Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interview Today

I had an interview today. I think it went well, but the only way to be certain is to get a call back. I first applied to this job in March! It has been floating out there for a long time, I guess they just haven't found the right person yet.

Yup, this is the same job I talked about a couple posts prior.

I put an ad on craigslist stating that I will write copy/articles/etc for free in order to build my portfolio. I did state that I wouldn't ghostwrite any one's novels or drive a hundred miles to research some obscure thing.

Speaking of articles, I need my husband to hurry up and finish transcribing the interview I had with my farrier about properly balanced hooves. I have a brilliant pink Post-It note on the computer desk, TRANSCRIBE carefully written across it with a Sharpie. But since the poor guy gets up at 4:45 every morning to go to work, gets home at 4pm, then goes to bed at 9:30pm, I don't want to push it. He's doing me a big favor here.

I did read some of what he transcribed. Since he doesn't know a lot of the terminology used in the interview, I told my husband to write certain words phonetically if he didn't understand them.'s going to take me some detective work to figure out some of those words! That's okay, though.

One of the barn cats is pregnant; she's a fluffy black and white Manx. I call her Mama. She was nursing six four-week-old kittens when I moved to Gladstone Ridge in December. I normally don't see much of her but she was sitting in front of Limerick's stall today. Instead of walking off as she normally does, she meowed and rubbed against my legs. That's when I noticed her belly looking unusually round. I rubbed my hands over her belly and felt the taunt skin, the perfect roundness. Yup, pregnant.

I just hope some stray tom is the father, not one of her older male kittens.

I had a good ride on Limerick today. Who am I kidding? The vast majority of them are good! Yesterday, not so much. It wasn't her--she did everything I asked. Now that I have my heart set on a dressage show in August, I've become hypercritical of how I ride.

It's a funny feeling. I'm a perfectionist about everything but I haven't been so anal about my own riding since I was in training six years ago. When Limerick foundered, I realized there were more important things within the equestrian world than being a perfect rider. First, the focus was on her health. Then during college and the early years of my previous job, the focus shifted to just riding and having fun on the weekends (I couldn't get out during the week). Then the focus shifted back to her health.

The dressage lesson I had a couple weeks ago woke something up within me. The old rider I used to be emerged like a butterfly from a cocoon, wings wet and fragile. That old rider clung onto the cocoon, strengthening her wings, for the past two weeks. Now she's ready to fly again.

My feet bug me. Maybe it's because I rode in a synthetic dressage saddle for the past decade. That thing was like Velcro and I never had any problems staying in it (except once, but that's another story). I love my new County dressage saddle--it allows Limerick to lift herself and move in ways that she hasn't in a long, long time--but the fine leather is so slippery for me. My seat is good but I think some part of my legs are pinching the sides of the saddle, subconsciously hanging on for dear life, and as a result I keep losing my stirrups.

Since I can't afford a training package, I need to train myself. I'm going to start by having a teenage girl at the barn hold Limerick on the lunge line while I ride in the saddle with no reins. I don't rely on my hands for balance--I never have, it's something you just can't do with Limerick. But stretching them above and all around me while Limerick trots along will allow me to focus on my legs. The girl is an excellent rider herself so she would be able to give me feedback as I go.

Today, I asked Limerick to do some lead changes. She went from her left to right lead perfectly, but was rushing her right to left lead change. The second time we tried, she tried to get the lead change before we were even halfway across the diagonal, wayyyy before I asked for it.

I know what to do, mom! Here, I'll do it right noooow!

It was so funny that I just started laughing and lost my composure. Of course, that just made her rush into the lead change even faster. My former trainers were like little voices on my shoulder.

"Hold that mare! Sit up! Sit back! Collect her!"

But I couldn't, I just laughed and laughed. Limerick is so funny sometimes; if you ask her nicely to do things, and she is healthy, she will give 110%....sometimes with funny results. She's such a nice horse, and truly a pleasure to ride now.

One last note--my brother, Rob, came up on Tuesday to get some photographs of Limerick. He took 160-something in all. They are all beautiful and I'll have a hard time picking a few. I want him to print them big so I can frame them. I'll put a few of the photos up on here, too. Nick, Lim's "boyfriend", is in some of them as well.

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