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The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 15 of Camp

This morning was very very emotional for me. Well only a certain part was.

I didn't want to  wake up this morning. My thoughts were going along the lines of "If I don't get up, time will freeze and I can sleep longer."
Didn't last long. When I heard the TV turn on I figured that was my sign to get my butt up and out of bed. I saw everyone snuggling on the couch watching the news. I got myself some breakfast and settled down on the couch.
After breakfast I got everything together in my room, ready to be put in the car with Mom. Then after coming back down, double checking I had everything and watching a bit more TV we went out to the barn.

When I caught Sharlie from the field I noticed the sun was reflecting off of her, making her look orange instead of chestnut.
We played online in the arena and when it came to Circling Game, I stood on the pedestal and sent Sharlie around. At the walk and trot she was great! Always had slack in the rope. Haha and guess what else? Our transitions were AH-MAZING. All I had to do is pick up or lower my energy and maybe give a little click and she would transition very nicely.
When I asked her to canter however she seemed determined to pull me off the pedestal. Even though the transitions were still nice and easy, she had taken all the slack out of the rope and was pulling on me. I played with her on it till she had done half a lap of not pulling on me. (Yea, it was very impressive at the time) and then I unclipped the lead rope and asked her to canter at liberty.

It was beautiful. She took off cantering, weaving between all the obstacles, bucking, throwing her legs out every which way and with her ears pricked the whole time. The best part? When she saw that I had dropped all my energy and was looking at the ground and she came straight to me. Awesome, right?

After that I saddled her with the bareback pad. She stood perfectly still and was such a good girl!

Everything I've pretty much been working on for the whole of camp (on the ground anyways) was perfect today. Doesn't it always end up like that?

I mounted up from a mounting block instead of the fence. In doing so I pulled all the muscles in my left thigh and behind the knee. Ouchhhhhhhyyyyyy...

I rode her in the arena a little bit, squeezing through barrels and doing a bit of "Follow the Rail" before exiting and then Brita and I hit the trails!

Kara had gone off on a walk in the pine trees because yesterday she had a very frustrating ride with Cherish and felt that she shouldn't ride today. I completely understand that as Sharlie and I were off-ish yesterday as well.

Sharlie took the lead (this was becoming a routine now) and Brita and I rode out to the bulldozer. I soaked in all the trees, birds, deer and sky.

I knew it would be a while before Sharlie and I would be back here again.

After grazing a bit in the lovely marsh grass that the horses love so much we started to make our way back. From here we could see the barn yard fairly well and Brita saw Kara walking back with Cherish.

Within a minute or two suddenly Kara was trotting toward us on Cherish. (It had taken 20 minutes walking with Sharlie to get to the bulldozer in the first place)
She explained that she had galloped over here when she had seen us. She then told us about her adventure up in the woods.
I won't tell you guys about it because it is her story. She will write about it...eventually ;)

Once we got back, Mom arrived only moments later. I helped her load up my stuff in the car while Sharlie waited in the stall. Just as we were about to drive up to the house to get the rest of the stuff when Tom and Susan arrived.

They were early. I was hoping that I would be able to help Mom load the stuff into the car at the house and then play with Sharlie on the ground a bit before they arrived. Now that they were here, I wouldn't have time for any of that.

I honestly tried to keep a positive outlook but I could already feel the pressure being put on me and Sharlie as I led her out of the stall.

I led her straight up to the trailer. (Strike 1) I asked her to get in and she actually did well by putting 2 feet in. But then I asked for more too soon. (Strike 2) She backed out and I sent her in again. She went in  with all 4 feet and Kara started going towards her to hold her when Sharlie freaked out at Kara and raced out backwards. Sharlie then looked at me and told me "I'm not going in the trailer."
I looked at her for a moment before asking her to go in again. She quickly became frustrated and upset with me because I had ignored what she had said to me, even how clearly she had said it.  After a few more times of in and out with 2 feet she stopped again and looked at me and said "I'm not going in the trailer. I told you so."
Just her telling me that got me frustrated and I quickly handed her over to Kara.

I won't go into details because everything has blurred together in my state of being completely drained- mentally, emotionally and physically. Basically it switched from Kara to Brita to me again to Brita then to me again. Next thing I knew, we were an hour into it. I tried not to get frustrated but all eyes were on me. Everyone was staring at me. I could feel everybody around me (apart from Kara.) getting more and more aggravated and impatient.
My mom made a comment saying "We need to get her in now." Well what do you think we have been doing? Just joking around? If I could load her, I would!

About 15 minutes later after what felt like being ganged up on (though I will quickly be scolded for saying so) I found myself crying in the tack room. I couldn't go back out there while I was in such an emotional state so I curled up on the wooden cabinet and tried to muffle my sobs into my shirt. Within minutes Skyh the cat came and curled up into my lap. His purring sent me into a sort of meditation...something I had been trying to achieve only a few days before.

I placed myself in Kara's room, lying on her bed reading something. My tears didn't stop flowing but my muscles loosened. I was so much 'in my own little world' that what only felt like a few minutes turned out to be an hour! When Mom came in to tell me that Tom and Susan were leaving the trailer and going to come back tomorrow morning.

At first all I could think was "Why are you in Kara's room?"
Then I realized where I was. Oooohhh....

I wiped away the remaining tears before walking out of the tack room to find Kara and Sharlie standing by the hay bales. I couldn't look anyone in the face so I just hugged Sharlie.
I felt like such a little girl for running away and crying. I couldn't stand the embarrassment. "You don't have control over your horse."
Well didn't that completely shatter all the self-confidence I had gained over the last two weeks.

Later, after Tom & Susan and Mom left I felt so emotionally, mentally and physically drained that all I could really do is lay on the couch. I was supposed to be looking up trailering advice on the Parelli website but I finally surrendered to the sleep that was tugging at my eyelids. I woke up two hours later, still not feeling any better. I also noticed that there was something pressing on my chest, making it more difficult to breath.

I told Kara how I just wanted to go out and eat somewhere or go for a joyride. (Something that I never have wanted to do before.) She said that it was probably because I wanted to get away for a bit, to escape the emotional turmoil that I had had to endure this morning.

We convinced Brita to take us for a drive around where they lived. I enjoyed it immensely as I have never really seen that much around their house.

About 5 minutes into the drive I noticed that I was breathing easier and easier and quite soon I blew out like a horse. Wow, I really am starting to pick up horse behaviors. The point is Kara had been right and going for a drive had been exactly what I needed.

When we returned home, it was already 7:30 and Kara and I were supposed to play with Sharlie & the trailer so she would be ready for tomorrow. Something in my gut said that because I still felt so out of it that I wouldn't put my all into it and so niether would Sharlie. Kara felt the same way so we asked Brita whether we could extend an extra day so we would have more time to work with the trailer when we were feeling better.

She agreed. So now we have all of tomorrow to work with the trailer on the condition that we help her clean the house during the heat of the day. No problem.

When Kara and I went out to go play with Sharlie and Cherish a bit with the trailer (we were still going to try!) we instantly noticed a difference in our horses. Cherish who is usually more Extroverted these days was slow and more tired looking and closed that usual. Sharlie didn't have much energy. I also saw that her eyelid had swollen up greatly since this morning, probably because of the stress.

After playing with Squeeze Game (which was the worst it has ever been in the last year), the pedestal and some sideways, I led Sharlie over to the trailer to see how she would react after this morning. She couldn't even look at it.
It took alot of approach and retreat in order to even try and do the Squeeze Game, which had to start out with about 6 or 7 yards between the trailer and me for Sharlie to even go through.

After about 45 minutes Sharlie finally had enough confidence to put Zone 1 on the trailer. I left it at that.

I was very glad we didn't have to load her up tomorrow because there was no way she would load when she could barely even sniff it (after 45 minutes!!)

I am very tired after today. Some people must be thinking "Surely it wasn't that horrible." Think whatever you like. You didn't feel the pressure, the stress and the rest of the emotional turmoil I was going through during that first hour.

I can't wait till Kara gets her own trailer.

Goodnight. Get out your dreamcatchers. I know I will need mine tonight.


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