This and that, ski day #4, catching up, writer stuff, weird horse humor

Work is crazy and I’ve been sick, therefore minimal blogging.  This state is probably going to continue for at least a couple more weeks, and then I’m hoping it will cool off for a while.  ‘Tis the IEP season, and furlough days add to the challenge.

The latest bug managed to hit everyone in the family in one way or another.  I finally started feeling decent last week and went skiing with another teacher at Friday night ski.  Didn’t see a lot of the students but had a nice time.  Icy, fast, and I was wishing for a little less wax but grateful for newly sharpened edges.  The hips worked okay, but tired quickly.  It’s going to be a while before I can have long, intense ski days with me against the Mountain in a storm.  But hopefully it can happen again.

I remembered why I’m not a wild fan of night skiing after a bluebird day.  Bluebird days mean sun and melting, which means freezing after the sun gets low, which means ice.  Sure, it’s stunningly beautiful, especially if there happens to be a full moon (sadly, no), but it was not a night for challenges.  I went down Vicky’s once and ended up muttering and swearing along the way, mainly the upper stretch.  But it’s just one short and steep, narrow dip, and then the rest of the run’s pretty sweet.

Still, that upper stretch?  Arrgh.

I did manage to knock off a short story last week, complete from original notes on Saturday to final draft submitted on Friday.  Themed anthology piece, hope it works.  If it does get accepted, I think I’m going to use it as a plotting/organizing example, then tuck it aside as a potential teaching piece.

Mocha has been quixotic this week.  G has been gone for judge training and his absences do set her off stride.  Girl likes her routines.  Nonetheless, she’s been pushy in small ways.  Some of them are fun, like when she took off a lot faster and harder than I expected when we did rundowns.  I laughed and rode with it.

But then there are the other times.

She got grouchy about me asking her to do two strides of canter between two points in another session, and decided I must really mean “trot,” not “canter.”  Discussions ensued, including entertaining lateral evasions at rollback speeds, popping of whip, and sessions of two canter strides, whoa, two canter strides, whoa, two canter strides, whoa, all around the rail, in both directions.  A bit of that, and then she decided she could do it between two points after all.

I’d be more worried but we have occasional sessions like this where she just plain decides to get sticky about something she’s done repetitively before.  She’s overthinking it, for some reason, and that usually means she’s reprocessing this familiar movement in connection with something else we’ve been working on.  I don’t always understand the linkages she’s making but there generally is a connection.  Smooth out the behavior she’s sticking on and the other movement we’re developing also improves.

She’s also been getting pushy in little ways on the ground and I’ve had to correct her.  In talking to G tonight, she started anticipating a stop, or turning in a particular way to face him, without being cued to do it.  In fact, she moved from a position I’d put her in to a position she preferred.  I corrected it by moving her around, then reparking her.  She didn’t move.  Little stuff?  Yeah.  But with a horse like her, best to stop this stuff early and firm.

G commented that she was herding and driving the other mares around in turnout today.  Making a play to be alpha?  It would match the pushiness she’s been showing–it’s spring and The Girl is feeling dominant.

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