry for the lack of pictures....make it up to you tomorrow or Wednesday?]
I had to quote this entire thing because it was so funny Emily.
You're fabulous, darling. Especially the whole "He';s a hotttttttttie" thing.. LOL. I can just imagine you doing something regular such as cleaning stalls and nearly falling over thinking about him.
But she's right. I was trying to think of how to describe it.
Basically its like I (and 90%) of the population go about our days with a kindergardeners mind set...where you and like 10% of the rest of the population go about with a professor with 20 degrees. Thinking of every little detail hahahaha
Oh and don't worry. My thread title for mine is horses horses and more horses.....and I hardly ever talk about my horses o.o
So cute. You have a little puppy dog follower.
Just Be careful. When we get these young bucks clinging and they finally figure out they have no chance their worlds get crushed. Like forever haha. So let him down easy...but forcefully if he's to much of a tick
You've seen pictures of him, Maggie, you know it's true!!
But really. I do sort of fall over inside when I think that THAT face is attached to the person I really like the inside of. Like seriously. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN. Hahaha
Since most of our talking is texting, it's easy to half forget what he looks like...and then I see him and I'm like "Wait. WHAT????! Last time I checked, guys that look like THAT don't talk to ME!" But I suppose that's ok on a "not being dazzled by external things" level. Because good looks don't last forever, a personality does!
Glad I could give you a chuckle. :)
Haha, yep, RC! That's me. Nothing is "just" anything. Evvvvverything is examined. It's a blessing and a curse.
I've never had a little follower before, that I knew about. Well, I know guys, I'm not interested in, have had little crushes on me before but never so blatantly! My goodness. #creeeeeeepy
But yeah. I'm trying really really hard to be friendly, since I have to work with him, but send every "NOT INTERESTED!!!!" vibe I can muster.
One of my coworkers found this......Guess I have to stop smack-talking work! Nah, no smack talk here!! What a small world! Haha Hi Mckenzie!!
Oh yes, Miss Lacey made the switch to DC-Y today and she's doing A LOT better, attitude-wise. We slid back a little with the eyeball swelling, but that's to be expected. I'll probably give her a bigger dose of DC-Y tomorrow since I gave her a sort of small one today...wanted to start small and increase if needed.
Pictures! Just a few. :)
Lacey and her "baby". "Baby" did not want his picture taken.
You are not alone, in that case!! Haha, I forget ALLLLLLLLL the time that she basically is. She still has a teensy teensy amount of vision, but not a lot. Of course, I did go nearly 4 years without ever guessing! Haha
The weirdest thing is riding a "normal" horse....I forget just how much I watch out for her+pick her footing+just don't do things I might with a seeing horse! And then I get on a horse like Fabs and find that I'm actually rather nervous because he doesn't "need" me as much...it's so weird. Lacey and I are like those sets of twins you sometimes hear about who've invented an entire language just for themselves...we don't even need to try to understand each other anymore! <3
But yeah, I forget that she's blind allllll the time. In daily life she doesn't move like a "normal" horse and she doesn't really do anything like a "normal" horse...I'm just used to it, I guess! Haha I think that I would probably be able to guess that she was blind if I didn't know her and knew about blind horses, but otherwise... She's high functioning!
So guys. Tried my saddle on Fabs and guess what?
.......it fits him perfectly. Like it can't fit any better.
And he is SUCH a dream to work with. The other horses will be screaming up a storm for him to come back and he's perfectly happy just coming with me and totally ignoring them. I'm sosososos impressed. This is a horse that hasn't been asked to leave "the herd" since he arrived in January, literally NO work has been done in the context of herdboundness. If anything, herdboundness is nearly encouraged because the horses are NEVER left by themselves anywhere.
Of course, tie him up and leave him by himself=he doesn't appreciate that. But taking him off alone=absolutely no problem.
I SO wish I had the $$ for two horses. I'll keep working with him and maybe in a year or so.
Because really. He's pretty much exactly the horse I've been looking for to 'replace' Lacey with. Not that she's replaceable, at all, ever, but that I have a very specific personality type that I want to deal with and he's it. One day!
But even if that's not where this is going, I have confirmation that Lacey is not the only horse ever like herself. Not the only horse that wants to go all day and never come home, not the only one that enjoys working and enjoys spending time with "her person" at the expense of spending time with another horse, and not the only horse that I can 'connect' with. <3 Love love love.
[also, weird story, dunno if I told you guys this: Fabio was the name of the horse Gentleman Friend ALWAYS rode at camp -and he rode alllll the time-. That's where Fabs came from - he shortened Fabio to Fabs and now it's a 'thing'. Gentleman Friend LOVED Fabs.
How is Fabio such a common name?? Well, I guess I named Fabio#1 Fabio...it just came to me when he arrived at camp in 2007...but Fabio#2?? Looooove it.]
Anyway, so I took my saddle to work today, it fit the boy PERFECTLY. He's so much taller than Lacey and so much narrower! I don't even understand! I had to shorten up my breastcollar TWO full holes, on both sides, before it was right for him. It is a "full" sized breastcollar...but still. He's at least 15hh, probably over, and Lacey is ONLY 14.1hh!
My saddle is even a little narrow for Lacey, but Fabs=perfection. And he's the one that's obese! How does that work? Hahahahahahaha
Anyway, first I lunged him at all gaits, then rode him a little. He really seems to enjoy lunging and it really seems to 'settle' him so I've been doing about 15 minutes of lunging everyday. We go out in the pasture, kick all the other horses inside, and get our lunge on. He likes the big circles outside - not a fan of indoors, this boy [can't say I blame him, he was MADE for the trails...he exudes "take me on a trail ride!!"].
We started out inside the barn - terrifying, the ceiling feels REALLY low. I worked on using my leg while cueing him with the rein. I figured it out - leg has absolutely zero meaning to him except "go!" So I'm starting from step 1: leg means turn, and, in conjunction with other cues, go.
Looking at it from that perspective, his attitude about leg makes a lot of sense - if he was ridden a lot by "kick to go" riders and associates leg with pain...heck, I'd pin my ears too!!
We also did a little tiny bit of trotting - still super smooth!
Anyway, after all that, we walked through the parking lot without me even holding on to him in any way!! He go nervous about a few things but controlled his own pace and stayed with me [I was right there next to him, just trying to get him ok with 'stuff' - he's starting to really rely on me for comfort, which is good...but I won't always be there. The fact that he can deal with "scary" stuff without being coddled along is a good experience.]
He's doing great. I'm so impressed.
I think my boss thinks I'm some kind of horse whisperer. Nope, just one girl who's come out the other side of anxiety, but still falls down allll the time, and understands how to communicate to another anxiety-ridden being!
So cute. :)
"no!! Why meeeeee???!"
And this morning. Atti doesn't want to be forgotten.
I'm currently in the midst of teaching him to wave "bye-bye" with a front hoof when you wave and say "bye-bye" to him. He's figuring it out!
In other news, you guys would be so proud. Maybe.
This morning, Gentleman Friend texted me to tell me about how one of the ladies he works with is "making" him borrow 3 Johnny Depp movies because she has a huge crush on Johnny Depp. I told him that that sounded wonderful and that I "wanted in on that action".
And he said that he would "let me know when he was going to watch them"......
*collective "ooooooooooh" here*
So I feel like that's probably pretty good for a response, considering that he just ignores statements that make him uncomfortable/he doesn't want anything to do with.
I figured that could be an "in" to doing something together sometime, outside of church. We shall see!! And not super confrontational either. I often forget that he's super introverted.
We're both super introverted, actually...we both just have the people "knack". We know how to talk to people and we know how to talk to people, even if we're ridiculously uncomfortable inside! Haha
Anyway, introverts need space and nonconfrontational meetings = in progress.
And since we've been making a point of seeing each other 1:1 every Sunday for the last....two months = doing pretty great!
And I'm pretty sure there was more I meant to tell you guys...but I've forgotten. I may be back. ;)
I hope you all are doing super fantastically great!!
RC, I HOPE your dad isn't a horse!!
Thanks about my 'slick' move! It was a proud moment when I thought of that one! Hahaha Poor Gman, he has no idea.
Waving Atti video = 100000000% going to happen once he gets it down!! He'll do it pretty reliably while he's tied up, just need to transfer that into "normal" life.
Caroline, you may certainly come! We can have a JD party! :)
I worked 9 hours today so this is, again, going to be mostly Fabs and not so much Lacey Girl.
However, I DID hop on Lacey last night and take her for a spin around the pasture. It was a good thing I did too - the increased lack of sight is REALLY obvious turning right, right now. Poor dear! She got over it relatively quickly but she definitely needed a little 'help' getting there. She's SO good though. Man, I love that horse.
She really liked being ridden. She was NOT happy when I took my saddle yesterday and didn't take her too!
Today I did a lot more work with Mr. Fabs. Two volunteers took him for a ride yesterday and he apparently was "not great" [refusing to move forward, backing up to avoid going somewhere, the usual] so the end goal for today was taking him on a short ride to the area where he had acted up yesterday, and making sure he had a well behaved experience.
First I lunged him for a bit in the morning. That's kind of a daily thing now, it seems to get his head in the "game" and basically takes the edge off. I mean, who can blame him. He's a 9 year old Arab stuck in a pasture full of dead-headed QH's and draft crosses! Haha
Not to mention that he REALLY seems to enjoy lunging - Lacey loves it too, I guess it plays to their desire for showing off!
During said lunge session, he bucked his way into the canter and got a back leg over the lunge line in his antics. Obviously, that was the scariest thing that has EVER happened in his ENTIRE life.
It was interesting to watch him deal with it - first he started galloping off, with the lunge line still around his leg, then -when the lunge line "didn't let go"- he came back to me and started trotting a circle around me. When I said "HO!" he actually stopped close to me, though he was still extremely worried, and I was able to get him untangled.
Then, of course, we spent probably 15 minutes reviewing our "leading by the legs" [wrapping the lunge line around a front leg, then using pressure+release to "lead" him] and having the rope touch him everywhere on his back legs.
ALL of that seemed to be news to him.
He caught on REALLY fast to being led by his legs, however! I was really impressed. And he calmed down fast with the rope on his hind legs as well.
Interesting how things I think of as "basics" - like having a rope touch everywhere, desensitization to whips and 'sticks', yeilding to pressure, etc - don't seem to be the "basics" here.
Anyway = HUGE holes in this guys training. Fixn' it, oh yeah.
Then, after that, I took him in the backyard where sessions have been taking place lately, and had him stand while I threw frisbees all around him. He did SUPER well with that.
A few weeks ago that literally caused a meltdown so I'd say we're getting somewhere! Of course, it'll be different when he's moving and is actually doing a session, but he WAS able to stand still and deal with it, when his defense is very solidly in the "flight" category....so I'll take it!
He seems to grow more confident the more I have him stay in one spot, unattached to me, and then I do "crazy" stuff to him. He really relies on me when I'm holding on to him and ideally I'd like for him to grow more confident in his own self and in his surroundings, me or not.
After that, we had 4 more kids sessions [2 hrs] with Buddy and Skippy so I tied Fabs out and braided 2 hula hoops into his mane. He has a few really touchy spots on the crest of his neck so I placed one hoop in that area and one lower down on his neck for "feel". He had hay in front of him, on the ground, so the hoops were moving all over and he HAD to deal with it if he wanted food [plus positive reinforcement FOR dealing with it = food!]. By the end of the sessions, when I went to get him, guess who didn't blink an eye when I pulled the hula hoops back over his head, then put them back, and pulled them off again?
He thought he was dying when I put them on initially! Haha
The hula hoops don't usually end up being "worn" by the horses but this was more of a desensitizing/life skills issue than anything.
Then we went on a ride. A short ride, but effective. He "doesn't" lead on rides...and as you know, telling me that something "doesn't" or "can't" happen is an EXCELLENT way to make sure that it can and will happen.
So he led for a whole lot of the ride. He did a couple "I WILL buck if you don't stop making me do this" back-humps+ear pinning.....but guess who;s used to a much smaller and much cattier horse doing the same thing? Hardyharhar. That'd be me.
So his rather uncatty maneuvers didn't phase me too much - a little nervous at first, but then I realized that he wasn't actually following through on anything!! [so funny, Lacey is so much wider and chunkier than he is...but she's also a lot faster on her feet. Fabs seems to be one where you can feel it coming for miles, thank GOODNESS.]
And after his first few "I don't wanna"'s he really came around quite quickly and seemed to enjoy himself. Just riding around the pasture was nothing, he seemed rather bored in there [I don't blame him, I'm a trail girl too - arena stuff, just running around.....ehhhhhhhh. Gimme some obstacles or some hills, or something! Haha]. He was even fine when I told the girl riding with us that she could go do her thing on Buddy.
She trotted away from us and Fabs stayed mentally with me the whole time. He was a little "oh, where are you going?" but in a very respectful way.
There are definitely "issues" of barnsour-ness but he didn't try anything more than just half trotting if I tensed up at all. As long as I stayed pretty relaxed, he generally kept up a fast walk. He really wanted to run and I really wanted to try out his canter, but I could just feel that I don't have enough undersaddle respect yet. Maybe in a few weeks.
He does have a GREAT "whoa"!! Even when he was getting rather excited, I could sit deep and ask him to whoa, AND then get a really solid-solid stop that continued until I said he could move along.
I'd like to try him in a bit. They use a leather sidepull, covered in a fluffy cover, on him which is fine for just around the barn riding, but it's only just barely enough for "mildly excited". I might dig out the rope sidepull I got for Lacey a while ago and never use. It's rope and has a few knots, but is still REALLY gentle.
That might be all he needs. He is very sensitive so I don't want to scare him into behaving! That never works. Haha And I don't know when the last time his teeth were done - if it wasn't recently, a bit might cause more issues.
Also, interesting thing, he shakes his body whenever he gets nervous. It's his "tell", I suppose! He shakes his head when he's mildly nervous and progresses up to a full body shake when he's really nervous! Silly boy.
Though I really like that he's releasing the stress instead of holding it in. And I like that he does have a 'tell'!
We'll have to see if that disappears as he adjusts into his "new" life of work!
I just started her on Remission and I think I'm already seeing improvement, but this is our "4 days on Remission" picture.
She is so oddly built. I just love it. Such a butt-high cutie! She is 14.3 in back and 14hh in front....well played, Lacey.
[and in case anyone couldn't tell, Wallaby LOVES herself a manageable training project!! Haha When I was little and taking lessons, my mom used to tell my instructors to give me the "hardest" horse because that was the only way I'd really learn anything. Hahahahahahaha!]