Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Love Changes Things

Love is a pain in the ass.

I know, I know ... blue birds and rainbows, that is what love is supposed to be. Never really bought into that type of thing. I never really meant to fall in love.

M changed that, the jerk. No, I am totally kidding. I adore M. I adore him so much. It was nice at first, we would get together every week and that was fun. But then I fell more in love with him. He lives in Illinois and it takes a bit of time to get down there. Once a week I make the trip down to see him. I love that time, but the next day I head back up to Wisconsin. It is getting harder and harder to come back up every week.

I just found the best horse for me. I love her to death and she is the exact right horse for me. Then I find a man I can say the same things about. Unfortanately he lives in a large city in Illinois, and when I say large I mean big. Bigger than Madison, Wisconsin. Bigger than Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Care to take a guess? Yes, Chicago. I am not talking about a suburb of Chicago, I am talking about the great city.

See the problem here? Chicago is known for a lot of things. Beautiful buildings, culture, art, food, music. I mean there are a lot of nice things about Chicago. Wide open spaces suitable for horses is not one of them. I don't think they have been too keen on farm animals since Mrs. O' Leary's cow almost took out the whole city with one kick. Who cares if it really wasn't the cow's fault, she is still blamed.

So I sit here pondering my next move and what to do with Corrie. Where will I keep her? Will it be worth it to keep her in a suburb? How often will I be able to go a see her?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Exercise Excuses

I have gained weight. A lot! But as I write this, I proud to say I just got back from a 30 minute bike ride.

I am the excuse queen when it comes to exercise. It is too hot. I am tired. I missed the class I wanted to attend. It is too cold. I can't find the remote for the Wii. Do I need to go on?

Over the last several months I have a role model for exercising. I don't know if he knows he has been a role model for me but I have been watching his attitude towards daily exercise. That person is M, my special man friend. He has been a wonderful role model for exercising.

This guy runs outside almost everyday. When it was cold, he ran. When the side walks were covered in snow, he ran. When it was rainy, he ran. When there was a heat advisory, he ran. Okay for that one I told him he was stupid and he agreed. But he doesn't use the excuse that the weather is not perfect, he just does it. Even when he is busy and ends up running a night he still goes. I might be down for a visit, but I know he is probably going to pop out to go to the gym. It is important to him and he makes it a priority. Now when I am relucant to go and workout I do think about how he never allows an excuse to keep him from exercise.

I have to stay that for as important as execise is to him, he never pressures me. He is fine if I lose some weight and he is fine if I gain some weight. He wants me to be healthy, but he accepts me the way I am. That has made it so much easier for me to just observe him and learn.

Now, when I start to think it is too hot or too cold or too late or .... I think about how M would not use that as an excuse. I am not as good as he is, but I am getting better.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Going it Alone and Being Safe

There comes times we all have to ride alone. Although for some the idea of riding alone fills them with dread, I am not one of them. I am quite happy to take off for a nice ride with just myself and my horse, but, I try to do it safely. Last week's ride I have several safety minded choices to make.

My plans were to ride outside for the first time in awhile. Yet the weather was a bit worrisome. I was starting to change my mind as a few water droplets hit my windshield. I am not a big worrier when it come to weather, but a few years ago there was a boy killed in Wisconsin from lightening. He was coming in from the fields when the sky got dark and there was thunder. Apparently you don't need rain, if there is thunder there is lightening. So please be careful if you hear thunder while riding. Today, just a few droplet of water though, so I still was not sure.

When I pulled up to the barn, decidedly absent was both Sensei's truck and his trailer. Sensei often hauls for people or may have taken his granddaughter on a trail ride. Normally this is not a cause for concern because he will be back, but this time I remembered he and his wife were going to pick up a wagon and would be gone for the weekend.

Now I started thinking. Nobody was at my house and knew that I was at the barn. Sensei would have someone coming over, but who knows when they would come. This is a private barn, only a few boarders that don't come out often. I did have my cell phone, but we all know that people can be knocked out cold from an accident with a horse. So I did what I think everyone should do in my situation, I called a friend. I called my boyfriend, M. He is in Chicago, he knows nothing about horses, but I gave him my location, the local police department, and told him I would call him in no more than two hours.

So simple, but if anything had happened to me and I could not call for myself, I knew that M would. I did not think anything would have but, come on people we are dealing with horses here. ANYTHING can happen! Just walking out into a field of horses, one could
run into you, knock you down and leave you unconscious. These like that happen.

As I explain to M that I would call him in a few hours I went to get Corrie. Sensei says a few sayings. One is that when you are with your horse, you are training. Training does not start in the barn, or when you put your foot in the stirrup. It starts when you walk out to the pasture. He believes in taking full advantage of every moment he has with a horse, including walking to the barn. So he would probably not have liked that I was on the phone and not paying attention to Corrie, but I was and atleast now someone knew I was riding.

Sensei has another saying, listen to what your horse is telling you. Doesn't matter if you are alone or not, listen to what your horse is telling you. Our horses will tell us if they are having an off day. They will tell us if they are ready to do something new. They will tell us if they are going to behave if we ride in that new bit or try to go bare back.

On the way back to the barn Corrie was her normal self, although I was still talking to M. There is bit of a routine that we follow to get into the barn. There is a pipe gate, and the not 4 feet further is the door, which is summer is usually left open. So as I open the gate for Corrie, I have to ask her to step half way through the door and whoa while I close the gate behind her. I never have to let go of her and she knows the routine very well. But apparently not today. She didn't whoa, although M heard me loud and clear as I shouted it into the phone. I finished with M and did a little training with Corrie.

Already Corry is telling me that she is not up to riding outside. So I canceled those plans. Grooming was not much better. So I decided that riding was out the window too. Corrie was telling me what she needed to work on. She needed a little reminder in her ground manners.

How often do we say to ourselves that we have plans of what we want to do and we are going to do it. We don't care if our horses are being dinks, we are going to do ride on the trail/ ride bare back/ whatever anyway. I know I'm guilty of it. I was not listening to Abby when I fell off of her. I am learning that it is so important to do just that though.

I did continue to work Corrie. We worked through some groud work issues. I have to tell you, I was annoyed at first that she was acting like she didn't have a clue about what I was asking her to do. But even though she was brilliant a few days ago, that day, she was not responding the way I expected to her and all I could do was work with the horse that was in front of me. Most importantly, I had safe enjoyable time with Corrie because I was safe about it.

So my three safety tips for the day are
1) Pay attention to the weather and heed weather warnings.
2) Make sure someone knows you are working with your horse.
3) Listen to your horse and take into concideration what they are able to do or not do on any given day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

Yes, I have been absent from the blogger scene, even worse I have been absent from the barn.

When I most needed my pony I wouldn't go out. WHY? Well this is really embarrassing from the queen of "think positive" but I just was feeling so negative. I kept making excess, which Sensei informed me were not good enough. At first they were actually reasonable, I think. I would want to get lunch after working out at the YMCA or it was raining and I knew my horse would be wet. Those didn't really fly with Sensei either. Then it was just embarrassment that I had gone a whole month without seeing my horse. I got depressed about it and I felt down. Honestly not just about that but about other things in my life too. I let things spiral.

Looking back I feel really silly. I know that going for a ride would have boosted my mood and given me better out look just because I would be engaging in something I enjoy. Well, I am back out at the barn again. I am getting razzed from Sensei but I deserve it, and it is all good natured.

Emotions really can take us for a ride unless we decide to take control. It is not enough to want to go and ride, because I really did want to. It requires action. Sometimes when I get down I just don't want to be active. I want to hide. That is where good support comes in . . . and I don't mean in a bra (although in riding that is important too!) I have a few good friends that are really good about kicking my butt when I am down and telling me to get up and get moving again.

Really! They don't sit there and stroke my ego. They tell me to get off my ass and start doing things to make changes in my life that I want. It is nice to sit around and have pity parties from time to time, but I value those friends of mine that just don't fall for it. They tell me like is and push me to action. Thanks Guys!