Monday, April 23, 2012


I'm not loving the changes to Blogger, and I'm seriously thinking of going to WordPress.

Any thoughts?

Friday, April 20, 2012


I don't necessarily think that all the parts of my life have to be integrated.

Example: No-one at either barn, the Work Barn or Riding Barn, needs to know that I'm a kinky, poly Wiccan. It has nothing to do with how well I ride or teach. Likewise, at kinky get-togethers, people are more apt to want to know what I did to Second Husband with those rose canes that one time, and witchy folk are more likely to want to know what powders I might be sprinkling on Work Barn's surfaces to help things along. Not that I have. Yet. Ahem.

As a young queer pagan person, I thought that not bombarding a potential new friend with ALL THE DETAILS was being dishonest. Now I think that it's just that I've gotten better at compartmentalization. You friends are for riding, and you're over here. You friends are for kink and poly, and you're there. You witchy lot...well, you folk are all over the place (grins).

Does my Co-instructor want to know about my Husbands? Probably not. If I tell my Work Barn bosses, will Second Husband pick up a second job there? Probably not. If I tell my kink/poly buds about Work Barn's summer camp, will they send their kids? Possibly. Some of them are pretty sadistic.

Some of this was spurred (no pun intended) by Work Barn's intent to have a "social night" with low pay for us instructing types and two-and-a-half hours out of our Friday evenings, complete with a potluck.

This got me to thinking about how work cultures differ in the amount of your free time they expect you to give up, and how some people don't seem to understand that you might want to go home, do whatever, and leave work where it is. I put it far more tactfully than this, but at the pay they're offering for this, I'd be paying to come, run after kids, and bring "potluck food". I will not do this, nor do I think the other instructor will. I also don't think it will suddenly draw new students or more lessons from existing ones.

I give 110% in lessons. I love the work, if not the job, as it were. But at the end of the day, when kids and horses are safely off to their respective pastures for the evening, I want to go home and see my non-horse-insane family so that I have the energy to do it all again the next day (or two).

So, what do you think? Do you keep certain aspects of your life separate from other aspects? Why or why not? What factors influence your decision to do so or not?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"...this is what you get", or, "you get what you need".

So after bitching about the riding instructor gig, despite winds so ridiculous on Saturday that I thought the kids might blow right off the horses, I had this great moment with one of the kids.

Little T is one of my two-front-teethless seven-years olds. She doesn't say much to me except "yes, Ma'am", "no, Ma'am", or just a plain yes or no. She tries her best every single week, and she's doing pretty damn well if I do say so myself. Her parents are nice - her dad reminds me of mine - and understand that this isn't a "show up, get on, ride, get off, go home" kinda barn.

We'd gone a little long in her lesson, and though her mom always wants Little T to help groom whoever she's been on, I thought Mom might have somewhere else to go when we were done. Walking the Reliable Horse back to the pasture he lives in adds about five minutes. No problem, says Mom, she can put him up.

So Little T and I walked up to the pasture, gave Reliable Horse a pat and sent him off to well-deserved grass. We walked back along the dusty trail without exchanging a word, and I thought, I would totally go on a two-hour trail ride with this kid. She doesn't engage in a lot of chatter, and I suspect that it's because she just doesn't talk if she has nothing to say. I felt like an older arktoi teaching a younger girl and having the satisfaction of having passed on knowledge and taught competence.

Scheduling nonsense and only two really trustworthy horses be damned. I'm hooked, because until the girls leave the barnyard, I'm happy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This is what you want....Part 2.

As many of you know, I got a gig teaching riding lessons back in March. The first few weeks went pretty well. Now, not so much.

Some of the horses really just aren't suitable for my students, who are usually kids seven or under. They're just learning to walk, steer, and trot. You need incredibly docile, preferably older horses for this, and only one-and-a-half of the six horses available fit this description (there's a new one who seems less prone to have a hissy and buck, but he's still being a pain). This was less of a problem before they got another instructor and booked lessons side-by-side; now, who gets the good horse is a constant source of discussion.

Lessons are supposed to be booked in bunches of four, usually one a week, and there's supposed to be 24 hours' notice for cancellations/changes. This has not been happening. Cancellations happen up to an hour before they're supposed to be at the barn, and no-show/no-calls aren't really being penalized.

We're not supposed to take students under six years old. I now have two.

I wasn't told that I need to speak Spanish for this gig. Lucky for them that I do, somewhat, because three of them really don't speak much English. Sadly, "there's a fire in the kitchen", "do you like to play volleyball", and "I enjoy eating paella" are of no use in this particular case.

Scheduling lessons seems to involve at least three emails/text messages a day, on average, and the barn owners seem to have this odd idea that I am "on-call" to answer same constantly, including ones sent at seven o'clock at night. When I'm already at the barn, this doesn't bug me, but when I've been home for two hours? I'm not a doctor, vet, or computer tech, people.

I'm doing what I love, but this other stuff is driving me nuts. Once again - be careful what you ask for.

I've been trying to relax, roll with it, chalk things up to being there less than two months. I've been contemplating taking over my own scheduling, now that I have a decent number of regulars, and being stern about last-minute changes and cancellations - I just don't know if the owners will let me get away with it. On the other hand, if I do start enforcing the rules and people do bitch about it and I do get canned, how long can I really put up with how things have been going? I can always add this to my resume and cast the net again.

And a smart witch would toss a little magic at this situation, which I plan on doing this weekend. In the meantime, I've missed y'all, but have no fear, I'll be back soon.