Monday, September 12, 2011

9-11 Harley

I was glued to the TV for the early morning. For the first time, I saw our curret VP say a few things eloquent. Must've had someone else write the speech for him. It was moving. FoxNews covered all three memorial services, all three locations, all at once. Scrolling between them, covering the special songs, speeches, and things done at all locations. Very moving. I hold the day pretty close, as I was physically close enough to the PA and NY locations to actually be useful. I gathered up bottled water, wash rags, and carried them to a drop off point that evening, to be hauled up to NYC for donating. I gathered up more bottled water for rescue workers in PA, to a different drop off spot. Finally, I scrambled myself to a blood donation point, got there early enough I didn't have to wait in line, and I did my part. Graduate school didn't cancel classes, which gave me pause. "We won't stop, that's what the terrorists want, is for us to cower in fear in front of the TVs." Classes were optional. I did my lab assistant work, and upon advice of my advisors, cancelled my late afternoon of research. For weeks, I was always looking up at every airplane, wondering, "Is that one going to be force crashed here?"

So, when I went out for Harley, it was with a different tone of mind. I wasn't out there as a chore, or a duty. I went out with a passion. The terrorists want us to hold memorials, have services, and be in general mental reflection for weeks now. They want inside our heads. I didn't allow it.

Instead, I chose to have a fun, pleasant, productive ride. Harley and I rode through all gaits, and had a lot of good work. I noticed very early in the ride, I'm consistently losing stirrups when I'm insisting on using heel pressure to push him forward. I made the mental decision to shove my heels down, and as my calves sank into his sides, he shot forward like a lightening bolt. Fantastic! Now, to keep those heels down. :) A whole 'nother project. I knew it before, but with Ransom (and Mo), they were *wide* horses, so I could tap with heels without needing to worry about lifting my foot to do it. Harley's not as wide (got to be the TB close in his breeding, probably a skinny TB), and while he may grow into himself a bit more, this might be all we'll get.

A good ride over all. With heels down, he was easy to sit in the canter and keep moving. Towards the end, I felt myself driving with my seat, which kept his canter even more "put together". Trot work has improved as well, with some actual stretching down at the trot when I asked for it. Free walk / working walk , well , still need work. Apparently the hardest gait to obtain "nice" in. Eh, so far, at least.

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