Friday, March 30, 2007

The Old Grey Mare, She Ain't What She Used To Be

Horse post. Go away if you're tired of them.

My love affair with Colby continues. He's so big and strong and totally the resident bad boy. Dreamy, no? When he stomps and kicks at the stall door to get my attention, only to snap at me when I finally cave and go over to rub his nose, I can't help it, my heart just flutters all the more. He's playing hard to get and I'm eating it up.

Having said that, I have a new crush to tell you about. He's the new kid in school. A very big guy. I'd say just a tiny bit smaller than Colby, but younger, he could fill out yet. Mylo is an ex-cop horse. Kicked off the force for bad behavior; I kid you not. The director of the academy took a shine to this incredible guy and picked him up, excited by the challenge of taming him until he's ready to be ridden by students. Until then, nobody rides him but her.

If Colby is the sexy bad boy, Mylo is the sleek, stunning jock. He's perfectly proportioned, incredibly graceful and utterly memorizing to watch. Ally, the director, usually works with Mylo on Thursday nights, while my class is in the ring. Until this week, she always had him on a training lead, doing circles and drills with him. But this week, she walked him out, fully tacked, and the instant I realized she was going to ride him, my own practice went to shit. I could not take my eyes off of this horse. Nor his mount for that matter, despite the fact that I could tell that she was struggling with this big, wild horse, she is so beautiful in the saddle; so comfortable and confident. It gave me something to aspire to. My own instructor had to remind me several times to, "Take your eyes off Mylo and watch where you are going."

I should be fair and mention the horse that I actually rode this week. As with every horse that I ride, she also managed to steal a little piece of my heart. Her name is Charlie. She's a 12-year-old grey Thoroughbred cross mare. She is truly lovely. Quite substantial at 15.5 hands and really interesting to ride once you get her going. She's very choppy in her trot, which makes it more difficult to stay in control while posting, but it's a challenge and I like that.

My favourite quirk about Charlie is that she hates to have her hind right foot picked out. Instead of reluctantly giving in and lifting her leg, as most of the others will do eventually, Charlie will lift the left hind leg instead and when you try to coax her to put it down and lift the right, she leans on you with all her might, almost willing to topple right over, just so that you don't get at the foot. I'm sure you can imagine that ending up underneath a toppled Thoroughbred cross is not that high on my life's list of To Dos. But it makes me laugh because she's so clever and so stubborn. And once you've made me laugh? Well presto, you've stolen my heart. Plus, she has the prettiest, wisest eyes. Grandmother eyes.

In case you can't tell, I have become obsessed with this sport. Obsessed. My intro class is ending next week and then I will start taking privates. They are not cheap, in fact it will cost me more than my car, but I can't stop now. I'm willing to - wait for it - cut back on shopping in order to make it happen. I can say with all honesty that nothing has left me this fulfilled and happy in a very long time. Amazing.

Introducing Charlie:

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm a Hustler, Baby: The proof

A while ago I was prompted by Scarbiedoll to write this post about my short-lived acquaintance with Ron Jeremy. I claimed to have photographic evidence at the time and I do, damn it, I do.

So here it is, just because I don't want anyone to think that I was just using my hyper-active imagination and making up fun stories about short, hairy little porn stars. Other participant in this particular picture has been blurred for anonymity. And for those of you who read that post so long ago, this is from the House of Blues night, not the Hustler party night. Those photos are never, ever ending up on the internet.

Actually, they probably already are. Crap. Ah well, it's all part of growing up right? Right? Anyone...?

PS - this picture kind of makes me yearn for my short hair. Granted, I'm considerably older in the face and chunkier in the, well, everywhere these days. And I guess any hair cut would look pretty awesome next to Ron's. Still... a summer chop? Thoughts?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hitchin' A Ride

Introducing Colby:

Introducing Cheerio:

I know, I know - you're bored of the riding posts. I'm sorry. But it's totally the most exciting thing in my life right now. God that sounds lame. Oh well, c'est vrais!

Last week class was cancelled and I was bummed to have to wait another whole week before I could go and hang with my horsy homeys. So last night I showed up a little early just to wander the stalls and give hugs to all my favs (am totally picking favs).

While I secretly hoped they'd put me on Carter or Seven this week, I saw that Seven was already being tacked by someone in the advanced class and Carter was sweaty and beat from having obviously just finished a vigorous ride.

Instead I ended up with Cheerio. I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that I am now in love with him. Are you beginning to see a pattern? I may have my secret favourites, but I can't help but love them all. Cheerio is very kind and patient, but a joy to ride because he's energetic and raring to go. Apparently he is a favourite among the more experienced riders at the academy.

Learning from this week's class:

1. Colby (the biggest, scariest horse at the school, who I rode last class and yes, fell in love with, and no I didn't post about it because I thought you'd be like, enough already) will totally eat you if you give him the chance. Last night he chopped down on my scarf and nearly strangled me to death. It was totally cute - especially since I didn't die.

2. Horses get coughs. A horse cough is really terrible to witness, and particularly unappealing if you happen to be riding just behind a coughing horse. Why? Because they fart really loud at the same time that they cough. It's both funny and revoting at the same time. Kind of like when The Momes barks really loud and a fart escapes at the same time. Crown and I affectionately call them "farks" or "farking". Heh. Sadly, giant Colby had a bad cough and had to be pulled from the paddock mid-ride.

3. Riding is totally easier if you have the gear! Last night I wore my brand-new half-chaps with cute stripey socks underneath. Okay, it doesn't really make it easier at all. But half-chaps? Cute.

4. I have always prefered dark horses to light horses. This bias has only been reinforced by the fact that horses shed A LOT when you groom/ride them and light coloured horse hair really destroys black leggings and brand-new black half-chaps.

5. Riding has done nothing to curb my obsessive compulsive disorder.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cold, Cold World

I've been pretty patient this year. I haven't posted about the less than favorable weather at all, unless you count some cute pics of The Momes being tortured by a deep snow fall. But even that was my attempt at keeping a fun, light-hearted mood through out what has now turned into one of the most brutal winters in recent history.

I trudged in high-heeled Mary Jane's through knee-high snow in the flash storm we got last week. I grinned and bared it when that flash storm turned to freezing rain and caused a door sized sheet of ice to collapse into my house when I ignorantly opened it to peek outside. I've loudly and enthusiastically enjoyed the moments of warmth when a -20 degree streak suddenly gave way to a few days of marvelous +2.

But today? Today broke down my fragile wall of acceptance. Before leaving the office, I thought about writing this post tonight and making it fun by dressing up The Momes in his hooded GAP sweater and then making fun of how much he hates it.

This year I was even pro-active in setting up activities for myself in a heart-felt attempt to ward off the normally inevitable winter blues. I signed up for the riding. I didn't even bitch when my class was canceled last week due to the previously mentioned flash snow/ice storm.

I've continued with my yoga, namaste-ing my way through even the grouchiest moods.

I set up an ever-so-enjoyable monthly poker night with my best-girls. Thank goodness for Chicks 'n Chips, I hope it has offered us all something to look forward to through the most miserable of winter moments.

A three day long weekend up at the cottage was meant to be a refreshing change of pace and a chance to enjoy the more peaceful side of winter. I did appreciate the beauty of the frozen lake, but even that was fleeting as we were slammed with a nasty ice-storm for most of the weekend.

All in all though, I've been a trooper, I really have.

But the bitter, biting trek from the warm, zen-filled den of my yoga studio quickly sucked the wind out of my already half-deflated sail.

Sure, it's setting in a little later than usual. It's nearly mid-March, after all. But it is setting in, and if this cold, cold, bitter cold doesn't dissipate as promised by the end of the week, I fear the worst is inevitable.

Two words? Winter madness.

Now if you'll excuse me. I'm going to curl up under my duvet in the fetal position. Stay strong fellow Northerners. I'll see you in the spring.