Yeah. I'm a little embarrassed to be empowered by a Shakira video, especially one that should be titled "Play Hard, Poop Harder."
But there you go.
The Mugs and Big K Clinic is coming up in mid-July, and instead of getting excited I've been laying flat on the ground worrying about the future. Well, OK, not just THE future, but MY future.
Because in a lot of ways, it's kind of bleak.
This damn PD has me pretty much on a liquid diet. I can't swallow very well. I mean, I can eat, if I'm willing to drink, give or take, 32 oz. of water per meal. But, I've accepted the fact that I do better living on smoothies and soup, with a couple of snacks a day, made up of crackers, nuts and dried fruit. Because I can still eat trail mix, go figure. PD is a weird ass disease.
I have these bitching blood pressure drops from out of nowhere that send me crashing to the floor. Which is why I call it "Crashing." I have to wear one of those stupid "Help I've fallen and I can't get up" buttons around my neck.
So let me tell you, I've been in a mood.
I could have stayed in my pool of muck, it's warm and steamy, kind of comforting in way, as long as I ignored the smell....
But that's just not how I roll.
Many years ago, I was cancer ridden, had a baby and a really bad husband, and my horses were kept on his family ranch. My access to them was controlled by the bad husband. Now there was a sucky period of time. Well, the baby was good, but as many of you know, babies are very ying and yang when it comes to quality of life.
I got kind of whiny then too. But eventually, I got pissed.
I pulled myself together by running. Being the OCD queen that I am, I didn't just go jogging, I became a hard core trail runner, eventually logging an average of 25 miles a week on mountain trails. I found that when I ran, instead of a runner's high, I was gifted with clear thought.
I ran and thought my way through a few more bouts of cancer, surgery and radiation treatment. I pushed my illustration, landed a children's book series, got rid of the husband, found a job at a daycare center so I could keep the kidlette with me, had the cancer riddled arm amputated, and ran the Pikes Peak Ascent, twice.
I came out of it with a take no prisoners attitude. My amputation made me lose the daycare job, and I picked up a job as a riding instructor at a small barn in Green Mountain Falls. Still feeling pissy, I took the bad ex-husband to court, sued his ass for back child support and took back my horse in lieu of $$. Then, because I could, I took his too.
Six months after my amputation I took my first horse in for training. Six months after that I bought Sonita. The rest,well you guys can read about that, it's all in the blog.
So. I find myself in the poop again. I'm older, much more tired, and this disease, well, it's gonna get me.
There is a writer. His name is Tom McGuane. He lives on a ranch in Montana and is a cutter, a good one from what I understand. He checks his horses first thing in the morning, then goes to his writing studio (in my imagination it's a converted log shed), and writes until noon. Then he rides.
His life has been my dream forever.
It occurred to me, just in the past few days, that I have all those pieces. They are right here in my hands, er, make that hand.
I am a writer. I actually write for my living. I have a couple of very fine horses that I trained myself, and I'm still a pretty bitching rider. It's my choice to take those piece and have my dream life.
So far, as long as I'm on my meds, I have no tremor, when you meet me there's no tell tale sign, and I'm still a steady hand when I ride.
I've got a handle on the crashing deal, as long as I don't overdo it, and get at least a few hours sleep, I'm fine.
Maybe I don't have a ranch in Montana, but I have the Big K, he's my friend, and he's got one, and I get to spend a week there in July. I get to ride with my old friends and get to know some of you in person, I made new friends last year and I bet it will happen again this year. I still have stories in me, and if I quit wallowing and try being a little more open, they'll get written.
What are we going to do in this clinic? Tim, (Big K) is charming, funny and packed full of savvy horse know how. He's a very good instructor. His approach helps every horse and every rider, I don't care if you ride Western, English or Tasmanian, you and your horse will be the better for spending some time with him.
I'm no slouch. I often have a different approach than Tim, but it's based on the same foundation. Last summer I was too quiet, I fell into the minion position too often. Tim has let me know he's not letting me get away with that this year. So, you'll be hearing more from me, on everything and anything we come across.
I'm really good with problem horses and confidence issues for both horse and rider.
There will be cattle work, and time on the trail, with water crossings, mountain scurrying, etc. It's challenging, but we're safe, and nobody has to do anything too far out of their comfort zone.
We're planning a moonlight trail ride. There is a full moon happening over the weekend.
If the weather cheats us, we're still in good shape, because Tim has a great big indoor arena. Rain, snow, sleet, no matter, we'll be riding.
As for me and my frigging PD? I'll ride in the mornings, and take a break in the afternoon so I can be around for the evening get togethers. Tim is tireless, he'll have you working all day. I'll be around to visit in the evenings, and we'll get the stories flowing.
I walk early in the mornings. Anybody who needs a stretch is welcome to join me.
I have realized worrying about the future is pointless. Life has proven to be quite the bronc ride and doesn't pay much attention to how much I do or don't worry.
Today, I can ride. Today I can write. Come July I'll be at the Big K's ranch, with Madonna, Scrub (Odin), Brockle and Charlie, hanging with Tim, Dawn, Kathy, and however many of you decide to come for the ride.