First, Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!! I hope you are able to spend time with your families this weekend. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for, and I am grateful every day.
So, my last lesson was all of 20 minutes. I actually left work early and got to the stables 1/2 hour before my usual arrival time. As I started to get out of my car, my cell phone rang. One of my co-workers was trapped in the hallway of our building. Let me explain..... our offices are on two floors of a professional townhouse with a hallway on the main floor that also allows access to the basement where the bathrooms and kitchen are. The offices on each floor lock individually. My co-worker was down in the bathroom, the other employees left locking up the offices behind them. They assumed my co-worker had a key to lock the front door as he left. Nope. So I drove back to the office through rush hour traffic (45 minutes), locked the door and drove back to the stables (45 minutes).
I am not good with rush hour traffic at the best of times, let alone having to face it 3 times in one evening. You see, I have a condition.....there's no flowery way to say this.....and I am little ashamed to admit it......I turn into lunatic. Put me on a crowded road, crawling along over a period of time and I unravel. My happy demeanour starts to slip away. My patience level diminishes to zero. Yes, I am the one yelling unflattering names at the person that is stupid, inconsiderate or pushy. Granted my yelling is done through my windshield, but I exaggerate my pronunciation so that the person can clearly make out what name I am calling them if they look at their rear-view mirror. Fargin Icehole!!! Fargin Bastage!!! Throwing my hands in the air or shrugging my shoulders is also part of this display. What the.....??? As my frustration escalates, my hand somehow finds its way to the horn. Yep, I may even accentuate my yelling with a little horn blowing. I am sure a vein starts to pulse on my forehead at this stage. I wasn't always like this..... there just seem to be more incompetent rude drivers out there now. So for my own peace of mind and to avoid looking extremely unattractive, I don't drive in rush hour. My personal office hours are 9:30-6:00 p.m. :-)
Needless to say that by the time I arrived back at the stables, my face was pinched, my lips thin lines. My lesson was well underway. LA had saddled Gem up and was sitting on him when I arrived. I still felt like the top of my head was going to blow off. She asked if I was going to get on my pony and I replied no. I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. She gently insisted that I get on him, so I brought my mounting stairs to the centre of the arena and got on Gem. He didn't move as I mounted. HE DIDN'T MOVE AS I MOUNTED. Now, it could have been because LA was standing basically in front of him. It could have been that he knew I was still suffering from temporary insanity and was anticipating some sort of awful repercussion if he didn't behave. Or, it could have been that he was just being a really good boy. Frankly, it didn't matter why. HE DIDN'T MOVE AS I MOUNTED. I sat on him for a minute, giving his neck and mane a good rub and thanked him.
We didn't participate in any of the loping. Instead Gem and I walked around on the inside of the arena while my classmates waited for their turn to trot or lope on the rail. We did some limbering up; small circles, 90 degree turns. I did not chat with my classmates (my new rule) and continued to focus on being with Gem, keeping him moving. I could feel the tension slipping away and I could feel my body melting into the saddle. My pleasantness returned. When LA asked me what I wanted to do, I said I wanted to try to do a side-pass. What?! Yep, a side-pass.
LA coached me on rein position and leg position and on the fourth try, Gem and I did a side-pass from the middle of the arena to the rail. :-) It wasn't the straightest example, but it was a side-pass none the less. Good boy!
So within a 3-hour period, I managed to go from office manager to lunatic driver to saviour to lunatic driver to Zen rider. Yes, I am woman and I am amazing. Geez, I sure hope I don't have to go on this emotional roller coaster on a regular basis, though. It's exhausting!
What was I thinking....?