Weary Travelers

Best laid plans, right? Long time no talk. Apologies for what is likely to be an interestingly written post.

Here is the thing. I have been sick. For DAYS. Since Monday. And not Monday as in a few days ago this week. I mean Monday as in LAST MONDAY.

You read that correctly. I was a deep voiced balloon head with mucus everywhere. That is probably too much information, but that has been my reality.

I guess I should just start at the beginning. This is probably a spoiler alert, but let me just say that we had been watching the weather and knew that we were going to get some rain coming into our ride. Now if you have seen any of the news, you might know some of what I am about to say.

But first, back to the beginning of the story. Let us not get ahead of ourselves. This was the sunset Friday night that officially kicked us off on our ride vacation. When R and Ronan arrived, we got him settled and decided to just enjoy ourselves and have dinner with my parents instead of loading all of my stuff. We put that off until Saturday morning.

The following morning of loading took longer than normal as my stuff was less organized than I have had it in the past. However, we were in no real hurry and had plenty of time.

We loaded the horses, pulled out of the farm, grabbed kolaches for breakfast from town, and hit the road to make the almost four hour first leg of the trip.

I made Lito wear all the things and he still loves me for it. Although, he did not really need any of it other than the mask since this trailer is so big. Unlike ours.

Once we arrived, we unloaded and got the horses settled before going to find a late lunch for us in town. I swear every time I take Lito somewhere he not only grows, but he loses weight.

Always with the doe eyes.

Telling me how he really feels about me making him wear all the things. He said, “I am a real horse, I do not need to wear all of this.”

The rain had already started and stopped a few times at this point, but we were no worse for wear. We were staying put till Monday anyway. Even though there was a good chance for rain on Monday, we figured we could get up and out and get there before it really started.

Lito made a bunny friend. We think she had babies hidden somewhere near by. I also believe she was sick.

One of the pretty and clear moments of the weekend. Promising and hopeful.

A moment of being tired of the rain and being stuck in the stall. That is Scooter back there.

Lito being a grumpy gandpa telling the others to quit their shenanigans. Funny that he was the youngest horse. Ronan was very upset about something out in the trees.

This was Saturday night’s sunset. It was beautiful. That is kinda when it all started to go downhill.

This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning. Ominous looking out there, but oddly peaceful at the time on top of that hill.

This is a little summary video clip from the whole weekend. It was quite fun until Monday rolled around.

We were able to take the horses down the hill to a flat area on Sunday evening to get a longe session in. They all needed it. Between all the things we were doing and the rain, fitting in an actual ride just did not happen. So, for your mental math, the horses rode in the trailer for about four hours and then were basically stuck in a stall for the rest of the time till Monday.

I had the pleasure of also longing Scooter, the blaze face bay horse in one of those pics. He was basically a horse kite.

One day, Lito may grow into his hips. His shoulders are starting to finally fill out.

Lito acted like he was fine with the whole being stuck in a stall thing. He was straight up lazy on the longe and really just wanted to graze. Grazing goes a long way so I let him.

This is when everything kinda starts to run together. Literally and figuratively. At some point Sunday night or Monday morning…or maybe some other time, I am not quite sure…It started to really rain somewhere. Here. There. Everywhere. All the creeks, streams, and rivers started to fill. Monday morning rolled around and we were not sure we were going to be able to get to our final destination for the week an hour and a half down the road. Or that we would be able to get back to where we were if we tried.

I also woke up that morning with that tell tale feeling of getting sick.

A lot happened on Monday. None of that really matters. What matters is the AHAmoments…Wait. Do not be in a hurry. Wait for data and facts from reliable sources, non opinions. Keep your emotions low and do not worry about what you can not do anything about. Difficult in this kind of situation? You bet. That is life.

The long story short. We found a window that afternoon when it was not raining, the roads were clear, and we knew we could go. So we went and got there safely. Who cares that we were later than planed.

Then it rained some more.

Then Tuesday morning rolled around. And it rained more. Everything started flooding again. The barn became a flash flood at some point after this video and the below photo.

Water, mud, muck, and shavings everywhere is the gist. I would not quite use the word disaster, but…

I stopped taking pictures and started trying to move water and get as much as we could off the ground.

When the rain finally quit, we took the horses and tied them up at the trailers for the rest of the day to do what we could to remedy the situation. Dig more trenches. Shovel out shavings. Try and get the ground to dry.

Lito’s stall got bad, but not nearly as bad as many of the others.

By the end of Tuesday we were all wet, muddy, and tired.

By the time Wednesday rolled around…I felt like…um…bad. Really bad. And decongestants make me feel even worse. I was weak and tired. And the horses had been in stalls, dry if they were lucky, for two more days at this point.

We only got to ride for a couple of hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each because of the conditions. And honestly, I do not think I should have ridden more even if we could because of the way I felt. It was still pretty though.

Lito had a couple of young horse moments. One because I was honestly too weak to even mount up on Wednesday and another on Thursday when we got buzzed by a plane. He really did not like that last part.

There was more rain coming at some point Friday evening into Saturday with more possible flooding. We decided it would be best to pack up and clean up early on Friday so people could leave that afternoon or first thing in the morning on Saturday given what the beginning of the week was like.

R and I left with the horses on Saturday morning as early as we could with the rain. And it rained on us most of the way home.

Needless to say, Lito and I were happy to be back at the farm, even if we had to unload most of my stuff in the rain and wind. I was going to stay at the farm Saturday night, but I was so tired, wet, and crummy feeling. I booked it to town to stay at my parents house with my dog since she was there.

Not quite the report I wanted to give, but such is life! We made the most of it and had a good time together (even if it does not quite read that way!). We are all stronger for it. Albeit a bit tired as well, but stronger and closer.

If the rain story ended here, that would be lovely with all sunshiny roses and rainbows.

The thing is, the whole of central Texas has continued to receive buckets upon buckets of rain. All up river from the farm. It also got pretty dang cold in there somewhere setting more records, but that is secondary to the rain.

All that water is coming our way and hopefully not flooding.

I went out to the farm yesterday after work for my midweek visit and went ahead and moved the cows up into the horse pasture so they can all get to high ground just in case.

I have spent every evening since getting back on the couch in sweats, wishing I had a fire place while hacking all the crud out of my chest.

Do not even ask me about my laundry. I have not even looked at the mountain.

Go walk in love, dear readers. This gal is happy to be high and dry at the moment!

 

 

Middle Of Nowhere

Nowhere I tell you.

You know, grief and loss are some interesting things.

Or rather, that moment is interesting when they smack you like a mac truck out the middle of nowhere.

WHACK!

Did you feel that?!

Where the heck did that come from??!!

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The middle of nowhere, that is where.

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Well, I guess not quite exactly.

There I was today, in my office. At my desk. In the middle of the long afternoon on an innocent Wednesday. Just working away doing my thing while listening to music.

Then all of a sudden…this song comes on.

And then, BOOM!

WHACK!

I was smacked in the face and straight through to the heart. It all almost came right out my eyes, but it got lodged right there in my throat, above my chest, in a knot for a good ten minutes. Practically choking me.

And this had nothing to do with Merle Haggard (although, yes, that is sad too) and everything to do with the memory of my grandfather.

No Sir, he will never be gone. He lives on in us in so many ways.

Man oh man. That was exhausting! Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out. Be back later.

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Has that ever happened to you? Seemingly out of the blue?

I told you I get this way this time of year.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Daily Dose Of Cute

I figure it is about time for a daily dose of cute. You can never have too much of that, right!?

Well, this weekend I snapped this photo of Lito man and it got me thinking.

Uh, who is that manly looking thing? How did we get here?! I swear just yesterday he looked like this!

Full disclosure, since I try to keep things real over here for the both of us, he did look like this a few moments before he looked like a real horse and not a giraffe.

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But in all seriousness, sometimes the transformation is astounding to me.

It is just a reminder that if you look back from where you are, you can see exactly how far you have come. AHAmoment. No matter what you are going through in the moment, tomorrow is always a new day.

The last few months with Lito have been a little difficult, but lately we are really starting to come out of whatever that phase was. He still has little moments, but each day gets better. The only thing to do in the moment was give him the time he needed to work through the issues. Slow and steady wins the race and it seems to have paid off.

So, let us look closer at the physical transformation, shall we? Because why not? And next week is Lito’s week, so…

I can not wait till he is even older and he fills out. Still waiting on that part!

If you did not know, in honor of going on our ride next week and not blogging, I am sharing your favorite horse related posts and the posts from the last two years’ rides over on the AHAmoments Facebook page. If you missed yesterday’s share, here it is! Go check it out and don’t miss the coming shares over the next few days!

Seriously though, I pinch myself! Now, if we can just keep him from rubbing his mane (and me from roaching it), his mane will be super long. Like the weeds in my round pen.

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Walk in love, dear readers, and take a moment to realize how far you have come!

 

The Gal I Am

I feel the need to tell y’all something.

Celebrate your individuality. Not only today, but every day. There must be something in the water…or something. You know, be you. Love what you love. Not to worry about what other people think because it has no bearing on you. No hold. What other people think has more to do about them than about you.

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So, in that spirit.

I am the kind of gal that gets surprised by the new noises that can be heard on the north wind after the first cold front of the year. That happened this morning.

I am a complete album kind of gal. To me, whole albums are a complete work and I have more complete albums than single songs in my music library. How many times can I say complete? This also means I am a music buyer and not a streamer.

I am a go to the grocery store hungry and buy all the things I do not need kind of gal. This turns into me being surprised at the check out every time.

I am the kind of gal that likes to drive on the line rather than between them. There may be some kind of deeper life metaphor in there. Apples don’t fall far.

I am a turn the gospel music on in traffic so I do not get Traffic Tourette’s and yell at people kind of gal. I really helps.

I am an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal with a full night’s rest in between. You know how I am about my sunrises and sunsets. Besides, they just said on the news that sleep deprivation leads to Alzheimer’s. Must be true, right?

I am a sit around the fire pit kind of gal and always have been. I can not wait for the first fire of the year.

I am the kind of gal that gets only mildly surprised and greatly amused when I discover I am many times over a product of where I come from. Fascinating, right?

I am a cross wall gal. As in I have a wall of crosses in my house. So does my oldest sister, A.

I am a close the cabinets and drawers all the way kind of gal.

I am the kind of gal that wears more than once necklace at a time because I can not just pick one.

I am a set the table for dinner gal. I actually keep my dining room table set, complete with cloth napkins and napkin rings all times, but I eat on my couch 99% of the time. I just have a thing for table settings. And lots and lots of candles.

I am a color gal. Lots of color. My closet looks like a rainbow. ‘Winter’ colors are not really a thing for me.

I am a flavored coffee gal. Get of your high horse, coffee people. Pecan coffee is good, I do not care what you say.

I am the type of gal that smiles when I come home and there are dog toys scattered all over the house behind my dog greeting me at the door with her wagging tail.

I am a planning and dreaming gal. I am not spontaneous as a general rule, not that I can not be, I just prefer to plan…the whole day. Every day. But I am also capable of adjusting. I also day dream a lot. Little dreams and big dreams. Close ones and far off ones.

I am an ask all the questions kind of gal. I love my details. I was told once that I should be a lawyer because I like details. I found this more than mildly amusing.

I am a gal that prefers animals to most people. Although, I think you already know that.

I am a gal that does not mind getting dirty and using her hands.

I am an independent gal. A do not tell me what to do kind of gal. I have been told that this intimidates people. What people? Who are these people? I also find this amusing. I do not think of myself as intimidating. Maybe I am. Strong, sure, but like I said, I am a product of where I come from. Most of the people in my life are this way, related or not.

I am a helping gal. I like to help people. To be of service.

I am a gal that has an easy to read face. There is no hiding my thoughts if you can see my face. I am no poker player, that is for sure. I also have a tendency to roll my eyes. Very loudly. And normally I do not even know I do it. I had a teacher in high school call me out for this one time. It made me laugh.

I am a homebody type gal and I need my alone time sometimes.

I am a gal that knows she is a child of God and was made this way for a reason. Even if it is hard sometimes.

What kind of person are you? Let us celebrate it! Thank you for being you and being here!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Amusing

Sometimes, I find myself amusing, and I am not talking about funny as in laughing at my own jokes. Although, ha, there is that. I do do that.

Maybe not as amusing as the faces this guy makes.

I spent the majority of this weekend crossing chores of the list at the farm. Literally, all day Saturday. I did not sit and stop until after 6 PM.

First I mucked the barn out and spread the manure which was a feat given all the rain we have been getting. Then, after that, I decided to actually clean the inside of the barn. You know, actually sweeping all the dust and cobwebs off the walls and then hosing everything down. Just on a whim. Which left me covered in dust and cobwebs thinking I had spiders and other things crawling every-which-where.

Somewhere in there I also cleaned the feed room, moved the cows up to the horse pasture, and put more flags on the electric fence. I drove to town to run a couple errands and grabbed a cherry limeade from Sonic because I felt like it and thought it would be nice to have while I did some mowing when I got back to the farm.

I hopped on the mower and my cherry limeade promptly fell out of the cup holder within the first five minutes. After stopping and staring angrily at the wasted nectar and contemplating going inside for a beer, I laughed at myself and kept on mowing.

Finally, I brought the horses in after they ran around like sillies in the slightly cooler, rain threatening air. I hosed off Apache, sprayed everyone to ward off the bird sized mosquitoes, put some shavings in the stalls, and fed everyone before going inside for a much needed shower, cocktail, and dinner.

Sunday morning greeted me with this beautiful sunrise as I fed the horses, a promise for the day to come.

It was a very pretty morning on the farm once everything woke up. It felt like fall with a cool breeze! I lingered over coffee with my Mamma as we watched the four new calves bounding up the terraced horse pasture with their mothers before I set to cleaning and straightening the house.

I quickly mucked out the barn and unloaded my tack from the trailer from last weekend, since you know, I did not do that last weekend. Then I cleaned the tack shack as I started to gather things together for my upcoming trip with Lito. Side note, he saw me holding his shipping halter, pricked his ears, and walked up to me. I swear he looked excited like it was time to go somewhere. Unfortunately for us both, we still have to wait a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I looked around, thought for a second, and made the important life choice to fit in a ride instead of cleaning tack before I had to leave. Life is short, kids, choose the ride. The chores will wait. AHAmoment.

Bareback on the Cheetah Beetah while ponying my Lito. We had fun, but Lito had the most fun trying to play with me. Silly kid.

This is about the time I find myself funny. Don’t you just love how I finally get around to the point?

I do all of that and then come home and can not bring myself to do any of the mountains of laundry or cleaning that needs to be done. I can barely even motivate myself to unload my stuff from the car. Which, I made myself do and then also too clean out my storage closet in my car port. The closet that has basically nothing in it. Still no laundry.

I would rather wake up at 5:30 AM, like I did this morning. Take a shower, take Darcy out, start a load of laundry, go get coffee (because not only can I not do the laundry like a normal person, I can not go to the store and have milk on hand like a normal person. BUT I got to see that big, beautiful moon! Anyone else see that?),  talk to friend H on the phone during her morning commute, and then hang up that load of laundry. This is often how I end up doing laundry, one load at a time, at the last minute, and early in the morning. This is how much I dislike it.

I sat down after all of that to finish my coffee and was ready to go back to bed after realizing I needed to get dressed and go to work.

I actually talked to another old friend, N, this morning who laughed at me for my early morning charade and wondered for the umpteenth time how we are so different and can still be friends. What can I say, I am just that way!

Normal is over rated anyway. Life is too short not to laugh at yourself. AHAmoment.

Walk in love, dear readers, and go laugh at yourself!

Between The Ears & Not The Windshield Wipers

Have a case of the Mondays?

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Well, here is a little something to brighten you up a bit.

A little between the ears time from me to you. Nothing like these dun colored ears to put a smile on my face. Even if it was from two days ago.

Or these happy herd of cows, napping together in the shade of a pecan tree.

Is your case of the Mondays cured?

Lito and I went to ride with some friends on Saturday morning during a break in the storms. Lito self loaded like a champ and we had a great ride. It was breezy, not too terribly hot, and it did not rain on us while we rode. All the horses seemed to have as great of a time as we did. We rode for a couple of hours and then gathered around the picnic tables for cold drinks and snacks.

Knowing there was an increased chance for storms in the afternoon, I said my goodbyes and went to load up. Again, Lito self loaded like a champ (cue happy dance) and we hit the road. I called my Pops while I was pulling out to see if there was anything popping up on the radar and to tell him that if I ran into some rain, I was just going to pull over and wait it out.

Here is the interesting part of the story. The night before our ride, my parents and I were driving the truck in the light rain and the driver side windshield wiper decided to fly off while in use! Just plain came undone, hit the windshield, and went flying through the air like a drunk bird. Never to be seen again. Crazy thing.

Anyway, it was a good thing I called. They had just gotten slammed at the farm and the storm was coming our way. His advice was to just stop and wait ten to fifteen minutes while the storm comes my way and passes over before driving back. I found a good spot in the parking lot of a local tavern on top of a hill to park and wait. I should have taken pictures of the storm, but I was just watching and enjoying the show. You know how I am about storms. Lito seemed a little perturbed when it all started, but quickly settled and just rode it out quietly.

The storm was soon over with nothing else developing on the radar so we slowly made our way south toward home. Lito quietly (and dry!) unloaded and was happy to have a little extra meal upon our return.

An exciting weekend nonetheless!

Here is to the next adventure! Is it October yet? I am ready for a week of riding with friends!

Walk in love, dear readers, and make it a great day!

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, happy people!

Only one business day between you and the weekend.

YOU can do it!

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Be happy.

Weekends are a beautiful thing. You can clear your head. Recharge your batteries. Remember what is important. Get away from stressful things. If yesterday was any indication, this is desperately needed. All this desk riding is getting to me!

There are many different ways to do this. For some people it is just sleeping in. For others it is taking some quiet time to read a good book. Or go for a walk. Or a drive. Go fishing.

For me, it is getting out in the country with my Darcy dog. Feeling the air. Seeing the light. Breathing in my horses’ scent. This does not always mean riding. My relationship with my horses is not always about riding. Sometimes it is just hanging out and grooming that we need. Sometimes it is just being in their presence doing nothing at all but just being present.

One reason I like to share my time at the farm with you is because of what it means to me. What it does for me. Another reason is because not everyone has the opportunity to experience what being in the country and with horses does for a person. If I can give you just a tiny picture of what it is like and make you feel something positive like what I feel, I feel like I have done something good in this world.

If you have been around here a while, none of the above is news to you.

Remember this?

Or how about this?

Or this, this, or this?

Clearly, I write about this a lot.

This weekend though, I need some solid hours in the saddle and some time crossing things off the to-do list. That ever present list that never goes away or gets shorter.

What does it for you? That recharges your batteries? Makes you feel refreshed and new? Feeds your soul?

Walk in love, dear readers!

On Today’s Episode…

…of the Thursday rando rambles…

Your favorite, I know. It is hitting me hard today. This whole week really.

I am sitting here on my couch watching trash reality television while sipping a cocktail. I have an odd love of bad TV. It is like literal arrested development. I wish Sister K was hear to watch with me. She likes to watch the same shows.

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I wish my horses were closer. I need this.

Or a ride. Or both. The struggle is real over here. I am regretting not riding last weekend.

It has been a long day at work in an oddly long feeling, but technically short week.

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I live close to a high school and I can hear the announcer’s calls on the football game. Takes me back to college.

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There are also a lot of cicadas here where I live. This is not a foreign thing to me, I am used to these bugs. But seriously, there are a large number of them here. Much more than anywhere else I have ever been and they are as loud as the football announcer. It makes for quite the symphony.

I have poison ivy on my right arm. It itches. I do not even really know where or how I got it. Woowee. I do not recommend that one.

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One of the football teams just scored.

Darcy is nestled into her bed being antisocial.

Is it Friday yet?

Anyone else?

No?

Sigh.

All very profound, I know.

Walk in love, dear readers.

The Season Of Fall

It is about that time of year and I am not talking about hurricane season. Although we really need the rain. We almost got some this weekend. Hopefully this week we actually get some.

But back to the season at hand. It is more than just entering the ‘ber months and entering fall. More than baking all the fall things, which I am very excited about. More than family time, which is everything.

It is the season of reflection. Of being grateful and thankful. Remembering those that are no longer with us and also too of those that still are. Cherishing every moment we have with them. Thinking of the future.

It always seems to hit me right at September first. With the start of dove season. College football. The distant promise of cooler temperatures. Finding new recipes for fall baked goods and sides to present at holiday meals. Thinking about Christmas presents and the real reason for the season.

It makes me want to drink red wine while I eat chocolate pie and listen to prayer and gospel songs. They have a healing effect I swear. You should try it some time.

What does fall mean to you? How do you remember those that are no longer with us?

Walk in love, dear readers!

And because I have to, I have a song to share with you.


“All my love is due Him”


Intention

You want to know what is really important? Like really, really important.

Intention.

Not only in life, but also in horsemanship. This is something that I have always known logically and in my heart and it is something I try to actively live. It is all fine and good to say yes, I know this but it is something entirely different to actually feel it and live that truth. Generally speaking, I think I do a pretty good job of doing that, especially on the horsemanship side (which is just another reason why working with horses is good for me…to bring these concepts full circle in my every day life). Some days are better than others, absolutely, but it is something I try to work on and I have told y’all that before.

What is truly amazing to me though is how the horses always seem to find ways to remind me just how important intention and self talk really are and broaden my awareness or perception to a whole new level. As if I did not even have a clue of the concept before.

Has anything like that ever happened to you before?

Anyway, this past weekend was one of those next level awareness weekends.

I went out to the farm on Friday after work and decided to do some mowing. It was too hot to do anything else and the horses were on the other end of the property anyway. Darcy quite literally sat in the shade staring at me like I was crazy. When I decided I had mowed enough (uh, hello itchy skin and watery face. Allergies are a real thing for me now), I went to get cleaned up, make a cocktail, and sit with my Pops for the sunset and dinner.

The moon was bright and full after the sun went down. It was one of those crazy bright moons where you can see anything and everything. I probably could have read a book. It has to be some magical time I swear because cool and amazing things seem to always happen when the moon is like that. Powerful. Remember that time I rode with a friend during a full moon like this one? Or that frigid night riding my favorite polo pony in college?

I was on my way into the house to call it a night and decided to head out to the barn for a bit instead. The next thing I knew, I was out with Lito doing ground work and going over obstacles. No pressure. Just the two of us hanging out going for a walk under the moon. It was the most relaxed he has been in months. I know this may sound silly, but I swear we both thought, “finally.” I gave him a little extra feed under the moon and a thank you pet before going inside.

Saturday morning I decided would be Lito’s morning and Lito’s morning only. I fed him his breakfast where we were the night before. I spent extra time grooming and tacking up. My music playing in the background. We did the same ground work we did the night before and then I read out of my devotional before mounting up. The memories of our full moon night and the words of the devotional dancing in my brain, I made a conscious effort not to jumble my communication. To make the conscious choice and put it into action. To keep my energy and my core low, grounded. To keep my heart and my intention true. To stay positive, connected, and a source of support. I even talked to us both out loud to make sure.

He rewarded me by acting on my every thought. Practically saying, “I got this, let’s go!” We did the same exercises we did on the ground. We did some new ones. We rode out in the pastures. All the while being soft, responsive, and willing. Before I knew it we were both covered in sweat and it was time to quit for the day, but neither of us seemed to be ready to stop.

I do not even think any words can come near to describing the feeling, but just to suffice it to say that this is just another reason horses are such a gift from God.

It was what we both needed. For me to be hit with this AHAmoment yet again to stay present and with the horse. To stay true to yourself and have faith. To have an open heart and clear intentions. To stay positive and think the right thoughts so your actions are right. That is how the horse lives and that is what we should strive for. Both horses, dogs, and people respond better when we do.

Sunday morning I decided to take a sunrise gospel walk to the river with Lito instead of riding. We had not done that in a long time and I wanted to take the time to just be with him and be grateful for Saturday’s experience.

We saw these three cuties scurrying up a pecan tree.

There is always that one!

I feel utterly blessed and grateful.

When I returned Lito to the paddock upon our return, Cheetah walked up to me seemingly saying, “hey mom, is it my turn yet?” So I grabbed her halter and we had a quick bareback ride followed by a hose down before I tacked up Chance for his ride.

And just like that it was time to pack up and head home for the weekend was over.

Quite a big weekend if you ask me!

Walk in love, dear readers!