Saturday, March 28, 2009

Go from the leg, give to the hand

Were y'all wondering if the meth heads came back and stole my laptop, too? Sorry I've been such a sucky blogger lately.

Willow was super-duper in lesson #7 Thursday night, and Leslie had nothing but nice things to say. Things like: forward, focused, submissive, bending, soft. Willow even let Leslie walk along beside her in trot and canter, clapping to ask for more forward. Even four weeks ago, that would have freaked Willow out. I'm so proud of my bull-headed mare!

So how'd we get there? Well, for the past two weeks I've been focused on nothing but go from the leg, give to the hand. Working to unlock every locked place from withers to bit. It hasn't been pretty or pleasant. Willow has bucked me up unto her neck more than once, but she really doesn't like it when I land on her neck, so she seems to be giving up on that strategy. I've also been working a lot on just making her stand and give, and that has resulted in marathon backing around the arena, but again Willow realized that that strategy was accomplishing very little and giving her a sore butt, so she has stopped doing it. No matter how mad she's gotten, she hasn't gone up or bolted, so good girl. And slowly but surely, our fight club sessions have gotten shorter, and been replaced by dressage-like activity. Culminating in Thursday's great lesson.

What else? Well, I had planned to give up on Dollhouse after five horrendous episodes, but I kept reading how episode six was the one to watch, so I gave in and watched it, and it was like Fox suddenly realized they should stop crapifying Joss Whedon's project and let Joss do his thing. Episode six was like a completely different show, with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. You know, the stuff Joss is known for. Plus, Tahmoh Penikett wandered around shirtless for a bit.

Sadly, I was not nearly so impressed with Tahmoh's other project, which had its series finale last Friday. Overall, I loved Battlestar Galactica, but other than the mutiny arc, I've felt that season 4.5 has been pretty weak. And I thought the finale was frakkin' awful.

[spoiler alert!]

So many things I just couldn't buy: Why did Cavil kill himself? There's another Earth (Earth II)? Why would Bill fly off and leave Lee forever? On a similar note, these 30,000 people have just been through four years of hell together, and now they're going to scatter to the four corners of the earth (II) and be isolated farmers? For that matter, did everyone agree to destroy all the ships, or did the Adamas just make that decision on behalf of everyone? Whatever. Oh, and Gaius and Six are angels? Starbuck too? Am I an angel? Maybe you're an angel.

If you want to see angels done right, watch Supernatural.

I know the BSG writers had an impossible task, trying to end this epic series in a way that would satisfy its fans, but they had backed themselves into so many corners with decisions they made earlier in the series, that they had nowhere to go. I wish that, like the cylons, the writers had had a plan. Although the cylons didn't appear to have much of a plan, either, despite what the opening credits claimed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stupid meth heads

So, last week when my dogs got out of the yard through a mysteriously open gate? Apparently, that was a dry run for two days later, when the gate was open again, and the neighborhood meth heads had stolen my iPod from my car and my bike from the carport. The iPod was a four-year-old nano, and the bike was ten years old, so I'm more irritated than anything. At least I saw the open gate before the dogs got out again, and now it's padlocked. All three of my dogs blissfully slept through the burglary. They're very sweet and completely useless.

My new goal, set forth in lesson #6, is to get Willow loose as a goose in front at all three gates. Willow would much prefer to be tight and pull-y about half the time. In the past I've always ridden horses that wanted to curl behind the bit, which led me to be very soft and inviting with my hands so as not to lose the contact. Trainer Leslie says Willow is completely taking advantage of my soft, Sally-Swift-don't-crush-the-baby-birds hands. It's time to let her know in no uncertain terms that she cannot lean, pull, or snatch at the bit. It has been a major mental adjustment for me, but after a week I think I'm finally on the right track.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chuckleheads on the loose

Marko and Sam, the pointer brothers, got out of the yard this morning. I realized it as soon as I stepped out of the shower and saw they hadn't come in from outside. They're both total couch potatoes in the morning and never spend more than about two minutes in the yard. I think someone let them out; a gate I never use was standing open. Time to get a padlock.

So I spent 45 minutes wandering the neighborhood with wet hair. Next time I will put a hat on, because I about froze to death. I finally found the boys four blocks down. A nice couple had corralled them in their yard. They said they actually thought Sam was their own German shorthair, so they called him in and were quite surprised when a vizsla accompanied him. Tonight the boys are exhausted from their big adventure.

Willow was cheerful and willing tonight. I think we've gotten past the crankiness, at least for a little while.