Friday, January 22, 2016

Long distance parent

It's finally here.  In just four days, I'm off for my work trip to Orlando, Florida.  Considering it's 20* out right now and the highs in Florida will be around 70*, I'm more than ready to go.  I have packed nothing but skirts and dresses (and nylons so my pale, New Hampshire horseback rider legs don't blind anyone).  I'm going to Epcot and Hollywood Studios for the first time.  It should be a fun trip, assuming I don't blow a gasket at any of the work stuff.  I'm teaching a class, got volunteered to be a team leader for the group activities (shoot me now), and am helping run a booth.  After all of that, I get to play tourist before flying back to the icy tundra.

Peyton is aware of what a suitcase means and she does not approve, she's been grafted to me all day

As I start rounding up business appropriate clothes and finalizing presentations, I'm also becoming aware of the fact I'm going to be on the other side of the country for five days.  In winter.  Away from my horse.  Urk.

Yes, my horse.  Trainer R has started introducing me to people as Theo's mom, refers to Theo as my horse, and everyone knows I'm buying him as soon as his replacement is found.  The latest estimate is that I'll own him before the year is out.  Woohoo!

Theo's role as a lesson horse becomes incredibly useful when I can't make it to the barn.  Trainer A has a couple of adults that could use a ride on a horse that will calmly and willingly canter in January, so he'll be kept in work under her watchful eye.  Some of them are learning their laterals and after all of our work, mi papi is a machine for leg yield, turn on the forehand, and shoulder fore.  The bend isn't quite consistent enough to call it a shoulder in, but it's easy enough to pick up for someone that's just learning the feeling.  He also does all of his transitions nice and light now, so his roster of riders is changing.  Less plopping beginners because he's losing his ability to tolerate them.  More intermediate adults because he can let them try something that they can't do on the other school horses, is very quiet over fences, and he tolerates their non-plopping but occasionally unbalanced riding.

Such a good boy

As a side note, Trainer A and I talked and she's excited at the future possibility of having a level headed Third Level horse available to give lessons for her advanced riders to show them movements the other horses can't do.  For right now, he's pretty much a First Level horse which is still fancier than most of the barn.  Miss Thang can do Third Level, but she gets very pissy about it and if she's not in the mood to play, she'll go bucking bronco.  I'm planning on leaving Theo available to Trainer A for select lessons indefinitely.  We'll just keep upping the level of riders that are allowed to ride him as he advances.  It's a break on board and that's never a bad thing. 

Back to my trip.  So he'll be in supervised work and he'll be getting groomed and checked on while I'm gone.  So why am I stressing?  Because that's what I do.  What if the temperature swings and he needs a blanket change?  Most of the horses don't get blanket changes since they're hairy beasts so the students just put whatever they were wearing back on and send them out.  He could get cold!  Or sweaty!  Or what if he rips a rim pad and no one notices because no one else has shoes?  What if he loses his bell boots and no one notices?  What if his run in floods when it gets warm again?  Who's going to give him his weekly massage?  Who's going to do his stretching exercises?

Clearly I have a control problem.  I actually woke up in the middle of the night last night worrying about his blankets.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is what horse ownership looks like:  losing sleep over whether or not the heavy weight blanket was the right call for the night.

Back in reality, the weather looks quite stable and quiet while I'm gone.  He should be in a medium the whole time.  No rain is in the forecast and no crazy heat waves that will cause his run in to flood.  Trainer A knows his boots and will make sure he has them.  He will survive having his massage late.  He is going to be just fine even if I can't zip out to the barn to do all of the little things that I'm used to being able to do at a moment's notice.

That doesn't change the fact I'll be frantically checking my SmartBlanket app while in Florida and texting the barn if it looks like he needs something changed.  And possibly requesting pictures.  And nagging to make sure he gets his post-work out treats.  These things are important!


  1. hahaha is it weird that I keep thinking about your situation and worrying that you won't get to buy him? Glad the plan has changed a little. :-)

  2. enjoy your trip!!! hope you won't worry the *entire* time lol. also super exciting to hear that the eventual ownership plan is looking more and more solidified!