Author Archives: Jennie

no this is not the face moss makes when I ride him, well not often, thank goodness

Although I’m sure there have been many, many times where he’s wished I’ve figured things out just a liiiiiiiiiittle bit faster. This is, in fact, the face of one of the horses in the Elgin marble exhibit at the British Museum. Aside from the oddness factor that is a horse head just…sitting there on a pedestal…this one also has one of the more stressed facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

Luckily, when you’re riding, it’s difficult to really see the horse’s face, although Moss likes to make up for this when he gets testy by sticking his tongue out and making it. very. clear. that he disagrees with whatever I might be asking/how I might be asking it/whether or not there really is a monster over in the corner disguised as a pony.

I’ve been taking a series of jumping lessons recently, both because I’m going back to visit everyone in California and want to be at least familiar with what jumping feels like again and because I think it’s important to both mix up the horses I ride and what I focus on.  It’s also become more and more apparent that Moss is a very, very, very nice horse.  The amount of huffing, puffing, and sweating I do in the jumping lessons is just, well, pathetic.  I’m quite out of shape. Continue reading

london, again, with more books

IMG_2236I’ve taken this same picture three or four times over the past fifteen years or so. In fact, I probably have some sort of before renovation-during renovation-after renovation series I could do with them. The first time I took this picture was way before digital cameras, and the print is lost somewhere in an album I’m sure is gathering dust in an attic, but the second time I took it, I blew it up and framed it, loving the geometric patterns in the glass and the way it seemed to branch out across the (blue and sunny!) sky–oddly enough, it was sunny the day I went to London this month, so I was able to take another daylight enhanced version of my “I visited the British Museum” picture. Many of the rooms in the British Museum are built to let in as much sunlight as possible, so, on days like this one, walking through it feels like some sort of sun-dappled journey through history.  Plus, because so many of the pieces are photography-friendly, you can spend the day taking pictures of giant statues glaring at you, or lions that look poised to eat you, or that Elgin marble horse head that just looks…angry. I was planning on popping into the Tate Modern as well, but I ended up spending well, hours, wandering around the British Museum, so had to skip that and head straight for the Simon and Schuster Bloggers’ Event instead.

Although I normally just take the Tube everywhere, it was such a nice day (and I had enough time) that I thought it would be better to walk. I’m now at the point where the little triangle of London between Euston/St Pancras Stations, the main touristy bit, and the Simon and Schuster offices feels nearly familiar. That doesn’t mean I didn’t constantly reference my A to Z (love that thing) as I was walking, familiarity doesn’t trump my ability to get lost while travelling in a straight line, after all. I feel that I should admit that I went the wrong way once (coming up out of a tube station), but my keen sense of where a Starbucks might be (t’other way) quickly, if randomly, put me back on the correct path.

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you know when it’s totally your fault? or, things that can be made a bit better by pop music

photoNot that I’m claiming the weather is my fault (either way–it’s been cold, but at least sunny, for a bit now.  Although it appears to be heading towards cold and rainy again). Nope, today my fault was the riding. Specifically, the jumping.

I hadn’t really jumped in awhile, and I was starting to feel rusty, so I’ve been trying to schedule in some jumping lessons at the riding school.  The first few went okay.  The session with the grids went really well, and the second session with a sort of mini course went fine, but today I was riding a different horse and just…lost my ability to steer.

It’s so frustrating, because I know that I sometimes I just lose my ability to really jump well (mostly only in stadium, why I think it is so much more terrifying to jump the jumps that will actually collapse is beyond understanding), and today was one of those days. I am definitely out of shape, which was part of it; the horse I was on was definitely bigger moving than many I ride normally, and he could perhaps (for my sake at least) have used a bit that was a tiny bit firmer than the loose link snaffle he had on, but the issues we had were 100% my fault. I kept basically steering the poor horse around the jump.  Because I was focussing on us having a perfect approach, I got all worked up about not being exactly straight and forgot that the most important part about jumping is to actually, perhaps, jump.

Argh. I did fix it a tiny bit at the end.

So, I promise to do better next time. Luckily, I usually only ride like an idiot one lesson at a time, so here’s hoping I got that out of the way.

To make myself feel better, I blasted Lily Allen all the way home. With a slight foray into Janis Joplin’s “Bobby McGee”. Oh well, you have to find what works for you, right?

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