R & D Report: Wake Me When it’s Over

Yes, I’ve been tirelessly working on Research and Development, for your, uh, reading pleasure? (Wait.  That wasn’t supposed to have a question mark.)

On the R & D front:

Something is wrong with our sky.  It’s leaking.  And the blue is gone.  You look up, it’s all gray-ish.  That big warm yellow thing?  It’s gone too.  Weird.

It hasn’t exactly been raining during my rides.  It’s been doing something different: picture sitting on your horse underneath a tree, minding your own business, and then being dampened.  Because 6 people are in the tree above you with spray bottles set to “mist” and are squeezing away maniacally.  I felt like a pile of laundry that was about to be ironed.

Is the glass half full?  Hey!   This is like walking through a cloud!

Or is the glass half empty?  Hey!  This is totally annoying, either rain or quit already!

If you wear glasses, it was just enough pre-ironing dampening to nix riding anywhere but in the covered arena.

Hudson’s coming off his roping season: the last big one was the benefit on Sunday.  He’s in fabulous shape, but has normal post-exertion stiffness.  I’m pretty sure Bella caught a steer that threw itself sideways after she dallied.  Translation: 500 pounds yanked your horse sideways at the gallop.  That’s enough to make anyone sore.  Time for Auntie Jane to walk Hudson out into our Zen place.


  1. Hudson hates the covered arena (oh he goes perfectly: he just despises the extra noise.)
  2. My saddle is in the shop. Hudson considers my saddle to be his time-to-sleep, bore-me-to death saddle.  Great for relaxing.
  3. The roping saddle does not bring on Hudson’s Zen place.  It signals Ball-O-Fire.

I opt for bareback, hoping this will signal Zen place.  The question is, will it signal Zen place in the rain under a tin roof?  I borrow Tiny’s extra thick bareback pad.  Considering the ski slope incline of Hudson’s withers, this is good.  I gracefully (ok, cross my fingers, close my eyes, then aim and hurl.) leap onto his back from the mounting block.

Hudson’s only doesn’t-quite-listen quirk is hating to stand still for the entire time it takes you to get on.  You’d better be ready once your foot hits the stirrup.  If you get on and off a coupla times, insisting he not move, he sighs and knocks it off. It’s the only time he rolls his eyes.  Do you NOT get that I am a cow horse?  I gotta hit the road the second your boot hits the leather.  It’s my JOB.  This is stupid.  You and I both know perfectly well that I can stand still.

Even with the reins firm, and his head turned toward me, he still moves off at the pre-determined signal: a foot leaves the mounting block.

Good things happen.  I don’t misjudge the trajectory, and therefore do not land on his neck, or overshoot him entirely, and hit the dirt on the other side.  I actually make it smack in the middle of his back, without a whump.  Yay!

He’s impressed.  FINALLY getting the hang of it, are we? He walks off in a big, loose, interested amble on the buckle.  I don’t want to repeat the whole trajectory, geometry/calculus thing, so I settle for circling him back to the mounting block, and making him stand.  He rolls his eyes.  Cocks a hoof.  I can stand here all day.  Your point, please?

Bareback not only put him in his Zen place, it knocked us both out completely.  I think we were sleep riding.  The misting didn’t make much tin-roof noise, the pad was warm on his back, we hit a good big-stride rhythm at the walk and stayed there.  One of the flighty horses was periodically exploding all over the arena.  Other than yawning to a halt occasionally to stay out of ballistic horse’s way, we ambled along.  Two bodies staying warm together in the cold.  The rocking rhythm of the walk, the radiating warmth between us, and the non-thinking movement all lead to a hypnotic kind of sleepwalk.   If I’d had a quilt, we would have both Zzz’d out: he would have gradually slowed to a halt, hung his head and napped, and I’d curl up on his back, using his rump for a pillow.

Wow it was hard to stay awake.

This was astonishing, considering the horse-equivalent of bombs were going off randomly in different areas of the arena.  Exploding horse was bucking, rearing, whirling, plunging, shooting forward, sideways, then listening, working etc until next explosion at another point in the arena.

We were both like, WhatEVER dude, just stay outta my Zone.

I texted Bella later:

great ride on H. zoned out.  i think we fell asleep a few times.  Oh watch out for {X rider and X horse}, they’re blowing up again.  coupla craters, nothing serious.  yawwwwwn.

Just. Writing.  About…it…is….making me…yawwwn…kinda….


It was tough, and clearly a lot of work (yawwwwn), but I think Hudson finally hit the ‘relaxation’ level of the dressage pyramid.

8 thoughts on “R & D Report: Wake Me When it’s Over

  1. I don’t know, but your misty cloud walking sounds kinda fun. Maybe it’s that I don’t wear glasses, or maybe it’s that the only moisture I see from the sky resembles tsunami waves. But it sure sounds kind of ethereal and heavenly to me!

    Your ride sounds that way as well….actually, I’m feeling kind of sleepy now myself. Hey! I visit here to wake me up and give me some early morning belly laughs! I’m tired enough already, Jane. You’re not helping. 😉

  2. I have your blue skies. We even have green grass.

    I could kiss Winter on the face. Hooray for temperatures that make 100 degrees a distant nightmare!

    You cannot have the skies or the grass back until we’re done with them, sometime in May. Sorry. I’m liking them far too much.

    1. I’m not big on 100 degrees either. Give me a nice non-humid 70 and I’m in heaven.

      Hang onto our blue skies, green grass, and cool temps….I think there’s more coming our way!

  3. Our sky is borked too, and the Upstairs Neighbor left the water on (again).

    Also, the colors need adjusting. Didn’t this planet come with colors other than grey and green? I vaguely remember blue….and…yellow?

    1. We’ll have to take this issue up during a meeting with the Riding Weather Committee. Someone on that committee is not in a good mood.

      I mean, really. Rainy weather should not be allowed during The Time We Actually Have Available to Ride.

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