This morning I woke up feeling almost hung over. I can't say for sure as I have never been hung over before. I'm just guessing...
Today the whole point was to take the time it takes with Sharlie and the trailer.
We did alot of stuff that Linda does in the Liberty and Horse Behavior DVDs.
Squeeze between the trailer and me, down the narrow hallway to the tack room, under the goose neck, in and out of the stall, etc..
Sideways along the trailer, along the barn aisle way...
Driving from Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5...
Sitting in the trailer entrance and sending her from side to side...
Can you put your Zone 1 here? How bout Zone 3? Then Zone 4?
That lasted about 2 hours before I started running out of ideas. I found Kara in the stall with Cherish. This is pretty much how it went.
Julia: "I'm stuck."
Julia: "I'm running out of ideas."
Kara: "Ah..." *nods*
Julia: *stares at Kara, waiting for her to say something else.*
Kara: "Do you want me to play with her?"
Julia: "Yes please." :)
I settled down in the grass as I watched Kara play with Sharlie and the trailer. Kara did Falling Leaf, Circling, Sideways, and Squeeze Game and incorporated the trailer into them with Sharlie. She then tied Sharlie outside of the trailer loosely. She went inside of the trailer and started making noise to get Sharlie used to the metal growling and roaring monster. Kara did that for about forty five minutes, and each time I couldn't help but laugh. She jumped and banged against the trailer like a little boy in the grocery store who was trying a temper tantrum but didn't put his all into it...which to some degree is much more annoying than an extroverted toddler yelling and screaming with all his might.
Sharlie began to get more and more calm as she went on, and it especially helped that the magic (escape) door gave hay every time it was opened... Maybe the trailer wasn't so bad after all! At one point, Kara led Hope over to the trailer, who went in all the way, and then left her in there to eat hay. Sharlie peered into the trailer and watched Hope for a few moments before turning to try and eat grass... Nothing new there! Hope slowly backed out of the trailer by herself and went off to go eat grass again. My goal from that point was to get Sharlie to be able to go in the trailer all the way and eat hay like all of the other horses had done this morning. (Cherish, Finale, and Hope)
Then, Kara and I sat down in the entrance of the trailer. I had my Horsenality Report that I was planning on reading, and Kara went to go get some lunch for us, as it was already 11:00 and we were beginning to get hungry. She came back with Mac N Cheese and ice cream! We sat there for a bit before Kara got her Nook and her notebook to write in and play Sudoku on. Bit by bit, we asked Sharlie to stand closer to the trailer, offering for her to graze near it. A few times, when we moved to get flies off of our legs, or the rope hit the side of the trailer, she would spook but come right back up to where she was before. Soon, she was beginning to come up and sniff the entrance of the trailer and we gave her a flake of hay to eat in the entrance. It was amazing to see how stressed and unconfident she was first thing in the morning and unable to look into the trailer. Now, she was slowly and lazily munching on hay and peering into the trailer now and then as Kara and I would flip the page of the Horsenality Report.
When Kara had first brought out the food, we seemed to have attracted a couple of dogs in disguise. Skyh, their cat, instantly came up and started trying to eat our mac n cheese, while Sharlie seemed intent on getting a hold of our vanilla ice cream. So now I know that no matter what kind of food it is, horse or human, she will always want to eat it!
Kara and I sat in the trailer and had our picnic in there for two hours before we decided it would be a good idea to come in and help Brita clean up the house. Before we did that though, Kara asked Sharlie to step into the trailer. Kara stepped into the trailer as the confident leader, not really asking Sharlie to follow her until she turned around. She asked Sharlie if she was going to come, who pricked her ears up and showed a little bit of fear. After just a moment of waiting, Sharlie brought one foot onto the trailer and looked around, then the other. A minute or two passed before Sharlie backed off of the trailer on her own accord again. Kara asked her if she could repeat herself, getting on the trailer again since her back up had been more like a trial for escape. The second time, Kara only let Sharlie stay on the trailer long enough for her to feel her confidence grow, not decline. When Sharlie got off, she was rubbed all over by both of us.
After settling Sharlie and Cherish down in their stalls, we came inside and watched a little bit of TV (Nate Berkus show) and ate some Chick-Fil-A strips and nuggets.
Then after sending an email to Emily Larramore about the internship and talking to Mom on the phone (Casper misses me! <3) Kara and I began cleaning the house while Brita went out...somewhere...?
Their farrier is due to come now so we have to go out and get the horses.
While the farrier did their horses's hooves I sat with Sharlie in the trailer. I wrote in my notebook what I had forgotten to write about since last week. I noticed that there was a wind that was blowing harder and harder. I looked behind me and saw some very very very ominous clouds heading our way. GREAT! Just what I need! A thunderstorm- or worse, tornado- that will completely rob me of what little time I had with Sharlie and the trailer.
Realization suddenly hit me. She had to be able to load in just a few hours time.
Once Sharlie finished her flake of hay, I moved the chair out of the way and then suggested to her that she maybe put one foot in the trailer? She did it, but was very nervous. I backed her out and let her stand for a moment...once she relaxed a bit I asked her to do it again. She did it but again, afraid.
I decided to stop, knowing we weren't getting anywhere. Just as I started to lead her away, a huge gust of wind blew shaking the trailer. Haha, good timing Julia!
Then as the wind blew harder and harder, Brita and I rushed around, shutting stall windows and making sure the horses had some water before running for the cover of the house at the rain drops began to fall with the wind hurdling towards us with surprising force.
After a bit Brita suggested we go for a joy ride, but told us to bring shoes this time as we would be getting out of the car. As we drove off with everyone in the car, I couldn't help but feel a stab of fear. What if something happened while we were gone? What if a tornado hit? What if? What if? What if?
We stopped by the dry cleaners, then we stopped at Dairy Queen and got some ice cream. Once again I thought of the stories from the last tornadoes where people were sitting in Taco Bell and a tornado was heading their way so all the customers and employees were ushered into the freezer (Really Taco Bell? And you claim to be all fresh.) When they got out, there was nothing left.
You could tell that was what was on everyone's mind. There was a man sitting at the table next to us who kept checking the weather on his phone and the employees were on edge and kept looking out the window.
I didn't realize until now just how badly those things are imprinted into your mind until you are in that situation again. Especially when both Sharlie and I were at risk.
After visiting Target (Where we saw some people dressed up. I have a theory it was a flash mob. Because in a Target in Cleveland TN you only need 6 people for a flash mob.) we made our way home. I tried not to let fear take over but I am pretty sure that Kara felt it especially as the rain started pouring harder and harder.
Several things were running through my head.
- What if we don't have time to practice anymore with Sharlie? Its already almost 7 o'clock and she is still worried about putting 2 feet in the trailer. No no no its not supposed to happen this way! We are supposed to be able to load her by this evening!! STOP RAINING, THUNDERING AND LIGHTENING!!!
- We keep thinking of putting a rope around Sharlie's butt and the last and final solution (let's not forget the least favorite) and that she WILL load by doing that. But what if she doesn't?
What if she doesn't load even with the rope around her hind quarters? What else do we have?
- With all this rain there will most certainly be rain in the trailer which means the wooden floor boards will be very slippery. This does not help matters At. ALL.
- What if the trailer gets stuck in the mud?
- What if there is a tornado and she gets freaked out by that and then we still try and load her tomorrow? Might as well remove the eye right there on the spot she will be going through so much stress. In fact I can guarantee you she wouldn't load if that happened. There is no way.
- What if I am so emotional tomorrow like I am now that she won't load?
Of course being the paranoid person I sometimes am, I imagined that the tornado hit Mercy Stables. On the bright side they couldn't come pick up Sharlie tomorrow but what if Casper got hurt? Or even worse...killed?
Tears quickly filled up my eyes at the thought. I realized that I was quickly pushing myself down the slippery slope to a complete emotional meltdown. It needed to stop.
Kara and I are sitting on the couch. I'm trying to coax the extremely slow internet into to working so I can send an email to Mom telling her about the situation. Its still pouring pouring pouring and its already 8pm. There is no way we will be able to play with the trailer this evening.