Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Few Updates

I have a lot on my mind today, which is ironic, because I also feel somewhat brain-dead. Last night was not a great sleep night. We got a phone call just before midnight, which disrupted our sleep. Then, Lauren was up, and very, very upset. I fed her, but she was clearly in some kind of pain, so it took her a while to settle again. By the time all the interruptions were done and sleep came again, our chances at a proper sleep were destroyed. So today, I am taking it easy a little. I shouldn't be, because my house has reached disaster status again. (How does that happen so quickly??) Even though I have something quite significant on my brain, I am going to leave it for today and instead, just give you a quick update.

First, I ended my last post with plans to make a fabulous, pizza-sized cookie, to impress my kids and maybe even Mike. I did make the cookie. In fact, the recipe actually made two giant cookies. I thought these would be the best cookies ever, because the recipe included a secret ingredient that I had never seen in cookie dough before. And...(shhh...) the batter was delicious. But delicious batter does not equal a delicious final product, just as some batter is not very tasty at all but renders a wonderful treat once it is baked. (Like fresh buns, or even banana bread.) My giant cookies were okay. The boys liked them, and Mike did too. But I was disappointed, so I didn't feel like SuperMom after all.

My other update is about my horse show this past weekend. I know I mentioned it, but we entered Maybelline in a show just for experience, as she is still finishing up her training. My sister, Andrea, was riding her, as well as three other horses in the show. She warned us not to expect much from Maybelline, and that the main goal would be for her to not get eliminated from her classes. She was going to be in a couple of jumping classes, and then a couple of flat classes. (Flat classes are where more than one horse at a time is in the ring and the judges tell them when to walk, trot, canter...etc., and judge the rider and the horse.)

Anyway, one of my favorite things about owning a horse has always been the grooming. I know that sounds funny, but I always loved bathing my childhood horse, Sunny, and combing out her mane and tail, and getting her as shiny and pretty as I could. Then we would take pictures. So on Friday evening, I joined my sister in the city at the show and got Maybelline all cleaned up. I was nervous, because I have not really spent a ton of time with her due to being pregnant last year, and the year before was the flood so we didn't do much horse stuff. Sometimes young, or freshly trained horses do stupid things. If you aren't familiar with horses, you may not know that they are in fact, giant chickens. They are afraid of plastic bags, and countless other items and noises. They don't like hoses, or being sprayed with water. At least, not when they are not used to it. Maybelline has been hosed off many times, but not inside a building in a horse-washing station with other horses that she doesn't know. There was also a long grate on the floor for drainage, which she was not fond of at all. I thought she might do something dumb and hurt someone or herself, but she didn't. She was nervous, but she let me bath her and for the most part, stood fairly still. She was, however, afraid of the sponge. Unlike me, she did not find anything endearing about it at all. Then, I got to spend roughly an hour and a half to two hours braiding her mane. She was extremely patient and stood like a champ while all her friends ate around her. (I wouldn't let her put her head down to eat until I was done braiding.) Here she is before her bath:

And here she is after her bath, and after I braided her mane. She is wearing a tail bag in this picture to keep the straw out of her tail for the next day. Her legs were being wrapped here too.

After her bath, she was so soft and shiny.
She got to wear a slinky to keep her braids in, and a blanket too. Very attractive, right?

Here she is, in the show, on her way in to the ring!

And waiting for her turn again. (Andrea had to switch the saddle around between three horses, so it was quite a whirlwind.)

Here is a shot of Maybelline's most spastic jump. It was more like a cheerleader move, with all four limbs thrown out wildly, but she made it. It was rainy and dark so it's not the best picture. 

It was fun to see her head sticking out of the stall door. She is a very social horse, so she was always either like this:

Or like this:
(Whinnying to every horse there. Loudly.)

And here are a few more pictures of her at her show. 

And my favourite: 

Our hope for her at the show was that she would not get eliminated from any of her classes, and that she wouldn't do anything stupid or dump Andrea off her. Instead, she won seven ribbons (Two firsts, three seconds, a third and a fifth), and was nearly perfectly behaved. This was my break from full-time motherhood this weekend. I loved the show, and completely fell in love with my horse. I already really liked her, but it was so wonderful to spend such concentrated time with her, and to see her in a stressful situation and witness how wonderfully she handled it. And on top of all that, she is really sweet and cute too. Next, to start riding her! That is in the near future. 

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