Busy times!

I will miss you, little one.

I started out Friday afternoon not with some much needed time off  but meeting Lauren at the orthopedic surgeon where she had taken my mother for her hip.  I was taking over the appointment wait.  I was hoping by the time I got there they would have completed the visit and she would be ready to go home. It was not going to work out that way.

Lauren left.  Mom and I waited some more.  There were at least five other people in the waiting room.  Her appointment was at 2:15 and we got sent to the exam room at 4:30.  Then we waited some more.  I am pretty sure mom had no idea where we were or what we were waiting for.  Finally, long after dinner had been served at her facility, Dr. Chau came in to see us.   He said there was some arthritis in the hip but it looked pretty good.  Then he started moving her leg around.  From the horrified expression on her face, it was obvious it hurt, a lot!  He showed me how swollen her knee was (we had just been focused on the hip).  He decided to give her an injection in the knee.  Wow, I have had my shoulder injected numerous times but I did not see the needle slide two inches into through my arm.  Don’t ever watch if you need this done-EVER! WOW!  It was now moving toward 6:00 and he wanted us to stay and see how she did with the shot.  She seemed to be moving better but hadn’t walked in ten days so her balance was all off.

I knew I would need to get her dinner.  There are not a lot of choices and I just wanted to go home.  I suggested we get McDonalds and go back to her room and eat.  First she asked, “What is McDonalds?”  then she asked, “can we get a drink here” and she did not mean diet coke.  She probably needed a drink after that shot.

We got her back to the facility, ate our McDonalds (she loved the chocolate shake) and I got her settled in for bed. 

Saturday we took Mimi, the pony, to Sarah’s for a month of training.  I am just too busy with work and my mom to really get this pony started.  I know Sarah will get her started right.  It was ironic though, everything that Feather did poorly (load, fly spray, tie), Mimi did well.  And everything Mimi did poorly (lunge, be ridden, be sweet) Feather did well.  The road trip with trailer took us a good four hours.

Lauren and I rode Feather and Mickey in the afternoon.  We are getting real close to the “A” show this weekend so Lauren wanted to ride Mickey.  It was real windy and Feather kept spooking at everything.  I was feeling pretty old by the time I headed out to my visit to mom.  I had received the news that my mom’s niece, Geneva had died.  I knew she was always close to Geneva and was worrying about how she would take the news.

When I got to the facility, Mom was in her wheelchair with her purse and a big blanket next to her.  She was wide-eyed and nervous.  She had heard that the center needed to be evacuated and that she needed to have something warm because it was going to be so cold.  First, it was over 90 degrees, second, we were not going anywhere.  I have rarely seen her as agitated as she was that day.  I felt so bad for her.  She was so confused and upset.  When I tried to tell her about Geneva-it went right past her.  I finally got her to the dining room and handed her off to the aides there.  Walking out, two ladies stopped me and asked me if I had heard that the Catholic parishioners were coming to attack them and would hurt them.  Apparently, everyone was drinking the same paranoid Kool-aid.  One lady even asked me to examine her little dog as the parishioner had already gotten him (not really).  I was exhausted by Saturday night.

Sunday saw us watching a lot of the USEF network waiting for Caitlyn to ride.  We did get out to meet Ally, Jordyn and Kendyll at a cafe in Needville for lunch.  Lauren and I picked up mom and she was like a new person.  She enjoyed the drive and great food.  Her favorite was the homemade peach cobbler with ice cream.

We talked about Geneva and she told me how much she had loved her and enjoyed being with her over the years.  She has lots of other nieces and nephews who are still alive, but Geneva was more the age of her sisters and they all used to run together when she was in Oklahoma.

After we got home, we watched some more rounds in Harrisburg (including Caitie’s) and then Lauren went off to her boyfriend’s for the evening.  I was looking forward to the undefeated Texans beating Green Bay.  Well, I gave up on that after the first quarter. 

I killed my favorite kitten this morning.  It was up in my car and dropped out of the engine as I drove off in the dark.  I u-turned to go back but she was lying helpless on the road-I had run over her.  I took her back to the house and settled her in blankets.  Lauren told me she was dead by 7:00 am when she checked on her. I had really loved this little one-I will miss her.


Mariah-dark,lean,young at the canter with Lauren in the saddle. July 14, 2008

Mariah-light, robust, mature at the canter with Caroline in the irons. July 27, 2012

Progress comes slowly, invisibly sometimes.  When you are waiting for it and watching the signs you do not see it.  But turn your head and it has been there all along inching its way toward change.

Progress has been difficult to measure for me, in terms of my home (so many obstacles), my horses, my family and in so many ways, my life.  I want to do right and try but seem to fall back as much as I step forward.  Looking for writing inspiration tonight I reviewed my pictures.  I have always loved to shoot pictures.  I remember in college walking down the main part of the campus looking at the Colorado sun shining through the trees.  I looked at my friend and said, “wouldn’t that be a great picture?”  She looked surprised and said, “I never met anyone who thought in pictures before.”

It was quite a compliment to me.  Like I had just had someone compliment me on learning a second language.  So, yes I have thought in pictures and tonight these two pictures tell a story of a dark, lean filly who has grown up to be a beautiful, white mare.  Her owner now would tell you she still needs so much progress.  There is still so much she needs to learn.  It is true but I (we) must be mindful to not miss what we have accomplished in view of what we have yet to do.

There will always be more to learn.  More to see, more to do.  But I will try to step back and turn my head so I can look again at what I had seen before and view the progress that I have made.

As we head into finals season, may all the riders look back at how far they have come to reach their dreams.  They may not touch their dreams, maybe not this year, maybe not ever.  But each rider that has come this far, be it Zone finals, regional or national finals reflect just a moment, on a year ago, three years ago or maybe even five.  If they need a reminder of how far they have come-well, I probably have plenty of pictures that I could show them.

Two Weeks and Counting

Mickey and Lauren both showing the athleticism and team work needed to succeed.

Lauren and Mickey went to Dev’s today for another lesson.  It was the follow up to last week’s lesson and we will have one more next Thursday.  Dev’s parents Terry and Don were there.  Both top riders and competitors in their own right, they are a great support system for the Devereaux Sport Horse riders. 

Don was surprised at how Mickey looked.  Usually a true bay (a brown horse with black mane and tail-as you can see in the picture above), Mickey is growing his winter coat and looks almost black.  Both Don and Terry thought Mickey looked healthy and happy to be back jumping.

Two weeks from today, the Britannia Farm Fall “A” Show will get underway in Katy, Texas.  Mickey and Lauren are officially entered.  We will start off with a few lower height classes: .90 meters (2’11”)  and .95 meters (3’1″) and see how he does.  Lauren will move Mickey into the Eq Center on Wednesday and then show the subsequent days.  It is like an entire village of horses, trainers, riders and their support systems take over the center.    The plan will be to see how Mickey tolerates each round, each day and if he is physically able to keep competing as the fences go up, the courses get tougher and fatigue gathers. While well rested, he is clearly not in his optimum physical shape. 

If we do reasonably well, in that he is jumping well, pretty competitive in his times and not doing stupid things like refusing fences, then we will feel pretty good headed to Zone finals on November 10th. 

Inadvertantly, we may have done a good thing by giving Mickey a couple of months off.   Some horses get ring sour, wear out their legs by overuse and/or just do not want to jump.  The horse under Lauren today at Dev’s was rested, healthy, eager and excited about jumping.  He may just carry those attributes into the ring with him for finals.  And if he is ready for his come back and able to keep the cough at bay, Lauren and Mickey may be real contenders this year.

We are certainly in a better spot than we had anticipated and are thankful. It was terrific to hear the excitement in Lauren’s voice today as she told me about her lesson.  We will wait and see.