Positivity

Focus on the positive.

That is something I always say, even when it is hard to do. I know you have been waiting for the rest of the story.

But let me go back a little first.

…to when Lito would not load in the trailer to come home. Complete with GIFs. Because GIFs make everything better.

We had just wrapped up a great clinic experience and I decided to go ahead and load up to head home before the last lesson. An hour and a half haul back to the farm to unload and then another hour’s drive home makes for a long Sunday and an early Monday. I loaded all of our stuff and got Lito ready.

As we were walking to the trailer, the evening barn help arrived and started feeding all the barn horses early.

Cough.

Me:

oG9xw_s-200x150

Lito:

tenor.gif

What I should have done in hindsight was just turn around, put him back in the stall, given him some feed, and then loaded when everyone was finished.

Gotta love that hindsight.

However, being the dull minded human I am, I continued forth with the plan. He will load just fine, I thought to myself as he kept trying to look back at all the happy barn horses being fed.

Nope.

giphy.gif

I could belabor the specifics, but that would go on and on just like that fateful evening. I also do not want to focus on that negativity.

Long story short, it is a good thing the clinician, Mark, was spending the night there and not hauling out. He eventually stepped in to help get him loaded. It was a long night that had us unloading at 9:30. I am so grateful for trailer lights.

I think the long weekend combined with the feeding fiasco just all added up. We also had a little bit of drama before we loaded up to go to the clinic, but he loaded just fine to go so who knows.

tenor (1)

The positive in all of this was he unloaded like a champ. I opened the door. He looked at me and stood stock still. I stroked his neck and softly whispered in his ear as I untied and gathered the lead in my other hand. When we were both ready, I asked him to back out and he slowly, calmly backed out and off the trailer.

I left him alone for the week and forced myself to focus on the positive. He did really, really well besides the loading. Tomorrow is a new day and we will just go back to practicing trailer loading the next weekend. If he has an issue with it, we will cross that bridge if and when we get there.

Fast forward to this weekend. We crossed that bridge. Or rather, we are on it. We will see with time if we have crossed it.

I was sure he would just load like he always has in the past and that last weekend was a fluke. Just walk right on. Well. That was not the case. It was almost a repeat of last Sunday!

tenor (2)

Was it all pretty? No. But neither was last Sunday. Sometimes you just have to work through the ugly and the suck to get to the other side.

And we did just that. We worked through it.

I also had to have an open mind about it. Horses are good at making us do that.

During the more ugly parts, I kept thinking to myself. He’s locked up and he’s stuck. I don’t know why, but he is. I should put another horse in there. But there was also this old thinking part of myself that thought no, that’s cheating. He needs to get his butt in that trailer.

At that point I stopped myself. Wrong attitude. We walked away, I tied Lito up, and went to grab Cheetah. I loaded her in the first stall and closed the divider.

After just a few minutes, with Cheetah standing calmly in there letting him know there was nothing wrong, he loaded and went all the way to the front of the second stall.

tenor (3)

I loaded and unloaded him several times. Then I loaded and locked him in there several times. Then I loaded, tied, and locked him in there several times.

Then I took Cheetah out and tied her to the side of the trailer and repeated the process. Each time he walked calmly right on.

Then I took Cheetah and tied her somewhere else and repeated it all again. Again, he calmly loaded right on and off.

Sometimes, you just have to try something new. Do it from a different angle. Fresh perspective.

Part of me wonders if something happened on the way to the clinic. There were no signs other than the refusal to load. The only thing I can add is that tying seemed to cause him to worry when it has not in the past. All he wanted to do is look under the divider. Anyone have any advice for me?

I won’t call it redemption just yet, but we are getting there.

Sounds like a good enough ending? Ya, I thought so too.

There is more.

tenor (4)

If all of that was not enough, Lito then decided he does not like to tie and is scared of kites.

tenor (7)

That right there? I believe is actual footage of me watching my horse forget how to horse.

So. That is what we will be working on in addition to the trailer loading. Back to square one. But you know what. That is OK. We will work through this just like everything else and be better for it.

Maybe he is just in a phase. They all have their moments. We have had a very smooth road up until now. He never really had terrible twos. Some say they do it again, and worse, at four. Maybe this is how he wants to spend the last month of his four year old year. Throwing tantrums.

tenor (8).gif

It is now my turn to throw the tantrum. You guessed it, it is not yet the end and there is more!

tenor (5)

The fun is not over yet. It is like the infomercial that never ends!

I have to get a new car too! Too bad it will cost me more than $19.99.

6mw8Z

So for all you bottom line folks, here are the AHA moment bottom lines…on the bottom lines. Haha get it? Bottom lines? No?

Be positive.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Keep an open mind.

Work through the suck and have faith.

You will get to the other side.

And most importantly, walk in love, dear readers.

The Dark

Who is ready for daylight savings??? I know who. This gal. Too hard to wake up and get going in the morning with it so dark for so long. It is getting cold early this year I feel like and it is time for the time to change with it.

This whole week is starting to look like it is taking on that dark theme. Just one of those not so great weeks for various extenuating circumstances beyond my control. It has left me kind of caught in the crossfire playing middle man for one reason or another. Not really even that big of a deal, but it leaves me on the outside, confused feeling like I do not belong. That it does not look right. Feel right. Throws me back, in an ‘old time feeling,’ for a bit and gets me thinking on the bigger picture of my life and what I am doing. You know, that whole vocation thing. Living a full life with purpose and intention.

Dramatic sounding, I know, thanks to my over analyzing personality. But in all seriousness, it does make me reassess and evaluate a check point. Am I supposed to be doing this? Is it time for a change? I am not sure. All of this sounds all too familiar to me, as it does to you, too, I am sure.

Naturally, I have a song cued up that seems to fit the feeling, even if not directly in context. Funny how that happens, always. One of the great things about music is the metaphors. Just like poetry. Anyway. The newly released album from the Turnpike Troubadours. The song was written by Even Felker and RC Edwards of Turnpike Troubadours and Johnny Burke. Also, very fitting album artwork.

However, I do not want to focus on that because I could not have done anything to prevent the situation and now here I am thinking. Possibly, probably, just reacting. So, I am not going to focus on it. That simple. I will focus on it later, after I sleep on it. Pray on it. Be faithful in my waiting. I will know when the time is right.

Here is what I will focus on and will share with you. Two life lessons brought to you in my AHA moments of late.

The week did start out pretty solid.

I got to watch the sun rise on my way to a meeting first thing Monday morning (you know, right before the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan, if I want to go back to drama). So much for new day dawning! Anyway, I digress. Quite the glow. Sunrise is always a good time for big picture reflections. Whether they be image or life related. Here is to the next sunrise I get to sit and see and reflect.

PSA. Do not take photos while you drive. My defense is the image was begging to be taken and I was going very slow due to traffic.

My Friday evening perspectives.

Same time. Two different perspectives/view points. Two very different sets of images. Two different horses, yes, but you get the point. I know points are not lost on you. Life is all about how you look at it. If you do not like what you are looking at, change your perspective. Change how you look at it. Change where you are standing.

I personally like all of these images, even though they have flaws, because I love what I am looking at. Who is in them. Where they are. Trademark looks on both of their faces.






img_6658

That is all for today, dear readers. Walk in love.

Convention

Do not be one to stay within the shelter of convention. 

Your AHA moment today brought to you by the Darcy Doolittle dog, a dog who likes cat toys. All the cat toys. You do you, Darcy. 


Let your light shine and be you. 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Thanks. 

I awoke a full hour before my alarm was to go off at 6:30 AM. An extra hour of sleep would be nice before a long road trip. 

But. Here I lay. Fully energized and rearing to go. Excited to get where we are going. However, I am forcing myself to stay in bed because that was the plan. No sense in getting everything finished early just to sit and wait again. Silly, right? 

Anyway, here I am, writing to you since clearly the prospect of sleep is leaving as quick like as the sun is about to rise. And because Darcy dog is not here to cuddle. Which, is not so fun, not having my dog with me. 

I played on my phone a bit when I first realized there would be no more sleep. Then I put it down and tried again. No luck. Picked it up again. I was reminded of a song. You know how that happens. 

Here I am, laying in bed. Having the luxury of lounging in bed for an hour before I need to do anything. About to gather everything my horse and I need for a week, load it up, and head out with R for a week of riding and fellowship. 

How did I get here? How am I able to do these things that I love? Have these horses that I have? How blessed am I? 

I get to do all these things because my parents worked their tails off and did everything they could for us. Because they taught us to work our tails off. To do the right thing. To not give up on our dreams and wishes. To do what makes our hearts happy. To have faith and give thanks to the Man upstairs for it all who makes it all possible. 

Even when we didn’t realize or appreciate it. 

So. 

I give thanks to the Lord. I give thanks to my parents and family. And I give thanks to my horse. 

Corny as it may sound, it is all true. 


Time to get up and get moving. R will soon be on her way! 

Walk in love, dear readers! I will see you in a week! 

All Is Well


All is well that ends well.

Isn’t that what they say? Who, I don’t know, but people do! My mamma does. And it is true.

Some people also say…


Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end. 

That one actually comes from John Lennon. Also true.

Speaking of John Lennon…not my usual musical style. Stop spreading the hate, y’all. Everywhere I turn, from all sides, that is what I see. And this isn’t even about politics.

That is all.

Oh, and these…To keep it positive and happy and full of love. Y’all.

The cutest two on the earth. 

This one. He’s got game.

My cousin came out for a quick 12 hours. We fit a ride in before she had to leave. Great weather, great company, and great horses.

I watched a friend’s dogs this weekend. Beau and Petunia loved each other.

And, well, you know I wouldn’t let you go without the sunset…


Too much? Again, sorry not sorry!

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Monday!

 

 

Baby Boy

Took baby boy on his first group trail ride with about 20 others.

I should probably stop calling him that. Not much of a baby now at 4.5 years old and over 16 hands high. Oh well.

He was wonderful.

R and I arrived early (surprised? No, I know you are not) so I could ride in the arena for a bit before heading out. When everyone was ready, we rode out on the trails for a few hours. The worst of the summer heat has passed and highs in the low 90s are a welcome relief. I have a feeling this winter is going to be hard, so I will savor the temperatures now while I can.

Mimosas, dried meats, and cheeses were just the ticket when we were finished and delayed the Sunday blues that hit us hard on the way home.

He was also the biggest horse there. But that is besides the point. People seem to be amazed by big horses. I am used to it. Side note, someone please gift me a warmblood sized trainer. Homeboy has to wear a helmet in there he is so tall. He seems to take great joy in rubbing his head on the ceiling! You think I am kidding, I am not.

IMG_6175

Anyway. Big plans for this guy. I am going to take him on my week long riding vacation here in a couple weeks. Last year I took Ike and we had a smashing time. Riding every day in the hill country with my people. It will be a great experience for him. Especially for when I finally get him to his first show. Which was supposed to happen this year. Sigh. So many well intentioned ideas at the beginning of the year. Oh well.

He is quickly becoming my favorite trail horse. Cheetah will always be my number one, but she much prefers solo rides or small groups. Lito seems to quite enjoy the group activity, so we will see. We are slowly but surely installing some buttons in his brain and, just like with everything else, he is a quick study. All in good time. All in Lito’s time. All in God’s time. AHAmoment.

Slowly prepping until we leave. One last weekend. We begin to make our way there on the first Saturday in October. Much to do until then.

How was your weekend?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Early Morning

Early morning is my time. For starters, I am physically incapable of sleeping in. That whole mental alarm clock thing. To actually sleep until 7AM without waking is a luxury I do not often experience.

Waking up early is easy for me, especially when I am at the farm or am somewhere where I am going to ride. And you all know how I feel about sunrises. Rousing myself for work? Not so easy. I am still awake, just can’t seem to make myself get out of bed. 

I am sure I have told all of you this before, but when I do actually get out of bed at my usual early time, I never feel better. I get to have my time. Quiet reflection in a quiet world besides the percolation of the coffee pot, the clink of Darcy’s collar tags, and nature’s morning stirring noises. 

The first thing I do is take my pup outside. We are generally always by ourselves. No lights are on in my neighbor’s windows. It feels almost as if we have the whole place to ourselves. 


Back inside, Darcy gets a drink of water while I pour myself a mug full of coffee adorned with honey and milk. 


That is my favorite mug. It has a gingerbread man on it. It’s comforting and happy. I like happy. 

Then, I sit. Sometimes I watch the news. Well, more often not these days…too depressing and well I don’t know…sometimes I watch my latest Netflix obsession. Sometimes I read. 

Today I was going to read, but then I decided, I should write to you! So, here I am. And there you are.

Now with R being evacuated from her home and living with me while it gets repaired (thanks Harv, for doing that to my friend), our mornings are a bit more exciting. Darcy loves having someone else in the house. When R starts to stir, she shoots up the stairs with the most energetic of good mornings. If only she could speak! That usually envokes a play session and then we are off to get ready for the day. 


On this particular morning, work is on my mind. I typically am trying to think of anything but. However, my job is changing a little. 

When I was first told, I freaked out a little. Hello, change. My mind went in a whirlwind with questions. What does it mean for me and my position in the company? Am I the right person? What does it mean for compensation? How fast will this happen? I don’t want my life to be that complicated! I have responsibilities here! 

Simply and remarkably, Holy Spirit showed up in usual form. Still amazes me. Anyway, the question posed was this…why are you scared?…

I am scared? Am I? How did you know that? Fear of the unknown. Old friend. Not logical, rational, or from the Lord. AHAmoment. 

The simple fact is, while I now have this new ‘role,’ it is early days. We are feeling it out. We will figure it out along the way. We. If at any time it is not right, that is OK. It has the potential to be big. I should be excited. I get to learn something new and meet new people. I am excited. 

That is what is on my mind today. 

Let’s go make it a great Thursday. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Wine, Pie & Time

Time is an interesting thing.

A powerful thing. Giving things time can have impressive effects. Have you ever heard the term ‘just sleep on it’? Well, now you have if you had not before. If you just sit back and think it completely through and wait till morning, you will often get a more harmonious result from not being reactionary.

Time is also a healer. I know this is a universal thing across all cultures and most know it to be true. There are of course songs written about it. After a difficult life event, it feels like time goes at a snail’s pace. Even when you keep busy to keep your mind occupied and try to make the time go faster. Grasping at anything to get you farther from the memories. The feelings. The sadness. The hurt. The anger. You just keep going, taking one step at a time because that is all you can do.


“They say music takes you back to a time. And time is a healer of things.”

Then, it happens. Time has gone by without you realizing it and you look back and realize how far you have come. Amazed at how long ago that happened. How did it get to be years ago?

That happened to me today. Looking back, I never thought it would happen. I still think of that day two years ago often and I know I will the rest of my life. Even just a few days ago, without realizing that it has been two years. Two years does not seem like a long time to some that are removed from the situation. But it feels like so long ago. So much has happened and so much has changed in that time.

Two years ago, we had to put down our first horse. You can read about that day by clicking HERE. He was over 30 years old and we had him for over half his life. He changed my life. That day was so hard, yet so wonderful at the same time. There is such beauty present in the dichotomy of this earthly life. AHAmoment. How something so hard and difficult also presents such life, light, and love is amazing to me. Your faith and spirit are always there. AHAmoment. Something that never goes away. I feel so blessed that I was open to seeing it in that moment, at that time.

We drowned our sorrows in red wine and chocolate pie that night and listened to this song. It always reminds me of him. To this day, it is still my favorite remedy for loss and I recommend it to many.

I am grateful for time. The time I had with him. The time in the moment, even though it was so hard. The time to heal since then and the time I take to remember the memories.

There are many in my life that have lost in the past year. Lost family members or loved ones. Lost horses and dogs. Lost their homes. Tonight I think will be a wine and pie night in memory…after I run.

Walk in love, dear readers.