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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


That's the problem with reading lots of blogs....or rather NOT reading the lots of blogs you are subscribed to. I currently have over 1,000 new posts that I'm frantically (yes, frantically) trying to get through. I was SURE it was Gundiva who asked us for our biggest fear/hang up that her readers had, that – if we did not force ourselves to get over it – could lead to insufficient care of our horses. But now I can't find the post. Anywhere. Not on her blog. Not on anyone elses blog. And since the deadline to post a comment about our biggest hangups on that mystery blog was something like Friday the 13th or something silly like that, I'm thinking it was an older post.

But I want to play anyways! So here's my comment...if i could find the freakin' post again!

Of course, she asked for a comment, not a post. It's a bit long for a comment I think.

And she asked for our hang ups, not an all out confession. And I believe the exact instructions were that it needed to be horse related.

I'm on a sabbatical. I don't have to follow instructions.

But, I had been working on this post for a while. During the last year I’ve done some really stupid, please put me out of my misery, dump, idiotic things. I would quietly note them down in evernote and told myself one day I would share those gems with you.

The day has come.

Here’s a confession of hang-ups, phobias, and general stupidity. Some big, some small. Hopefully I will still have some readers after all of this?

#1: I hate getting wet. Really really really hate it. If I don’t shower RIGHT AFTER running I won’t until the next time I run. Even more than getting wet, I hate cold water. Nothing makes my head twist off quite as fast as someone trying to spray me with a spray bottle during the summer (usually coupled with my other nemesis – the fan). I HATE IT. During the winter I can go more than a week without a shower (clean underwear, deodorant, careful choosing of outfits, and being anti-social). In a related phobia, I really abhor fans. I don’t like the feeling of the air blowing across my skin. I have really sensitive skin. Can we just blame this on my sensitive skin? So how does this affect my horses? I rarely give baths. I can do a lot with dry grooming. A true bath happens maybe once a year. During the summer I do rinse after a ride, but that falls into the category of getting wet incidentally right after physical activity, so it’s tolerable. In endurance, I probably don’t sponge as much as I should. I have all sorts of reasons I don’t sponge, and fortunately it looks like I may have a horse right now that doesn’t need a lot of sponging. Heaven forbid I might have to sponge copiously on my next horse. I can, of course, force myself to do what my horse needs. You bet I was dripping wet at Devil’s Thumb during Tevis last year cooling Farley. But unless the situation specifically calls for water, I look for alternatives, and unless it’s for the sake of he horse in front of me, I’m PROBABLY not recreating with water. Step away with the squirt bottle and battery fan, or someone is going to get hurt. I may be wet, but you will be bleeding by the time we’re through.

#2: At our last night ride from the boarding stable (not at an official ride), I actually disciplined Farley for spooking backwards when I told her to cross a road (I was on foot). I then realized….I….errr….was looking at her WITH my head lamp ON. The bright setting. And asking her to come towards me.

#3: While adjusting my stirrups for 20 MT 100 in February, I discovered I had miscounted the holes in my stirrups and have been riding with the left stirrup 1 hole shorter for at least the last 6 months. Ummm…..I have all sorts of ways to justify this, but the truth is that is wasn’t on purpose, so even if that’s where they needed to be, it was a really stupid error that could been putting a lot of strain on us both (I definitely had more cramping on that side etc.) and I’m almost POSITIVE that’s how the stirrups were at the Patriots 100….

#4: A year ago I paid $80 for a bit. When there was a perfectly good $35 one that was exactly the same thing. Egg butt oval mouth with a copper link. I don’t know how to describe it, but the $80 stubben just had a better curve and was a piece of ART compared to the $35 JP Korsteel or whatever it was. Technically it was the same bit. Visually there was just something…..I have no idea whether Farley likes the Stubben better than she would have like the cheaper bit. Part of me feels like I was a fool to spend $45 more than I had to – but the other part of me says that I’ll buy ONE of these kinds of bits, I trust Stubben, and if there’s “something” about the line and curve of the bars that just fits better somehow…..does this make me a bit snob? I’m probably choosing the wrong thing to pay for quality…….but I LIKE bits.

#5: I’m hard of hearing. I have a really hard time hearing certain tones. I have to constantly ask one of my sisters to repeat herself. Over and over and over. It’s infuriating. Not being able to hear well makes me a bit jumpy. That isn’t good when you are on a horse. I’ve learned to watch my horse for clues of something on the trail. On endurance rides it’s really difficult for me to hold a conversation if there’s noise in the background. It’s extremely frustrating to go to ride meetings. Just a few people murmuring back and forth and I can’t hear a darn thing. Any public event that is in a large outdoor setting (like graduations….) where there are likely to be rude people talking, and insufficient amplification of the people on stage is a real trial. Sometimes I have wondered whether some of my difficulties in playing the fiddle and being able to jam and pick up tunes is due to this. I like talk radio/talk podcasts a lot. I don’t listen to a lot of music. Music is hard for me to listen to. I have to concentrate. Otherwise it becomes noise that makes it hard for me think. I have always worn ear protection, never listened to loud music etc., so it’s probably mostly genetic. I have several close relatives that have the same problem and the family is only recently starting to look at those of us with the issue as less due to loud noises/lifestyle and more of a genetic basis. I admit that being hard of hearing is a bit embarrassing. And frustrating. BUT, it’s amazing what horses will do to help us overcome limitations with whatever tools are available. As a child I swore I would never wear a hearing aid – they were ugly, obnoxious, and frankly I found people who wore them a bit scary. BUT – I will GLADLY wear one when it’s time and I’m not even stressed about it, because I want to be there for my horses as close to 100% physically as I can be.

#6: I’ve always been a little freaked out by those harmonica contraptions that rest on a persons neck and cover their mouth, and let them play the harmonica hands-free. The uncomfortable-ness has stayed with me as an adult. I know –silly. But this is about confessions and freeing myself from secret obsessions right????? Fortunately I haven’t encountered many hands free harmonica contraptions in the horse world…..

#7: At the ripe old age of junior high, I declared I would never ride in an english saddle – those little “pancake” things. Growing up I was a HUGE fan of the Zane Grey books and the cowboys in those books were always sneering at those little flaps of leather on top of horses’ backs, and so I did too. Not sure what happened….but I’m sure my little preteen cowgirl self would be aghast at the saddle I rode 100 miles in – but on the other hand, she might be too distracted by that big shiny Tevis buckle…..

#8: Twice this year I have mounted Farley, realized I didn’t have my helmet on and consciously decided to ride without it. I know!!!!!! Stupid!!!!!! I ALWAYS ride with a helmet. Except when I forget apparently…..BTW – did you’all see this? Not likely enough to happen to me (and I could make the excuse that this is one reason among many my saddles don’t have horns) for me to declare myself done with helmets, but if it DID….boy, that would be a tough one!

#9: I have gone through a drive through with my horse trailer. I’m not sure if that’s a confession as much as a triumph? For those of you in the area…..there’s a wendy’s off of HWY 99 between Turlock and Fresno that’s horse trailer friendly! OK - not much of a confession. How's this - the major reason that I was scared to ride in an arena up until a few years ago, was because I was sure that the horse would ride too close to the side of the arena fence, my toe would catch, my entire foot and leg be wrenched to the side, and my foot and probably everything below the knee would be twisted off my body like a bottle cap. Yeah....definitely a hang up that I had to get over for the sake of my horse - the arena is a useful tool, not a death trap. I swear.

#10: Hornets and wasps bring me to full on panic attacks, complete with screaming and flailing. Honest. I become absolutely uncontrollable, incomprehensible and I’m pretty sure I will die if there ever comes a time when I have to actually deal with them in some manner other than screaming and running and crying.

Anyone else have anything they wish to confess? Anything you’ve gotten over for the sake of your horses?


  1. Glad I'll be anonymous on this one. I wholeheartedly agree with your Confession #1. I hate taking showers and baths. I love horse packing vacations when there's no showers in sight for a week. I snear at people so weak that they have to take those "sun showers" after a 25 mile competitive ride. Really? You need to be THAT clean out in the woods? Since I work at home I can easily go days without thinking I need a shower, I wait til I have to be social. Stick my hair in a baseball cap, a pony tail... Thanks for letting me admit this!

  2. LOL! I totally agree with you. I begrudgely DID purchase a battery operated shower for 100's, because a hot shower feels SO good half way through at dinner time if I can convince myself to use it. I did force myself to swim for a year or two, and was OK if the pool was heated. But in general....just getting wet for the sake of getting wet....nah. I'm not going to name names....but there are several VERY close aquaintencnes that it's really improtatn to them that they are clean, and if it's a really hot day, they will take several showers a day because they did something outside, took a shower, then decided to do something else outside, take a shower etc. I just can't relate at ALL. One of the best things about cutting my hair was the realization that I could go longer with out a shower (although at the same time, I actually minded the shower less because I didn't have to deal with cold wet hair that touched my back and shoulders).

    So glad to hear there's someone else out there like me!!!! I've never had anyone else admit that they too weren't a fan of showers/baths. :)

  3. ha ha! I love honest posts! I'm also deathly afraid of wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc... I will run around screaming my head off. It's just ridiculous I know but I can't help it. I was fine until a friend of mine stepped on a yellow jacket nest last summer...not being able to get them off you is the worst.

    My other confession is that I feel guilty when I don't see Grayson everyday. I know that he's perfectly content eating green grass in a 10 acre field with his bud...I mean that's every horses dream but I still feel bad.

    I also get intimidated by the teeny-boppers at my barn who have well-schooled (also much older) horses to who basically point and shoot. My Grayson is not quite there yet. :)

    PS Showering is OK but I really really dislike washing my hair...I can go up to 4 days without washing it. Not sure if that's something to be proud of but luckily I have blonde hair so it's not greasy looking.

  4. Also, I rarely brush Grayson's mane and tail. It's the whole hair care thing :)


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