Sunday, November 29, 2009

NHR: St. Louis for Thanksgiving

John's next acupuncture treatment is coming up on Tuesday of this week. But for now: Thanksgiving in St. Louis involved 1653 miles round trip of driving for this driving-impaired person, but I got to see my son's new loft condo and a lot of other nice things so am sharing. The photo above is the building where my older son just bought a loft condo and we stayed there -- on the floor, since he has no furniture yet. Oh my back.

That's him with my dog Gabey dominating him without mercy.

This is the view out his windows:

Urban life is something I just tasted once long ago. Now it interests me again. This was a really fun place to come and go. Lots of activity: restaurants, coffee shops, little art galleries, clean sidewalks, lots of sun flooding the streets in the early morning.

We saw the Thanksgiving Day parade in downtown St. Louis:

And we saw this most beautiful sculpture I've ever seen: "Vigilance and Peace", from the old Post Office building. "Vigilance" (on the left) reminds me of my mother!!

And my doggies accompanied me everywhere I went, even to the downtown dog park where
Rufus got rolled by a St. Bernard and loved every minute of it.

Rufus has mad urban skilz. He immediately figured out how to poop and pee on concrete. Gabey never did. Rufe also figured out how to jump up on a low concrete wall and run along it. He didn't blink when asked to walk into an elevator, whereas Gabriel was flummoxed and panicked, and had to be carried. Gratings? Rufe had no worries but Gabey would drop to the ground and quiver. It was strange but I think Rufus is a reincarnated hip-hop artist and Gabey is just a sweet little angel from some protected grassy planet somewhere in a galaxy far far away...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Equine Acupuncture: Johnny Gets Some

Not usually a fan of 'alternative therapies', I have broken down and had John done with a treatment of equine acupuncture. For 3 reasons:

1. He has stopped rolling all the way over when he rolls. Instead he rolls on one side only and stops himself with a grunt, then gets up. He used to be like a bumbly bug and roll all the way & back again.

2. He has the rush-downhill habit that I have not been able to address with training. I wonder about back pain.

3. He developed a 'sweet spot' on his back; when I would curry there, he would practically swoon and would lean so hard against the curry that it became pretty vigorous back massage.

I know all this doesn't add up to a critical situation but I am interested in prevention if possible. I love this horse!!!!! and if he needs something adjusted, I'm hoping I can spot it in time.

Plus: A vet in our area went over to acupuncture exclusively last year, and I trusted her and was willing to invest in her new career to see what might happen.

She began with an analysis using a wooden stick about 4 inches long and about a half inch wide; she pressed this into critical points to test reaction.

John showed no reaction to any of this initial testing except for one spot behind the poll on the right side. There he reacted clearly: he bobbed his head and waved it around. Every time.

The vet said this diagnostic spot is connected with the left hind and especially the hock. Really?? Right ear, left hock. OK. I am skeptical and willing, 50/50 at this point.

The needles are long (about 4 inches) but they are so slim that John showed no awareness of their presence, their insertion, nothing.

He just stood there and his eyes closed part way.

Then (timing is everything) the horses started to get their evening feed. So the 15 minutes of quiet meditative standing turned in to 15 minutes of greedy salivating dancing with needles sticking out; John was certain someone else was eating his supper.

However we persisted and he got quiet again, then time was up and needles were removed.

As the vet removed the last needle, what do yo suppose happened???

John elevated his left hind leg and hugged it higher into his body than I've ever seen it go; flex, hold, release.

I have another appointment for December 1. The theory behind acupuncture sounds to me half crazy and half sensible, so maybe John will get a 50% benefit at least.

Meanwhile we are getting in some awesome late rides, each one stolen from the chill grasp of Old Man Winter:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fire-arms Deer Season Commenceth!

And nothing makes me more nervous about riding in the woods. I think John looks just about exactly like a gigantic white-tail deer in coloration.

Today was the 'opener' of fire-arms deer hunting in our state, and every Tom Dick and Harriette including little young ones are out trying to bag a kill. So, probably not the best day to ride but: it was also just killer gorgeous and in the 50's with bright sunshine.

So Lisa and I decided to brave it. John has blaze orange to wear as shown. This is from the ProtectaVest Company, whose motto is, If it can be shot at, we'll cover it in blaze orange.

The other horses stared at John a little as we were leaving the barn.

John has never minded wearing odd things; he's cool like that. I think he is convinced that, if he is wearing it, that alone makes it the next hot equine fashion.

Lisa rode her younger mare:

And we encountered no hunters but a variety of wildlife: we startled several grouse, a young doe ran bouncing across the trail just ahead of us, and then stood watching us pass.

We cantered/loped/galloped up this beautiful rise:

...which we have done several times before and John's ears tell you he is looking forward to picking up the pace.

Lisa and I decided this was just about the perfect ride: sun, no bugs, didn't get shot, horses happy and sweet and loose stepping.

Plato claimed that this world of experience is but a shadow, and a higher more pure realm of ideas or Forms is to be found, and must be sought by the soul. Plato was wrong. The Form of the Beautiful is right here.

And John believes it is also edible:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Completely Wack Horse Dream!

This one has me puzzling.

In my dream, which occurred just before I woke up to the alarm, John my horse had been stolen.

He had been taken from the pasture by a horse pornographer! who wanted to make a porn movie with John in it. I was easily able to find the sleazy hotel where this was supposed to take place. It looked like a real dive and it had worn greasy carpeting on the stairs.

John had been taken upstairs to a room on the second floor. Yes, he had walked up a flight of narrow carpeted stairs.

Just like this one! Even to the turn in the stairs. Already in the dream I was worrying about how to get him down these stairs. Up is always easier than down.

Raging up the stairs I go and I find a bathrobed guy who looks a bit like Hugh Hefner:

And I ask him, "Have you seen a horse come by here?" (I am being cagey you see.)

And he says, "Why yes, I have a horse; I am making a porn movie about him."

"Oh no you are not!!", I reply. I am inspired to be bullying and brave by the fact that this guy seems like a complete nervous wimp.

"I am taking my horse Out Of Here!", I say. "Johnny! Let's go!"

And here comes the miracle. John, who is conveniently wearing a rope halter and long lead, walks over to me across the fleabag hotel floor, and down the stairs we go. I am looking ahead and not down in good NH fashion, so I can't report how he negotiated each stair step.

But I rescued my horse from a porn movie. That is about the strangest dream I ever hope to have. Sigmund Freud, please analyze. Because I give up.