barn on ice

Feb. 4th, 2008 10:48 pm
dancing_crow: (Default)
temp: 38 F / 3 C
layers: many thin ones, plus chemical handwarmer
wipeouts: only one, to my astonishment
loose horses: only one, the REALLY DUMB one
Thoughts on the barn today: I have to make a livejournal userpic that says "I'm in ur barn, cleaning stalls" Oh, and I bet I could make some kind of lolhorse to do with electric buckets
Waterbuckets carried: even dozen

I made it to the barn after helping a friend at the Y get some of the machines under control. It was treacherously icy, so I led everyone carefully out to the paddock rather than let them galumph about. The dumb one (every barn has one - kind, cheerful, dumb as Rocks) just kept on walking, right past the open gate. That was when I tipped over, and the others almost made a break for it. I got everyone out finally, and get things organized. I was talking to the universe at large about not wiping out with the handle of the wheelbarrow jabbing me again. I did that last year, and had the most spectacular bruises along my ribs and inside my boobs. It was hard to get people to admire them properly.

After school the girls had rock climbing again, so I belayed children to keep them from falling out of the sky. At the end of class I asked for a belay up a more difficult route. This one was a lot harder - I had to think a little more about the various hand holds and footholds, and ask for advice a couple times. I actually fell off the wall once. That was a rush. In a really bad way. But I beat my way a little farther up before I gave up. I didn't make it to the top, but I have some ideas for what to do next.

I even managed to make my art thing for the week that was supposed to be done yesterday - but that is over at the other blog - http://dancingcrow.typepad.com
dancing_crow: (Default)
Temp: a balmy 33 F
windchill: some, wind due North and brisk
layers worn to the barn: yoga top, long underwear, fleece vest, black liner jacket, red outer jacket
thoughts at 33 degrees: I'm still grateful for exothermic reactions that make handwarmers work, even though I only need them for the first half hour, til my core overheats and start dumping heat to the fingers.

The horses were completely mad this morning, kicking at their doors and snorting. When I let them out in reverse of their usual order, they decided they needed to roll in fresh snow, more than anything else in the world, at least until the big black thoroughbred mare who ring leads them was turned out. Then they went on a brisk leg stretch around the manure trail (no pile, we tow a manure spreader on a trial through the woods, about .2 mile) all at a full gallop, heads high, manes and tails in the breeze, all madly picturesque -  and on approaching the barn wheeled around and went back the other way. Once they'd made it back to the barn the second time, the black mare led them into the paddock and they all settled down to eating hay.

The first couple times they failed to go into the paddock I was appalled, and terrified, and thinking hard about which roads they might come out on if they kept on going through the woods. Now, I am ashamed to say, I holler and cheer them on. I know they'll come back, and they have no place to stretch their legs at all. The paddock is a sheet of ice with frozen in manure, and trees in the way on a steep slope. It works fine as access to grazing in the summer, but it has to be a boring place to spend too much time in.

The girls had rock climbing class at 5:30, and they were short a belayer again, so I belayed various children up and down the easiest fake rock faces. At the end, the teacher offered to belay me up a wall, so I chose one of the two easiest, and addressed myself to it.

I expected to make it half way up.

I am delighted with myself that I marched up to the top and rang the bell. I have no idea what it was in climbing terms - I didn't follow a marked route, just went for the bulkiest hand holds and foot holds. My toes Hated the shoes, but it was kind of nice to have almost gecko feet. The last climbing I did was two springs ago at Family Camp, and both times I was pretty pathetic. This felt really different - and I don't know if I am stronger (yay water bucket carrying, yay fabric climbing) or the wall is easier (very likely) or what. But I was so chuffed I went to Herrels and treated Alice and myself to ice cream. Alice for traversing all the way from one side to the other of the area we were in, and climbing three times this week, and me for the wall.

I really rocked that wall!

And now I must retrieve the large girl and feed it ice cream as well.

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