Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Some pics from HITS










Thank you Russ, official photographer for http://www.whitmere.net/ and http://www.tuckerthewunderkind.blogspot.com/!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love, Tucker

Mom's super busy at work since she took last week off to play with me, so she said I could write to you guys today.  She told me to tell you alllll about sleepaway camp. 

First my mom showed up in the middle of the day.  I was sleeping cause she never comes to see me in the middle of the day, unless it's bran mash day, or the day before bran mash day.  She woke me up and gave me a bath.  Then she hooked up my trailer (you know, it's like a stall, but it moves).  I got really excited cause I was on the cross-ties so I knew she was taking me somewhere.  She led me out to the drive way and I marched right in cause there's usually lots of food in there.  Then she and the nice guy that feeds me got into her truck and away we went! 

I was in there a long time.  A lot longer than usual.  So when we finally stopped, I really needed a stretch.  I unloaded myself and snuck right past everybody and went for a little trot around the big striped tents.  That was really fun, but then my mom started looking really worried so I stopped.  I didn't mean to make her worried I just really wanted to explore and there were soooo many cute ponies to see.  Then I followed mom and all the guys I know from my barn were already there!  Griffin, and Joe, and Reggie, and my best friend Junior, and Outsider.  Outsider is the prettiest horse I've ever seen.  She makes my tummy feel all funny when she looks at me.  Sometimes when she walks away I call to her really loud but she never says anything back.  I think someday she'll realize what a special guy I am though, and then we'll live happily ever after.  Sigh.

I got to spend the night in this really cool tent that had stalls set up in it.  It was just like sleepaway camp, and there were all these horses I've never seen before there too, and sometimes at night people on ladders would show up and put their manes in those tight little knots, and sometimes the horses I don't know would talk to each other.  Sometimes I'd talk back even though I don't know them.  I think everybody should be friends. 

The best part about the whole week was that my mom was there the whole time and she kept doing stuff with me and giving me treats and taking me for walks and petting me all the time and saying what a good boy I am.  I love when she tells me that.  Some of the stuff we did was no fun though.  Every morning we had to go play the circle game and I really really hate the circle game.  Mom stands there with a big long lead rope and I have to go around her in circles.  There were lots of other horses playing the circle game too and some of them looked really mad cause they were bucking and running really fast.  They made me nervous, and sometimes I was worried they were going to hurt their people.  You have to be really careful around people you know because they get hurt really easily. 

My mom gave me lots of baths which I thought was really silly because horses don't like being all shiny and smelly like flowers.  We like to be dusty and dirty and we smell much better that way.  I talked to the other horses and we all agreed that baths are stupid.  Reggie told me to step on the people's toes when they give me baths but I told him that was mean.  When the nice guy that feeds me gives me baths I always let him wash my face but I don't let my mom do it.  I don't know why but I think it's really funny.  My mom doesn't think it's funny but I do.  After the baths, my mom put those tiny little knots in my mane and my tail.  Sometimes I like that because my mom stands there and talks to me for a really long time, but sometimes they get really itchy and I don't like that part.  She gives me lots of treats when she's done though and that part is good. 

I got to jump a lot last week.  That was really cool.  I love to jump.  Sometimes when we jump my mom gets really nervous and it makes me scared but this time she didn't get nervous so I wasn't scared.  I think my mom liked those jumps too.  We also got to do the part where all the horses go in together and it's really fun.  We all trot at the same time and we all canter at the same time like a big happy family.  Then at the end we all stand in a line together, and then someone gives my mom one of those pretty ribbons and that makes her really happy and she pets me a lot.  After we did all that, the nice lady that rides me sometimes would give me sugar and talk to my mom, and then we would go back to the big tent and see all my friends.

Then later on we would go for a walk and my mom would get on bareback which is my favorite thing.  Sometimes Outsider came with us.  One time she came with us and she licked me the whole time but I didn't mind.  I tried to touch her a few times though and she got really really mad.  I told her about my white ribbon but she made fun of me because she said that class didn't even have jumps in it.  So then I walked with Joe cause he is nicer even though he walks really slow.

All the people were really happy last week and they were laughing a lot and clapping for me.  Everyone kept telling me that I'm a really good boy and giving me sugar and treats.  That made me happy.  At the end I got back on my trailer and mom seemed really sad to be going home, but I was happy because it was bran mash day so when I got home I had bran mash and then I got to go in the big field with my best friends Rodie and Junior.  I can't wait for sleepaway camp next year! 

Love,
Tucker

Monday, July 26, 2010

Still in the clouds....

That's where my head is right now.  I keep thinking about the horse show, the sights, the sounds, the smells... the people, the horses, the golf carts, the bikes... the rings, the jumps, the footing....  I've made up my mind.  Next year, I am going to get the circuit stall.  I'll take the first week off work and stay up there, and then we'll go back for my classes the next two weekends.  I can't stand the fact that the horse show is still going on and I'm missing it!  (I'm such a little kid!)

Our classes over the weekend went well.  Not brilliant, but very good, by my standards.  On Saturday, the pace was just right, and I never missed a distance, but we had one late lead change in each class.  Definitely showing signs of progress in the pace department, which of course makes finding the distance a no-brainer for either of us.  I was really hoping we had the changes down, but we did get several of them as well as missing a couple, so all in all, not a bad day.  He was also 8th in the hack out of 16 horses, which was excellent.  I didn't see how everyone moved, but I noticed that the first two horses were very straight legged movers, no bend in the knee at all.  With judges that like that kind of movement, Tucker isn't usually in the top ribbons, because he's got more athletic movement with a little bend in his knee.  All depends on what they like.  Still though, an 8th out of that many, in such top quality company, makes me happy.

On Sunday (yesterday), the pace was a bit slow.  I'm not used to having to send him forward so much!  He was very relaxed, probably a little tired, and since he was so used to the horse show routine by that point, going in the ring didn't give him the usual extra energy that it does at a one-day show.  So I needed to move up more than I did, and ride more forward through the turns.  Since I'm so unfamiliar with that ride on him, I didn't know how much leg I needed, and ended up being just a little under the pace we needed in both rounds.  We had a couple of good lines, a couple of chips, and one very unfortunate line where Tucker earned his dinner and then some.  It was a triple, across the diagonal, five strides to a two stride.  We jumped in quietly, I didn't move up enough, we did five and a half, and then the poor guy had to figure his way out of the two stride.  "Gee, thanks mom.  You just buried me, and now I have to find my way out of this???  No, no, don't worry about me, I'll just figure it out like I always do.  Hang on up there, here we go...."  But of course, in perfect Tucker form, he dragged us through two strides and left long, jumped me a little loose but saved my butt and got us out of there in one piece.  Such a trooper.  Thankfully, I redeemed myself and managed to at least jump the last line of that course very well, with a nice forward rhythm.  So, the horse show ended on a good note.  We only missed one lead change that day, and either landed the lead or got the change everywhere else.  Very good boy! 

Alicia's husband Russ came with us, the official photographer for tuckerthewunderkind.com, and took some great shots of all of us.  We also have video of Saturday's rounds, so I'll post those too if I can figure out how to get them off Alicia's camera.  I'll be posting a bunch more pictures on the Whitmere website soon once I go through them all, but for now, here is my favorite one of Tucker from Thursday:


I'm already planning our next horse shows... now that I'm having so much fun with my horse, I just want to keep going!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Live from New York

Good morning Tucker fans!  We are blogging to you live from HITS-on-the-Hudson IV, where the Wunderkind is completely living up to his name.  He has been fabulous so far, and I am convinced that I am the luckiest girl in the world.  I can honestly say I'm not taking one second of this for granted.

First of all, this is my favorite horse show.  There are a million places to ride, including a HUGE schooling ring for the hunters (so big it fits about six schooling jumps across the middle, lined up end to end, with plenty of room in between and on either end for multiple horses to pass each other in both directions.  The footing is perfect in the schooling rings, the show rings, even the lunging area.  The rings are a nice size for Tucker, and the lines are set up just right for him.  The jumps are pretty but not intimidating.  Everyone has been incredibly nice, from the people working in the horse show office who patiently answer questions, to the guys at the in-gates who constantly have to juggle the order to get everyone in the ring, to the grounds crew who wait for your horse to walk by before driving their big fork lift past you.  This is just a well-run, beautiful, fun horse show that I look forward to all year.

And the horses!  You have never seen so many beautiful horses in one place in your whole life.  One after another, they parade past you like Breyer horses come to life, in their beautiful tack and their fancy scrim sheets.  You look across the schooling ring and it is a sea of fat, shiny, gorgeous athletes doing their thing.  Back at the barns they walk around peaceful and contented with their day's work, totally comfortable with life on the road.  I love them all.  Hunters, jumpers, eq horses, ponies... they are all spectacular.  I have to force myself not to gawk sometimes, some of them are just so painfully lovely. 

And then there's my fabulous boy.  He has been everything a girl could ask for.  We got here on Tuesday afternoon around 4:30, unpacked, settled him into his stall and then went for a quick lunge until our eyes went back into our head.  Then we joined Alicia and Outsider, Kathleen and Reggie, and Dana and Joe for a ride down in the Grand Prix schooling ring.  Tucker felt springy and loose and so happy to be working.  We worked on some lead changes.  The left-to-right was perfect every time.  The right-to-left we were having a little trouble with, so Alicia watched a few and coached me through it.  The aids are very simple: it's both hands, both legs, keep him straight, send him forward, and then signal the change with an outside spur as he's beginning his canter stride.  He can make things complicated because he starts bouncing up and down or winging his head around trying to grab one rein or the other, but when he stays focused and relaxed, they are easy for him.  We got one after a couple of tries, and then quit with that. 

On Wednesday, Alicia showed him in the Low Hunters, and we think his second round was the best one he's ever done.  He was relaxed, and adjustable, and jumping round but softly.  He was nice and straight through the two-stride.  And he got his changes!  We were leaving it up in the air whether I would show him or Alicia would in the first class yesterday (Thursday) but since he was so fabulous, we decided I would do both rounds. 

Yesterday, I did the Low Hunter undersaddle at 7:30 a.m., and he was 4th out of 12!  Amongst some very fancy horses, so I was extremely pleased with him.  He hacked very well, but got a little worried in the second direction canter when a horse played a little right behind him, so I never got him quite fully relaxed in that canter.  Still though, he didn't do anything naughty despite the commotion behind him, just raised his head a little, so I can't penalize him for it.  Then we had about 2 hours until his turn in the order to do his jumping rounds, so we went back to the barn and put him back in his stall to hang out for a while.  I heard them say they had only seen the first 15 horses at 9:15, so I knew they were running a little behind, and took my time getting ready.  Then we made our way down to the ring (which is about a ten minute walk) and met up with Alicia and the rest of the crew.  (I love our barn.  We all come watch each other's rounds, and it makes me feel so good to cheer on my friends and have them there supporting me.)  Alicia had just done a great round on Outsider so we looked at pictures and joked around a bit before it was time for me to start warming up.

I did some flat work, some shoulder-ins and leg yields to get him accepting both reins, and worked on getting a forward, rolling, balanced canter.  Then we jumped a cross rail and three oxers, and he was perfect, so we headed up to the in-gate.  (I love that he doesn't need to jump much before he's ready for the ring.  It really makes me feel like we are saving him up for a long career.) 

Our jumping classes were awesome!  He was adjustable, and quiet, and I actually had to close my leg a little and send him forward (and remembered to do it!).  When I wanted him to move up, I just had to squeeze a little and he'd respond, and when I needed to collect, I just had to sit up tall and use my seat, without really changing anything in my hand.  Ideal! 

And.... drumroll please... we got our right-to-left changes in both classes!!!  We decided to have me wear a little pair of spurs since he was so quiet the day before, and it made all the difference in the world for the changes.  I usually wear spurs at home, but not in the show ring, because he used to get so forward in the ring.  But now that he's so relaxed and quiet, that doesn't seem to be a concern, and we thought it would help with the changes.   For the rest of the course, I really don't use them, just squeeze with my calves when I need him to move up.   But when I wanted the right to left change in the first class, I asked pretty hard with my spur, and he gave it to me.  Then in the second class, he knew I meant business, and I could feel him setting himself up for the right to left change in that corner, which is exactly what I want him to do. 

In the lines, he was straight, adjustable, and jumping round but not jumping me loose.  He only lost his straightness two times.  One was in the first class, he drifted right in the two-stride, so Alicia reminded me to keep my weight in both heels evenly, and it was much straighter in the second class.  The other time we lost our straightness, we had a long approach to a single oxer on the diagonal, off the right lead, and he just wanted to bulge through his left shoulder and grab the left rein a little, but I think I managed it well.  I decided to sit down, collect the canter and get him straight with my left rein and leg, and add a stride.  We did, the jump was good, and I was able to get him straight by the time we a couple of strides out.  I was a little worried that it was going to look like a chip, but Alicia said I worked it out well. 

So, as I'm sure you can imagine, I am living on Cloud Nine right now.  Today he just goes for a light hack, and then we do the Adult Hunters Saturday and Sunday.  Off to the horse show for me to cheer on the rest of the Whitmere team!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prayers for Rugby

Although this is a non-denominational blog, I have to ask you to say a prayer or think positive thoughts or send positive vibes or whatever it is that you might do in a time of need for one of Tucker's online buddies, Rugby, a horse who is very sick right now and needs all the positive energy he can get.  His poor mother Solitaire Mare has been through such a rough time with him, and is now facing the most difficult decision any horse owner can come to.  So, please take a minute and think of this big beautiful horse and wish him well.  Here are some of my favorite pictures of him, in case you don't follow his blog.

I have moments every day where I am overwhelmed with gratitude and simply amazed that I have the chance to have these two beautiful horses in my life, but stories like Rugby's really remind you how very lucky we all are. 

I would love to hear what it is about your horse, your riding, or your life with horses that you are most grateful or thankful for.  As for me, I am most grateful for:
  • Tucker's never-ending supply of forgiveness for all my mistakes;
  • The way Tucker closes his eyes and rests his head in my lap when he's laying down sleeping;
  • How Tucker follows the sound of my voice when he's in his stall or on the cross-ties;
  • The moment that Julie was born, when she looked right at me and I told her "you are my favorite thing!";
  • The confident look in Julie's eye, as though she already knows she's the prettiest girl in the room.
I really can't imagine what Rugby's mom must be feeling right now, but I hope that she can find a little more strength to help her and Rugby get through this.  Hopefully it will be a little comfort for her to know that her blogger friends are thinking of her and the Big Guy.  I am sure that she has a long list of moments with Rugby that she is grateful for, and I am wishing that she'll have more to come.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A little progress with straightness; The wound saga continues

Between the heat wave and the self-mutilation, Tucker had a full week off last week.  He didn't seem much worse off though, he felt happy to be back to work.  Unfortunately, all the progress we made toward getting him straighter in the week before seemed to have vanished.  I had a pretty solid flat session with him on Saturday, and we had a flat lesson on Sunday.  I still want to hold off on jumping him until the swelling is gone in his leg and I know it's in the clear.

On Saturday all I really worked on was getting him to go forward, which was a challenge in and of itself.  It took the entire first half of the ride to get something above a Western jog.  The trot was fairly abismal, so I decided to canter first and then come back to my trot work.  After the canter something seemed to unkink itself, and then I got a nice freely-moving forward balanced trot.  He still resisted the contact on the right rein so I never really got him straight, because when he grabs the left rein, his hips swing to the right, and if I straighten his hips but don't get him accepting the right rein, he'll just pop his right shoulder out.  But, I figured forward and straight-er was better than how we started so I quit on a good note.

In my lesson on Sunday after struggling to get him to accept the right rein for a while Alicia had me flip both reins to the right side of his neck.  So, I still had one rein in each hand, but my left rein was basically useless, since it was on the right side of his neck.  The point was to give him no choice but to accept the right rein because that's all I had, and prevent me from riding entirely off my left rein.  This meant I had to use a ton of left leg to keep him straight.  After doing this exercise, I realized that in general, I need to ride him with a lot more left leg.

Tucker, of course, didn't understand the objective of the exercise and swung his head completely out to the right, so he was trotting around staring at the wall.  Hmmm.  Talented little horse I have there.  Just as I was starting to think to myself that this was completely pointless, though, he actually started accepting the right rein a little.  Apparently trotting around with your neck at a 90 degree angle from your body becomes uncomfortable after several minutes or so?  He still wasn't completely straight, but at least he contemplated the idea that I could push him with my left leg into my right hand.  I have a feeling we'll need to do that exercise a few times to actually accomplish its purpose, but it was helpful.

As for the wound care department, I was trying for the first two days to keep it open, on the theory that it would form a scab best that way, and the Alushield would serve as an antimicrobial layer.  Unfortunately I think it is a little too deep to start healing that quickly, so I've decided to keep it wrapped for a few days until it starts to form a scab.  I consulted with a few friends whose horses have had similar injuries and the consensus is that's what the vets usually say.  So, for turnout I did a gauze pad with vet wrap (not too tight, because I was worried about putting pressure on his tendon, but snug enough that it wouldn't slide down).  For tonight, since he's staying in due to thunderstorms, I did the same thing under a standing wrap.

Yesterday and today, instead of just scrubbing with betadine/novalsan, I flushed it out really well with hydrogen peroxide in a syringe, which I think really helped to clean it out.  Under his wrap, I switched to a more heavy duty topical treatment, Equaide, which prevents proud flesh, is a heavy duty antibiotic, and generally helps with healing.  I don't know if it's actually developing proud flesh, but the fact that there's no scab forming after four days and it's a fairly deep cut makes me want to take all precautions.  He's also been on SMZs and will continue that for another 4 days.

I stopped at CVS tonight and got non-stick gauze pads, because I noticed when I took his wrap off tonight that, although the wound was very clean, it was really stuck to the gauze.  That certainly won't help with scab formation.  I also got some saline solution to keep flushing the wound.  I remember the vet telling me something when Lilly had her last absess about hydrogen peroxide, that it's good in the beginning, but after that can dry out and kill healthy skin cells trying to heal. 

I took pictures, but they really aren't coming out well enough to show you guys any meaningful detail.  What I can say though is that there was a white to yellowish discharge on Saturday after being left open, but only blood tonight after being kept under the wrap.  I think that's good.  There was also white fleshy-type material forming in the center of the wound, which easily came off when I gently scrubbed on Sunday, no such stuff tonight.  Those two things are making me think that the wrapping and the Equaide are helping.  I don't plan to wrap indefinitely because I think that would create its own set of issues, but at least until there is a scab forming and the swelling comes down.  The good news on the swelling front is that even without icing or work today, it was only swollen around the perimeter of the wound, rather than from knee to pastern, as it had been on Thursday through Sunday.

The saga continues, but all seems to be moving in the right direction....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

In addition to the helmet, I'll need shin guards, and knee pads...

By the time I'm done protecting my horse from himself he's going to look like an only child with an overprotective mother learning to roller blade. 

In other words, yes, you've guessed it, he's managed to injure himself again.  And, once again, he's managed to injure himself on himself.  He's sliced his leg open just below his right knee, we think he did it lying down in his stall today on his own shoe.  That's the only possible way we can figure that he hurt himself while standing still and/or sleeping in his stall.  That is, unless he's got a pocket knife tucked away in his stall somewhere that we don't know about. 

The leg is pretty swollen, as you can see, but that's typical for him for any cut below the knee.  My delicate little flower doesn't handle cuts and scrapes very well.  He's got dainty little thoroughbred-like legs holding up that big frame, and they have a tendency to blow up like balloons at the slightest paper cut.  So, I'm not as worried about the swelling, especially given the insane heat wave we've been having.  (Oh and don't be concerned by the absurd toeing out he's demonstrating in this picture.  That's actually completely "normal" for us and has even improved over the past year with our new farrier.  Hey, I never said he was a conformation hunter.  That's only one of many egregious conformational defects that make it a wonder this horse can even walk straight, let alone perform the way he does.  We love him anyway.  But I digress.)

Back to the carnage....  Alicia stuck him on the lunge line and verified that he is in fact sound (which is impressive, because this is the same horse that once slipped and fell on the lunge line and stood up holding one front leg in the air because of a tiny little scrape, and once made us pull out the x-ray machines only to discover a miniscule little cut on the folds of skin on his chest which was causing three-legged lameness), so we made the executive decision to spray the cut well with Alu-Shield (one of my favorite products) and surround the area with Swat, and put him out for the night.  My thought was that he's better off walking around tonight and getting things circulating than stuck in his stall in wraps, pacing back and forth hysterically, frantic and stressed to the point of sheer panic because his friends are out having all kinds of fun without him, moments he'll never get back, a whole night full of wonder and adventure and he's stuck in this lousy stall with these stinkin wraps and, and, and....  Oh sorry I was channelling him for a second there.  (Remember that scene in ET when Elliot gets drunk at school?)

And here it is, the most recent war wound in Tucker's never-ending battle between his Ego and his Id:



Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

On a more humorous note, I was on the train platform when I got the call about this one, and those around me heard the following half of the conversation:  "Oh no.  You're kidding.  He did that to himself sleeping?  We are going to have to get him padded walls!  What is wrong with him?  Is it bleeding still?  How swollen is it?  Hmm, that's pretty normal for him.  Deep enough for stitches?  Oh ok, well that's good for once.  Is he walking okay on it?  Oh good.  Nah, I think he can go out anyway.  Better for him to walk it off.  Yeah, you're probably right.  Does he still have a bottle left over from the stitches on his head?  Twelve twice a day, right?  Okay, yeah, take some pictures and call me back.  Thanks."

I must have sounded like the world's worst mother.  Kid's at home bleeding and swollen, apparently due to some injury he sustained while sleeping, but I'm sending him out on his merry way for the night anyway.  And kid obviously just recently had stitches in his head, and apparently this is a frequent occurrence.  And I wanted to see pictures!  I noticed a woman in scrubs eyeing me particularly suspiciously. 

Ah, the joys of being a horse mom.  Reminds me of the post at Halt Near X about frightening cashiers.....


________________________________________
**Editor's Note:  Upon re-reading this post, it appears I've had too much caffeine today and my thoughts are a bit... scattered.  Kindly bare with me on this one.  It's been a long week....  Also, Tucker would like me to clarify that we don't actually channel each other.  He claims that if we did, he'd be a lot less confused on course.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Just for Rachel....

Rachel over at Dapple of My Eye was bashing her equitation today, and I had to tell her that it's impossible to think about what you look like when you have a wiggly wobbly baby underneath you. 

So, just to prove my point... Here is a baby picture of me and Tucker.  Tucker is only 3 years old in this picture!  My hands are in my lap, my elbows are sticking out, I'm staring down at his neck, and hunching my shoulders.  I think I have a huge smile on my face though, so that's what really matters (and I think Rachel is smiling in her pics too!).  And doesn't he look just adorable?  Boy, I miss these days.  When all he had to do was trot in a straight line to make me happy.  Actually, 5 years later and we're still working on trotting in straight lines.  Nevermind.... just enjoy the cute pic!


We now return you to your regularly programmed horse

Had a lovely weekend with my horse, which I needed, seeing as how the last horse show made me want to post an ad in the "Horse Giveaways" section of COTH.  All part of the process, reminding me that even the good ones are going to have bad weeks once in a while. 

On Friday we had a lesson, and since the outdoor rings are getting new footing, we jumped in the indoor.  We worked again on getting him to accept a soft contact on both reins, and maintaining that contact around a course.  It was a good lesson and he was very well behaved.  I even carefully demonstrated that one needs both legs along with both hands, otherwise one might make one's horse jump from a complete standstill, pause for a moment while only half of one's horse on the other side of the fence, and then one's horse might have to heave his hind end over to the other side.  Hypothetically speaking, of course.  Ahem.  (Good thing Tucker has a sense of humor!)

On Saturday I rode him out in the field along with Alicia and Junior and had a blast.  I worked on straightness and did some counter-canter, which I thought would be good for making him hold the lead all the way across the diagonal instead of anticipating a lead change.  Then we played around with some of the natural jumps out there.  We jumped the little brush, the stone wall, and then jumped up and down the little bank jump.  Tucker loved it!  It was a good confidence booster for me too, to just go out and have some fun and not think about trying to make things perfect.  We are going to plan a trip and take Tucker and Junior over to Paper Road Farm where I live and jump some of the cross country jumps there.  Should be fun!

On Sunday, since the heat wave was beginning, we went for a nice walking trail ride through the woods and meadows with Oliver, Brooke's new horse.  Tucker loves trail rides, of course, and thought this was a great way to spend the morning.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A little sympathy from my horse friends please....

By way of background, I frequently go straight to the barn from work, and consequently usually greet my horse before I change into my breeches (yes of course I know that's unwise, but he's so darn cute I can't just walk right past him without a kiss, can I?). 

So today, I did something that every horse person who attempts to lead a normal, non-horsey life from 9 to 5 has done at least once in their lives.  I am on my way to work, and looked down to see a HUGE GREEN ALFALFA SLIME STAIN on the front of my pale blue sweater.  Oh my.  Perhaps dirty clothes belong in the hamper, not on the back of a chair, hmm?  (As a side note: How is it that my tack trunk is always organized, my trailer is spotless, and my tack is never dirty, yet my apartment usually looks like someone picked it up and shook it?)

I now have to go through the work day looking like I've been finger painting.  If I were at a horse show right now, no one would bat an eye at me walking toward them with a big green stain on my stomach. The majority of the population at a horse show has a green/brown/black smudge somewhere on their person. Sadly, however, this phenomenon is grossly out of place in the work place. 

These things only happen to us, are impossible to explain to a non-horsey person ("How could you possibly put something on that your horse had touched?"  "Um, because I look like this all the time."), and are inherently embarrassing when there is no one with a horse around to understand.  So, I've turned to you, my online barn buddies, for support.  Sadly, I feel that if I just told them it was baby puke, it would be far more socially acceptable.  Perhaps they'd believe I've started a bed & breakfast for toddlers?  ("Yes, Sir, your crib is the second door on the left, and we'll be serving mashed peas for breakfast at 8.  Enjoy your stay.")

If you need me, I'll be behind my desk today, hiding from the other lawyers.