Catch up!

11 07 2012

I went a few days without updating again, I’m sorry! I’m now in my final week of classes at university here, and my birthday happened at the weekend, so I’ve barely had time to catch up on myself let alone blogging and correspondence.

Anyway, on Saturday, which was my actual birthday (so I was really happy to be going riding!), I had a pleasant but unremarkable time. It started with the usual chores and so forth; my own time in the saddle was just in order to give Max his cool down from being practised on by other riders, but given that that pretty much meant I was left to roam around in the main riding ground (amongst the other riders – this indicates that I’m now deemed competent enough to do this, which is nice) wherever I liked for ten minutes and still afforded me valuable horse-control practice, I totally wasn’t complaining. I was also pretty much left to wash and groom him unassisted (but supervised, albeit with no input from my overseer) afterwards, too, which was nice – although one of the things I was told to do was to wash his privates and the surrounding area :S I didn’t mind, of course, and given that the gelding in question didn’t object in any way to my handling of him I guess I did an okat job of this, but it’s a bit of a weird thing to be able to say that you’ve done! I admit I was smirking to myself and thinking ‘Happy birthday to me!’ as I was doing it. Heh.

On Sunday I arose after just five hours’ sleep having rolled in some time around midnight to go to riding club again. I didn’t get to ride, but there was still plenty to do around the stables. The club was holding a barbeque in the afternoon which I had been looking forward to, but before we got to do that we had to do a bunch of gardening around the stables – pruning trees, pulling up weeds, taking plant waste in heaps up in wheelbarrows and dumping it on the mountainside, then finally redistributing the earthy substrate in the yard, which had been washed away to the outside edges by the rain. Unfortunately, because of this, I had to leave to go and meet a friend I’d arranged to go out with late in the afternoon just as the barbecue got lit, but I was at least praised very highly for just how tidy the areas I’d been left to get on with were – that’ll be the OCD again!

Then I was back today after two days’ rest. First of all I mucked out Napoleon’s stall. It amuses me that he’s such a soft, soppy horse when he’s so tall, handsome and elegant-looking with such an affected name. The whole time I was mucking out around him, he was smacking his lips together in that insecure-horse way. Out of respect for his nervous disposition I pretty much left him alone, just giving him a gentle nudge whenever I needed him to move out of my way, but it is really funny to watch when a horse is doing that, and it makes such a comical noise.

Immediately after that, I had a successful rising trot-practice lesson on Kit, who today did everything I asked him to first time. This went on for about 20 minutes, and then I gave him his norikiri for a further five minutes, then rode him out into the yard, dismounted without any assistance and lead him back to his stall, where I removed his tack and took it off to be put away. Then, I made him up a bucket of Pocari Sweat, but he seemed to decide that I was tastier; after having a little to drink, he moved on to vigorously licking my shoulder instead, expressing no further interest in the bucket I tried a few more times to wave under his nose. After that I was left completely unsupervised to wash and groom him all by myself. He was lovely the whole time, playfully trying to nibble me whenever I was standing close enough to his head for him to do so (although it startled me a bit when he started nibbling my bottom as I was bent down drying his hooves…) I cleaned his face, washed the area under his saddle and his legs/hooves, towel-dried him, groomed him and applied Hoof Hardener to the underside of his hooves as they are a bit soft and jagged. Then I asked a sempai to check I’d done everything right before putting him back. I even filled out his daily record sheet by myself this time – in Japanese and everyfink! I noticed it hadn’t been done for yesterday. Tut!

I must admit that after all that I didn’t really want to put young Kit back; I wanted to bring him home with me. I WANT ONE! I WANT TO DO ALL OF THAT EVERY DAY!

Amusing side note: I live an hour’s commute from the stables, and to get to club practice on time I have to get up at five o’clock in the morning, and leave my apartment for six. To save time, rather than taking my riding gear there and getting changed when I arrive, I put my riding clothes on before I leave and take a change of clothes with me. Today I forgot to do this, and so I had to return home smelling of sweat and horse and no doubt covered in Kit’s hairs for a shower and a change before attending my evening class. Heh.

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