Paying for college sounds awful nice. I doubt I would make enough money off a book just to break even on the price of getting an e-book published... But I'm honestly starting to think writing a book would just be a neat little thing to do. There is a lot of material hanging around in three years worth of journals. Maybe I could take some creative writing courses. I've been looking for something fun to minor in.
Shoal Creek wasn't as clean a get-away as I hoped, but it certainly wasn't something to be ashamed of. I came out a lot better than some people.
By some miracle, I arrived at Hatchet Valley Farms at 4:00 pm on Friday. I vetted in, narrowly avoided the dreaded Saturday morning vet in. (Our vet in, by the way, was flawless.)
Sarah promised that this would be "the easiest Rockford ever." Due to short notice, we would be riding the "day rider trails." 25 miles a day for two days.
I don't know if anyone remembers my journal entry about last year's Rockford. It was BG's first ride back after her near death PSSM experience, and nobody thought we'd be back in the game again. We proved them wrong. Completed the hardest CTR east of the Mississippi River and swore I would think twice about Rockford from then on.
Well, Sarah had me and a lot of people fooled with her assertion that this ride would be easy. I came in prepared for trail similar in difficulty to Uwharrie or a particularly hot Virginia Highlands.
This. I would have rather done 100 miles at Uwharrie than the killer 50 I endured at Rockford.
First, it was not 50 miles. Emily GPS'ed the trail. We did a total of 64 miles.
Second, our pace was ridiculous. They told us to stay in our 30 minute window, which was perfectly possible the first half of the ride. Then you hit the hard trails and those extra miles that weren't suppose to be there. You went from being on mid-time to being 20 minutes behind.
Third, it was hot. Nothing hurts a distance horse (especially a non-Arab) like the heat. Once you get the internal body temperature up, you're screwed. You won't pulse down and you're out of the game. One horse overheated within the first two hours and was pulled.
These three factors in mind, Baby Girl and I toiled through the mountains. And my God in heaven was Baby Girl fantastic. She's a machine. Maybe it's her weirdo metabolism, but she doesn't hit the wall. Michelle's little horse Raisin hit the wall near the end of the second day. We brought her back with some electrolytes and a walking break. That put us terribly behind time (not that we weren't already terribly behind.)
We trekked a few more miles and met Marty and Regina a little past the two mile marker. Their horses were suffering too. Baby Girl was the only horse with enough energy to maybe complete the ride on time, so Marty and company told me to go ahead. Baby Girl trotted on.
Baby Girl was unbelievably fresh. She hit her 10 mph extended trot and flew. (I heard Marty say, "We should have put her in front before!" as we pulled away.) The other horses followed BG's lead (reluctantly), and we all made it in with four minutes to spare.
Stephanie and Emily were somewhere behind us. Or that's what we all thought. We got a call when we got back that Stephanie's horse had run out of gas in the creek and was standing there shaking. A vet was sent down there to look at her and bring her back up. Sigh. Rockford claims another victim.
We did a CRI (Ridgeway pulse) immediately after returning to camp. I was prepared not to pass. BG received a 36 in and a 34 out. Ha ha, slower the second time. Not bad at all.
I almost pulled BG the second day. The second day was hotter than the first. BG panted half the ride. She dragged in to the second P&R panting hard. I had already put two tubes of electrolyte into my little mare. I threw all the cold water I had access to on her. She pulsed down and stopped panting, so we went on. BG wasn't the only horse having problems cooling either.
We vetted out immediately upon return to camp the second day. BG trotted out like a little lady. She didn't even seen that tired. Unfortunately, she had some heat/pain in her girth (tack issue!) and the vet said she was 1st degree lame on her right front foot. Her tendon seemed sore from all the down hill trotting. Fair. The vet saw a lot of lame horses that day.
So not the cleanest, but not bad for Rockford. Her metabolics were all excellent. I can play with my tack. If this lameness never comes up again, I'll just shrug it off as a bad day. I'm happy.
Also, I have the most attractive pony on earth.
Another reason Rockford was hard: I had to sleep in a tent.
Baby Girl is no longer lame. She seems well and good. I've moved her to the high pasture with Miss Kitty, whom Baby Girl attacks at every opportunity. Sibling rivalry, I suppose. It's been warm these past couple days. I've been teaching a lot of lessons. Gotta make that money. I put in a $200 dollar Distance Depot order yesterday. Had to restock. Got a few rides worth of electrolytes, a crupper (I'm tried of BG's saddle slipping!), and a new helmet -- a very pink Sportage. King's Mountain is in three weeks or so. Afterwards, I'll be saying goodbye to BG for a while.
Don't fear! It's temporary. Sarah and I are trading horses for a month. Till December. In December, Sarah is hosting a NATRC ride in Florida. She's campaigning her horse Motion heavily in 2014, and I have been deemed worthy to ride him. (Being deemed worthy to ride someone else's horse is a big deal. Borrowing someone's heart horse is like being granted part of their very spirit..)
Sarah will take Baby Girl back to Hatchet Valley. I'll ride BG at King's Mountain. I'll vet out on Sunday, hand Sarah my lead rope, and Sarah hand me hers... And it's a trade.
I'm nervous, but I feel like I need to do this. I'm too protective of BG. I can't help it. For all her strength... She's so fragile sometimes.
(I realized I haven't been away from BG for more than a few days in almost four years.)
It's a big step for me, mentally, to trust someone else with my most valuable thing. That's why I feel like I need to do it.
Who's ready for some personal information? I promise pictures afterward as a reward.
I've been having a hard week. It all began Tuesday, when my mother told me my school was not going to allow me to travel to the Dominican Republic for our annual spring mission trip. The school called my mother their concerns on Monday, but Mother was too afraid to tell me until she had a conference with them for fear of upsetting me.
I may have mentioned this prior, but I have Tourette's Syndrome. I'll call it moderate, I guess. I have days when it's constant and days when you can barely tell. Lately, I've been having more "severe" days than I've had "quiet" days. (Lately meaning since the beginning of the school year.)
Voodoo is a major influence in Dominican society. The people of the Dominican believe in demonic possession, and have been taught since childhood what "possession" is suppose to look like. Most of the people who we interact with on our mission are children who don't know better. My particular case of Tourettes is a little... Demented looking. My friends, before any of this was even brought up my the administration, always joked that I was processed by a demon cat. (My tics include purring and meowing noises.) I also scream, babble nonsensical phrases, jerk around, roll my eyes back in my head...
So yeah. The administration doesn't want me to go into Voodoo land looking like a stereotypical case of possession.
This whole controversy opened a can of worms indeed. I've been informed that teaches and parents have been complaining about my Tourettes being a distraction in the classroom. So in order to continue to go to school, I have to get this Tourettes under control.
So, how does one get a case of Tourettes under control?
Haldol, Orap, Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft...
Those first two are antipsychotics, by the way.
I'm going to my family doctor on Monday. He should refer me to a neurologist.
(If I have to miss a ride because of doctor's appointments, I will need antipsychotics. )
I just... Don't want to change who I am. I don't want to be tranquilized for the convenience of others.
Will taking those prescriptions make it unsafe for you to ride? My trainer was telling me that she stopped doing therapy riding because it wasn't safe for the people on anti psychotics to be around the horses because their reaction times were affected.
Oh and I think it's total crap that people expect you to change for them. How come they aren't changing for you? It's a stupid double standard. It's not like you are hurting anyone.
I hope I can still ride... If I can't ride on antipsychotics, I'm not going to take them. Because I am not giving up riding. Antipsychotics are the second line of treatment for Tourettes. First is Clonidine (which is like the only one that is safe and low side effect.) I have taken before and it actually made me worse. I wonder what my tier three options are?
I'm totally not hurting anyone. Distracting and annoying, maybe. But not hurting anyone.
Seriously, how many kids in your school are working, paying for and taking care of two horses, and competing at and winning national events. It's a true demonstration of your patience and character that you are considering these meds because of their comfort level. I'm hoping that the doc will have just the right stuff to help your symptoms, for your own comfort level. Just don't let them convince you that there is something wrong with you, because you are amazing and have accomplished more than most people will in their lifetime.