That little voice inside my head just won’t shut up.
You know the one.
It says “Do you think this is a good idea?… Because I don’t think this is such a good idea…”
It’s been going on like that non-stop ever since I signed up to ride with Buck Brannaman again.
I wasn’t going to ride in this clinic. The classes that were offered were Horsemanship 1 and 2. I knew the upper limit on H1 would be 30 riders and I really didn’t want to be in an arena with 29 other random molecules all bouncing off of fences and each other until they manage to reach critical clinical mass and create horsemanship clinic nuclear fission. That’s just not my idea of fun. But I was a little intimidated by the idea of riding in the H2 class. Then about 3 weeks ago, the stars all aligned and the angels sang a chorus of “Laaaaaaaaa…” and they changed the H2 class to H1 advancing. I took it as a sign from God. I mailed my check that day.
Yet even as I wrote the check, the little voice was saying, “I don’t think this is such a good idea, do you?”
I keep telling it to shut up, but it keeps making some very valid points.
Point one is that I’m in lousy shape and so is Max. I simply haven’t been riding enough this spring. I have no really good excuse for that, just a lot of vague not-feeling-wells and bad-weathers and other-projects and going-sailing-this-weekends. If I’d realized I was going to sign up, I would have at least done some more long trotting, but it is what it is.
Still, I had three weeks right? So the first week was spring break—hours and hours to ride. Well, not exactly… First two days we had a sailing event. We returned from that Sunday night. I played with Max on the ground Monday morning, and then drove down to Mom’s for the next two days. You can’t just weasel out of the obligatory Mom visit. Not even for Buck Brannaman.
“Are you SURE this is a good idea?”
Wednesday night I drove home. Thursday morning played with the horse until the vet showed up to do Coggins, shots, etc… And I still have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to ride little voice! Ha! Only Friday morning, the horse couldn’t turn his head in either direction because of the shots. We played on the ground some until I gave up in disgust and put him away. Saturday I gave him a gram of bute and the day off. Sunday I gave him a gram of bute and the day off.
Shut up little voice.
Monday I was finally able to ride. In fact I rode most of the week. The week culminated in a mini-clinic on Sunday afternoon at the same facility the big clinic will be at with the clinic coordinator Karyn Shirley. If you want to ride with someone in the Reno area who can explain what Buck really said at the clinic, she’s the go-to person. I thought I knew how to do the short serpentine after riding with Buck. Karyn set me straight on that one. I plan to take some lessons with her this summer. I think that will really help maximize my clinic dollars to knowledge value. Otherwise, I’m just assuming I know what Buck meant during the clinic at which I have already proven to be horribly unreliable.
Anyway, the mini-clinic went really well and now I know what the facility is like and Max has shown me where all of the dragons are lurking. My torn hamstring has informed me that it will quit for good if I don’t take care of it on the short serpentines and since I want to be able to ride with Buck for four whole days, not just one, I plan on humoring it. Now I know how long it takes to get there and now I know how long it takes to get home if you blow a tire out on your horse trailer on the new 580 causeway coming out of Reno.
Yeah, that wasn’t good.
I was probably going 50 or 55 at the time because it was so windy up there. The sign had said “use caution.” I was using caution. Then I felt this little tug on the truck. Nothing big—could have been a gust of wind. But the little voice was saying “that didn’t feel right,” and I had to agree. I glanced in the side view mirror and saw something in the lane behind me. I couldn’t believe I had run over something without even seeing it, so I pulled over right away. That’s when I saw the shredded tire on the horse trailer. I hadn’t run over something—the thing in the lane was the tread of the tire that had been ripped off the wheel. The sidewalls were still hanging on the rim. Ugh!
Fortunately, it was the back tire. The front tire was intact and the axels on the horse trailer are close enough together that the front tire was holding the back one off of the ground. All I had to do was change the tire and be on my way. All I had to do was get out there on the driver’s side of my trailer next to traffic with cars zooming past at a jillion miles an hour and… Ugh!
But I have to thank the designers of the new causeway. Apparently, they were expecting a LOT of accidents when they drew up their plans. There are pull outs spaced about every quarter mile and they are wide enough to give you enough room to change a tire on the driver’s side with cars zooming past at a jillion miles an hour and not feel like you are going to die instantly unless somebody does something really, really, stupid.
So I prayed that no one would do anything really, really stupid and changed the tire. I was about 30 seconds from finishing when some nice guy pulled over to “help.” He laughed and said “I’m not really being much help am I?”
That’s okay, at least he bothered.
And then the voice started in:
“It’s a sign from God! This clinic is a bad idea!”
I’m not listening…
Monday morning I was out in the grey half-light of dawn unloading everything from the horse trailer. Monday afternoon after work, I dropped it off at Schwab.
“You’re leaving your horse trailer at Les Schwab for two days? It’s going to get stolen!”
Now you’re just being ridiculous.
Although the voice could be right. In my oftentimes sit-com life, that’s exactly what would happen. Schwab would call me up “Um… Did you take your horse trailer home? Cause it’s not here anymore.”
After dropping the horse trailer off to be Schwabified and/or stolen I went home and went to bed. Did I mention that our prom was Saturday night? Did I mention that I got to bed at 2am Sunday? Or that I got up at 7 so I could get to the mini-clinic? Or that I got to bed late Sunday because I was busy changing a flat on the 580 causeway?
“It’s a sign from God! This clinic is a bad idea! You’re too tired! You’re going to get sick!”
Did I mention that one of my students was diagnosed with strep last week? Monday night, I took two benedryl and enough vitamin C to kill a Rhino and hoped that between sleep and the placebo effect I could beat off any possible infection that might be brewing.
And did I mention my gall bladder? Pretty sure that’s on its way to the big medical waste container in the sky. Or maybe it’s my kidney or pancreas or liver. Maybe it’s just my back… I’m scheduled for an ultrasound. I scheduled that for AFTER the Buck clinic. I tell people I’m on the 30 day gall bladder diet. No, it won’t cure my gall bladder in 30 days. My gall bladder has to last 30 days. Once school is out, it can behave as badly as it wants.
“This is a bad idea. You’re going to have a gall bladder attack while riding and next thing you know, you’ll be writhing on the ground in agony in the middle of a Buck Brannaman clinic. Won’t that be embarrassing!”
Sometimes you just have to put your hands over your ears and yell “lalalalalala… I can’t hear you!”
So I made a chiropractic appointment. I have a great chiropractor. We call him the Witch Doctor. I told him that everything hurts and my gall bladder is misbehaving and he did his voodoo thing, most of which involved poking, prodding, thumping, squeezing and smushing most or all of my internal organs. I got to thinking that maybe it isn’t a good idea to have your chiropractor squeezing your gall bladder and kidneys two days before a Buck Brannaman clinic, but that’s what you get when you pay the big bucks.
I figure that either:
A. I’ll feel better
B. I’ll feel the same
C. I’ll feel worse
Two out of three ain’t bad!
And then there’s my left foot. I have a neuroma the size of a cantaloupe in there and I could barely keep it in the stirrup when riding, much less walk around looking cool and calm like I would prefer to look at any clinic. Instead, I was hopping around dramatically like a one legged stork. So this is how much I want to ride with Buck. I willingly submitted to a cortisone shot last Friday so that I might be able to keep my foot in the stirrup and walk like a cool, non-limping, person at least for the duration of the clinic.
And I got my horse trailer back last night. It wasn’t stolen after all. The wheel bearings are packed, the brakes are checked and the tires are new or mostly new and I have not one, but TWO spare tires (I always carry two for the horse trailer).
So I’ve managed to shut the little voice up for now. There’s still time, though. I haven’t made it to the clinic yet. I’m sure it will wake me up at midnight spinning all sorts of new disastrous scenarios.
I don’t want to hear it.