Coping Methods

Just reading through Merri Melde’s account of her Tevis ride — and finish! — I had to smile as she mentioned singing as a way of getting through the seemingly endless California Loop…apparently her music of choice is from “The Sound of Music.”

I smiled because singing has always been my coping method of choice for those endless stretches of trail, or when I get uptight on squeak-inducing sections of trail (areas of Man Against Horse in Prescott). My current selection comes from “Phantom of the Opera” and particularly the new movie version of it…they have a couple of songs that are exclusive to the movie (end credits) and for some reason, “Child of the Wilderness” stuck in my head and it’s easy to sing softly, even if I keep forgetting the exact order of the verses.

Mimi seems to like my singing, even though I’m pretty much tone-deaf. It cheers her up, and I’ve learned that as you’re singing, you have to breathe, so it’s pretty much impossible to stay tense and uptight in the saddle.

Anybody have any other music suggestions? I’m very eclectic in my music tastes, but not all of it translates over well to being sung going down the endurance trail. Something cheerful or melodic is good, or happy, bouncy, and a little bit silly. I’ve also been known to spout Disney music while trotting down the trail (is this scaring anybody off from wanting to ride with me?) from my favorite Disney offerings: “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Robin Hood.” “Anastasia” and “The Swan Princess” have given me a few good ideas, too. Sensing a trend here that I like animated movies? :)

(Just a hint: Chanting, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date” [“Alice in Wonderland”] while trying to make time can or cannot be taken as humorous by one’s riding partner, depending on the circumstances.)

Just plain musicals are good, too…”Phantom” as aforementioned, and “Wicked” are the two that I know really well. Mind you, I seem to have issues remembering the entire song, so I tend to string together a couple verses here and there from various songs. I’m a one-woman variety show. :)

I will learn all the lyrics to “Modern Major General” from “Pirates of Penzance.” It has a certain bouncy rhythm that would go well with the eggbeater’s trot, although that same quality can sometimes make it grate on other’s nerves. I try to sing quietly, and only when it’s my father and I, but I fear even he can only take so much. “It’s A Small World” is strictly forbidden.

What “coping methods” do others have out there?

4 thoughts on “Coping Methods

  1. I *always* sing “I've got a lo-v-e-ly bunch of coconuts, dedeledee, standing there all in a row…” For some reason, it cheers me up, reminds me that I'm having fun, and forces me to relax. And I can really belt out the “BIG ONES, SMALL ONES, SOME AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD!” Not a lot of tune required for that kind of singing…

    Usually I sing it when Jasper is all tense up and feels like he's going to explode beneath me. And when we're in the woods, I figure my singing may scare off any animals he's nervous about. :)

    Elly

  2. This is great when you have a bunch of juniors along! :) Don't fence me in…by Willie, or Roy.

    Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
    Don't fence me in.
    Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
    Don't fence me in.
    Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze,
    And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,
    Send me off forever but I ask you please,
    Don't fence me in.

    Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
    Underneath the western skies.
    On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
    Till I see the mountains rise.

    I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
    And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
    And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences
    Don't fence me in.

    Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies,
    Don't fence me in.
    Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
    Don't fence me in.
    Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
    And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
    Send me off forever but I ask you please,
    Don't fence me in

    Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
    Underneath the western skies
    On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
    Till I see the mountains rise.

    I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
    And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
    And I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
    Don't fence me in.

  3. boy this is a topic that's truly music to my ears :)

    songs will just come to me.. sometimes worship songs but my favs are Edelweiss from the Sound of Music, I have Confidence also from the S of M and Zach Brown's Chicken Fried…

    off to sing some tunes later :)
    gp

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