18 August 2014

Welcome to my new blog! If you've been following me at Through the Bridle Lightly at word press http://www.throughthebridlelightly.wordpress.com,
then  you know a little about me.

If not, I'll try and introduce myself. 

I'm a middle aged American woman living in the Pacific Northwest. I spent 21 years in the US Army, where I was, among other specialities, a microwave antenna repairer (yes, I climbed those impossibly high metal towers) (and no, I didn't like it, I hated it) and for most of my career, a tank repairer. That MOS I found a little more rewarding, mostly because I became enamored of the M1A1 Abrams tank, especially after seeing it in action in Desert Storm and Iraq.

After retiring from the Army, I found myself with a little more time to indulge my passion for horses. I hadn't had much training in riding back then. Most of my riding consisted of here's someone's western saddled horse, hop up and hang on.  But I found a career (such as it was) that melded two of my interests together: animal anatomy and massage. I professionally massaged horses for 16 years, until my shoulders couldn't take it anymore. I was good at it. I could...and sometimes had to, especially at endurance rides, massage horses in the dark. Touching a horse, especially without interruption, can tell you so many things if only you know how to listen.

Because I can hear horses. I know what they're thinking. I'm not psychic, no, but I am a student of animal (and human) behavior, and I've learned two things:

One, you cannot lie to an animal. Meaning, not that you shouldn't but that you as a human (that uses speech to communicate with other humans) are also yelling your every thought and motive through your body language, and every animal I've ever met can read you like a book. In other words, you CAN'T lie to an animal. It knows the truth, just by reading YOU.

The other thing I learned is how to read an animal's body language. They tell you, just as you tell them, what they are feeling and in many cases, what they are about to do. I don't mean to boast, but this ability does well for me when I'm at the racetrack. Once they get onto the track, preparatory to entering the gate, that horse is telling you tons of info. I can usually pick the winner, or at least the place horse. The problem is, I'm poor, so I don't bet a lot of money, and the handicappers and the tracks can also tell pretty much who's going to win. The favorite rarely pays well. The track wants you to put big money on the long shots...and occasionally, those long shots win. But not often.

Finally, at the ripe old age of 48, I finally realized what I wanted to be when I grew up. Maybe it took that long it took that long for me to grow up. Or maybe it was because my life had finally slowed down enough for me to be able to take time to  go back to college and get my degree in my other passion, biology. I didn't need schooling for anything more than a tune up, especially in genetics, but going to college to get my bachelors made me 'official'. Not that it got me a job. I was told by a so called 'counselor' that I would never get a job in biology without a Masters or a PhD, and damn it, she was right.

The sting, though, is eased by the fact that I see plenty of Biology masters and PhDs serving coffee at Starbucks. They're not getting jobs in biology, either.

Not only could I not afford a Masters/PhD, but acquiring one involved taking some hideous subjects such as physics, trigonometry and calculus. I cannot understand the reasoning behind this. Chemistry and Physics majors aren't required to take biology, but Biology majors are. I think it's because chemistry and physics are old, tired fields, without much new work being done, whereas this is the Golden Age of Biology. So most math, chemistry and physics majors end up being math, chemistry and physics teachers.  Not for me, thank you, I didn't like being indoors for hours on end, so I took what courses I wanted and when they gave me a Bachelor's diploma, I was done.  

So I'm merely a BS than MS. That's okay. I don't mind. I went back to school to indulge myself in science. And I've been wallowing in it..and horses..ever since.

For the last part (if you've read this far, I commend you. Mostly I'm trying to build up an archive so webcrawlers find me), I am lucky in that a friend of mine, Sue, shares her Hanoverian gelding, Raven with me. I can't afford a horse, and she needs a 'horse friend'.

Because I'm new to Blogger, I'll try and put a picture of me and Raven in here.
Isn't he a beauty? I think so.

Alright then, let's add a few labels and publish.

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