Sunday, July 29, 2007

Keil Bay comes for a visit

I was sitting on the sofa just now finishing Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns when I looked up to see Keil Bay watching me. I think if he could figure out how to get up on the deck, he'd come right in.

Hosseini's newest book is brilliant and heartbreaking. I think everyone should read it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

the mysterious muscadine caper and the very loyal sidekicks

Monday morning Keil Bay ate breakfast as usual. From his bright blue feed tub, he munched two spare scoops of Vintage Senior, one cup of black oil sunflower seeds, licked his Glanzen and DE and Source, crunched his carrots, and did the grand panther walk back out to the field.

Within five minutes he was back, hanging his handsome head over the stall door, just looking at me.

I knew something was wrong.

He'd torn his hind leg up, not hideously, but inside and out, and the bright red of the blood was most alarming.

I washed it with chlorhexadine, gave him Bute, cold hosed for twenty minutes, and applied triple antibiotic ointment. Walked the back field and discovered he had tangled with a wild muscadine vine. The evidence was laid out perfectly. One pile of horse manure, a number of very hard green grapes scattered on the ground, and a vine, just behind the manure pile, broken.

Tuesday morning his fetlock was swelling. I called the vet. She arrived within the hour and assured me I'd done all the right things. She taught me to put on a standing wrap and remarked how amazing the Big Bay is - how smart and kind and good. I heartily agreed.

So twice each day since, he gets all of the above and fresh wrapping. By Wednesday the swelling had decreased significantly and he was whinnying and cantering through the field to claim the apple offered by my daughter.

Apache Moon has stuck like glue to Keil Bay since Monday.

I think he likes wearing the wrap. He does look quite regal with it on. And he seems almost eager to get his special attention. Walk out to the field to take a picture and... here he comes.

This morning I was so caught up in re-wrapping his leg before leaving for my writing group, I forgot to bring Chase in with me. He was found shortly thereafter, waiting loyally by the barn door.

Dickens E. Wickens was keeping him company.

It's been a notable week. Time to go cold hose.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

butterfly bath

We are members of a vast cosmic orchestra in which each living instrument is essential to the complementary and harmonious playing of the whole.

-J. Allen Boone
Kinship With All Life

Sunday, July 22, 2007

second bloom

We are not here just to survive and live long...
We are here to live and know life
in its multi-dimensions
to know life in its richness,
in all its variety.

And when a man lives
explores all possibilities available,
never shrinks back from any challenge,
goes, rushes to it, welcomes it,
rises to the occasion
then life becomes a flame,
life blooms.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
The Sacred Yes

Saturday, July 21, 2007

oh my gosh

My quest for the photo of the three crows has ended.

"Wherever crows are, there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us."

-Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

striking balance

I'm starting to become much more aware of a somewhat delicate balance that exists between mood, creativity, and for lack of a more precise word, physical zen.

This past weekend my daughter and I were in charge of all the farm chores. By the time we did all the things that needed doing each day, we were in no mood to ride. I had come home from writing group on Thursday with a mission, and it was quiet here and very easy to sit in my garret after doing the chores and dive deep into the first 62 pages of the book. Everything was flowing.

By Sunday evening I'd reached a stopping point with the writing. I needed to back up the new document on my external hard drive, needed to print out the newly revised pages so I could read them on paper instead of the screen, and our house regained its male contingent and the noise level went up.

Monday I had a meltdown. It felt like something was out of balance. My initial reaction was to skip my riding lesson (after a near two-week break, partly due to trainer being out of town, partly due to the heat, partly due to Keil Bay's chiro work). But on a deeper level I knew I really needed to ride. Immediately when I got in the saddle I felt better. The lesson was not pretty but it was good. Keil's hip is moving correctly again and everything clicked. I got off feeling like I'd had an emotional tune-up.

Later in the evening though, I had a second meltdown, but it felt more like getting rid of the dregs at the bottom of the barrel than anything else. And it was true, I slept lightly and well instead of the heavy, dream-riddled sleep I'd been having.

And woke up ready to ride again, and did. Today's ride was sharp with crisp, clean transitions between gaits and some floating moments over trot poles. It did indeed feel like with Keil Bay, as well as inside, I was back in balance.

I'm curious about this, as there seems to be such a connection between mood and writing and riding for me. When I write I tend to get lost in the story. When I ride I get lost in my body and the connection to Keil Bay. Both are immensely pleasurable, but I absolutely need both to create the balance that results in a stable, peaceful mood.

If you've noticed similar balance issues in your own life, I would love to hear about them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

there is a chorus outside my window

Tree frogs and cicadas and crickets, so loud I can't hear my daughter's voice from across the hall.

She and I spent the day together, looking for an alarm clock (she wants one), having lunch at the local cafe, library and dollar store and bookstore, feed store and grocery store.

Finally we got home, just in time to feed the horses, who were all pacing the paddocks because they just rotated fields and the grass is so good that first few days.

I've spent several hours today shifting several chapters of my book from third person present to third person past. At one point I didn't like it and then I did. I've decided it's too soon to know - I just have to try it for longer in the book and see.

We did stretches with Salina and then some groundwork. She was very flexible today and moved well. We played predator with the pony and Cody, who put on quite a show. The pony is like a little warmblood, he just floats through the air when he puts on his big trot.

Feeding dinner we had cat company, all three of them sitting on the tops of fence posts like owls, watching horses come and go.

And now we're serenaded by a million little voices. It has been quite a day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

the mysterious congress convenes

After many months of failed attempts to photograph the crows and ravens, I actually succeeded. Sneaking, crafty, using the little zoom feature, but here you go. You'll have to zoom in to see them. I wish I could share the audio of them calling when they realized I was there.

Something big must be about to happen.

Addendum, afternoon: They're outside my garret window calling and calling. I think they enjoyed the game. (or have a message, or both)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Keil Bay's Chiropractic Delight

Last week before my lesson, Keil Bay indicated his pelvic joint might be rotating out again, and then cantering left it became obvious something was off. He's been doing lots of yoga "cat" stretches over the past week too, as though trying to work something out.

This morning our equine chiropractor arrived and adjusted Salina first. Salina, by the way, has been cleared for three months! We were not expecting to get this much success with her so quickly. She's doing well.

While Salina was getting adjusted Keil Bay went into the stall most visible to the chiropractor and proceeded to shove his big butt against the wall, quite dramatically. Leaning against the wall that way is a big red flag for pelvic issues. He was determined that she see this - it was hilarious.

When it was his turn, he waited until she got to the left pelvis and then started bobbing his head up and down very quickly. That's the spot! As soon as she started the adjustment to that area he relaxed and let her work.

But at the end he kept backing up toward her as though she had missed something. She got the green box she uses to stand on back out and let him point his back end to her so she could work on the exact right area. He let out a big sigh and leaned back. All done.

What a guy! He gets the rest of the week off and then we're ready to canter left again!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

a special day

I just now noticed and feel the need to point out that today is:


Just FYI.

thinking blogs

Camera-obscura has been named a Thinking Blogger site twice now, a few months ago and more recently by Matthew at Science Is A Method, Not A Position. I appreciate the nod and hope you'll go visit his site.

I'm not much for the blog tagging thing and am quite finicky about the way my blog looks, which is why I don't list favorite websites, blogs, etc. in the margins.

But there are some wonderful blogs out there, and this gives me the opportunity to point you in their direction. I also highly recommend visiting the blogs of anyone who comments here at Camera-Obscura - if they're here it usually means I'm a regular visitor to their blogs as well.

A few places I frequent:

Peggy Payne's Boldness Blog





Faster Than Kudzu

French Toast Girl

Confessions of a Psychotherapist

Mantis In A Teacup

This also gives me the opportunity to invite you to comment, if you don't already. My intention here is for each post to open the door to conversation. Share your thoughts, experiences, and don't hesitate to ramble. I certainly do!

Enjoy the blogs!

Friday, July 06, 2007

making space

This month I've consciously pared down activities on the calendar to create some empty space in midsummer. It feels good to see blank squares.

Like Keil Bay, going for something a bit different than the usual fare.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

riding lessons

I haven't written about Keil Bay and riding lessons recently, and the past two lessons were very interesting.

Last week we had not ridden in nearly two weeks and my expectations were low. But Keil was relaxed and loose, I had done yoga right before, and the saddle fitter had been to adjust Keil's saddle - the combination of these made for a wonderful lesson. We had some very grand moments together and it remains one of my favorite things in the world when he moves through his back, fully engaged, and I am right there with him.

Yesterday was similar but with a glitch. In the canter, going left, I could feel my left hip torquing oddly to the right - he was on the left lead but his hind end was torqued to the right as well. The amazing thing to me was that I am getting good enough to feel these things instead of having to have them pointed out to me. My trainer hopped on so I could see from the ground what was happening.

And then it clicked. He'd done many yoga stretches during the day and had also stamped his left hind foot as I was grooming his right flank. I'm almost positive his pelvic joint is rotating out of alignment again. It's subtle, which means it's probably not too far out, and it definitely happened since last week. Thankfully, our chiropractor is already coming early next week to see Salina, so we can get this taken care of quickly.

It feels like so many pieces of a puzzle are coming together. With the massage work, the chiro, the excellent training, the saddle fitter, and our progress, the rides become better and better. One day I'll have to do a video of Keil's amazing extended trot. The way he moves says it all.