Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Horses and Oil Slicks

This past Saturday marked an absolute first for me. It happened to be May Day, and the first Saturday in May, and for as long as I can remember that has meant one thing to me, finding a television somewhere, somehow in the late afternoon, mixing mint julips and watching the Kentucky Derby.

This drawing is the oldest drawing I have that I did when I was maybe 9 yrs old, and you can see where my head was then, and still is. Horses.

There has not been a Derby run that I have missed watching the live race, via tv, since I was in junior high at least, and that's been a few decades give or take. This Saturday, tho, I very unintentionally, managed to miss the whole thing.
Mark and I, very regrettably, had obligations to be somewhere this particular afternoon, and so we first figured that we could take a small portable tv and hope for a signal, but then, not wanting to count on this working and have it not, we figured to let our home tv just record the whole thing, not turn on any media or listen to anyone who had seen it, and then we could experience the whole thing a bit later when we got home.

Once home from the outing, we looked to finish the evening off with a blissfully ignorant watch of the Derby.  Mark turned on the tv and guess what, no friggin recording on it. Gone. Nothing. Like missing Alabama win the championship. Well, that's up for debate. Our intelligent tv had super ceded Mark's assigned recording this event, and it had by itself chosen something we might like more...ahahhahahhhhh, I thought without uttering the scream I wanted.  Mark felt terrible, but it wasn't his fault.  Just a sheer technological nightmare, and I was thinking thoughts of Hal telling  "Dave? Don't do that, Dave...Daisy , daisy..."

This week has been devoted to getting the farm, and the horses ready for the Jeff Moore Dressage Clinic, I am hosting here running Tues thru Friday.  I have been cleaning stalls, tack, horses, bush hogging acres and acres, and have been trying to cover all the thousands of details coordinating incoming riders and their horses, and a clinician, so that the next four days might run as smoothly as possible. I had been hoping the weather gods would smile our way. They have by sending four inches of rain which dampened the sand arena before it mostly drained into the pond. This was a seriously much needed dampening after Sunday's howling winds which had whipped the dry sand into tall billowing tornadic shaped cones that rose and the left for parts unknown.

Last night I got the dreaded call from a very weary clinician, somewhere on a Texas runway, had been for 7 hrs, to tell me that he wasn't going to be here tonight. So I will pick him up from the airport in a few minutes and we will get started whenever. It does take flexibility to run or attend a dressage clinic, citing "the best laid plans" mantra. We will all enjoy this total immersion into our passion for  learning and working with these horses during these next four days, but it does come at a price, work and stress.

It is such a luxury to be doing something so fun like riding in a dressage clinic and focusing on that, and to enjoy things like watching horse races on tv. There is a  real world out there, tho, still churning, and for a while I will try to put out of mind my rage over the insanity of the ecological disaster  that is happening as I write, that has no real answer or and no quick cure. The carelessness of this BP oil mess is ruining one of the largest eco diverse niches on the planet, and for what. So we can postpone the fact that we must change how we view our stewardship of this big green rock we call home, Earth, the mother ship of all of our lives.  The people whose lives this will crush, all the poor animals that will die, and the huge area that will be a dead zone for who knows how long, just makes sick to think about.

For now, today , and for the next four, I will compartmentalize, do the things I need to do to keep this small system on this farm going, feed and look after these animals, keep the details of this clinic going, and hope no one falls off their horse or cries, or has any problems at all.  I will also keep thinking and remembering, very seriously, about just how lucky and privileged I am to be doing so.

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