Thursday, December 15, 2016

Goal Satisfied, Bring on the Rain

I did it.  I managed to fight off appointments and impositions all week and got a horseback ride in most days.  I made it out today just as the cloud cover moved in for tomorrow's storm.  This time I didn't bother to bring my helmet cam, because after a while all the between-the-ears shots start looking the same.  I wore a different helmet that fit my head so much better than the one I'd been using with my helmet cam.  The elastic on the contraption that holds my camera in place is losing its grip thanks to the heat.  It was nice to not have to fuss with it.

I had been working out every evening for a couple of weeks, but this week was such a struggle just to ride a horse that I haven't been doing anything in my home gym, and I'm already feeling the effects of it.  I could barely carry Rock's 32-pound saddle and had to step up to the top step of the stool to lift it over his back.  The latigo slipped off the seat and got under my boot when I was lifting it, which wrenched my back and caused me to nearly topple over off the stool.  I feel more like a 90-year-old with what little balance and coordination I have.

There is an overgrown bush at the end of our driveway that belongs to my neighbor.  When he is too busy to trim it back so that we can see if traffic is coming when exiting our driveway, my husband goes out and trims it himself.  However, it grows so fast that it almost needs to be trimmed every other week.  Anyway, I was moseying up the driveway on Rock when he threw his head up and stopped.  This little car with no engine noise appeared out from behind the bush and startled both of us.

I knew it wasn't anyone who lived on or had business on our street.  It was just another random, bored, winter visitor driving around aimlessly.  He got to the part of the road where the pavement ends and slammed on his brakes.  I can always spot a city person, because they don't like to drive on dirt.  Of course, that left him no option but to turn around right where I needed to cross and ride my horse through the gate.  I prayed that he wouldn't park there blocking the gate like most lost tourists do while they consult a map.  Fortunately, he kept driving, only he was driving right at me and my horse.  I cringed, figuring that he was either going to ask for directions or tell me his life story.  I decided to give him my unapproachable expression, and he swerved away at the last second and continued driving back the way he came.  Ha ha ha!

My friend has ongoing issues with people driving right up to her to talk to her when she's riding her horse near roads, and then they suck up her time and put her in a dangerous situation where she can't focus on her horse.  My theory is that she has a friendly face, and I need to teach her how to emanate a mental wall that wards people off.  It wouldn't be so bad if drivers would drive up slowly, keep their distance, and ask a quick question, but some of these people just rip right up to horseback riders and start yelling out the window, and then once they've got you in their claws, they won't let you go.  When you do finally get rid of them, they honk to say goodbye.  Even though it would be a lot easier on my joints to walk and ride my bike on paved roads, I always go out in the desert on the trails this time of year, because otherwise I get stuck having to talk to driver after driver after driver, and I never get my exercise.

It's so weird how these people arrive in droves.  We'll have a few weeks where the population remains steady, and then all of the sudden a bunch strangers start showing up in the neighborhood, or there's a lot more out of state plates on the road, or we can't find a parking spot anywhere...  This has been one of those weeks where the population in my town has multiplied.  I thought it was rather humorous that not even a few hours after my snowbird neighbors arrived to their winter home, they started receiving UPS deliveries.  They timed that right down to the minute, I guess.

Rock started this bad habit of getting a little too happy and silly on the way home from our trail rides.  He swings the reins and lead rope back and forth by wagging his head, and then he bobs his head up and down to shake them.  I don't like that because he hollows out his back and I suddenly drop a few inches like I'm on a falling elevator.  That's one of the hassles of riding on a loose rein, I guess.  I kept correcting him, and he'd stop doing it for a few seconds, and then start up again.  When we got home and he started doing it while tied, I realized that he was basically celebrating the fact that he was about to get some peppermints.  So, now I have to stop giving him food rewards after our rides.

He looks super fat from this angle.  This is his "feed me" expression.

I managed to get a few Christmas presents ordered, wrapped and mailed today.  I still haven't sent out cards or put up decorations.  I have to clean house before I drag out the decorations, and I don't want to do that until I know for sure that Midge is 100% recovered.  Now that she's feeling better, I'm obsessing over Scrappy.  He took a bad spill yesterday on the stone steps.  He didn't yelp, but I could tell that he was stiff afterward.  When he feels good, he likes to jump and do acrobatics, and he took a flying leap from the second to top step, landing at the bottom of the staircase.  That's not something a 17-year-old dog should be doing.  Now he's moving very slowly, and I've been having to carry him outside when I'm pressed for time.  I could probably write a book titled, "Life (Pawzed) with Geriatric Dogs."


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I was sitting on the patio with Stewie in my lap when he suddenly barked and leaped off my belly to charge toward the railing. I looked over to see Betsy the Bobcat salivating over Stewie. Stewie was trying to climb through the railings to get to this cat that was 10x his size. Thankfully, I had him on a long leash. When I stood up to grab Stewie, Betsy moseyed on down the alley into the arroyo while Gabbrielle followed and Rock watched in frozen amazement.

Linda said...

Gosh, I love that horse. He's a good one--Rock was rocking it! Yes, you could write a book about geriatric dogs, and I could write one about the geriatric horse. There are so many fears for them because their bodies just can't do what they used to do--or recover as fast. But there are many rewards in care taking them, too. They seem appreciative. Hope you get some sleep though!

Camryn said...

I have resting bitch face, so strangers rarely approach me lol. Poor Stewie thinking he can take on a Bobcat, little dogs just don't realize it.

ellie k said...

I live near Sun City Center, Fl. and the traffic is like down town traffic. It is bumper to bumper and most of the drivers are over 80. We also have golf carts that use the roads but not the traffic laws. We will have even more after Christmas. I went to Walmart yesterday and I think everyone else was there too. Some are so rude. I do not have a single decoration up either. I did get into them and sent my grandson some, he is army and could not come home. He had a tree but no decorations.
My big Christmas gift is I finish my radiation treatments in three days. Dec.20. It has been 33 days and I have faired well, no side effects only one very red boob. Lots of aloe gel is helping that. I have not bought one gift, I think I will be giving late Christmas gifts in Jan. 17. My family understands I am just too tired to shop.
Great news you are getting some rides in, glad you have Rock.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Ellie - I've been wondering how you've been doing. Congrats on finishing the radiation treatments. Florida and Arizona have a lot in common, both being winter vacation destinations for people who need to warm up, and retirement destinations. We've got lots of people cruising around in golf carts and ATVs and off road jeeps. You definitely have an excuse to not put up decorations or buy gifts. For some reason, every time they catch something on my mammogram, it's always right before Christmas. I remember one year the radiologist came in to tell me that my test results say I can have a merry Christmas. I'm pretty sure that test was on Dec. 23rd. I don't like spending so much time in medical offices right before Christmas, which is why I tried to get all my medical appointments out of the way in October, but they dragged out into December. If someone told me that I definitively had cancer, I'd get treated for it, but so far I've just been getting the runaround.

ellie k said...

I think I would change my appointments to the first of the hot weather when you can't do any thing else and the winter people would be gone. Really my first mamo was in Aug. and then things just kept moving forward and the surgery was in Oct. Thank you for you concern and prayers. Two more radiations and I am done. The dr said today I had done better then most ladies with 33 treatments. He is very pleased with it all. There are hundreds of golf carts on the road now, the stores have special parking for them but they feel the need to take the car places. I think they drive so poorly they need a bigger place to park. Again thanks for caring.

Mrs Shoes said...

I would totally buy that book!
Mr Shoes & I were talking about the Saint (prompted by the issues with your older dogs) & we agree that we wish she could go on forever as she is now - 10 years old, healthy, energetic, with enough wisdom to keep her safe even in her tangles with wildlife. But we know it cannot be... we were actually talking last night about how we will know when it is time to get a young pup for Saint to "train"... I hope not for a long time yet.
Stewie wanting to take on the bobcat -haha- that is TOTALLY Manic MinPin! She has no fear (or common sense) & is already chasing whatever it is before we can say 'NO'... THAT one is giving me grey hairs!

Betsy H said...

I would like to thank you for your posts. I've followed for a very long time and you have a lot of the same qualities as myself and I think we are close in age. That being said, you have given me the courage to get back on a horse. I have 4 standing here, like you. I always felt I'm too heavy, I'm too out of shape or I don't have time. Your perseverance has given me the courage to do this. I'm making me, my top priority in 2017! Merry Christmas!!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Betsy - My first thought was, "I have a reader named after my bobcat! How awesome is that?"

I'm so glad you are getting back into horseback riding. Thanks for letting me know that you've been reading. Merry Christmas to you too.