Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Preparing for Vacation

Warm, 80 degree sun. Powdery sand between your toes. Gentle ocean breezes, bringing the sounds of the ocean. Sea gulls overhead. Ocean waves breaking on the rocks. The gentle surfs reaching the edges of the sand. Waves that beat at the beaches when the tide comes in. Sailboats moving across the waters. Beautiful sunsets.

Winter is barely ½ over. Winter has been here with a vengeance for the last 30 days, dropping an estimated 30” of snow over the last 6 weeks. Frigid days and nights, with many of them in the minuses. Wind chills to the minus 30-50’s. Wind and drifts. High enough drifts to stop electric trucks from repairing lines. We are not in the Antarctic or Canada , and we shouldn’t be worried about the cold air freezing our lungs. Or making us cough as we recover from bronchitis!

Mid-winter is a good time for Tom and I to go away on vacation. We didn’t anticipate the cold frigid weeks that we have had. But I am glad that we had them when we did, as the alternative is worse for me - to have this mess and we aren’t home to deal with it and to watch the horses. Even with a water heater, the large round water tank still froze as the wind whipped out of the north. Gates had high drifts in front of them, making it impossible to put a round bale out to Duke. The Northwest wind blew all Wednesday night. I woke throughout the night, hearing the wind each time. By morning, the wind took the 3-6” accumulation of snow and drifted our road shut.

We prepared for our vacation. We filled his hay round bale feeders with enough squares to last 3 weeks. Our horses in the bottom lot will eat almost 2 round bales a week. We put out 5 round bales for 2 weeks. 3 of the round bales had feeders to go over the top of them. 2 of the round bales were placed end to end to give a north west wind break. By the time we were done with round bales on Thursday, our fingers and toes were getting cold. I’m glad we added that round bale windbreak.

We had sat for 2 days snowbound. Without a grader plowing through the drifts, even 4 wheel drive SUVs and trucks weren’t moving. Tom got stuck Thursday morning and stayed home.

Anticipating the grader to open our roads any minute, we worked on work paperwork from home. Little did we know that this storm would have us holed up for over 2 days.

The big question - were we going to get out Friday night or early Saturday morning? Our flight was 6 am on Saturday. On top of all of this, wind chill Friday night was to be -20. I didn’t want to be stranded on country roads at 3 am.

The grader went at 3 on Friday afternoon. We headed to town to get some paperwork and let an extra key at the store. Tom had to go to work to get his computer. Believe it or not, since he was going to be at work for an hour, I treated myself to a set of French nails and a pedicure! Soothing, herbal, warm water bath for tired feet. A gentle leg massage. A soft, caressing hand massage. Soft, lotioned hands and white tips nails. A perfect, lovely feeling for a stressed body.

Once home, our Tahoe got high centered, again! Luckily, Tom only had to dig a little and he pulled the car to the garage. Taking no chances of getting stuck in the morning, he loaded suitcases, sneakers that we will change in to, and our “spring” jackets, and moved the car back to the front of the barn. From there, with a slight downhill, we will easily get out the drive.

Why don’t you sleep the night before something exciting? We had to be at the airport parking lot at 4 for a 6 am flight. We allotted an 1 ½ hour to drive, in case we ran into bad roads. We needed a ½ hour to dress, grab coffee and go. That meant, we had to get up at 2/2:15 to leave at 2:30. We should have gone to bed at 9 or 10 for at least 4 hours of sleep. But, nooooo, someone was too wide awake at midnight to even dose. Tom thought it may be hard to fall asleep for a copy of hours, then wake up and drive an hour. So he cleaned out his briefcase, I did a little house paperwork, and before we knew it, it was 1 am. Tom needed an hour rest, so I read, making myself stay awake so we wouldn’t sleep through the alarms.

The ride to Omaha was uneventful! (brushing sweat from forehead). We did drive through places on the back highway where the grader only made 1 pass. Large drifts were everywhere, almost as high as the Tahoe and3-4 times the length. The Interstate did not have the shiny black ice that it had the night before. We were at the airport with time to spare, as the ticket window didn’t open until 4:30.

That’s ok by me. I would rather be an hour early at the gate, then rushing trying to find the gate and not knowing our seat umbers. Omaha boarded on time to Chicago, and Tom and I both cat napped during the hour flight. In Chicago, we had slightly less than an hour between flights, but the gate was in the same area, making us about 1.2 hour early to the gate. Perfect timing. Except that the pilots decided to NOT fly that plane - there was a broken seat so the stewardess wouldn’t have a seat??? Anyways, pilots got a plane change. Gate change once again, but just a few gates away. The plane came in, unloaded, and they had it ready to board within a ½ hour. THEN, “they” decided to board everyone, BEFORE making sure luggage was changed around and food was replenished. We sat an hour in the plane! We had a long flight ahead of us, we didn’t need to do any extra sitting!

Actually, the time went fast, as Tom and I were still tired, and we continued to nap off and on until the plane took off. There was only 1 unhappy person, and all she needed was a nap! She cried as they were preparing the plane for food - poor little girl, she was in the back seat and they were right behind her making all kinds of noise as she was trying to sleep. Once the plan took off, she slept almost the whole time! I know how she feels. I would have loved to have slept that long.

As it was, I did nap off and on over the next 3 hours. I never sleep in the plane, not that I take that many trips, usually once a year for vacation and once to go home to see parents. But no sleep since 5:30 Friday morning was taking a toll. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. It actually felt very nice to lay my head back, close my eyes, and take a couple ½ hour naps. I would loved to have taken longer naps, but the airplane bumped and groan, people moved around, and babies cry. I should have slept soundly, as the ride reminded me of home, as the air noise outside the plane sounded like the wind blowing the other night.

I should soon see sandy beaches. I love the sun and the heat!

We arrived, and rented a car and drove past the beaches! We can’t wait to be there, soaking up the sunshine and heat.

(I know I’m a couple of days behind in posting, but I’ll catch up soon! Lots of beautiful sights here in Aruba!)

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