Posting and trotting

I’ve been having quite a run of creative and at least partially edited stuffage on the other side, but as I only ever intended to post there every two weeks or so I think I need to cool it, lest I start to post even poorer quality efforts due to the growing addiction to the satisfaction of being able to press ‘publish immediately’.

I like to think I am making some progress regarding attempts to add a sense of movement and progression into my short story-esque scenes, but there is always this overwhelming sense of stagnation and treading water, like my characters are trapped in a moment. It’s a terrible bind to have so many strong emotions and thoughts to set down, but no storytelling skill at all.

Just ask my colleagues. I can’t tell them about anything withour their eyes wandering and yawns setting in. My pub banter is atrocious. Even if I’ve done something awesome, my ridiculous on-the-spot loss of verbal command leaves me and everyone else wondering why I was trying so hard when I am clearly just not novelist material. 

Anyway, enough about that here’s an example for you. My four legged ride was determined to test me this weekend….having still not quite recovered from broken-nose-gate, whenever his royal highness is feeling a bit fresh it sets my anxiety off big time. Last weekend’s ride waw lovely and reassuraning with controlled, sedate canters down the bridleways and good communication. This week was quite another story. I bravely opted for a route that when last week took it, the horses took off at high speed (with me almost being taken out by a low branch that I hadn’t noticed coming up) and wracked my nerves but I figured I have to challenge that. Unfortunately It was not the right day. If you’ve ever ridden before you may he familiar with the turn for home causing a massive increase in speed and enthusiasm, so when we did just that and had a nice open stretch in front of us the horses were dead set on having a big old race. Now. I wasn’t up for that, so we tried to make them walk, but actually ended up more jogging along and having to turn them into the hedge and stand there a bit a few times to chill them out. Nevertheless the temptation was just too much for them at one point and sparked off each other they bombed into a fast canter that took quite some strides to pull them up from. Most of the rest of the journey I felt like I had a horse with no head, he was behind the bit and not in contact with me, so no communication there, and I kept having odd flushes of worry that he’d bolt and dump me on the floor. Of course being spring with the grass shooting up both horses were in fine spring-loaded form, but aside from that one burst of unwarranted cantering, they just about coped with just walking and trotting the rest of the way home, even though they were visibly frustrated about it. I was half tempted to just jump out of the saddle and run away at one point but I stayed put and rode it out (ha!). My point is that despite being a little suboptimal on the communication and control side of things, I could handle Buster well enough to prevent a bolting situation, and by the time we got home we had both calmed back down to normal levels and I handed over the requisite number of polo mints for a ride well survived. Obviously I was kind of scared for a chunk if the ride, but I’m clearly not as wretched as a rider as I think as we actually did just fine overall. Next time I just have to remember that I can cope, and that my steed is in fact a (slightly hyperactive) superstar and not a monsterous bucking/bolting machine.

Today I spent however many hours there are in the second half of season five of Haven, watching TV. It’s OK,  I got up regularly to make cups of tea so I didn’t get DVT so I call that a bank holiday Monday well spent.

Winter attire

Winter weather has finally descended on the UK. Snow and subzero and all things icy and chilly. Unfortunately the horses still need to be exercised, even when I fear the onset of hypothermia and death of exposure. I dashed out yesterday to a tack shop to buy a slightly overpriced warm jacket to attempt to keep feeling in my body and arms on hacks. We will see how that goes. We will also see how size medium shapes up…I don’t think I own anything else in medium except chaps and gloves, but they don’t make those coats flattering or generous (for those who religiously wear a body protector). We shall see indeed, wrapped up in two pairs of thermal tights, joddies, thermal half chaps, two thermal tops, another tshirt, fleece and new coat, whether I make it back at around normal body temperature! Sadly I haven’t discovered a full weather proof face protector device for riding in, so sexy widburnt dry flaky itchy face it is!
Horse riding is so glamorous, don’t you think?

I think I’ve decided how to divide things between the two blogs PSMP and accidental tentacles. The artsy creative moderately to deeply considered stuff is going over there, and the typical explosions of utter nonsense and largely unedited guff will stay here. I’ve had some teething problems with formatting and tags and organization, but I think it’s coming together. At least it’s something new.

Autumn equine reflections

I’d like to show you how my buddy Buster is shaping up as we head into winter.

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Look at the shine on his coat!! He looks so healthy and happy, even if he is shamelessly checking out the tackbox for polo’s! ( over here mate!!!!)Oh I’d love to tell you that the photo was post bath but they haven’t been washed since the start of summer ( don’t look at me like that…they only go and roll in the mud when you wash them anyway…)!! It’s too cold now for that kind of business and to be honest, if we bathed him he’d probably reflect the sunlight so much it would distract the drivers (and spook the neighborhood animals).

The horses managed a record-breaking 29 poos between the two of them in just one night the other day….even thinking about that makes my bottom feel sore. It must have been exhausting because the pair of them practically slouched their way around our hack..dragging their hooves and largely bemoaning their lot. Its hard to imagine these are the same beasts that were getting all fizzed up only a matter of weeks ago. I guess the summer sugarcube fairy has stopped visiting. Another possibility is the the pony stealth pooed when she snuck into that field before and the evidence has only just been found…that would mean they just didn’t feel up for an active hack because the weather was miserable, and I certainly can’t blame them! That’s right Buster, I guess I did need the leg exercise.. 

“It’s time, meet me on the sunny road”~Emiliana Torrini, sunny road

Sanity rescued by horses again

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Animals can achieve what humans cannot. Buster has managed to turn this weekend from a full on fuck-off whinge fest into a healthier balance of whinge, love, success and rebuilding of trust.

I feel alive again. Lurgey or no lurgey.

This super-horse knew I was still a bit nervous about being on his back after our most elaborate parting over a month ago, and he seemed eager to show himself as the supreme champion of bravery and level-headedness that I previously knew him to be.

I was wary when I heard he’d been naughty with the farrier, and that he hadn’t been exercised all week, but bless his little cotton sock (singular. He has only one sock), he didn’t put a single newly shod hoof wrong, even when I felt brave enough to try a canter and then our overexcited companion leapt sideways into our path, he deftly moved us to safety and then calmed his friend down.

How could I ever doubt my buddy? Oh yeah that’s right….broken nose….hmm, well I’d say I’m now back to trusting him about 80% and hope to get that up to a healthier optimal 95% soon. Five percent needs to be reserved for extenuating circumstances. Trusting 99% is what got my nose broken.

P.S. This was the first and hopefully last time I managed to go riding without applying Deodorant. This is a stinky enough hobby already without this added bonus.

“Itch to scratch,
To strike my past from all it’s owed
It’s sold”~sneaker pimps, curl

Broncing horse and broken nose. Thanks Buster.

Have you ever seen a horse bronc? Well it looks a bit like this:

and this behaviour usually ends up with a rider splatted on the ground.

This week the field was broken into and people stole a load of my friend’s stuff, scared the shit out of the horses in the process. My little buddy even freaked when he first saw me come into the field until he realised it was me, and he’s not normally highly strung.

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^one chilled beastie

Out on the ride my steed was acting like a young-un, tanking off into a very fast canter at every opportunity of stubble field and then tolerating (with a bit of spooking) a couple of dogs running towards him and one sniffed at his leg (dog got a whip waved in their direction of course, don’t want someone’s poor pooch killed by a horse kick). Not long afterwards, Buster spooked at a dog making noise in the hedge, bolted and when I tried to pull him up, decided that,  no, he’d rather take evasive action rather than slow down or turn away from the hedge. And so you won’t be surprised to hear that when my little angel Buster went on a bucking bronco fit, I flew off and crashed into the ground, smacking my head in the process. I’ll give him credit for 1) having the energy to have such a mad broncing fit that continued after I was ejected, 2) dodging out of my way as I fell and 3) ultimately just stopping and not bolting off into the distance. (good boy, a bit too late for obedience though matey!).

Apparently I have a very mild head injury that can be managed with paracetamol and rest, but it does look like I fractured the bridge of my nose. Which would explain why it hurts like hell. And why putting my sunglasses on suddenly became unpalatable (Yay for not having my sunnies (or my self for that matter) trampled on!)

To be fair, I was processed relatively fast by A and E, as I was out in about 2 hours, but it took 1.45 hours to get some damned paracetamol out of the stingey buggers. As I wasn’t planning any public trips, I was wearing a skin-tight white(ish) tank that was a major nipple exposer and so had to borrow SO’s plaid shirt to cover up my chest and the weird horse-related stains on my top (mmmm how attractive). I’ll bet that processed me faster to get the horsey stink out of the waiting room….

Please send hugs and virtual paid -killers because I hurt.

I should probably add that I was riding responsibly, I had both a hat and body protector on that conformed to safety regulations, as well as a reflective jacket, and was carrying my phone and some mints (good for shock).

What a difference a couple of months makes!

My lovely friend Buster was a bit poorly this winter/spring and looked very much unloved (though was actually very spoilt).

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See? So tired and old-looking. Now after a few months of decent grass, continued bucket feeds and more exercise he has been transformed into this:

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I hope that you will agree that there is really quite a big difference, not just in his coat. You’d never guess the second pic was if a 26year old would you? I’m so glad he bounced back from his winter tummy woes so he can make the most of his retirement, frolicking in the  field and being a noisy beast.

Now I get to see this gorgeous face all the time

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Where are my mints?

And this cheeky face

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He doesn’t need mints, where are MY mints?

I love those silly horses.

“I’m always drawn to the dark horse~heather nova, paper cup

Fate wants to remind me of the perils of riding a horse or a bike

On Sunday I went for a lovely ride in the countryside with buster. We normally go out for about 1.5 or 2 hours but this time we went for a 3.5 hour ride. He had a great time but about half way around I started to feel a bit chaffed in my nether regions. Lucky me, especially as I was at the furthest point and just had to ride it out  so to speak. I won’t get graphic but let’s say a lot of sudocrem will be involved for several days and I feared for my girly bits for the cycle ride to work.

Morning came, and with it, less discomfort (Thankfully). But it was raining cats and dogs.

Cycling in the rain is not a favourite pastime of mine but I did it anyway this morning. I made sure my seat position was not too inappropriate, and I carefully manoeuvred myself around the slippery roads and objects that disappeared behind giant splodges of rain on my glasses. I wasn’t ecstatic to be out there, but I was far less happy when I found myself laying on the floor.

That’s right folks. Gravity, at the whim of a middle-aged umbrella-weilding man, embraced me and my steed in an ungainly sideways debacle. Being pushed off a cycle track on to the road, I was lucky that no car came and made my day a whole lot less conscious, but as fate would have it, the coast was clear while I scrambled to my feet and assured the unwitting assailant that yes, I was fine.

No blood, no broken bones, just a salient reminder of the dangers that a cyclist must face, some bruising and some pretty crippling muscular aches.

I pushed my shaking self to continue the journey and by the time I got to work id almost calmed down. I gobbled down some painkillers and (after some requisite moaning) got on with my day. I even cycled home. Can you believe that? Sore all over and adrenally exhausted as I was, I still got my self and my bike home without either of us trying to take a midjourney nap on the road.

I call that progress.

So there we go folks, lessons learned here are: If you are going to fall off, do it from a bike not a horse (much closer to the ground that way). Give umbrella-armed people an extra two metres of room to allow for random movements. Sudocrem makes a lot of things better. Make sure you aren’t tilting your pelvis when you horseride, and don’t judge the best length of ride on the fitness or roadworthiness of your steed, but rather on the hardiness of your crotch.

At least these adventures have not (yet) yielded boils or sores…and rider, horse and bike are in the correct number of pieces (even if some pieces feel like they’ve been brutally tenderised.

I look forward in earnest (although do not fully expect) to waking up tomorrow and being able to move my back normally.

Stay safe out there kids, and don’t wear synthetic undies for sports, or, maybe ever. k?

“Don’t try to get away
I’m here to stay
My name is fate”~curve, fait accomplis