Normally, I am fortunate enough to have a few days each week that are appointment free. I have nowhere to go, so I can plan out how I want to spend my time. However, I have been so heavily booked this month and will be next month too, that my body and brain are having a hard time keeping up with all the activity. Despite having good intentions by doing the complimentary photoshoot for the fundraiser, it was too much for me and I made a couple of mistakes that inconvenienced others. I'm realizing that when I end each day with a massive headache, neck ache, back ache, stiff legs, painful feet, and can't even think straight, I'm overdoing it.
The other morning I went outside to find Rock was lame again after having such a great trail ride the day before. The farrier came by for his scheduled trim and I asked him to help me determine the cause of the lameness. It turned out that Rock had pulled a muscle in his shoulder sometime during the night. I know he was fine when we returned from our trail ride. When I saw Gabbrielle chase Rock away from some food, I knew exactly how he hurt it. She forces him to turn so fast to avoid getting kicked that he probably took a bad step.
I asked about Rock's soles, whether they were abnormally thin and causing him soreness. He said they were not thin, but were not as thick as he likes to see in a barefoot horse. He's somewhere in the middle. He helped me measure his hooves so that I could order some Renegade boots for our more rocky trail rides. Then I asked him to let me know if his white line is any healthier than it has been the last few times he came out, and miraculously his "red" line, which became a "pink" line on his last visit is now a healthy white line. So, the barefoot trims and the diet I've got him on are improving the health of his hooves.
The farrier and I got on a roll telling outrageous horse stories. I'm always trying to get him to hurry up and write his memoirs, because he has led the most fascinating life. If his writing is anything like his verbal storytelling, this is a book that must be written. I've been tempted to offer to write a biography for him since he doesn't have time, but I don't think I could do it justice. I'd probably have to tape record him and write out what he says verbatim. Anyway, by the time he left, my legs were stiff and I could barely walk. I realized that I had been standing still for three hours straight holding horses for him.
I'm enjoying my photography classes, but seem to be allergic to something in the classroom. I always start coughing whenever I am in that room. The instructor has asthma, so she has the same problem. We are constantly downing water and cough drops. Though the classes are not for credit, there is quite a bit of homework, because you learn by doing. I feel like I bit off more than I can chew by signing up for three classes, but the instructor did say that the homework is optional for those of us with busy schedules. I appreciated that. I don't know what it is about photography, but as long as I'm taking pictures for fun, I'm fine. But as soon as I'm doing an assignment for someone else, things suddenly get very stressful for me and I choke.
I thought the whole point of changing careers from something scientific to something artistic and working for myself would relieve some of the stress that has been killing me over the years, but in some ways it just made it worse. At least science is exact, so it is clear whether I am doing my job correctly or not. Art is a matter of taste, and it is in the eye of the beholder, so sometimes it is difficult for me to work for other people and keep both of us happy. I always have to put the customer's happiness ahead of my own, and let me tell you, when I get a client who insists on directing the photoshoot and design, I often end up with a product that I don't feel proud of, and I don't really care to have my name associated with it.
Part of the reason why I volunteer my photography services to various causes is to get practice working under pressure with different personalities. If I'm going to screw something up, I'd rather not be paid for it. Even if the people I did the job for are not satisfied enough to recommend me to anyone else, at least I learned from my mistakes and will be better prepared in the future. After each job, I do a "post mortum", recording what went wrong in a notebook and analyzing how I could have prevented or fixed it, and it's amazing how many things can go wrong during a photoshoot. Sometimes it is technical difficulties, sometimes the models don't cooperate, and sometimes there is just too much interference from other people.
In the future I hope to create more artistic, unique photos that I can sell as wall hangings and perhaps other products. At that point, people either want to buy it or they don't, and there isn't all this struggle over how to create the product, because it has already been created. I'm not a complete control freak, but life is short, and I sure would like to do something my way every once in a while and see how it turns out.
Rock is doing better now with his shoulder, but Bombay seems to have found a sharp spot along the fence line to scratch his butt on. He shredded it and is missing patches of fur and skin. I need to do a better job of staying on top of the fly spray applications. Quite frankly, there are a lot of things I need to do a better job of staying on top of, but first... there's always something else I've got to do. It's a story we all know well.