Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mud and hamsters and War Horses

So it rained all day on Sunday which turned to snow by Monday morning, then it melted...

...thanks.  You know that moment when you show up the barn and you're PSYCHED to ride, and then you see your horse has completely caked at least one side of his body in concrete-like mud, and you know you're going to spend at least 30 minutes just on the currying alone? 

Yeah, it's like that.

And you curry and curry and curry and curry, and pick some of it out with your fingers, and curry some more, and pick something that you thought was mud but was really a scab and now you feel like a bad person...then you realize you have 10 minutes to finish getting tacked up and ready for your lesson, but it still seems like at least 30% of your horse is still caked in cement....

Yeah, it's like this too.

And then, when almost all hope is lost, somehow as if out of nowhere, you manage to scrub the mud off the horse just in time to get on for your lesson, and your instructor does not yell at you for bringing a muddy Yak into the ring.  And you feel like this:

Also, we had a jump school today.  Soonie was great, although we took a rail down on the single vertical (got a little long) and it rattled him just enough to make him jump out of his skin on the next one.  He needed a little reassurance after that, his brain was spinning pretty hard.

He is dead quiet (almost to a fault), but he is sensitive.  He tries so hard sometimes that he almost undoes himself, and combine that with knocking himself hard on that rail, he spun himself out for a minute.  I think if he has the scope and I have the ability to actually not ride like a monkey over bigger fences, he could be a really great jumper type - efficient, but careful, and not wanting to touch anything.  The trick will be teaching him not to get so worked up after hitting a rail.  The good part is that he's relatively easy to settle.  Just a soothing hand on his neck and a canter circle, and he's back in a soft rhythm and rides perfectly well down to the fences.  No rushing, no tension, no sucking back.  He's right where I put him every time.  Despite the little bobble, he earned a lot of compliments tonight, and I was very happy with him.  We'll have another school before the end of the month because the show fences will be set up.  I don't know if we'll actually show this time, but at the very least we'll get a good jump school in. 

I saw War Horse on stage again recently.  I first saw it in NYC in 2012 when it was at Lincoln Center, and was absolutely floored by the production.  When I heard the National Tour was stopping in to my local venue, I jumped all over the best seat in the house and waited for it to arrive! It was every bit as good as I had remembered it (the only downside was it being in a larger theatre this time, I was slightly further from the stage and it lacked that really intimate feel).  I forgot how very real, gritty, and powerful the stage production was.  It takes you from the highs of that great emotional connection with the horse, to the lows of the horrors of warfare.  I took note of the reactions of audience members around me - grown men and women with their hands to their chests and mouths in shock or fear, or sheer emotion.  "Emotion" is probably the one word I'd use to describe this production.  There is so much of it that I could not even begin to explain.  Long story short - if you ever have the chance to see the stage production, DO IT!  Don't hesitate.  Don't worry that you'll cry (you probably will), because it is worth it.  It is a million times better than the movie - I love performing art because it allows your mind to fill in little gaps that movies tend to shove down your throat, and that imagination makes the show that much more personal.  You'll remember this for the rest of your life, and as a Broadway enthusiast, I don't say that about many shows.

"Who'll sing the anthems and who'll tell the story?
Will the line hold, will it scatter and run?
Shall we at last be united in glory -
Only remembered for what we have done..."
(Only Remembered Reprise - War Horse)

No comments:

Post a Comment