So, where did I leave off? Ah yes, The Move. The move coincided with more snow than anyone should ever have to deal with. Especially during a move. Below is an illustration of why one should never choose February 1st as a move-out date:
On Day 3 of my 5-day moving extravaganza, Sterling finally caught on to the fact that something was up. I came back to the old apartment after moving all the furniture I could without the help of the three guys who were coming the following day, and Sterling just backed away from me slowly. "You made the furniture disappear and now I can't trust you and something is horribly wrong and I don't understand and I want the furniture to come back and are you going to make me disappear too???" That's when I realized that Sterling is the simple cat, and Lilly is, by default, his helper cat. [Please, please, please click on those links. Funniest blog on the internet. You won't be sorry. Just shut your office door first, because you're going to cackle.] Here she is, trying to console him on Day 4:
There's a lot more funny stories to be told about the cats, but there's a big brown horse who will be very upset if I spend anymore time talking about them. I'll save those stories for a rainy day.
Speaking of rain, right after the moving extravaganza, we were hit with more snow, and then some freezing rain. Not exactly ideal weather to go ride the horse that's had a week off. Also, I was completely and utterly broken. I had a knot so big on my back that I made my roommate feel it and tell me whether she thought it was a tumor. No way was I going to be able to ride, since walking up and down stairs, operating the remote, and lifting a martini glass were proving to be painful. I treated myself like a sore hoof, and soaked a lot in epsom salts all week. I'm starting to feel better now, but I'm definitely in need of some chiro and massage.
Speaking of chiro, I had an adjustment and acupuncture scheduled for Tucker at the beginning of last week to get everything lined up in the right place before he went back to work. So, so, so glad I did. He feels a million times better than he did before the time off. Swingy, and loose, and forward, and soft, right from the start of each ride. Even on the really cold nights. I definitely think he had tweaked something and was a little uncomfortable somewhere, possibly because of walking through all the deep snow, or maybe he slipped a little on some ice. Either way, although he wasn't off, he wasn't quite right, but now he feels back to his old lovely self.
Of course, not sure you want your horse feeling in tip-top shape right before you hop on for the first time in two weeks, in the middle of February. Possible recipe for disaster? So the first day back, I put him on the lunge line first, and wow did he have some beautiful bucks in there. So glad I let him get that out before hopping on. Once I convinced him to settle down and trot for a bit (so his eyes could return to their rightful place in his head), he looked really good, much more suspension behind than I've seen in a while. So I got on and did some long-and-low trot work the first night, and we quit with that. The second night, we added in a few canter circles, but couldn't do much more because someone was threatening to go vvvvvvvvvvvvery ffffffffffffast every time he saw the longside of the arena opening up in front of him like the back stretch. Silly horse. Let's try trotting, hmmm? So we don't kill the nice little girl on her new horse at the other end of the ring? Hmm?
So, in an effort to regain some control, I went back to our old friend the Instant Gag for the last two rides. Day One went brilliantly. He tried to pull like a freight train when we hit the top of the long side the first time, realized I had some control, bounced up and down for a stride or two, and then was absolutely perfect. What I love about the Instant Gag is that I can stay completely light and soft with my hands, and when he tries to lean, he feels some pressure from the gag rein and self-corrects, and then I can just close my leg and send him forward and he stays light in my hands. Much better than me trying to have a tug-of-war with him, which is (a) useless; and (b) painful. On Day Two in the gag, there was a lot going on in the arena, and he had a minor melt down and ran backwards at one point, but then steadily improved from there and ended more or less very relaxed. Which, for all the commotion (lots of riders and lungers, ice sliding off the roof, horses misbehaving, etc.), was pretty impressive.
Today he gets a day off, and then weather permitting, we're headed to Alicia's for a lesson (which we haven't done since Christmas!) so this should be a good week.
Oh... and one last thing... I have a new job! I start a week from today, and I'm very excited about it. It's a smaller firm, but the work will be a lot more interesting and it feels like a great atmosphere. One of the partners there has known me since law school and has been a mentor of mine for several years now, so that factor alone I think will make it a good fit. I know it's technically not Tucker-related, but since he depends on my income to keep him in the lifestyle to which he's become accustomed, I'd stay it still belongs in this post. Plus, during the transition time, I don't have to be at work all day every day, so I'm hoping to get in some good quality time with Tucker all week. Figure it will do my brain lots of good and get me refreshed and ready for the next step.
Glad to be back, bloggers. I have lots of catching up to do on your blogs!