There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse -Robert Smith Surtees

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend was nice, very relaxing which is something that I don’t get all that often. Tom and Maryann had gone to New York so I was feeding his ponies Wednesday evening through Friday evening. They are super easy to care for of course. Thanksgiving itself really ended up being a lazy day. I got up and fed at Tom’s in the morning and then I came home, put the PJ’s back on and crawled in bed with Squalor. It was great. Squalie-cat loved it as well. As soon as a laid down again he was immediately on my shoulder, almost like he was trying to keep me in bed. Anyway I ended up not getting up again until it was time to get ready to go to Aunt Sandy’s.

Dinner was small this year. Todd, Kris and the girls were at her family’s for dinner and Daddy had to work. But the food was delicious as always. And then Sheri and Joe stopped by after dinner. I did have to get up and leave to go feed at Tom’s. But I had filled water and laid out hay in the morning so I only had to dump grain in the stalls and bring the ponies inside. Didn’t take very long at all. Then when I got back to Aunt Sandy’s Todd and crew had arrived. And Todd had found a job for me to apply for. It’s at Heritage Valley, it’s an HR Consultant job. The primary location is at the HR Offices in Moon Twp, but some travel would be required to the two hospitals. And the best part is that it would be a pretty significant pay increase. Even just the starting rate is about $7 an hour more than I make now. And hopefully with my experience I would start somewhere in the middle. The mid point of the salary range is about double what I make now. Plus it would almost be like even more of a raise since I wouldn’t be spending $92 a month to park, and I wouldn’t be spending as much in gas. Moon Twp is a lot closer than Oakland, plus not nearly as much of a hassle to get there. Aunt Sandy of course is helping me out and got Dr. Yakish to give me a reference. And she talked to the COO of the hospital to put in a good word for me. And Aunt Sandy knows the CEO of the hospital. So fingers crossed. I’m hoping Aunt Sandy’s help will at least get me the interview and then I just need to dazzle them and get the job.

Friday morning I had to feed both at Tom’s and Bonnie’s. Got all the ponies fed and then started cleaning some stalls while I waited for Bonnie, Astrid and Ethan. We got a lot done that day. I picked horsechild’s stall and then the kids and I cleaned the four stallions. Buster and Mystic weren’t too bad. And Ethan and Astrid had cleaned M-N-M on Wednesday, so he only needed picked out. Spot of course, was the worst. It took all afternoon to dig it out and clean it. But it was nice to get that side cleaned. Now we just need to get some of the empty stalls over there cleaned out so the outside horses can come in. Before we left Astrid and I took turns lunging on X. He’s such a good boy on the lunge line. Astrid though, I couldn’t believe that she shortened the stirrups on my saddle to ride. She’s taller than me, if anything she should have to lengthen them! Feed Tom’s horses on my way home and then I quickly got cleaned up and over to Aunt Sandy’s for leftovers. Watched the Pitt-WVU game, which was enough to drive me to drink. Don’t really want to talk about it.

Saturday I slept in a bit and didn’t make it to the barn until later. Rode on the lunge first with Astrid on Naughtie. Astrid’s trying, I know she is, but she has that horse so dead sided. And not bending at all. I would end up pounding my inside leg on her just to get her to move over, only she would just speed up. She has no concept now of independent leg. So that means she’s going to be getting lots of lessons with spurs and draw reins. I did have to laugh because once I put Astrid on her, she didn’t dare cut her circle short. Not because Astrid was keeping her out, but because she knew she wasn’t allowed to do that with me. Then I rode X with the group. Rachel rode Airy, Astrid on Kaye and Katie on Naughtie. We did the cavaletti’s with them, but bowed out of the jumping. Now quite ready to jump my own beastie yet, he tends to get a little too exuberant over fences, especially when he hasn’t jumped in a while. After the kids finished jumping I did some canter work with him. He started out being a jerk. But we did the exercise where we canter a circle, stop at the wall, turn on the haunches and canter the other direction. Rinse and repeat. After we did that a few times he was cantering very nicely.

Sunday of course I was back out at the barn. Bonnie and I got a lot done. Twinkie, X, Bugs, Cuddles, Miss and Kaye’s stalls all got cleaned. Heather brought Ari and Elaina out, along with their friends, another Elaina and Jenna. The kids all rode Fanny and then Ari and Jenna went to go interview Lisa Culver for their Girl Scout project. After they finished there, Heather dropped the two of them off to help clean stalls. It was nice to have their help with things like getting sawdust and whatnot. Anyway Bonnie and I were just starting to feed when Taryn and her Mom showed up. So Bonnie finished feeding and Taryn and I rode. Taryn got Bugs, who was not all that happy to have been ignored for a few days. And I rode Naughtie. I wanted to spend some time with her in draw reins and with spurs. She really needed the work on bending and lightening her sides. After we worked on the flat for a while I popped her over a few jumps. First cross-bar she just tried to stop at it. After that I really got after her going down to the fence. Of course though I ended up having to turn the fence intoa small oxer before she's even bother to jump it. Silly TBs have to make everything so difficult.