Wednesday, March 29, 2017


After 4 different injections, my back is feeling pretty good. Now I'm just tired and cranky. I'm not sure if that's from the steroids, or if I'm always tired and just don't notice it because I'm usually always in pain. Pain does give you a nice little endorphin rush, now that it's gone all that's left is a bone-crushing weariness.

I saw a new rheumatologist last week. He poked at me a bit and then removed 9 tubes of my blood, which left me feeling even crappier for about two days. I was rather attached to that blood, apparently. I'm being tested for: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's Syndrome, Hepatitis A, B and C, Lyme Disease, thyroid problems, kidney problems, and Lupus.

I suspect the doctors may just be throwing darts and hoping one sticks to me at this point.

But that's enough about me, let's talk about The Great Red Menace. (AKA:  Giant Baby Giraffe, Shmoo, Stuart The Man Child,  Stupid Baby, and many other less family-friendly nicknames)

Occasionally called "Jack".

Since I feel like utter crap, I'm not riding Jack very much. Instead, I'm focusing on ground work. Jack is actually quite well-behaved under saddle, it's in all other aspects of his training that he fails spectacularly. He has very little understanding of the size of his own body and the concept of "personal space".  He also has zero concept of how to lunge, in spite of multiple people's efforts to teach him. So, we're working on that.

Why are we working on that? That's a question I've gotten a few times from people that I've told about Jack in real life. The answer is two part:

Part The First: I'm tired and I don't feel like saddling and then climbing aboard a 17+ hand nincompoop that requires all my strength to keep from turning into a wet noodle. Not that there's anything wrong with wet noodles, but we're going for dressage here, not Western Pleasure.

Part The Second: I find work on the lunge line, long lines, and in hand to be great for correcting Wet Noodleness without me having to expend as much energy. But, first the horse must respect personal space and lunge like a non-feral creature. So.....

Step One: Get Jack to stop being feral on the lunge line.

And that, my friends, is a work in progress.....

(Heh. Get it? Hehe.)


  1. It took Courage YEARS to learn how to lunge and at times, it is an invaluable tool.

    Plus yeah some times it's just not worth trying to get on the (very tall) horse.

  2. Carmen was interesting to teach to lunge like a civilized equine. I didn't do the original training so can't speak to how it was introduced but let's just that she thought circles were optional and would go careening off at any moment

  3. Luckily I don't feel the need to lunge often. Val is not fond of lunging - I think because of physical issues. I have to pay very close attention, which is tiresome. If he gets his nose a millimeter to the outside all hell breaks loose.

    Good luck with your bloodwork. :D

  4. I got really spoiled with Ruby (who picked up lunging in a snap and has basically always been perfect), and then tried to teach Cinna who doesn't actually believe in circles or consistency in any gait.... oops! haha. So lunging is sometimes... an adventure! Glad I'm not alone? Also glad she's not nearly as tall as Jack! lol

  5. I like lunging as a teaching tool and autoimmune issues suck because you can test negative but have every symptom, family history, etc. Then its up to the docs to just throw a label on you or not. Hope you start feeling better.

  6. I remember when Murray would lunge in a circle by doing a series of straight lines connected by sharp turns that sometimes had him running right through the middle at me in some kind of uncontrolled flail. It's funny to think of NOW, but I don't recall being as amused at the time.


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