Today was supposed to be my catching up day... catching my breath after a busy several days. Friday I drove 6 hours to the Washington kids' place to attend and help with another fabulous Shannon Peters clinic over the weekend. And to play with grandson Ian who has a cool new game for his WII, "Just Dance". Here he is during a clinic lunch break, following the WII dancer's moves.
Ian didn't have much time to spend dancing, though. He manned the concession booth at the clinic both days, selling hot coffee and muffins and a multitude of other things. Between customers, he played games on his portable computer. Ian is a high tech kid. But he knows how to make change in his head... no calculator needed.
The whole trip, not just the dancing, was fun but exhausting. I could get tired just watching Shannon working with horses and riders from the ground. At times with long lines, at times with longe whip and/or bamboo pole, she helps create the "inner fire" and instant response so necessary for dressage. She gives the horses (and the riders) positive reinforcement when they make the right responses and both horses and riders try hard to please her.
I drove home Sunday afternoon, before the clinic was over, so I could go to my Monday jump lesson. This was at a different barn than usual but with the same wonderful instructor. One of these times I'll have to coax Johnny into coming with me and taking photos. Mr. Smith and I had great fun learning to bounce. No, not the kind of bouncing on horseback I do without instruction. This kind of bouncing is jumping several jumps in a row with no strides in between. We did four jumps in a line, bouncing in and out. Very fun but, again, exhausting.
Today was supposed to be a restful day after all this excitement. But my animals, as usual, thought otherwise. Animals seem to be tuned into my moods and as soon as I'm tired and need rest, they do something to make sure I don't get it. This morning I discovered that Jessie Anne had, sometime before I arrived on the scene, managed to get herself on the wrong side of the electric fence, tearing it down in the process. I spent the first part of my restful day repairing fence.
Then I fed the horses their breakfasts. As I was doing so, I noticed Shirley Puppy headed through the bushes for the woven wire fence separating us from our neighbor. Mister McCoy (more commonly known as The Big White Dog) was right behind her. Those delinquents oozed through a widened space in the woven wire and disappeared eastward, toward the road. I screamed at them. McCoy reappeared, joyfully wagging his tail, and squeezed back through the fence. Shirley followed reluctantly. Once the dogs were on the proper side of the fence, I praised them for coming home but told them they must not go outside our boundaries.
Knowing I would be ignored, I shoved a spare white electric fence post into the ground, fastening the wires to it in hopes of blocking their escape route. Of course, the dogs are perfectly capable of creating other widened places so I wove branches through wires in other likely escape spots. I do not want McCoy roaming the neighborhood.
Finally, I headed for the goat barn to do morning chores, only to realize that I first needed to unload the feed I'd picked up at the feed store on my way home from my jump lesson yesterday. Eventually, the 10 sacks of goat feed were unloaded, goats milked and fed, barn cleaned. Johnny, who spent the day working on the new goat barn, helped unload the 10 sacks of horse feed. By now my catching up on rest day was half over with nary a sign of resting.
But in the afternoon bills were paid, appointments made, and too many hours spent on this computer trying to find lost information needed to make those appointments and pay those bills. I guess that's a kind of resting, just not very relaxing. So I elected to relax by catching up in this blog... instead of doing something useful, like unpacking the car... and my suitcase... from the weekend.
And now, before I get on with the evening's work and apropos of nothing, here are some recent images...
Elk and a Cedar Waxwing at Finley National Wildlife Refuge;
the big white dog where he's supposed to be, with goats in the goat barn;
and Johnny on top of the new goat barn, working late one evening.