Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring Swings

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours. ~Mark Twain

It has been a wild week! The weather was wild. The horses were wild. Schedules were wild. It all is swinging back and forth, up and down, upside down and right again. It has been enough to make me dizzy with its anticipation and apprehension.

It was the only normal day I had the entire week and when I say normal, that is including teaching the Princess how to add and subtract unlike fractions. Finding the lowest common denominator and such things that can make her mentally zone out for the rest of the day, if I did not head her off. It was a pretty good day.

Weather predictions on Tuesday were that it would be partially sunny in the late morning and in the 60's, so the Princess and I looked forward to work some of the minis and ride. Our partner family would be there for the chores, but had other obligations that day and I was thankful that it would be just the Princess and me. The mother offered to stay to help us saddle the horses if we would like...all I can say is that I was glad I was on the phone with her at the time, so she could not see me shaking my head and rolling my eyes to stifle the spontaneous laughter that so wanted to be released at that moment.

Tuesday, however, was cloudy, breezy, and a bit too cool all day long. The paddock was mucky, but the arena was in good shape. We groomed one of the most docile of the the minis and planned to lunge him--actually that would be train him to lunge--but Annette, did not have the type of whip the trainer had used the previous Saturday. I tried to improvise with what we had available, but it just was not going to work. We also need rope halters for the minis to give the pressure needed on the nose, so that they will respond better and these we do not have, but I plan to buy a few.

Giving up on the idea of working with the horses after it began raining, we went on to the milk farm. We got our raw milk and diamotaceous earth there. I saw a couple of Sharii and Midnight's relatives. The Princess trotted off to the petting area and saw the baby pigmy goats.

Wednesday my husband took the day off and went with us on the field trip to the tack store. The Princess decided to ride in the 4-H van with all the other children and we drove our own van. The children spread out looking at everything but were well behaved at the store. There the Princess bought a whip, grooming brushes, a comb, and a hoof pick. I bought the the same for myself and a canvas bag for the grooming supplies. We both spent about $40. The whips are not exactly what I wanted but can be modified to shorten the drop so they will work. Most of the 4-H'ers are girls so it was not until after the shopping frenzy subsided, that the owners' son gave a talk about bits and pressure points they use, which was very informative. We stopped to eat on the way home, although I did not eat as it was my fasting day.

Miss Annette scheduled her farrier to come on Thursday morning at 9:00 this week because school is out in our county. (Oddly, though, the three of the four families there were homeschoolers.) Although it would crunch our shopping time, I really had not planned on getting much this week, so I felt we could attend. Thankfully I did bring my mud boots, but I wish I had also brought my gloves; I should know by now that hardly anything at Miss Annette's is for just spectators. I was helping children getting horses from the upper pasture to bring to the farrier. They watched as he trimmed the hoofs of each and every one of the four horses, two ponies, and five minis. Only Molly gets shoes on her front hooves to correct her aging posture.

Miss Annette asked me to hold the ones who tend to be less compliant. The impatient Senoia, a regular horse, is a bit of dancer, but she was rather good for me. Ribbon, a mini, was fine until he picked up that same back leg that she gave me fits about two weeks ago. It was the third hoof he worked on so it was not about the order. We are thinking that something is going on with that leg, but there was no noticeable swelling anywhere. The last problem another mini, Blue. Actually, his name is Chip of the Blue Moon, because he is all black with a sliver of a crescent on this head. My daughter and an inexperienced teenager went to get him, but I could see him wildly running around in his paddock and kicking up his heels. The Princess told me later he almost kicked her. I brought him up and had him in place but then he suddenly pushed sideways against me. I did not fall, just got off balanced, so Annette took hold of him. I was still fasting and kind of tired after dealing with Ribbon, so I gratefully handed him over to her.

While there, the mother that works with me on Thursday said that she was personally going to be lunging and training Blue. I just looked far off to the upper pasture as if something had caught my attention. I plan not be lunging the minis until we have those rope halters, but we will be walking them just to get them used to the idea that they will be exercised. Still, it is very hard not to say what I am thinking when she says such things. I think she has a good heart, but she just sounds like she is more knowledgeable and experienced than she is, perhaps the opposite of me because I was thinking I was not all that knowledgeable or experienced and recently I have come to realize I know more than I thought I did. Obviously, Annette thinks I handle the horses well enough.

I really do not feel it is my call to make about what the other mother does, it really is up to Annette, but when I am one out there with her, I can only make it understood about what I will or will not be doing. Annette did lay down the rule that all her horses were to be ridden with bits and no more halter reining. I think she feels it gives the horses too much opportunity to foster bad habits in not responding to their riders.

Although fasting had done its work and all my upper back muscular tightness was gone by Thursday morning, I had made a chiropractic appointment for the afternoon, so we were getting home later that usual. Around 5:00, my husband calls me as I am driving the last three miles home, asking me if we would like to go out to dinner. He was leaving for Denver in a few hours, a last minute thing, and would be back sometime on Saturday. After feeding all my own furry ones and changing clothes, we went out and parted at the restaurant.

The temperature Thursday was in the 70's and then it turned very windy towards the evening. One of our neighbor's trees is now resting at a 45 degree angle toward our fence caught in the branches of another tree close to our property line. Sometime between Wednesday and Friday morning, our phone lines went out, but our Internet service on the same line was fine.

I was expecting the piano tuner at 11:00 in the morning, but my phone is still out so he would not get through if he tried calling for directions or to tell me he would be late. I used my husband's work VOIP phone to call him and he had car trouble so he said hoped to be here around 3:00. That would cut into the time I had set aside just for me, but then I was not sure that afternoon would go as planned either.

On the last Friday of the month, a skating rink in the neighboring county has a skate just for homeschoolers. The Princess has a standing invitation with her best friend of homeschooling family in our neighborhood. Last month they did not go and they were planning to go this time but they had a snag with their own schedule so they would not know for sure until just before the time to leave. They said they would call to confirm...well, we had to resort to low tech because the phone is still out of commission and my cell phone does not do well at home, so her child got some exercise by riding her bike to our house to tell us they would be leaving at 12:30.

Saturday I finally have a working phone line. My husband is coming home, but it shall be a very late dinner for us; he will be bringing fried chicken. The Princess cleaned her room and is picking out some of the items with which she no longer plays. Then she will be trying on clothes to determine which ones will be in the consignment sales coming up. I am signed up as a seller in two of them, so I have work to do.

~ My Lord, my mind is going in too many directions. I need its swinging to stop and rest my thoughts on You. Help me to do that, please, my Lord. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.