Today was an all around interesting day. I hate to even write about it, but I think I need to get it out there. I like turtles. John must love me enough to put up with me stopping on the highway to save them as often as needed. Lately we have been taking them to Sallie's and letting them loose. Lots of trees, grass, and water. Today as I pulled up I noticed a little box turtle on the side of the gravel road. I thought to myself, "should I move him? no... he is safe out here!" About 30 seconds later a Fed Ex truck comes roaring down the drive from the house. I heard the sickening pop before I could even run back towards the gate. I could see that the shell was shattered and there was red between the cracks. I couldn't go any closer. I felt like I had let the little guy down. After I cleaned out Boomer's paddock I went to take the muck bucket to the compost pile and I noticed the worst thing, the turtle was totally smashed, his shell was cracked and I could see broken bones inside of it. But he was still alive. He was gaping his mouth open and moving his head. I felt sick. I picked him up with my shovel and moved him into the shade on a grassy spot. I said a little prayer for him and cursed myself for not moving him. How could I have known. What a cruel world.
Needless to say, I wasn't in the mood to work much. So I walked out to Boomer and started rubbing his neck. Then I started massaging him. At first he wasn't sure what I was doing, but I really got in and started working him pretty good. After a while he really relaxed into it. He would grab the gate with his teeth on a particularly knotty spot on his neck. back behind his elbows he would pin his ears but I soon realized it was discomfort, not anger. I worked on those spots until he began to relax. If I moved too far back he would step back and put my hands where he wanted them. Once I was rubbing with my left hand and my right hand was resting on his chest and he began bumping his head and lipping at my idle hand, I thought it was strange but began rubbing him there and he immediately relaxed. I scratched his belly and he crossed his right leg over his left and twisted his neck around and puckered his lips. It was charming! I couldn't believe how easily he could communicate with me through body language. It was really like he was talking to me! I tried pulling his legs forward to see if I could stretch his shoulders, at first he was worried and tried to pull back, but he soon relaxed into that as well and even helped by bowing down. Did I mention that he was loose this whole time. He stayed by me and only moved to situate my hand better on him. Once when I was getting deep in the front of his right shoulder he did a tight circle around me, never getting far enough away to lose contact. It was really incredible.
When I got home I saw that I had gotten 101 Schooling Exercies for Horse and Rider in the mail. I have wanted this book for a while and it looks really good so far. If nothing else, it will give me a few structured exercises to do when we ride on the weekends! Although, John is out of town again and my riding will probably be sparce for the next two weeks. Then the following two weeks is Arabian Horse Nationals in Tulsa and the two weeks after that John is out of town again. So, I bet I will be riding maybe once a week for the next six weeks and after that is holiday season and wintertime. Boo for working the worst schedule ever! Boo for wintertime and no indoor arena! Boo for John being out of town!