Tick, Tick, Tick

025Tick is an interesting word.  It can be a verb or a noun.  When it is a noun, it can have many meanings.  You need context in order to know what the definition is for a given sentence.  I think all the definitions below have been used this past week.

Definition #1 – A light mark used to check off or call attention to an item.

Ever since our last show, buying a new show helmet has been on my list of things to do.  As I was taking a break before my last ride, Ms. C looked at me and asked what the heck was going on with the strap on my helmet.  [Insert a blank stare from me.]  I reach up and feel a piece of a strap that is no longer attached.  Hmm.  I didn’t want to dismount for fear that Ike would believe we were done, so I fiddled for a good ten minutes and “fixed” the strap.  Okay, so I tied a knot between the free piece and the rest of the strap.  Probably not ASTM-certified safe, but I survived and vowed to get a new one before our next show.

I went to one of the local tack shops yesterday, determined to leave with a new helmet.  I tried on two black velvet helmets that were fairly priced and looked suitable.  One style just did not fit my oddly large head; the other was close to what I have now and it made it into the running.  And……………then……….I tried on a Charles Owen………….no comparison.  It was so comfortable – like a pillow stuffed inside the helmet.  There would be no odd red dent in my forehead.  There would be no headaches.  Mine, mine, mine.  Praying the rain holds off on Sunday so I can wear it – if it rains, I’m wearing my schooling helmet.  CO will not be getting wet on the first outing.

That expensive, yet successful shopping excursion allowed me to tick “buy a new show helmet” off my list of things to do. 🙂

Definition #2 – A parasitic arachnid (suborder Ixodida, order Acarina) that attaches itself to the skin of a terrestrial vertebrate from which it sucks…

My least favorite of the definitions.  These horrible little creatures that burrow into the skin of the closest warm-blooded creature and transmit disease.  I remember my ecology lessons: every creature supposedly has a purpose in the ecosystem, part of the food web, blah, blah, blah.  Unless there is a bird or other creature that eats ticks, I really don’t see what purpose ticks serve except to drive me crazy and make my skin crawl.  [Feel free to disagree if you like them.]  Ike has taken to sticking his head through his paddock fence to eat the grass on the other side.  The photo included with today’s post is Ike demonstrating his head tilting technique to fit his head between the fence boards.  The grass on the other side is taller than the grass on his side and appears to be a tick mecca.  I look like a monkey checking for and removing ticks from Ike.  He finds the task objectionable, but I persevere.  I won’t reveal what I do with the ticks I find. [Insert evil grin.]

A recent purchase of bug repellent with 40% DEET is currently in beta-testing to see if it might reduce the tick-picking time to less than 20 minutes.

Definition #3 – A regular short, sharp sound, esp. that made every second by a clock or watch.

The clock is ticking away to the schooling show on Sunday.  We have our ride times and managed to get in two lessons this week with Ms. C to get some final tune ups in hopes that we can achieve that magical 70% mark.  This week’s lessons were all about getting and keeping Ike in front of my leg at the trot.  No sucking back on a centerline turn or as we trot down centerline to X.  No fading as we work our way around a circle.  Ms. C kept me focused on the task at hand.  No drifting off to stare at the other horses or at the trees.  She fussed every time I let Ike slow down from an 8 trot to a 6.  I have to admit that when we hit that 8 trot, it felt like riding on the edge of the cliff.  It was very forward yet still connected.  It felt as though we would break to canter at any moment.  Is this that magical “ride to your hands” feeling that is spoken of but that I never experience?  Why yes it is.   It is hard to keep it going without disturbing the connection.  I had to fight that ever-present urge to pull back or overuse that inside rein.  The big question will be can I achieve that feeling at the show without having Ms. C there to school me.

Ike’s free walk and stretch down trot are also progressing.  Our canter is still our weak spot.  Ike got some 7’s on his transitions at the first show, but since then we’ve had 5’s and 6’s tossed into the mix as well.  Marmaduke still lurks just under the surface.  The goal for Sunday is to not break stride and lose points.  I’ll take two 6’s over the 3 and a 4 that we received in our last Test 3 scores.

We are just about 36 hours out from our first ride.  Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Definition #4 – A fabric case stuffed with feathers or other material to form a mattress or pillow.

With work, housework, cooking, laundry, riding lessons, dog walking, yard work, and one very stressful night worrying about a friend’s horse that had to have colic surgery, this has been a very busy and tiring week.  I think I hear my pillow calling my name.

Good Night!

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One thought on “Tick, Tick, Tick

  1. What a clever blog title. Really enjoyed (as is usual) reading your entry. Hope you got a good night’s rest.

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