“One moment, please.”

I am “borrowing” the phrase “One moment, please.” from a friend. He won’t mind.
He uses this phrase quite often with me. When I can’t figure something out with my riding, or my horse, or even with my Smart phone. I hear those words and I pause, collect myself, reorganize and when things are right again in my world, I move forward.

Today, I am saying to myself “One moment, please.”

I need to pause, collect myself, reorganize, and when and only when things are right again in my world, I will move forward.
This revelation saddens me on a certain level but at least I’m not dead.

Each and every morning I wake up my mind is already making my “to do” list for the day.
I slurp down my coffee and I scramble eggs for breakfast, while I am yelling upstairs for my daughter to “Hurry up.”
I run the dogs outside in my robe, muck boots, barn hat, and coat. Believe me, I am a sight.
Back inside…another gulp of coffee, another yell upstairs….humm, funny, my stomach is feeling sort of like it is burning. Oh well…no time for that. Gotta go!

Kids car pooled to school. Ha,I forgot to put my boots on. No wonder my feet were so cold. Slippers just don’t keep your tootsie’s warm.

Another cup of coffee dumped in my cup as I run upstairs to put real clothes on. No time for a shower. I have two appointments, need to pick up groceries, pick up kids and call my families that I advocate for in court.
Damn…I forgot to take anything out for dinner. Hum, funny, my stomach really hurts now. No time for that. Gotta go!

Evening chores done, dogs fed, pasta water almost boiling. I don’t feel really hungry. I just want to go to bed. No time for that. Need to check in with the family who is in crisis and help them. Gotta go!

“One moment, please.”

While I plugged holes through out my day and thought I was helping put fires out in other’s lives, I was draining myself dry and slowly but surely burning up.

Months passed and while I was at the ready to hand out advice on how stress can kill, and how “you” need joy in your life, and “you” need to take time for “yourself”, I was not taking “One moment, please”

Doctors appointments, and supplements, and orders to rest. Me? No time for that! Gotta go!

“One moment,please”

In my car, the day my heart tried to climb out my throat.
The day it was so cold and yet sweat was beading up on my upper lip.
The day I had to roll the window down to gulp for air.

“One moment,please.”

So…humm…yeah, I got the message.

There is a balance between chaos and peace.
I did not find it.
I intend to, now

In the meantime.
I will be taking

“One moment, please”

Fox Hunting. Oops, so many rules

edythewhalen

The sport of Fox Hunting seemed an elitist event to me. Until the day I joined the hunt. I, then, became an elitist member, or so I felt, of an exclusive club. Yeah, I remember it well.

We arrived on the farm where we would soon depart to chase the ever wily fox. Horses tucked in the trailer, we, dressed in our finest riding apparel.
Men, who had achieved a certain ranking wore red jackets. Women always wore a more subdued color of your basic black, navy blue or dark tweed. I had scrounged in our attic to locate my old showing jacket. Miracle of miracles it still fit.

I watched, my eyes glazed with the heady scent of horse sweat, hay, manure, and nerves.
Nerves? Nah…probably just mine.

My horse, Buddy; a former event horse, jigged about while I tacked him up. He was excited.
David’s horse, Diddy, stood…

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Fox Hunting. Oops, so many rules

The sport of Fox Hunting seemed an elitist event to me. Until the day I joined the hunt. I, then, became an elitist member, or so I felt, of an exclusive club. Yeah, I remember it well.

We arrived on the farm where we would soon depart to chase the ever wily fox. Horses tucked in the trailer, we, dressed in our finest riding apparel.
Men, who had achieved a certain ranking wore red jackets. Women always wore a more subdued color of your basic black, navy blue or dark tweed. I had scrounged in our attic to locate my old showing jacket. Miracle of miracles it still fit.

I watched, my eyes glazed with the heady scent of horse sweat, hay, manure, and nerves.
Nerves? Nah…probably just mine.

My horse, Buddy; a former event horse, jigged about while I tacked him up. He was excited.
David’s horse, Diddy, stood perfectly calm. Humph.

We mount up and join the other riders.
I notice many horses’ have very severe looking bits in their mounts. Hmmm.

The hounds are released from the truck and in my delight I say “oh what cute doggies!”
“They are hounds, NOT doggies.” I was told by one very stiff upper lipped woman, who than briskly trotted off.
Ok, then. Oops. Rule # 1 broken

Buddy, my TBxQH thought it was a good idea to run on ahead. I knew if he had one good run he would calm down.
As everyone else trotted down the road with the “hounds” I let Buddy have a run.
I smile at everyone and say hello as I fly by. Hey…no-one told me I was not supposed to canter off and no-one told me I was definitely not allowed to pass the Field Master. Oops Rule #2 broken.

As we enter a vastly large field with several jumps the hounds take off, as does everyone else.
Oh, so now I get it. When the “hounds” run I’m allowed to run.

Riders and horses jump fence after fence.
My heart is slowly climbing up my throat. My jumping days are long over. I don’t mind jumping over the occasional little tree limb out on a hack, or a little stream but these jumps are HUGE.
So I start yelling “David, can Buddy jump that fence?” You are not supposed to yell. Oops Rule #3 broken.

Buddy, at this point was becoming really pissed off with me. I would attempt to steer him around the jumps and find another way around. Ah-ha. Now I understood why those severe bits were in all those horses mouths. Damn.
My beloved…NOT…former event horse clamped down on the bit, aimed straight for a coop, which looked to be bigger than my garage and let fly. I remembered enough skill to be in the right position but did not remember to keep my mouth shut!!! “SHIT!”
I opened my eyes as we landed on the other side of the coop. Funny, I did come with a saddle. Where the hell is it? Oh…it is behind me. As I scramble to shove myself back in my saddle and ignore the searing pain in my crotch I’m actually feeling quite accomplished.

Again I was told by another stiff upper lipped woman, if I am not going to jump I need to get out-of-the-way for other rider’s. Don’t dawdle. Oops Rule #4 broken.

The horn sounds. We are at a “check.” A place to stop, gather the hounds, decide where to go next, and share a sip from a flask.
David rides up next to me. “Are you having fun?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye
Sweat is running down my face, Buddy is soaked, and breathing hard. “Give me the damn flask.”
“Why didn’t you tell me there are so many fucking rules?”
David dares to chuckle “You’re so cute, I figured you’d get it. And you do have to apologize to the Field Master for galloping past him.”
“WHAT????”
“Shhh”
“Do not hush me. I do not like this game. I want to go home.”
“Well, Ok, and you have to ask the Field Master for permission to leave the field.”

Of all the nonsense.

I took a deep breath, sat up straight in my saddle, wincing a little with my throbbing crotch, and walk Buddy to the Field Master.

“Good Morning.” he said
“Good Morning. I would like to apologize for galloping past you.”
“Well,” he said,” How was it for you? Because from my position I had a great view of your back side.”

With my mouth gaping open I remembered rule # 3. No yelling.
“I am asking permission to leave the field.”
He laughed. “I don’t think so. You are adding life to the party.”

” I have learned quite a lot today. There are many rules to this sport and on that note all I have to say is fuck them all…I’m outta here.”

I turned tail, smiled to everyone, waved to David and rode back to the trailer.

Yup…I went back. Several times. I did get the hang of it.
And never really abided by the rules.
I’m such a rebel.

A rider and his horse. A comedy of horrors.

My husband and I started our day as usual.

After breakfast, the newspaper reading, the necessary trip the bath room, we began our ritual of stocking the veterinary truck, preparing for a day of visiting horses and clients on their farms.

Let me fill you in a bit. My husband, David, is an equine veterinarian. He is a very good vet. David is often called upon because of his expertise in seeing the most subtle lameness in a horse others’ might miss. I, Sharon, have worked as his assistant, after I left teaching school. I am a certified riding instructor but that doesn’t quite pay the bills.

So, off we go. Coffee cups full, ever faithful dog in the truck down the road to our first farm call.
“This is a new client.” David tells me.
“Yup, I know, I took his phone call and made the appointment, remember?”
“So, remind me, what are we looking at?” (I love how he says “we”)
“umm, John’s horse has been a “bit off” for a while and he can’t figure out why. Had another vet out to see the horse and they couldn’t find anything wrong so he called you.”

Mind you, David loves a mystery. Solving a horses lameness problem to him is like working a puzzle He loves to figure out how all of the pieces work and fit together.

As we round the corner on this sunny spring day we approach a lovely farm.
“WOW.” We say in unison.
A new indoor arena is being constructed, outdoor sheds built, jumps placed in a large field. This place looks to be very impressive.

John hurries out of his house full of smiles and warm welcomes.
To my astonishment he offers us a drink! It is only 10:00 a.m.
“Ah, No thanks, we’re working. Let’s go see your horse.”

As John is walking away I notice he has a slight limp.
No big deal, I think, Lot’s of horse folks limp.

Down into the under belly of his barn are many stalls.
Not so many horses.
Hum ???
John begins to explain his plan of creating a “new” eventing facility.
“Great.” says David. He knows what that entails
“Awesome.” I say. Are you nuts? is what I am thinking.

John then brings out his horse.
A big, lanky, dark bay gelding.
His eyes were wild, his head was straight up in the air and he could not stand still.
David looked at me.
Oh boy!

Once tacked up, John took his horse out back of his barn to his riding area.
He assured us the horse would be “fine” once he got on.
Sure, I thought.

No sooner was John on the beast when the horse took off like a shot. He galloped around and around and around.
Sweat lathered up between his hind legs but he was not slowing down.
“John, why don’t you bring him back to a trot, please.” said David.
“Oh, ok.”

SNAP

The left rein broke.
“Oh shit.”
Again David and I spoke in unison.
And again the horse galloped around and around and around.

“I lost my leg.” yelled John
I, ever the calm riding instructor, said “just hook your toe back in the stirrup.”
“No,” he yelled, “I really lost my leg!”

At that point David and I did what we do best.
We work as a team
We separated, each taking one side of the arena, and began to walk the horse down.

As I was walking toward this horse I could indeed see that John really did lose his leg.
Evidently his lower leg had been amputated and his fake leg was flopping, boot and all against this poor horses side; which only encouraged him to go faster! With only one rein there was very little John could do to direct the horse and due to his now unbalanced posture, his seat was useless.

After what felt like fucking FOREVER, David and I closed in on the horse. I think he saw us as his saviors because he stopped.
I took hold of his bridle.
John started laughing and said “Hey David, Could you help me down?”

I did not dare look at David in the eye.
As he carted John over to the mounting block so he could put his leg back on I took the horse into the barn.

We decided we would come back to evaluate the horse at another time because he really didn’t appear to be lame at all.

John? He asked us again if we’d like a drink.
He is no longer a client.