Anguish, Angst, Horror and Despair
No! NO! NOOOOOO! It is too much! It is not to be borne! Anguish! Angst! Horror! Despair! [More words like this!]
I have Bonded . . . with the Dentist from R’lyeh*! I am cursed! Cursed! The sky is dark in my eyes!** The Brussels sprouts are ashes in my mouth!*** The yammering of happy hellhounds is heard as if from another country!†
The Cthulhuian†† torturer in the white coat with the assortment of drills and other instruments of destruction . . . has horses.
This came up because he knows about the hellhounds and their interesting digestion. I was saying that day by day and week by week the fact that I Never Go Anywhere doesn’t bother me; I have plenty††† of stuff to do at home, and because I am a poor sad pathetic thing with no life I would miss not only my hellhounds but my piano, garden(s), horse, and bells‡. But the idea of never going anywhere more than two hours from home‡‡ for the next fifteen years does dismay me slightly.
Oh yes, he said, we can’t go anywhere either, with the horses, dogs, cats. . . .
Horses? I said alertly. How many do you have?
Oh . . . four, he said.
Four? And you have them at home?
(Aside: Who mucks out? –We all do.)
Turns out they don’t just have horses, he and his wife used to event seriously‡‡‡ till he broke an ankle and she broke her pelvis, femur, and a few other bits and bobs when a horse fell on her while she was pregnant with their second child.§ At which point they decided maybe they should back off a bit.§§ But the mare they raised from a foal to compete with–before parenthood caught up with them–is presently being ridden by one of the dadblatted Olympic team, and just won her event§§§. Yeep. Big yeep. I said, gobbling slightly, oh, well, you’ll have to give me her name so I can keep an eye out: I don’t keep track because I don’t know anybody and who wins what is just a list.
Oh, he said, I’ll tell you the next time she’s in an event near here, AND YOU CAN COME AND WATCH HER. And he promised to bring photos when I come in again (next week, sigh).
And then he turned the drill on. . . .
Meanwhile, I’ve done something stupid and tiresome to my right shoulder–I think ringing down in peal on a heavy bell last Friday¤–so I regretfully rode Connie in her stronger bit on Saturday, and the shoulder was fine . . . and then it started to hurt again at Sunday service, and the once-a-month practise at the next village over was yesterday and I am more or less morally obliged to go, and since its bells are often only rung the once a month for that practise they are not the best-tempered nor the best-behaved and I was on a Notorious Ratbag Bell and had to keep yanking on the thing to keep it in its place¤¤ and my shoulder started hurting quite a lot so I went home early, muttering savagely to myself that if I couldn’t ride today there would be trouble.
The first thing is, Connie has a crush on Roland. You’re old enough to be his mother, you hussy! And he’s not interested!¤¤¤ –But she whinnies at him alluringly and then squats and pees. Hey! I have to clean it up!? And then I felt bad putting her stronger bit in merely because I’ve gone all feeble on the right side, the right being the side Connie leans on even harder. And today is lesson day; I want to look competent. Or at least capable of taking instruction.
Now when Jenny tells me to start bringing her together, putting her on the bit, getting her butt under her, etc, she usually also starts giving me helpful advice how. There are rarely long pauses in the monologue. And today . . . today there were long pauses. I shortened reins, steadied the outside and took-and-gave on the inside, encouraged her with legs and seat to move forward while not ‘losing it all out the front door’ . . . and at the end Jenny said, good. That’s a nice working trot. –I mean, we are getting somewhere. You know how you do something over and over and OVER AND OVER AND OVER because repetition is the key to an awful lot of learning things, but the only thing you’re wearing a groove in is your mistakes? I know I can’t be a truly horrible rider or Jenny wouldn’t let me near Connie, and I am bright enough to know that what goes wrong is me not her–her reactions can be quite embarrassing when she offers you what you’ve actually asked for as opposed to what you wanted–and we certainly have our moments, but most of them are because Jenny has successfully chivvied me to a point where I was asking the right thing at the right moment the right way and Connie said, oh, okay, I can do that, and does. This is the first time I’ve accomplished something–and, trust me, a good working trot is something–without a few cogent suggestions from Jenny. Very often they’re suggestions I was on my way to doing anyway . . . but slowly.?? Jenny of course then went on to chivvy me about other things, but then that’s what lessons are for.??? But I’ve been having this new little glimmer of a goal: I think I’ve told you that with a horse as nice as Connie it seems wasteful not to jump her too. I rode hunters and jumpers first, but since I discovered dressage it’s been mostly flatwork. And it would be really nice to do some jumping from a position of, you know, strength.~ As Jenny, professional show jumper, says, it’s all about the flatwork.
And my shoulder was fine.
Oh, and I now have some photos of a certain Orange Horse. Maybe tomorrow. . . . ~~
* * *
* Or at least the wrong side of the tracks in Arkham
** Well, it would be, it’s nine o’clock in the evening in October
*** I like Brussels sprouts, okay? I like all the brassicas.^
^ They’re fabulously good for you, you know. I Am the Healthiest ME Sufferer You Ever Saw.
† Hmm. This might not be all bad.
†† Okay, you Lovecraft experts out there^, so what is the adjectival form?
^ And I know you’re out there
‡ Not necessarily in that order, and with a certain slack allowed for the ‘mineness’ of the cited horse
‡‡ Which just about gets me to London. We are carefully not thinking about the tour for PEGASUS I’m supposed to be going on in two years.
‡‡‡ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_day_eventing It’s the horse triathlon: dressage, cross country (jumping) and show jumping
§ The kid was–and is–fine.
§§ Jenny says something similar: she was competing Drambuie–big league show jumping–six weeks after Miles was born. It took her a few years to decide that maybe since she’s the only mum Miles has. . . . These people are crazy. I feel quite sane and rational in comparison.
¤ You’re all beautifully up on bell ringing terminology, right? Ringing down in peal is when you ring all the bells together down from the mouth-up ready to full-circle change-ring position to the mouth-down safe position, which is how you leave them, and which is why you have to ring up first thing the next time you’re in the tower. Ringing down in peal is the classic moment for injury, because of course the bell gains momentum as it comes down, so if you start falling out of your place in the row–and may I just say that staying in your place ringing up and down in peal is fiendishly difficult–you’ll be jerking violently on hundreds of pounds of bell that is well on its own demolition-derby way, and a lot less responsive to jerking than it is when it’s fully up.
¤¤ No! Won’t! And you can’t make me! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
¤¤¤ And he’s a gelding
? Meanwhile the elderly pushing-30-year-old cob gelding who is pretty much only a lawn ornament any more has suddenly got it bad for a young mare. You’re a gelding, stupid. And it’s not like he’s ever been studdy, he hasn’t. There’s something in the air. In October.
?? This is waaaaay too much like being shouted at in bell ringing: I’m just figuring something out when someone shouts it at me. Well, at least that way I know I was right. If slow. And a lot of the time I didn’t know and can use all the shouting I can get.
??? And then you go away and try to do it by yourself and . . . . yaaaah. And then you have another lesson.
~ As opposed to a more ‘whoops, here we goooooo‘ approach. I think I told you, the last time I was riding at Jenny’s yard I had a part-share in a young Irish Draught mare who was pretty bored with endless flatwork so Jenny was teaching me to teach her to jump. That was pretty funny.
~~ Yes, of course I like to torment you. What do you think? And I have some stuff to say about BELLS OF MAZAHAN too.
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