SUBSCRIBE TODAY Smiley face  Get updates via email! 

We Are Flying Solo

July 7, 2012

On Again, Off Again

Summers are frustrating for me.  It's field season at work, which means I am doing this...

...while losing my body weight in sweat every day.  It is fun and I love the wildlife, but trust me, it's not as easy as it looks!  It also means I have no consistent schedule.  I am often on travel status as my territory covers 1/3 of the state.  Horse training and article writing does not seem to be a priority of my agency for some reason.

So I am left to piecemeal it as best I can.  I make plans and change them and then change those.  Sometimes I have to wait until the heat breaks or until it's raining so field work is canceled or we have meetings so I get to stay home.

Yeah, your clinic scheduled on a Wednesday?  Please stop complaining that it won't fill, we can't all be kept women...

However, since I spend many MANY hours behind the wheel of the work truck, I contemplate.  What do I want from Encore's round pen work?  With Solo, I needed to earn his trust, so my approach was to calm him and reassure him as much as possible.  But with Encore, I think I want to leave a little raw edge.  He is appropriately obedient, but has a little fire, a little pushback, and I don't think I want to take that away.  I WANT a little badass-ery in my eventer and to know that he is self-confident enough to attack new challenges and move boldly forward even if I falter.  Solo became bold and confident because I showed him he could be, but Encore already has his own core to build on. 

This is my working theory.  In the meantime, what riding time we get is spent on building his hind end and back on trails and in transitions in hopes that our fall season will see everything bumped up a notch!


  1. I really believe that the most rewarding jobs are also the most challenging and demanding. Sounds like you've been busy!

  2. My hat is off to you.
    You go Science Girl!

  3. Hahaha, well, psychological rewards only go so far. Sadly, they do not pay the bills.

  4. I totally missed the boat on the kept woman thing. It looks like a pretty sweet life.

    Good thing we like working outside, right?

  5. I just about live outside! It's mostly great, although I was questioning it a bit in the 1000% humidity swamp I sampled on Thursday. But it was still a beautiful swamp that I never would have seen otherwise!

  6. I have a horse like that--very opinionated, very brave. I need him to be polite and workable, but I don't want him to loose his attitude and spark. It's what makes him such a great foxhunter and eventer! I find that if I think of having a conversation with him--let him tell me what his opinion is, but then tell him I really do want what I was asking for--then we hit that happy medium. I have a horse that is both rideable and "has that spark", and he is happy.

  7. Does your 1/3 of the state include the eastern third?

    As someone who spends all day outside, (landscaper) I can relate. These last few weeks have been pretty brutal. The ultra high humidity is oppressive.

    Looking forward to a break in the weather and more riding time. :D

  8. CJ -- that is it exactly!

    CFS, we go by watersheds. So I do go east for the coastal plain section of the Lumber, the Cape Fear and the White Oak basins.