Wow! I actually got to trail ride two days in a row. Of course, my GoPro camera only took three pictures before it died, despite me diligently charging the battery all afternoon yesterday. This is the best shot I've got...
I forgot about the other outcome of a good rainfall: Allergy headaches from all the stuff that comes into bloom. My ride consisted of cottonmouth, buzzing, and light-headedness thanks to antihistamines, but without them, I'd be buried under blankets waiting out the pain.
I also forgot that when you bring a horse out to ride after a hiatus, it's the second and third days that are the worst because the horse thinks, "Wait a minute, she rode me yesterday. I hope this isn't going to set a precedent for the future. I'll have to let my opinions be known."
Rock absolutely would not leave the barn. We had quite a wrestling match until I said, "You don't want to leave? Fine. We'll just stay here and go in circles."
His circles turned into him walking sideways and backwards to get as close to the barn as possible. So, I just kept him moving in whatever direction he insisted on going in, as long as he was moving. Then something clicked in his brain and he said, "I think I'll just walk up the driveway out to the trails. Seems easier."
I left him alone then, and he was happier. The ride was uneventful until he came to a sudden stop, threw his head in the air and pointed at an adjacent trail. I knew something was coming up it, but I couldn't see anything because of a bunch of trees and bushes that were in the way. My mind started going wild thinking, "What if it is a bicyclist and he comes flying out from behind those bushes? I'd better be ready to get control of Rock."
Then I heard the unmistakable sound of gaited horse hoof beats. Here came this guy on a gaited horse and Rock did a dance sideways to get a closer look. Rock decided that he wanted to follow the horse, so I had to say no and hold him back. The man asked if everything was okay. I said that he just gets excited to see other horses. Of course, his horse didn't even look at us. It just plowed on down the trail. He said that Rock was pretty and asked what kind he was. I said, "We think he's a Paint."
The man said, "Is it okay for me to move on?"
I was glad he asked, because sometimes if people go past us really fast, my horses turn and chase them. Yet, this rider made no effort to slow down despite asking. I said, "Oh yeah," and I pointed Rock back to his trail. He was good after that.
My heart monitor showed that my heart rate was highest when mounting, and then it shot up when Rock met up with the other horse, but not as far up as it was when I first mounted. What that tells me is that I'm more anxious about riding before I ride than I am when I am actually riding. But I was also dealing with one neighbor dumping stuff out of a dump trailer nearby and another neighbor bringing in a concrete truck that was turning its mixture. A lot could go wrong with trucks and loud noises so close to my barn. I think that neighbors in general just stress me out and once I get away from them out in the desert, I relax considerably.
I finally got through to someone at my salon to set up an appointment for a haircut, and I was sorely disappointed to learn that my stylist left her post a few months ago. I had to see a lot of bad stylists before I found her, and I had such a strong affinity toward her. Even though I don't get my hair cut very often, my hair stylists have become rocks in my life. These are people I can rely on to give me an hour of their time to discuss interesting topics.
I'm not into listening to hair stylists gossip about other clients or talk amongst themselves while I become a Gloria head. I'm careful to choose stylists who are intelligent, politically correct, mature, and who have unique viewpoints. I want stylists who understand that while I am in their chair, their attention should be on me -- not the other stylists, not people in the waiting room, not someone on the phone -- just me, because I'm paying for their time and skill. I can color my own hair for $8, but I pay a stylist $80 to $150 to color my hair because I'm paying for her skill, her attention, her space, her tools, and her conversation. I don't expect a stylist to be a counselor. I just expect a conversation that goes beyond talking about products the salon owner wants me to buy.
The lady I saw for 15 years in Nevada was wonderful. Her life experiences had honed her into being a warm, kind, honest person. When her boyfriend died of cancer and left her a lot of money, she could have retired, but she chose to keep styling hair because she loved her clients and knew that we needed her. She was a bright spot in a lot of people's lives. When I found out that my favorite stylist in Arizona left the salon, I looked her up online and found out that she changed careers all together. She's no longer doing hair. It's so painful to have to keep going to different hair stylists until you find one whose company you enjoy. I'm very picky about my doctors as well as my hair stylists, so if I can't find good ones, I'll go for years without taking care of my hair and my body.
So, I'm going to give my old stylist's replacement a chance, and if she doesn't work out, I'll have to start poking my head into various salons to observe the ambiance until I see one I like.