A jump jockey has to throw his heart over the fence – and then go over and catch it. – Dick Francis
Ever since the start of November I really haven’t had the opportunity to start anything interesting, yet alone blog about it*. AP Literature & Composition stole every writing-based cell in my body for the year. Adam and Madam are fine as usual, locked inside the corral and away from the pasture for the winter. While riding Adam I popped over a few jumps with him. They were all under a foot, probably closer to 6-8 inches. Still, I think that’s an accomplishment for him! I also bought new spurs, which help a lot with cantering. They are gorgeous English spurs with black Italian leather straps, studded by two blue crystals on each.
Anyways, I can’t believe there are only ten more days until Christmas! Thanksgiving absolutely flew by, thanks to the huge amount of schoolwork and projects I’m facing in my junior year. Last Saturday I finally had a great chance to relax when my best friend Bolana invited me to a dance. There we had fun dancing (yes, I actually danced and loved it!) and Bolana introduced me to her homeschooled friends. Then all that I have to do is survive two school weeks and…Christmas break! I wonder what wonderful horse-related presents are awaiting me this year. There’s a gorgeous white sheepskin show saddle pad that I saw in a tack shop that I would love to have for future horse shows! I updated Adam’s vaccinations and u test so he is good to go for showing this spring/summer! I am continuing to take riding lessons and they are going very well. My instructor said I have a beautiful seat (thank Adam for that!). We’ll jump after Christmas and then who knows what? She also said she’d let me try riding in a double bridle, which is another piece of tack I adore. Come on, Christmas break…just six more school days!!
P.S. I have a new phone now, so expect many pictures sometime soon! :)
* Actually, I wrote a Shakespearean sonnet but didn’t like the end result.
Or at least it feels that way to me. On the 30th of September I arrived at Canterbrook Stables, where my friend from the fairgrounds recommended to me. When my mom pulled in to the driveway I felt as excited as I did when I arrived for my first lesson at another stable back in seventh grade. My mind was filled with wonder as to what my instructor and the stable would be like, and what I would eventually learn. Would I be able to jump? I met my instructor who is incredible -I absolutely loved my lesson and learned that I have a great seat! I was worried at first since I started English on Adam, but apparently I am riding very well. I certainly wish to continue riding there. I probably won’t be able to afford taking lessons every week, but an hour session every three weeks would be fantastic!
This Thursday I went on the first French field trip this school year. Currently I am in my third year of French, and have been on previous field trips over the last two years. Our field trip involved a visit to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and lunch at a local French restaurant.
First we stopped at a local church while waiting for our appointed time for arriving at the restaurant (we were a bit early). The inside is an example of neo-Gothic architecture. Attached with this post are a few of the pictures I took there. The girl walking in the lower right corner of one of the photos is my friend Maria. An organist practiced in the background, giving off a ‘sacred-feeling’ atmosphere. After strolling around for a few minutes we returned to the buses and left for the restaurant.
We ate at a Paris-themed restaurant which serves authentic French food. I had a diet Coca-Cola, a sandwich with ham and cheese called a croque monsieur (spelling?) and a crepe with Nutella and whipped cream for dessert! The croque monsieur consisted of two slices of bread with ham and melted cheese in between. More melted cheese covered the top bread slice. Alongside the dish was a small salad with a bit of dressing. I don’t eat salad often, but I certainly did at the restaurant! I want to eat there again someday.
Thankful for the day out of classes, my classmates and I eagerly explored the museum while having los of fun along the way. The museum contained an exhibit of French art, but my friends and I spent our time walking around the other exhibits instead! We saw a hallway of stuffed birds, vintage watches, Native American artifacts, and breathtaking Egyptian artifacts. I even pet a giant stuffed buffalo! Finally, after the field trip was done, we returned to school just in time to catch the buses home.
Photography probably wasn’t allowed in the museum, so instead I attached a few enchanting church photos. Pardon any typing errors in this post -I am experimenting with the blogging application on my new phone.
When I logged onto my blog earlier this morning I searched through my oldest blog posts and pages’ revision records, hoping to discover some trace of my old horse posts. I remember when I started the Archies back in the spring of 2008, a few days before I broke my leg riding Adam through a door. In one follow-up post to the incident I remember typing out everything I ever felt about him, including the infamous disappointment of having the horse I love (and whose vet bill cost a lot of money the previous summer) repay me by bolting off and breaking my leg. Although in those days I didn’t quite bother to write as thoroughly and organized as I do now, I still wish I had a trace of those posts left. I deleted them when I started cleaning up this blog and categorizing my posts, thinking that they ‘didn’t fit’ and had no real relation to my other blog content. Well, was I ever wrong!
A few posts complaining about Adam’s unruliness may not seem too significant to everyone else in the equestrian community but they meant everything to me. I could have restored them had they been kept privately instead of permanent deletion. I could have used them as a tangible marker, a ‘before’ snapshot to compare to Adam the reliable best friend today. I plan on typing out a full story of both of my horses but I only wish I had the original primary source to enahance it with. Oh, well. There is no use ranting about what cannot be changed, I suppose. Instead I will have to merely retell my J.B. Stables stories, starting from the day of my grandfather’s death in seventh grade to the past county fair. Perhaps explaining this way could be better after all, now that more of my horseloving friends are aware of this blog and now have the chance to learn anything about my background they possibly missed.
There is meaning to my horse stories. I recall what I said on the way to the hospital that March evening -I wanted Adam dead ASAP. (Obviously, I did not carry through with this idea.) Now I realize that if Adam did die, I would never be the person I am today. It was because of him, one of my first horses, that I learned through the mistakes I made. Over the years I developed a bulletproof of determination (some call it stubborn, I say there is a difference).
Hobos cannot live in cardboard boxes for their entire lives. Sooner or later they have to crawl out and walk around to find a more sustainable shelter. Under a bridge, a tunnel, or endlessly strolling through a 24-hour WalMart -anything built enough to suffice. If they choose to rely upon a cardboard dwelling they will find themselves in a soggy, wet mess. I will not be that hobo.
Thanks to Adam, I never will be.
The stories in this post will continue throughout the blog posts and pages. Part of the above post can be found on my ‘J.B. Stables’ page under the heading of my stable story.
Well, did anyone notice? I spent the past two doing a bit of redecorating to the Archives. I consolidated a few pages and dug up some of my old horse content to share here. In the sidebar I removed some of the links to my stories, instead placing them on their parent pages. For example, clicking the ‘Shadow Realm Book I’ page will display a list of links for the first nine parts of Shadow Realm. This way readers can still access all blog content while preventing my sidebars from becoming too overwhelmed with unnecessary pages.
My ‘J.B. Stables’ page contains more horse photos along with a short biography of my horses. I plan on creating a ‘profile page’ for each of my horses with their stories as well. (Madam’s is already posted -see the sidebar link.) This way additional readers who are new to my blog can quickly reference the pages instead of clicking through dozens of old posts to understand the horses I blog about. Later on I will restore additional pieces of backlogged horse content.
Thank you for tolerating my hectic (and sometimes dangerously creative) mind. I know the Archives has been an obscure organizational system of a scattered purpose and eventually time will settle this blog back to a regular, clear-focused pace. I witnessed an odd pattern lately -this blog appears to mirror the distractions, thought processes, and mental state of my own mind more than intended!
And, yes, I will continue to sign my posts as ‘DA’. ;)
Today is the one month anniversary since the day Adam and I rode into our first horse show together.
I know I have not updated this blog as much as I hoped to this past month. I am also aware that my late updates have happened before, believe me, I did not purposely intend for them to be that way. I love keeping this blog to record my life in and to talk about topics which matter to me. Unfortunately, I do not feel the same way writing in this blog as I once did when I started it. I am NOT going to stop writing –I merely plan to change how I write.
I started The Archives during my…early seventh? grade year back in Junior High. First I documented the things I loved, being primarily horses and my current projects. I started posting a few of my stories (Remember my ancient horribly written Shadow Realm drafts and old horse stories? My incessant three-line posts detailing every aspect of “ADAM BROKE MY LEG THIS WEEK!! WHY WOULD HE DO SUCH A THING WHEN I TRIED SO HARD TO TAKE CARE OF THE LAMINITIS IN HIS FEEEEEET?!?!?!?”) It was true, my posts were not as well-organized and written as they are now. Eventually I took my old work down and replaced it with the later content you see today. There is one element of this blog which I could not replace, however; the fun and love I put into building and playing around this piece of online space which I call my own. I miss posting the tiny snippets of my horseback rides and stories of fictional racehorses-turned-champions. Eventually more of my friends started visiting my blog for my writing and, well, I made the mistake of transitioning this blog too much into little more than a collection of literature. I loved writing, but horses were, are, and always will be the number one love in my life. Now I have –what?- one or two pages dedicated to my stables? That’s IT?! I meant to fix this problem sooner but more things got in the way –pressure to continue the series I started and other activities dealing with school and the outside world. Eventually I trimmed down my documentation of ‘J.B. Stables’ on my blog because a few friends felt it would not fit in with my fantasy-themed Shadow Realm content.
Well, I don’t care anymore. Now that I revamped my blog into a format I love, why not revamp the content I love as well? I know I babble incessantly about my horses in real life but I know for sure I have enough energy to continue on! Yes, I don’t post any more of Adam’s laminitis updates (since he recovered for now) or pour my heart into another post dealing with “WHY CAN’T I SHOW, I WANNA SHOOOOW!!!”. Then I decided to keep my nose to the grindstone for a bit and let go of that type of equine updates –until now.
With the recent posts about my first horse show with Adam and my future English riding lessons at another stable, I absolutely cannot wait to keep with with the current of equine related content on here! More exciting things are happening –things worth blogging about which will entertain my non-equestrian readers as well. (Although if you don’t like horses, why are you reading this? Why do you even KNOW ME?! Haha!) I feel like a little 12 year old again, jumping for joy because I lasted a grooming session “Without getting bit, daddy!!”
It’s time for a revolution. I do not plan on removing my non-equestrian literary content at the moment but I will enforce this blog’s reversion back to the horse world (it never truly left!) once again. So what if my parents don’t want me to be a horse jockey or don’t understand how important my stable is to me? They’ll have to deal with it sometime.
P.S. By the end of 2011, I want to make ‘Horses’ my top category for blog posts!
This gallery contains 3 photos.
As promised in my earlier post, I will continue my county fair adventures from Sunday. Since no major events occurred after Sunday at the fairgrounds, I decided to end my journal on Sunday. Sunday I woke early on Sunday morning to start grooming Adam for his first show, the fair’s judging at halter. For the […]
Today was the first day of my junior year in high school. While other classmates complain over the transition from summer to autumn, I really have nothing to regret.
On Wednesday morning I returned from the county fair riding down the road on Adam’s back. After eating five days of fair food and living in the midst of the fair in dream land, I feel thankful that I had the opportunity to spend those days with my horse.
Early Friday morning I checked, double checked, and triple checked my horse show packing list. After a fiasco involving the misplacement of my parking passes (it was no big deal, really, the fair office simply re-issued them) my parents and I loaded up the truck with my carnival-camping baggage and we drove to the stable. There the rest of my tack and horse supplies were packed. I saddled up Adam and we started the grand ride to the fairgrounds. At first Adam handled the ride according to the usual riding on the road routine. This continued until we stopped to take a break around Mammoth Park. Adam, realizing the suspicious length of the ride, whinnied back towards the stable for Madam. After becoming aware he was too far away for a reply, he suspected he was on no ordinary trip. Nevertheless he obediently (in an Adam-ly fashion) continued riding. A while later we encountered another horse and rider headed to the fairgrounds. We rode together while talking about our hopes for the fair week and horse shows associated with it. I believe Adam enjoyed meeting some company, too. Finally –just beating an approaching thunderstorm- we arrived at the fairground gates at the entrance. The veterinarian cleared Adam’s CVI and I took him to his stall.
The traditional horse barn was overbooked this year so additional stalls were set up under a huge tent next to the rabbit exhibit. Adam and I quickly befriended the other exhibitors and their horses in our row. I met an English rider and her beautiful Thoroughbred, the girl I originally met en route to the fair, and another young girl with her bay Morgan cross. Adam, an attention lover, enjoyed the presence of endless excitement and constant entertainment.
In the horse arena below the fair 4-H had their horse show. To prepare for the overwhelming (and to a horse, potentially frightening) surroundings of the fair’s open show on Sunday I saddled Adam and took him down to one of the schooling rings. At first he did not concentrate at all. His ears whipped from back and forth, from side to side listening to the foreign noises coming from the horses around him. Sometimes he tried to follow behind other horses in the ring and even attempt to imitate the gaits or patterns they were riding in! After adjusting to the practice of riding among other horses Adam and I reviewed our exercises for the horse show on Sunday. I believe he enjoyed the larger arena with softer ground compared to the arena at home. When afternoon approached (all horses had to be in their stalls by four o’ clock) I returned Adam to his stall and untacked him. Impressed, I felt that he would handle his first show on Sunday rather well.
I will save my account of the Sunday horse show to Wednesday morning for a separate post. For now, I must return to my new school-based lifestyle until more free time is available.