Sunday, April 14, 2013

Still here, right where you left us

We are still here! I have not forgotten this blog! Life has been more than a little hectic over the past 6+ months...

As you know, I left my job of 6+ years to pursue an opportunity to spend time as a working student for Peggy Cummings. Most of my time in the States was detailed in my other blog (
I happily admit my trip to the States was life changing, and I am so very grateful I had the opportunity, and so very glad I managed to make it work. Thanks, Universe.
 ... I was, however, more than a little slack at finishing the blog off. I'll blame that on the commotion of farewells, packing, travelling, unpacking, then launching straight into job interviews, collecting my horses, and catching up with all of my trimming clients. Not to mention the jet lag!

Onwards! I have a new job as a claims assessor for a health insurance company. Giving up my previous job and coming to this one was a learning curve and a half.  In a nutshell, it is not really the job for me. Luckily, I've been seconded for 6 or so months to the Pet insurance team - I REALLY like this part of the job! I spent a month full time learning more new ropes (I've become quite the rope twirler), and now I am on a 50/50 split (or 25 pet/75 medical, if the medical turn-around-time, or TAT, is too high).
Unfortunately I've had to increase my hours, travel, and parking hassles for this job (I really appreciate 6 years of having a parking spot outside the office, now), which hasn't made for good horse time. I shuffled to a 7am start so that I can be home by 4pm, which gives me time to ride, or, time to trim after work.

Most of the country has suffered drought this summer; one of the worst droughts in the last 100 years, I think. Winter is going to be tough: very little winter feed produced, and much of it already fed to keep animals going over summer. My horses are as fat and sassy as ever, living in a diet paddock, with a couple of hours on "grass" each day plus a feed of oats, beet and minerals.

The horses have truly been on the back burner. When I have had time, I've not had the inclination to be out in the heat dealing with them. Bad, bad, bad!

Life with Scarlett has been the same as usual - I always need to do more groundwork, and be more insistent that she gives me a good posture and good responses, but she is my reliable rock, my good ol' faithful horse, who I can just hop on and go.

Indy has been as - what's the right word? - volatile?! as ever. For every step forward, and every breakthrough, I feel like we uncover five more things that need fixing. Sure, we're working through layers and adding finesse, but man some days I feel like we're surging backwards instead of making any progress.

Indy was an absolute STAR at the four-day clinic with Peggy up in Auckland. Peggy commented it was the first time she had seen this horse come to the clinic with a work ethic. I have to say she stole the show. The following weekend in Cambridge, I was almost disappointed I took her; though Scarlett wasn't in any state to attend, I feel it would have been better than where I got with Indy, which (at least to me) seemed like yet more back-tracking.

Things really came to a head in early January after she got a particularly good bodywork session. I took her to a friend's place for a ride. She was lovely and soft, but she reared, several times. 

"That's it," said I, "into a hole she goes." I haven't put three years of hard work into this horse for her to dump me and seriously injure - or kill - me. Deep down, I knew she had so much more to give, but I wasn't about to find out the hard way that she'd ended up with a dangerous and unfixable habit.

But, seeing she had been so good to that point, I decided to throw some more at her before pulling the plug. 
First up, bodywork. Zenya came and worked her magic.
Then, diet.
Then... something I didn't plan. Or even know about. A member of the UDBB forum contacted me about trimming. We got talking, and she mentioned that she has a quantum device - would I like her to run Indy? Sure, why not... I mean, that is there to lose? The results were astounding, and confirmed much of what I know about Indy. A healing program was also run, and I followed up with some homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements. The change in Indy was as clear as night and day: she softened and mellowed. She lost the tense, worried expression. She let her anxiety melt away. She started to really, truly trust me and the work I was asking her for.

It was like a new horse. The horse I always knew was there, without the layers of guarded-ness and tension.

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