Friday, February 14, 2014

Random 5 Friday

1. At a smidge past 1:30 today I returned to my office after a meeting and checked my cell phone which was sitting on my desk. There was a missed call from my sister and one from my dad. There were two voice mails. I knew my mother had taken a turn for the worse before I listened to the messages. Sure enough, she's in the hospital, with pneumonia, after falling at home and scaring my dad half to death. My sister's message said she was on her way down to the hospital. I left a return message, asking her to assess the situation upon arrival and let me know if I needed to start driving. My dad said that I didn't need to come, but I wanted my sister's opinion too. I tried to finish up a few things, with my office door closed, as my brain ping-ponged back and forth between work and my mom. Mostly with my mom.

2. I had a lesson on Winston today in the late afternoon. He didn't seem overjoyed to see me and he tested me continually during my lesson. Winston has made great improvement in the two weeks he has been with Sandy. He's more steady in the contact and nicely forward. But, he still tried to dictate the pace, the contact and the gaits. It was a lot of work trying to stay coordinated in my aids: my elbows didn't want to stay softly at my side, instead my hands dropped and they locked. And my brain was still pinging back to the hospital room six hours away.

3. I worked with Winston in walk and trot. Sandy said that Winston's canter has improved but I didn't have any gas left at the end to see for myself. We worked on transitions down from trot to walk, then back up to trot after a few steps. I learned to keep my leg on during the downward transition and then just squeeze to go back to trot. I had been taking my leg off in the downward, and then having to kick back to trot. Keeping my leg on kept the communication open and the transitions were much smoother. Sandy said that I'm being too timid with Winston (true) and that I need to be firmer. I'm good at being firm on the ground; I need to translate my leader status when mounted as well. Fighting with Winston doesn't work; persistent patience does. Once Winston figures out he can't fight and that it's easier to give, he does.

4. After my lesson, I took Winston to the jumping arena and let him loose so he could roll. I unsnapped the lead line and he trotted off to the far side of the arena. I sat on the mounting block in the middle of the arena and watched him roll. He ambled around the arena with his back turned to me. I was getting the cold shoulder, loud and clear. I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to catch him so I ducked out of the arena and walked towards my car to get a couple horse cookies from the trunk. Winston stood at the far side of the arena and watched me go. And then he threw a fit; racing around at a full gallop, tail so high it brushed his back, head high, freaking out that I was leaving. I got the cookies and walked back to the arena where he was still racing in circles. As I walked up to the gate, he skidded to a stop in front of me and thrust his face at my chest. I clipped on the lead rope, gave him a cookie and led him back to his stall letting him graze on the green lawn as we went.

5. I took back roads back home. My brain was too tired and worried to deal with the freeway. I drove through the equestrian estates in Wilton and Rancho Murieta along roads lined with walnut groves. My cell phone rang and I pulled onto the shoulder to talk to my sister. She was in my mom's hospital room, calling to report that my mom was alert, feisty and comfortable. I eased the car back onto the road and continued my drive through the wine country of Amador County, up into the foothills of the Sierras, and home.


  1. Oh Annette your poor Mom it must be so hard for you to be so far away. I am happy she is doing well.
    My Mom just came home from a two week stay in the hospital then a quick ambulance trip back than back home again. She loves being home and we hope the healing will be better there.
    I understand the worry. Take care HUG B

  2. Good news, that your Mom has improved. Sounds like you are a bit frustrated with Winston. He's probably ticked because he is not home with you, and told you that before you left. It is so easy for them to tell how you feel when you are riding. Hopefully Sandy can give both of you more confidence. Worrying about your Mom certainly had an impact on that particular ride. Hang in there.

  3. oh dear what a day. I hope your mom continues to improve. Appys can have strong opinions. In the end Winston's strong nature will be good for both of you. Right now he's learning to use it for good instead of evil.

  4. Sorry for your mom's injury and health issues. I don't think there is anything as emotionally traumatic as the thought of losing your mom. I'm not sure I would have been able to ride if it were me.

    Winston is going through the teenager stage. Be firm. Be consistent. Be humorous, or you will never survive this.

    Sending lots of healing energy to your mom. Peace.

  5. i hope your mom will recover quickly.

  6. Hoping you and Brett have a relaxing, calm weekend. Sending healing thoughts to your Mom.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, but it sounds as though she's doing well considering. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  8. I am so glad your sister was able to let you know your mom was doing okay... and that you were able to have a schooling ride despite the worry! Well done!

  9. Glad your Mom is okay.
    I think Winston sounds adorable. You and he are going to be great! His confidence will be a real bonus once he buys into the idea of training :).


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.