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!

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!

Perfect

We live in a world where everyone is striving for perfection. Everything has to be perfect. It is hard to even truly define and comprehend the word. Is there any such thing as ‘without fault’ in this human world?

I read something other day about it in fact. Something about being a perfectionist and how it makes you great. Everything about it I loved except that word. Perfect.


“Riding, like life, does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

 

AHAmoment. Riding and life is never perfect, but it is always wonderful, magical, and beautiful. This is one thing horses have taught me. There is always a silver lining. There is always something to be learned and something positive to take away. The beauty comes from the imperfect and how everything still forms around it. What you can make out of it. The striving for the goal, to always be better. Fault can always be found, but it is how you look at it.

To me, humans can never be perfect because we do not have the control.

If I go out to ride with the goal of making it perfect, they humble me right down and remind me that is not what it is about. They live in the moment like we should. We try so hard to control everything in our lives. However, if I go out with the goal to enjoy the ride, make it the best we can, and be better than yesterday, they give me their all and nothing can beat it. Perfect does not even come close. I can see and feel them try.

It is the same in life. Chasing perfection forces you to compare yourself to an outside standard or someone else. You will never get where you really want to be that way. The point is the path. The journey. That is what it is about. It is yours and no one else’s. Incomparable. Made and intended for you and only you. Enjoy it. Walk it. Be better than yesterday. Keep refocusing and aiming your arrow. That is where the wonder and beauty of life comes from. Not from trying to control it and make everything perfect to some made up standard.

The beauty of horses and life.

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Stir that around in your pot of thoughts for a bit. Think about it the next time you are about to use that ‘p’ word. It is pretty dang strong! I am guilty of over using it myself!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Friday

Today is Friday.

More like Friyay.

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Yaaayyyyy!

I love Fridays.

Do you know why?

Because there are only a few more hours between me and this…

You want to know what else is yay? I get to find out if I am going to have a niece or a nephew on Sunday! I am thinking pink. I just have a feeling.

I have one more yay. I think spring has sprung. There is pollen everywhere! This is not so yay for allergies, but this is yay because things are going to get green and it is going to get warmer. That is reason enough for a happy dance. All that rain can finally get to work and grow some grass.

By the way, thanks for yesterday. I just needed to get that off my chest. It has been developing for a while now. I will let you know when I know.

Back to being positive and yay!

Until next time, dear readers, walk in love!

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.






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

Daily Dose Of Cute.

Do you know what day it is?

Monday. Ha! You’ve got jokes, huh? You’re funny. Yes, it is Monday, but it is also Darcy’s 4th birthday!

My how time flies. I can not imagine my life without this girl. She brings so much love, light, and positivity in to my life. If you don’t know her story, well, click here.

Enjoy today’s special edition of DDOC.

Go have a great and happy Monday!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Anniversaries

I love how clean everything looks and feels after rain. The air is a little drier, softer, cooler. The sun is not so oppressive. The grass appears to green up instantly. That might be my favorite part, the almost instant change in the foliage. It is amazing to me. Almost as amazing as how quickly it gets back to the way it was before, miserably HOT. The sun seemingly glaring at me, right in the face. The cool clean has evaporated since I began to pen this post, or key it, but that just does not sound as fun.

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Anyway, it gets me thinking on fall and my favorite time of year. The holidays. I know we still have many HOT days (more like weeks and closer to months, really) left ahead of us in this part of the world, but I can not help it. It means cooler evenings. Sweaters (eventually anyway). Fires in the pit. Fuzzy horses. Foggy breath. Christmas music. Food and baking. Family and friends. The season of thanks and giving. The reason for the season and this beautiful life we live here on earth with all of God’s handiwork.

It also gets me thinking on difficult things. Things of the not so distant past. Anniversaries all the same. Anniversaries typically get me thinking of happy memories. Like Weddings. Birthdays. Big occasions. But. They are not always happy things, are they? Such dichotomy within a word, no?

A happy anniversary comes up in a few days. One year since the beginning of this blog! That is pretty exciting! Something that I thought about for such a long time and coming to fruition, and sticking with it. What an amazing journey it has been so far and I have you, dear readers, to thank for it.

My nephew turns 5 (how did that happen??!!!!) at the end of this month. Very happy anniversary of his life.

September. September will be two years since we had to put our first horse, Mansebo, down. Woof. That was terribly hard. Even still. Especially as I try to mentally prepare myself, if that is even possible, for when that day comes for Apache. That is the hardest part about having animals and being their stewards, but the very most important from my eyes. BUT. September is also my Grandmother’s birthday! So, I focus on that.

Then, there is the big one. The one that has not happened yet. In November. I still do not quite know how to even say it. It feels like a bomb almost every time I do. Sometimes when I say it, I want to duck and look around. The anniversary of my Uncle’s death. Anniversary seems like the wrong word, but that is what it is. I still have moments where it just hits me. Sometimes sad. Sometimes mad. Sometimes still shocked and dumbfounded. At the time and in the moment it was just all so surreal. Like it wasn’t happening. Like it was just all one big, bad, increasingly long nightmare. It has slowly turned into reality. The new normal, as they say. That normal will evolve and change as the days and years go by. We are all changed. What it will bring in November, I do not know. But. I do know this. We will all gather and be together for Thanksgiving. Be in an attitude of thanks and giving. Focus on that. Focus on celebrating life and what we have to be grateful for. Focus on the happy memories. I am going to choose to focus on that. Yes, it will be hard, but it is our call and it is necessary. I want to remember how encouraging and faithful he was. Remember his love for the kids. My deserts I will bake for him.

But just like storms roll across the sky from here to there, the storms in our lives come and go. Both bring what comes after. The blue sky, clean air, and green grass. The Aftermath. Some storms take longer than others and some sure feel like they circle around and back up and just sit there overhead for a while, dumping buckets, but they always roll on, if you let them.

This post may seem premature to some since it is only, um, August. To me it is just a natural evolution and progression and it is what is on my mind. So I decided to share. No, it is not easy and I feel vulnerable, but it is what IT is all about.

Thank you for being here and being you. I appreciate y’all.

How many times can I say ‘it’ in a single post?

Walk in love, dear readers. Have a great Thursday!

 

 

Simple Happiness.

I was talking with a couple friends yesterday over the email, all within the same conversation about people and wardrobes. I love email conversations during the day. Makes it more exciting and entertaining. It also means I get to keep up with people I don’t get to see all that often. Makes it feel like we live closer together.

Anyway, we were discussing our trail ride vacation coming up this fall and H said something about how animals, horses specifically in this instance, are simple and that it doesn’t take much to make them happy.

No. No it does not. AHAmoment right there. A lesson for all of us hidden (not very well hidden!) in there for sure.

Truer words have never been spoken.

What does it take to make you happy?

Every day I look at how happy my dog is at all times and what it is that makes her so. Not stuff. Her life is compiled of moments and experiences, always positive, always present. She is fed. She is healthy. She gets to be outside. She gets to run and play. I would like to think that I am part of that. That is IT.

Same with the horses.

Horses do such a great job of bringing us down a peg, in many ways. When Lito had his tendon episode, I got so wrapped up in the worry and getting the next exercise done, that I was forgetting to enjoy my time with him. When the realization hit me, it was like a ton of bricks and I could see it written all over him. He was not experiencing joy either. I was at a loss until Lito gave me an idea. Hand grazing. Hello. How could I not think of this? It is one of my favorite things to do. I was so focused on what was next and not the right now, I couldn’t even see it. I vowed right then and there to hand graze him both before and after our rides in addition to a longer grooming session. Words can not express the difference this had not only on his demeanor, but my experience as well. Something as simple as that can have exponential effects. I swear it made the birds sing. No, just kidding. They were already singing, I just heard them again.

 


People can get so wrapped up in the next thing, always looking to the future (hello, my favorite hobby. So much energy in something I don’t know) and what is the next thing that will make us happy or get us something or get us to the next step. Not focusing on seeing the positive and being happy now. In the moment, which all together make up a life. And look. We all know I struggle with this as much or more as the next person. Especially lately it seems. But. Just like a bad ride doesn’t make the next, a few bad days or a tough season of life, doesn’t make a life. It is setting us up and getting us ready for the next, whatever it is, whenever it is.

I always want to try and look at life the same way Darcy and my horses do. Keep it simple. Be present and in the moment. Create experiences. Not be driven by things. See the beauty and joy I am surrounded with every day, created by Him. Seeking it. See the grass that grows after the rain. Blooming flowers. The wind. The smell of the rain. Sunrises and sunsets. New life. Happy, healthy animals that give their all to me. Great family and friends. I am fed and healthy. I get to do what I love. I am free and I am loved. What more could I possibly ask for? Who am I? Who are we?!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keep it simple!

Hump Day.

Here is my lunch time thought. Since we talked about the Sunday Blues (or Scaries/Funk/Dreads, whichever you fancy) and the resulting conversations (thanks to everyone for your comments and to Karen for this Hump Day inspiration! Go check out her blog because she is expecting a foal here pretty soon and the world is about to get that much cuter. I am currently exercising extreme restraint and not breeding my mare! I have foal fever!), let us get into Hump Day.

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Wednesdays have long been known as Hump Day. That middle of the week hurdle, once conquered, brings us with in grasp of the fleeting weekend. I live for my weekends to ride my horses. To recharge my batteries. To get back to center (let us not forget this song or this song!). Side note, expecting rain again………….Can not complain though, it grows the grass to feed the cows and horses. It recharges the water sources. Positive focus. Go me!

There are many ways people celebrate this day. I often partake in Wine Wednesday, as you might have noticed in the past, to celebrate that Hump Day hurdle. Or a special mid week dinner out with friends. Do you do something special for yourself for making it halfway through the week? Do not tell me you get a gold star.

On this particular Wednesday, I am going to be celebrating in another way. Dinner with my Mom’s parents and my Cousin. I am having lunch on Friday with Dad’s parents. I am so blessed to be 28 years old and have two full sets of Grandparents. I know many people can not say that. I have always been close with them. Growing up I would go to their house on weekends to play and for sleepovers. Or run errands with them. Listen to the stories of their lives. Learn from them. See their faith. Go to the movies. Ride horses. Do arts and crafts. Bake. I see myself in them. I see my family in them. We come from them. I love them and have always been close with them.

It is hard, knowing that every day with them is precious and they will not be here for forever. Life. It is even harder on my parents and it hurts me sometimes to watch the realization in them and knowing one day I will be there in their shoes. I take every opportunity to spend time with them.

I got an email from my dad today about positivity and social media from Jim’s Daily Awakenings. I really liked it so I thought I would share it with you below. Try to remember this advice in this social media driven world. Remember the Golden Rule you were taught as a child. It still applies today in all facets and forums. Get out of social media and talk to people. Be nice. Be positive. Care. Lift people up. Support each other.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a blessed Wednesday! Tell your people you love them.

“I have a shocking thing to say to those of you on social media: Not everyone is interested in seeing a photo of your lunch, knowing your political opinions, or who you were with last night.
This morning I counted 210 social media networking websites.  This excludes the online dating websites.  The possible way to engage in conversation and share your opinion with strangers abounds.
But it bothers me that so many of the social media sites have gone negative. 
I detest all the hostile, nasty, intimidating political remarks that are posted online.
I hate that social media has become a forum for negativity, criticism, belittling, complaining, fault-finding, cynical remarks, put downs, unkind comparisons, and even verbal bullying.  Words that damage permanently are spoken behind the curtain of the Internet.  Some people have even committed suicide over things said to them online. 
Our words spoken online and in public should be positive, affirming, and encouraging. We should try to build people up in such a way that they never get over our edification of them.”  
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)