You know those days when you wouldn't sell your horse for a million dollars? And then there are those days when you want to slap a "for sale" sign on the front of the stall as soon as you dismount. Well, Friday was one of those rare days for Phantom and me.
We started out with a quick longe in the outdoor arena. It was overcast and pleasant following our Northwest "heat wave" so I considered riding outside. We began with a walkabout up the alley to the turnouts and back. Thought I'd take a spin around the round pen when Phantom saw...the Blue Tarp of Death. This is a tarp covering a corner of the "pig palace" to provide our porker friends some shade. But to Phantom it looked deadly. It moved! So I began easing him toward it and we were doing okay until a bird flew up out of a brush pile. Snort and quiver. I held Phantom in place, and then he gave me the worst spook I think he's done since we teamed up. I stayed with him, then I dismounted and put the longe line back on him to make him stand and walk past the Blue Tarp of Death. Of course, once the pigs emerged from their palace Phantom didn't know which was worse. But I got him to walk past the tarp on the line.
So I rode him outside and it was one of the worst rides we've had in ages. Apparently a result of Phantom's vacation of sorts and tension on my part. I just could not get a decent connection. Phantom popped up in front several times when frustrated, an old issue I thought we were over. We were NOT on the same wave length at all. I finally got some okay work to the left, but he couldn't hold it to the right. So I traded the saddle for the surcingle with side reins and trotted him for about 5-10 minutes until he stopped bracing. At that point I called it good.
Sheesh! As I said, I know I contributed to the situation. Phantom isn't normally such a space cadet. We'll hope both of us are in a better frame of mind tomorrow.
Made some progress yesterday on "Water Tribute." At the moment I'm feeling confident about it. That will change, of course. Part of the writing process.
I'm a little bummed because by the time I have a first draft and revise it, my First Readers will be back in school and dealing with homework. *sigh*
Got the 2008-09 schedule for The Northwest Author Series held at the Wilsonville Library. The series of presentations is organized by a local author and gives folks a chance to hear a variety of writing-related topics presented by area writers. I didn't make it last time, but I hope to correct that this season.
THE REAL DIRT
Managed to squeeze in some time in the yard. My mother is the gardener, but she's less mobile than she'd like to be. So I'm the designated yard maintencance crew. Me, who lived in apartments for 25 years. I trimmed a few limbs, pulled a few weeds and sprayed more with Round Up (at least I THINK they were weeds).
We like to have flower baskets on the front porch, which I planted this year and try to remember to water. So far so good. Managed to salvage the planters after a faltering start.
We have no grass...by design. Our attempt at a yard of wooly thyme started out promising, then it was overrun with unwanted grass. Ended up removing what was left of the thyme and now have barkdust atop a weed barrier that sort of works. Beats mowing.