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The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 7 of Camp

Day 7 of Camp

We are half way through. What a scary thought.
I don’t want it to end!!
This morning we went out on a trail ride! I was going to try Kara’s Barefoot saddle with is treeless. It fit well and was pretty comfy. One thing that got on my nerves 
This time we were planning to go a different way. In fact we were going to climb up the hill that backed Kara’ s property. Yea, its steep. We walked down to where the TVA power lines and started the hike up to the top of the hill. I can tell you within 1 minute the horses were all starting to sweat and breath hard. Yea, its that steep! 
Sharlie was leading most of the time, really enjoying the adventure. She kept asking me “Mom can we go faster??” 
What was my response? 
“ way.”
Sharlie has had much more hill therapy and muscle building than Hope or Cherish (and once upon a time, more of a top line) so it would make sense for her to have a little bit easier of a time. The reason I asked her to walk up the hill was 1) Trotting up 75-80 degree hill is never really a good idea and 2) she didn’t know the terrain. I knew that Kara and Cherish were trotting now and then but I told Sharlie no trotting this time. 
Once we made it to the top, all the horses were starting to be really sweaty on their necks. (Lets not forget under the saddle! Ew...)
Sharlie decided it was the perfect time to go to the bathroom. Both #1 and #2...on a 75 degree slope...on her tippy My horse can sometimes lack judgement. :P
After a few minutes of grazing we came BACK down the hill. Why? I’m not quite sure but I know there was no where for us to go. Between the brambles and the decapitating trees, which one would you choose?
The voyage down the hill was an interesting one. Sharlie started out well but then she started...‘jolting’ down the hill. In other words she was so much on her forehand, she was pretty much locking her front legs up and sort of hopping down the hill. It was torture!
Then about half way down the hill I looked at my saddle and thought “Huh...I’m really far forward...wait where did the shoulders go?!” I look at my legs. There were the shoulders....right behind my ankles. 
Yes. The saddle and I were on Sharlie’s neck. *nervous laugh*
After calling to Kara and Brita to stop, I hopped off quickly and tried to push it back. (This is hard when you are still facing down a hill)
I walked down to where they were (they walk so fast!) and had to undo the girth to move the saddle back. I couldn’t help but smile because this situation reminded me of Linda’s story of when Pat & her were asked to go find the mustangs and her saddle slipped over Remmer’s head! I’m so glad that wasn’t me. -_- That would not have ended well. 
Once I had gotten her figured out once again (after a scare of her having her legs looped through her reins. @_@ Grass is dangerous Sharlie!!) 
Then I had to mount up again. Nobody could get off to give me a leg up so I had to mount from the ground. It may seem ridiculous but I was scared. Last time I tried to mount from the ground by myself was over a year and a half ago and I pulled all the muscles down my left leg as I tried to reach up to the stirrup. I was barely able to walk back up to the barn let alone do anything for weeks. 
I found a nice spot where there was low ditch. I got Sharlie lined up in the ditch, counted 1, 2, 3...jump! 
*drumroll please!!*
I did it!
I was feeling quite proud of myself sitting there in the saddle that I had gotten into all by myself, but we still had a way to go down the hill. Sharlie was still very much on her forehand all the way down and my saddle was starting to slip down again. I was desperately looking for an uphill slope to push it back.
We reached the bottom of the hill and made our way over to a stream to see if the horses would drink. It quickly became a “Can you cross the stream calmly?” Sharlie was really a leader this morning, from leading Hope and Cherish down the hill to crossing the stream first. 
Then we reached the road and Sharlie travelled beside the road for the first time. She did really good when a car went by. Then we crossed the road and went up the really steep hill facing Kara’s home (yes, another one. If you haven’t realized it yet, they live in a valley.)

Sharlie once again was saying “Lets go! Kara and Cherish are trotting! Lets go and go and never stop!” I did let her trot a bit to see what she would do. As it turns out, her brakes stopped working. I had to pull her into lateral flexion on the hill to stop her, which gave me a panic attack because we were on a 75 degree angle and she was spinning around on a slippery slope. After that little scare we reached the top of the hill.
I have heard Kara talk about the hills singing to her, the trees talking to her, the wind whispering to her...
For the first time I was able to understand what she meant as I heard it too. 
It is part of being more sensitive, I believe. I will have to ask Kara.
From on top of that hill I could see for miles and miles and miles around me. I could even hear the highway! We then made our way along the path at the top of the hill. It was a beautiful trail. We even saw a pregnant doe. (Who Sharlie ended up scaring with her loud eating)

As we reached the bottom of the hill we had to walk on a road for a while. That was the first time Sharlie has walked on a road but she did amazingly well. I was a bit nervous because I have always been afraid of reckless drivers. Luckily, we only saw one car.

Then we made our way back, pretty uneventfully. When we reached the trail behind the house, I asked Sharlie to trot. My hips moved almost completely in sync with hers, for the few steps she took. I felt a bubbly excitement rise within me. 

Whenever I manage to become fluid with Sharlie, even if only for a moment, I feel like I can fly. But it is hard.

We trotted a few more times before returning home. Once we untacked and Sharlie drank from the pond, Kara and I jumped into the pond and had fun wiping stinky mud on each other. (Well more like I wiped mud on her.) Then we got out the sprinklers and water ball and ran through it a few times but it was cold!!

When we came back inside, I was getting a bad headache. I lay down next to Kara on the kitchen floor as she finished my shirt. Before I knew it, I fell asleep. When I woke back up, my headache was still there so I told Kara I was going to go take a nap and asked her to wake me up when we were going to do yoga and watch some Parelli DVDs.

I slept for about an hour and a half before Kara came to wake me up. We went downstairs and started watching the Online patterns.....and then Kara went to go take a nap! 

Then the Cumberton's friend Teresa Hanes came by. She was an interesting character. Kara & Brita are trying to get her to do Parelli. No progress so far I guess.

We are watching the Liberty DVD from the Success Series. It is 8:13 and the sun is almost set. I hope to be able to go do the Liberty Audition before the sun sets.
We still need to eat. 

I will post separately about the Audition later this evening.

Time to eat!

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