Thursday was a bad day. The ice started sliding off the roof of the arena (something that usually happens in March), which Royal took as a Sign That The World Is Ending. In a lot of ways, I get it. The noises are random, both in timing and sound (everything from a soft "whoosh" to a loud crash that shakes the arena) and he can't see what's causing them. But another part of me is somewhat exasperated. These sounds happen every year and so far, the building has not come crashing down on his head. But there's nowhere else too play (too icy and slippery), so either we do nothing for however lot it takes for the roof to be snow-free (a month, in some cases) or try to do stuff while Royal works himself into a sweaty frenzy. And Thursday was the latter. Poor guy got so sweaty, but managed to be much calmer at the end of the session. I have some ideas of what do when it happens again (as it will snow again, and then it will get warmer), but I'm starting to get desperate.
I arrive home to an e-mail from the vet school, saying that I did not meet their standards and that they would not consider me further. :( So all that time and panic during the application process was a waste, not to mention the $200 it cost to apply. I was sad.
But then I kind of got mad. I mean, I know my GPA is lower than ideal, but I had 3 vets willing to write letters of recommendation for me, one of which is a professor at the vet school. I had plenty of experience, wrote a good personal statement, and obviously I know what the profession entails. So, my immature response is more along the lines of:
I'll do a review with them to see if there's any point to reapplying next cycle, or if they're not going to be able to see past the Semester From Hell. I really don't feel like wasting my time and money reapplying if they're still just going to laugh at me.
So, I was still feeling bummed on Friday when I went out to the farm, planning to go on a ride on the dirt road. But apparently he was still a little freaked out from the day before and was really acting up. Going north on the road, I could see a blue tarp on the side of the road with stuff on top of it. People are always throwing garbage on the side of the road, since it's a quiet little dirt road. They'll leave fridges, cabinets, paint cans, all because it's just so hard to dispose of it properly and safely. Scum. I couldn't see what lay in this particular tarp, because as we got closer, Royal started to act up. I went to bend him, and he stiffened and did a rear/spin maneuver that nearly flung me out of the saddle. I got off and sent him strongly backwards and sideways until he calmed down. I was able to get back on and we walked past the tarp, on the other side of the road and I still couldn't see what was in it. Shortly after that, the barn owner came out on her mare and we rode up the other side of the road together. When we got back to the tarp, she got her mare close enough to see that it was a CARCASS on the tarp! Namely a skinned deer and other parts of animals that she couldn't identify. No wonder Royal wanted nothing to do with it. Poor guy.
Today was a lot better. All the ice on the roof was gone, so no scary noises. Royal was a little apprehensive at first, but I focus him on other things, like pedestals and figure-8s at liberty. We also had a very nice bareback Passenger Lesson, with minimal tension. Life seems to be getting back on track.
Royal sports his fancy blanket on Tuesday.