Forgive me for this. I am just going to have to brag on my horse here for a bit. An absolute love fest.
Saturday, we had the best day! We went on a road trail ride with some friends. Something we do a few times a year and something she typically tolerates for me. She also commonly makes sure I know that she is doing it for me and she would rather be doing something else. Like riding by ourselves out in the middle of nowhere. That is also my jam, but the middle of nowhere is harder to find and it is nice to socialize sometimes.
She was amazing and really seemed to have a good time. Seriously. Ears pricked and licking her lips the whole time. Not overly mareish, pinning her ears and telling others what to do. She was also very outwardly loving and affectionate. In public. Ha! It was more than the great weather. It was more than the great company (It was so wonderful to be with some of my best friends doing what we all love to do. Laughter. Fellowship. Good for the soul). It was more than her being on her best behavior. It is hard to explain. Part of the wonder of horses. We both had a great time. I just love her and she loves me. Love fest. That is all I know. I know it sounds funny and a little out there, but if you have animals you know what I mean.
My good friend, H, and her mare, Chica, were there. Chica Rey did not get the ears pricked memo.
My other really good friend, R, was there with the gelding she rides, Ronan. We have a mutual affection for horses and Baker plaid.
My Cheetah girl and I have come a long way together and I would not have her or our journey any other way. I am so blessed to have her in my life and I know without a doubt that she was put in my life for a reason. I am also blessed and grateful to have my friends. It is special to do what I like to with like minded people.
I am excited for what we have planned for the year.
Do you have friends that like to do what you like to do?
I hope you all had a great weekend and an even better week.
Yesterday we talked about being gracious to combat negativity. Spreading love like honey, so to speak. What does gracious mean to you?
Gracious literally (by literally I mean a quick google search and not flipping through Webster’s) means, “courteous, kind, and pleasant; showing divine grace.” What does that make you think of?
I was thinking about that question yesterday when I posted it. Of what thoughts, feelings, images it conjured. Gratitude was one of the words that came up: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” AHAmoment.
That is an interesting thought to me. Another full circle concept. Chicken or the egg. Whichever you like. The two almost seem to meld together where you do not know where one starts and the other begins. The same thing is thought of great riders when working with a horse, but that is another story for anther day.
Stir that around in your pot of thoughts. Funny thing is, this showed up on my radar today…
You know how sometimes your everyday work life (or just regular life) can get somewhat monotonous? Where it feels like you are doing the same thing over and over and it kinda drags you down? You have a hard time getting out of that groove when you try to switch gears?
I would not say that my work lately has felt like that, per se, but today it definitely has. Or could have felt that way. Here is the good part, it has been a great day and I will leave work feeling great. I did not even notice the monotony! Let me tell you why.
OK, so last week I was listening to the sons of Haggard. Merle Haggard. That would be Ben, Noel, and Marty Haggard. You should check them out if you have any interest in great music in general, great country music specifically, or their father. It is also really fun to hear Merle in them. Genetics are so cool that way. Anyway, that is what was pushing me through my work week last week and it carried on into yesterday.
Naturally, today I started just listening to Merle. I am by no means new to his music, but listening to him makes my soul smile every time. I can not quite tell you what it is. It is some combination of his life story and the story behind his songs, the talent, the subject matter, the tonality of his voice, his expression when he sings (hey, thanks YouTube), and some unknown factor. He was also seriously funny. Impersonations of other artists was a regular thing at his shows. He mixed up the arrangements with different instruments. Golly, can I just gush over his voice. I also have to confess that the young Merle Haggard was quite the handsome one. Just me? Oh well.
The point of this story is that I found myself smiling and laughing all day today while working. I did not even notice I was doing it until I laughed so hard that I worried I was disturbing people. I am laughing at myself right now just thinking about it. Music often helps me focus while at work and also makes me happy. Duh. (I listen with headphones on as to not get distracted by people walking by, and so I can listen as loud as I want without disturbing others.)
This is my favorite time frame from Merle I think (at least today):
Let us have a quick appreciation for 70’s fashion.
I have bible study this evening. If only I could ride today in this weather, my day would just be that much better!
What do y’all like to do to keep your smile and joy through the monotony?
Busy day/week.month here at work. How did it get to be almost the end of January? I have had a nasty upper respiratory something or other since Thursday. The amount of meds and sleep is astounding. I have an ever growing pile of laundry that needs to be dealt with or I will have nothing to wear. I have slacked on my newly minted good habits.
I got to have brunch with my Aunt and Cousins on Sunday (and dinner on Thursday, did I mention that?) and this (pst…look below)
on Saturday. I rode Chance and Cheetah. Still the best medicine in my book. The ground was surprisingly firm given the amount of rain we got last week. Cheers to growing grass with all the sun this week! Chance was wonderful…Cheetah was not the best. Granted, that can probably be blamed on me and my sick, top-heavy head. My saddle was also slipping back more than normal. She has been so great the past two weeks, so I will take it.
I can not complain. Ernest used to always say that.
I am trying something new today. Go me! Getting out of my comfort zone. They say that is a good thing to do. I am going to share with you what first came to my mind when I saw The Daily Post‘s prompt and photo challenge. Really, I just could not resist when I saw what the words were and I was struggling with content for today. Eh, the way it goes sometimes. Thank you Anne for the inspiration to give it a try!
The ultimate in aesthetics and ambiance. Just my opinion, for whatever it is worth. The great creator’s paintings, captured with a mere click, but nothing like actually experiencing it with your own eyes. Feeling the air on your skin and through your hair. hearing the wind in the trees. Going through the emotions.
The same view is very rarely the same from the same place. I will restrain myself with the metaphors I just opened up with that one! Unlike anything we can create, Mother Nature always has the right lighting, vibrant colors, fresh air, and even comes with it’s own music if you listen.
It is a beautiful life. AHAmoment. Thank you for being a part of it. I hope you like my quick pics from my cell phone that I have gathered.
Where is your favorite place for the best in aesthetics and ambiance and why?
It is something that has captivated people for ages.
I often get asked what it is about horses that…works for me. Why horses. What they do for me. It is something that seems to intrigue people who have never experienced it before. A more important question it seems than how I even got into horses. It is also something that is extremely hard to put into words or capture in a photo because it is feelings. Energy. Images. Memories. Mere words seem inadequate. Very much like love, I imagine.
Maybe you have experienced a mere glimmer and could not quite put your finger on what was captivating you. Or maybe you have wondered about someone you know. Or maybe you have wondered about me.
The presence. The beauty. The grace. The calm. The teaching and learning. Everything seems simpler with the horse. Our problems are trivial. We have a tendency as humans to make everything more complicated than it is or needs to be. They give us perspective on how narrow our sight is. They show us who we really are on the inside. What our actions mean. They encourage us to be better at more than just riding. They make us get outside of our heads and ourselves. If we let them, they show us what quality living is and how to do it. What is real and important.
It reminds me of a time while in college I was legging up a polo pony doing trot sets.
It was winter and bitter cold. If there had been precipitation, there would have been snow and it would have stuck. I could not get out to the barn during the day I guess because of school work, so I had to ride at night. There were other people there, I remember, but they did not ride because of the dark cold. I almost did not go out because of the lack of day light, but I needed it. It was more than mere desire and passion.
I layered up from head to toe and went to catch up my pony, Daisy. As I was fastening her halter, I noticed the full moon and the glow of everything. A quick groom and tack up and we were trekking to the track in the back.
As we started to get warm trotting around, the mare began to rhythmically snort in stride with the work. You know how good working horses do. I could see her smokey breath commingle with mine against the dark night sky. She was excited, but yet, so was I. We were in tune. On the same page. Knew what the other was thinking without words in the way of the unspoken language.
We both got loose and relaxed in the work and then I looked up and actually saw. The moon and the distant city lights set the mare’s coppery, chestnut coat and pipe fence line on a rust colored fire. I could make out the curvature of the surrounding crop fields and pivots. I could see our tracks in the freshly groomed dirt. I could see all the other ponies in their turnouts staring at us in envy, ears pricked and eyes shining.
In that moment I knew what IT was all about.
I was not thinking about the cold. I was not thinking about all the work I had to do. I was not questioning the unknown of the future. I was not focusing on my anxiety. I was not thinking about missing home. I was no longer missing home. I was there. Present. Just me and the horse. The gift of the horse from God in this place from God. Words can not express the feelings I had in the moment or the gratitude I still feel for it.
All my worries were gone. I was on top of the world on Daisy’s back that cold, wintery night on the south plains. It was very much like that ride on Cheetah before the holidays.
Have you ever experienced anything like that? What is to you that horses are for me?
Walk in love, dear readers!
Thank you for the inspiration and imagery, Jeannine and Liz!
I have to be honest with you here really quick. Yesterday was a slight struggle. Hence the lack of post. Sorry about that.
Work has actually been going quite well which I am very happy about. We are busy, I have work to do, and my boss seems positive about the future. I am talking more personally.
For whatever reason, yesterday ended with me in a sour mood. Now that I think of it, I can not remember why. I suppose that is not really the point because it was not any one specific thing or event. The point is that I allowed myself to stay that way. Does anyone else ever feel that way?
I got home from work and did nothing but watch TV. I did not go for a walk or do any kind of exercise. I did not read. I was a big pile of negative. At least I made my bed that morning. Yay. Celebrate the little things! Anyway, I beat myself up about it. I settled to do some personal things on the computer, but the ___ it was not working.
I then eventually decided to stop wallowing and started watching the USEF George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session on the smart TV. That is the best thing about smart TVs! (I watch a lot of videos and read a lot of books/articles on all things horsemanship from all kinds of people in all different disciplines.)
I heard Anne Kursinski (5 time Olympian) say that you must focus as much or more on what you are doing right/well as you are on what you are doing ‘wrong.’ What and why made it work? We are our own worst critics and can have a tendency to beat ourselves down because we know that it is never the horses’ fault. I have also heard sports psychologist, Dr. Jenny R. Susser say the same thing (at least I think it was her) in a video of a Pat Parelli clinic.
Naturally, this applies to more than just success in riding horses. I know that I am my own worst critic in all things and I hold myself to a very high standard. It can really get in my way at times. We can only have ‘control’ over ourselves. We also have control over what our focus is. AHAmoments. To build upon and repeat success, set yourself up for success and focus on what is going right, the positive, more than what is not. Otherwise, you will continue to repeat the negative because that is all you see. Reward yourself. In theory, train yourself. The positive success will come second nature if you allow it.
Today is a new day and I am grateful for it! I will not let yesterday mess up my today.
Now that I have had a chance to thaw out from the crazy Texas freeze, here are a few things on my mind. We are covering all the topics in my AHAmoments. Mostly, things I am grateful for all wrapped up in a weekend recap.
First. My Darcy dog that keeps my spot on the bed warm while I get ready for bed. Just look at that Llew-ball.
Second. Do not forget to thank the people that make your dream work and be grateful for them. For me, being a horse person, my veterinarian and farrier are two of the many keys to what I do. My form of thank you is baked goods. Usually of the cookie variety.
I am blessed to have them on my team because they work with me and my situation. The vet came out on Friday to give all the horses their annual checkups. As I mentioned before, it turned out to be the worst weather as always. It was worse than expected and that is why I do not have any pictures of said visit. 3/5 horses he wanted to float. Given that water is involved in floating a horses teeth, the temperature did not get above freezing, Apache’s advanced age, and that he had some sensitive situations he was monitoring on other farms, we decided that Friday was not the best day for it. He said he would do whatever he needed to do to get the three horses’ teeth floated soon however it worked for me, even if I could not be there, which included not charging me an extra trip charge. I am just so appreciative that they both work with me and our needs. If I had it my way, I would be there every time they came out.
Third. Fire. Confession, I am a slight pyromaniac. I also just really love a good pit fire. Saturday, the wind finally quit blowing in a hurry and the conditions were perfect for fire sitting, even if it was in the 30’s and going down. All the animals were warm and fed. I had the feed trailer loaded and ready for the following morning. I had just pulled a lemon blueberry cake breakfast bread (go make that now and add more blueberries to the bread and more powdered sugar to the glaze) out of the oven. The sky was clear and the fire glorious.
Which brings me to my next point. Four. Music. Good and great music comes in all different forms. On Saturday evening with fire and cocktail, these two songs really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you too. Have an open mind and a listen.
Thanks to the man himself, Corey Smith, and his YouTube for the vid.
Fifth. You guessed it. This farm and my horses in which I see God’s unending blessings, beauty, and grace. They clear my mind and vision and carry my troubles away. Not to mention all the great paintings!
Sixth and final for the day. The great Texas weather. What? Yes, you heard that. Great. It may be crazy at times, and yes it was really, really cold. However, as quick as it gets bad, it gets good. Saturday, albeit a weee bit cold, was down right gorgeous. By Sunday, it was perfect riding weather.
Today I am grateful for the above great music to dance in love my way through work, dear readers.
If you had to pick five things you are grateful for today, what would they be?