Dreams

You know, dreams are funny thing. I have always thought this.

Some nights you do not remember any of them. Some nights you wish you did not have any, but you can not shake the memory for the life of you. Some dreams are even repeat players. Then there are the nights where you have such vivid and clear and lovely dreams that the images and feelings stick with you for more than just the day, but for what feels like a lifetime. You could retell, with exacting clarity, every moment of that dream over and over. God help the person that really dislikes to hear about dreams. I seem to find myself compelled to tell those people all about my dreams.

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I have had two of those dreams in as many weeks.

The first was not this past Monday, but the Monday before.

In this dream I was riding Lito in a little arena by a little white house with peeling and chipping paint out in the country. Set off a little ways by a small, quiet country road with little traffic. The rest of the property was cross fenced with rusty barbed wire and crooked wooden posts into little pastures full of grass. All of this was surrounded by other, similar parcels.

The house had a green and white striped, mildew stained awning over what I guess what the kitchen window and a little covered porch that led to the front door. The front door had a big square window with a curtain hanging from the inside. Next to the door on the porch, crookedly sat one of those rusty, metal chairs. Part way facing the road and part way facing down the two steps off the porch and to the arena.

There I was was with my Lito, riding in that little arena. It was day time, but I remember there were arena lights that could be used for night rides. And we were not alone. There were a handful of other riders with us. All doing our own thing, as I was. The curious thing about it was, I do not think I knew any of them. Maybe it was that they were not important to what was between us. Between me and Lito.

I did seem to know, in some form or another, a man that was standing, leaning on the arena fence by the road. The manner of our connection I knew not, but when we trotted down that long side of the arena where he was near the end of my ride, we smiled at each other. Seemingly knowing something, the same thing.

I know what I knew. It was Lito and the ride was magical. We were totally in tune. That is the only way I can describe it. He was forward, but not too. He was just there. My thoughts were his and his were mine. It was our own little world out there in that little country arena and we just were. It felt like a dance I have yet to really know. Focusing and working on nothing, just riding.

That is when I woke up, as I trotted past the man. I awoke knowing, somehow, that feeling was going to come true soon. Part of me wanted to cling to the sleep to try and get back to the dream (it is truly a shame that is not a thing) and the other part of me wanted to play hooky from work and go ride. And alright, I admit, there was a third part of me who wonders who the man was. Strange to have that strong of a feeling and it had me in a daze for days.

I had another of those dreams last night. It is actually one I think I have had before and not all that long ago.

I was in a place I have never been in real life. I want to say that it was not Texas, but I do not want to admit that. It felt like a foothills region if not even mountainous. The air was crisp, the grass was very green, and the trees felt like they looked like Aspen trees, but I do not think they were. It was easy to visualize, standing and looking off the porch in the back, snow being there.

The building was somewhat of a log cabin style and there was an attached side building or room and the door out front was open. There was at least one other person with me, but again, I do not know who. The building was situated on the top of a little hill that likely went down to a little creek on the back side, but it was not a very steep hill. It was more of a gently sloping hill in most places.

I do not really know what was on either side of this building, but I knew there had to be a barn close by because as I entered this side room, I realized it was a tack room. And rather oddly, an empty tack room with a full wall covered in saddle racks. It was dark, but it was warm, cozy, comfortable, and full of color. It was then that the feeling began. I told somebody with a silly, childlike grin on my face that I had to put my tack in there. As only a horse girl would.

We continued through the tack room and past an unknown hallway, out the back door to the aforementioned porch looking down the hill where the truck and trailer full of horses was parked in the driveway that circled around the back. I know Lito was in there.

I looked around me, standing there on the porch. At the seating arrangement around me and down to the green grass and trees. And then to my left at the lower level deck and chairs down the stairs. I was hit with the feeling from before while I was in the tack room that this place, wherever it was, would be like home to me, if not my actual home one day. For as different as it was from the farm, it felt like the farm.

That was when I woke up. Dreams, man, they are an odd thing. I think I need another cup of coffee.

Have you ever had dreams like that? What do dreams mean to you? Tell me! My family hates hearing about my dreams. I just had to share.

Walk in love, dear readers!

May Day

I talk quite a bit during the Christmas season how it is my favorite time of year. I also seem to recall telling you that foaling season is probably my second favorite time of year. I would not put it past me to be found guilty of claiming yet another time as my second favorite time of year.

However, I was just thinking to myself how the month of May is my second favorite time of year. Although technically, it is still foaling season, just the end of it and now everyone is talking about how their mares are bred for next year. Just more to love.

Anyway.

April can get a little hay wire with the weather, but by the time May gets here, it is getting warm and the air is dry. Just the right kind of warm…as in not too. It is not yet hot and does not remind you of the suffocating humid heat you know, yet refuse to acknowledge, is coming in late summer. It is the kind that feels good and warms you through. Makes you want to take a nap. You can feel the promise of summer. The kind of promise that brings a flood of nostalgia and has you running and playing outside in shorts, with or without shoes. Flocking to the pool with your friends. Riding sweaty horses bareback. I half want to start a count down to the end of school.

Except, that I am not in school any more and do not get a summer off. Sigh. What a way to ruin an image.

Go back to running barefoot.

Everything is green, from the grass to the pecan trees, and the sky is so blue. The love bugs are everywhere and the horses’ coats are slick and shiny, free of the winter fuzzies. They practically glow as they bask in the sun. I swear the sun acts almost like a drug, putting everyone in a trance.

May also has a lot of birthdays in my family. Middle Sister, K. My Niece, L. Friend, R. A certain mare turns 14 soon. Babies and birthdays, man.

Anyway. Yesterday was a great May day and I have some evidence to prove it.

The sky was blue and the grass was green. It was warm. The horses were shiny and love bugs abundant.

I rode Cheetah and she acted like Lito was just weaned. I guess she wants a baby too.

Then I did some ground work and rode Lito man. He decided a little while ago that he was scared of flappy colorful things like tarps and anything of the sort. I still don’t get that because he never was before, but we are working through it. We walked all over with the flappy colorful tarp being flappy and colorful waving around. He was very good and I swear had that moment of, “I don’t remember why we are doing this. That is not scary.”

While riding he preferred to stand there and take a nap in the sun. So, we basically did that.

Petunia cuddled and asked for food.

Lito really enjoyed his feed. Just look at his eyes.

Our neighbor’s dog came over and everyone took a nap.

Remember when I showed you those cactus blossom buds on an equally awesome day? Well, here they are now!

Then Darcy (while covered in burrs…the one downside to this time of year) and I had a patio lunch with margaritas. For me, not her, much to her chagrin.

Margaritas and salsa after a great day with the ponies, reflecting on my many blessings.

What is your favorite part about this time of year?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Storm Dodging & Life Lessons

I can not help but think that this weekend was a metaphor for living every minute that you get, no matter what. We are not promised any of them.

I struggled with when to even go out to the farm this weekend. I was thinking about staying in town to do who knows what. The weather reports promised rain all day Saturday and I had to be in town by mid morning on Sunday. I needed to ride and check on everyone. I have a weekend long trail ride with dear friends this coming weekend. However the thought of going out Sunday afternoon and rushing did not sound all that appealing.

I went ahead and booked it out there Friday after work. I would do as much as I could on Saturday and let the weather bring what it wished. Since you know, you can not do anything about it anyway and the forecasts are usually wrong. AHA moment, do not trust the weather man.

Friday evening was just about as lovely as it gets. I strolled down to the pond where the horses were hanging out under a pecan tree. The one that got struck by lightning a few weeks before Lito was born and has a big scar down the trunk. I was flooded with memories as I sat on a log near the horses, but we will talk about those memories later. One by one, the horses made their way over to me and huffed their grassy breath brushed my face with their velvety muzzles, each asking for scratches on their favorite spots. My mare eventually pushing everyone else away from me. I secretly love when she does that.

After bringing everyone in at sundown and feeding them, Darcy and I went inside to call it an early night. Early to bed, early to rise you know.

Saturday with my coffee mug in hand, I caught up my best mare, Cheetah, my gal pal, and set to grooming. Spending a little extra time and elbow grease to bring out the shine in her golden honey coat before tacking up. A girl needs to look her best, that is what my mother says.

We set off with no plan other than to just go, and boy was she game. A little saucy and sassy, but what else is new. Although, I think someone must have slipped her some coffee or something.

 

Some days she never seems to run out of power walk.

At times it felt very Man From Snowy River with the clouds, wind, and drizzle.

She always keeps me on my toes that is for sure. So we did a little storm dodging, but our spirits we not dampened in the least and our manes were only a little damp. At one point we were loping down a dirt road out in the pasture behind the barn. The one that has a culvert slightly exposed. A little known fact about Cheetah is she used to be really afraid of culverts. Weird, I know. Anyway, as we were going along, I wondered to myself if she was going to see or notice this culvert. Ha. She did eventually. When we were in the air over it. I am not even sure what happened underneath me. All four of her legs seemed to go in different directions and her body twisted and contorted so she could get a cockeyed glance at the thing. How offensive of it to be there in her path. But when her hooves hit the ground, she just kept on going with just a little extra pep in her step. I could not help but laugh out loud.

I gave her the first bath of the season after I stuffed her face full of treats. She was nowhere near having an empty tank (well let’s be honest, she never has an empty tank, ever), but I did not have all day. Chance was slated for ride number two and Lito needed to spend some time tied. Growing up can be hard for a horse!

So dynamic. All those colors. Especially the red.

Chance is one of those horses you barely have to touch with a brush and he is super shiny and soft. I am always amazed. As amazed as I am with his chunky, tank like frame. Sometimes, I still can not believe he is the same horse we bought a few years ago. We did some more storm dodging and it was nice for once to not have to push him the whole time.

Two completely different rides, those two. One prefers to go, go, go all the time and the other would rather sit in the shade of a tree and take a nap. There is nothing better than getting to ride different kinds of horses.

So, what is the life lesson to be had in dodging storms? Well, that you sometimes do not have control over them. AHA moment, dear readers, we humans have basically zero control in the grand scheme of things. And like I said, the weather man really has no clue!

You see, I could have sat around inside and watched the clouds, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the storm, wondering why I came out and why I was wasting my day. Waiting on the storm that did not come until after I was happily in my bed falling asleep, reliving the great rides that I had and feeling grateful. The storm that soaked the spring ground with ever needed rain. The storm that was gone by morning and had the sun out, growing the grass.

I woke up Saturday ready to do all I could until the rain made me take a break, and then I would go again. Knowing I would not have time to the next day and that I would regret it if I did not. Even if I did have the time, everything was a soupy, wet mess come Sunday morning anyhow.

Go live every minute of every day, dear readers, and walk in love. For you do not know what storm is coming or when. You are equipped by Him to handle what does eventually come your way and it will make you stronger.

And besides, a storm is just a little rain with some sun on the back side, waiting to grow your grass.

 

Laugh Because Dogs Will Be Dogs.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. Although really, this is no laughing matter.

I went to the farm Tuesday after work to ride my gal pal Cheetah and let Lito stand tied for a while. You know, send him back to Kindergarten. Sometimes we all have to take a step or two back before we can move forward, so this is where we are. And I am OK with that.

Hey look, he has not completely forgotten!

It was a luscious and luxurious day. The sun was out in full backed by the big Texas blue sky. The air was soft and comforting as it softly caressed the bare skin on my arms and face. Almost pillow like making my long curly hair flow like the wind through the trees.

Or the grass that hasn’t gotten long enough yet. And really, more realistic would be the wind through the pollen pods. Are they pods? I do not know, but man the pollen this year. Is it me or is it in overdrive production? Almost makes me reconsider a black car. Almost. I am still going to get one.

Anyway, yes, the sun, sky, and breeze. Lovely, take my word for it. Be jealous because you should be. There is no better place. With or without the pollen. It was great.

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My original plan was to go on Wednesday, but I just could not wait that long.

Darcy did her normal farm thing while I rode. Or so I thought. Such a naughty, scrappy girl. A lady she is not. Dogs will be dogs I guess.

She really got into something this time. Whatever that something was, which I am sure was what was left of the drippings on the ground of this heritage breed pig we roasted on Saturday (which, I still do not get because that was forever ago),

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These two photos were taken by my Bro-in-law. Pig was also cooked by him. It was tasty. 

was good enough to also eat a bunch of dirt and sand. And cause all bodily functions to go awry. Big time.

A day at the vet and big bill later, poor little Doolittle is a little worse for ware. And so am I, but who cares about me.

Here is hoping everything keeps, uh, moving along. Cough. There really is not delicate way to put that.

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So Darcy is my work companion at my feet today so I can monitor her.

I just had to look up at the sky, shake my head, and chuckle. Some people say, when it rains, it pours. That may be so and sometimes it sure feels that way, but I am just going to laugh.

Why? Because laughing is better than any other option! Focus on the positive. She is eating, drinking, and resting.

He gives us nothing we can not handle.

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Charlotte Dujardin Clinic.

Remember how I told you I was excited to get learn-ed? Well, here is my take from this great clinic.

The Charlotte Dujardin educational tour. A through the levels masterclass. Presented by S H Productions. Five riders from Training/First Level through to Grand Prix.

To say I was excited is an understatement. As a rider who has a strong desire to improve skills and who does not get to take many lessons despite my best intentions (still something I want to change and I have been reinvigorated since this clinic), I jump at as many opportunities to learn as possible. Needless to say, when I first learned of this clinic, I purchased my auditor ticket directly.

I will try to keep this short and direct. To the point. Ha. Well. I will try at least!

I was most interested in young horse to training/first level, so that is what I took the bulk of my notes on. Reasons being, I do not have a desire to rise up the levels, just to improve my horsemanship and riding, and because the basics are EVERYTHING. If your foundation is good, everything else will come. Everything is built on the basics.

Given that fact about basics, you will not be surprised to hear Charlotte said that exact same thing multiple times to each rider, no matter the level achieved (Some of my favorite horsemen say this all the time). Along with a few other things, but it all stems back to basics. Everyone had to work in transitions and really moving forward and through. Going for a ‘yehaw’ as she said. Picture a British person saying yehaw for a good chuckle.

It turns out my favorite pairs and rides were also the lower levels.

I had a general admission ticket which granted me a seat on the outside. I was able to get a seat in the middle of the long side to be able to view and be as close to as much of the action as possible and I was not even the first one there.

However, while I was indeed not there the minute they opened the doors, I was there early. After I secured my seat, I had ample time to have a look around the grounds. I had yet to visit this equestrian center and was eager to see the place. They host many open and schooling shows throughout the year.

After my own personal tour, given by yours truly, I went to see if I could manufacture ways to spend my hard earned money. The vendor village left a little something to be desired and I really did not need anything anyway. Which really was a shame if you ask me, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Apparently an autograph signing was scheduled before the clinic began. I missed that little tidbit, but I am not really into autographs anyway…one of the few given the long line of autograph seekers. My seat was however, right next to where Charlotte would be signing. Naturally, I did a creeper stalker shot instead. Way better than an autograph.

I got tired of hanging out, so I went to see if I could find the first rider warming up. I love to watch riders warm up. I found them, but unfortunately for me he was basically finished.

On my way back to my seat, I grabbed a glass of bubbley, because why not, and got comfortable with my note pad.

Now is time for the nitty. My notes on Charlotte’s teachings by lesson/level (both to that rider and general comments to the public) as I wrote them…repetitions and all. There are a lot of notes, so…sorry to my non equestrian readers! If the details are not interesting to you, go watch the 500 Mile video on the AHAmoments Facebook page. You will not regret it. It is what true horsemanship is about. How horses make us better humans. Then skip to the bottom of this post for the take aways and how it all relates.

OK.

For the young horse.

-Look for…3 good gaits/paces. Especially the walk and canter because you can not really change these. Not too big of a walk (which can be hard to collect) and good jump and rhythm in the canter. Get a marching walk through hacking out and doing hill work. You can improve the trot. Not necessarily the flashy and well bred…the do not always make winners, especially if they do not have a good walk and canter. Look for the easy, flowing movers. That have good mechanics, good stretch, and swing. Good use of the shoulder. A good hind end so you have a good engine.

-You need to focus on developing yourself and being even. It is not just the horse. Your strengths and weaknesses show on your horse. Work on your position make sure you are in the middle.

-The basics are more important than the tricks. The tricks come through the basics. Be consistent in seeking the right.

-Can you give the the rein away and have him stay? Self carry. Not speed up or slow down.

-Do not ride in a frame all the time. You have to let them stretch and decompress. Take the pressure off. Take them out in the field. Stop looking perfect or trying to look perfect all the time.

-Wait to sit the trot till they have developed the strength. Till they do not stiffen through transitions.

-Make ALL transitions straight and forward. Focus on them. Are they good enough. Are you in control of the tempo. Do not let them anticipate. Do not settle for less than correct.

-Riding young horse is fun. You have to get out if your comfort zone.

-You probably are not doing enough transitions if your horse stiffens through the body when you slow. You have to do thousands of transitions. Both within gait and out of gait.

-Develop, develop, develop the weaker side. It is your weaker side as well.

-Do not chase them with your body. Stop kicking every stride. If they do not react when you ask with your leg, go for a yehaw and get them going. Get them reacting to your leg aid.

-The leg yield is a pole flexion, not a neck flexion.

-This is like weight training for the horse to build strength. Make sure you give them enough time to get their air.

-Get them out of the school/arena. Go out for a hack/out on trails. Climb hills. It can not all be pressure.

-Go for a yehaw! Go for a gallop in the field. You can not always ride collected. You need to get a reaction when you need it. Think forward.

-Pat and reward when they do something right.

-Think forward into downward transitions. It is still a forward movement. You can not chunk away the energy.

-Do not be greedy and ask or take more than the horse is ready to give.

-Make sure your upward transitions are the same as your down.

-Let (allow) them to reach for the contact from your hand.

Second Level.

-Sit and push.

-Forward.

-Do not slow when doing a movement.

-The shoulder in is a flexion in the pole not a bend and FORWARD on the line.

-Does the horse want to work? Does he look happy? A good character is the upmost important thing in any horse, regardless of level.

-Do not override with your leg or kick every stride. They need to react to your leg. Think forward. Be between your aids.

-Keep kicking and they will not respond.

–Always ride forward. Even in collected work. Collected does not mean slow. Or short. Or quick.

-Bigger steps. Ground covering steps. Not quicker. Not necessarily faster.

-When they are lazy, do not cover it up with kicking.

-They need to keep going they same way as if you give them the rein when you have a quiet leg/are not kicking. Need to go when you say go and stay there till you ask for a transition.

-Doesn’t matter. Do not focus on the mistake. Keep riding. Just do it again.

Third Level.

-Preparation into the movement. Set them up. Set them up for success.

-Do not settle for a bad transition.

-Every transition has to be ‘perfect.’ If it is not, so it again.

-Do not neglect the basics.

-Do not forget how important the corners and short sides of the arena are. They set you up for what is next.

-Do it till you are happy with it.

-Inside leg to outside rein.

-Keep going even when you make a mistake.

-Do not rush.

-Take your time.

-Soft hands.

-Do not punish your horse or yourself. It doesn’t matter. Just do it again.

-It is not about age and numbers. The horse is ready when the horse is ready. Learn from the horse. Stay patient. They will get there. Do not expect more than they are ready to give. Do not be greedy. Horses and riders are all individuals, do not compare one to the other.

-Learn everyday from the horse. Work hard every day. You do not need to spend a lot of money to have a good horse. The secret is in your training system. Have a good direction and follow the feel.

-It is all about about the horse. The connection. The partnership. The relationship.

-Get eyes on the ground whenever you can. Get mirrors. Set up a video camera.

-Finish how you start. Relax and stretch in all three gaits.

Prix St. George.

-It is about the exercises not the tests and movements. It keeps them fresh and on the side. Keeps them from anticipating. The exercises make the movements better.

Grand Prix.

-Do not leave the basics behind.

So. There you have it. My notes and learnings from one of the top riders in the world.

The take aways?

Each rider had the same things to work on…

No matter what level you are: More forward. Say yehaw and go for a good gallop. Focus on transitions. Work on your bad side to be balanced. It does not matter if you make a mistake, just keep your leg on, keep riding, and do it again.

Sounds a whole lot like life, doesn’t it??? I thought so too. Go figure.

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

Big in thanks and giving, yes, much gratitude. We have much to be thankful for.

Also big in numbers. Number of people. An abundance of family and friends. Tons of conversation and laughter. Bucket loads of love. Many dogs. Food, food, and more food (and booze). And not just any food, great food. I have to say, I am surrounded by talented people. Pretty much all of them are great cooks!

Some sadness, yes. That can not be denied, but I have to say, I think we all did a great job focusing on the positive and being grateful for each other. Which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

This particular Thanksgiving was long in a sense that it felt like it lasted from last weekend to today. Even with all the regular day to day things, like work, and all the preparation and cooking, it somehow felt like vacation.

Now, I know some of you will be in disbelief upon reading this. Or even rolling your eyes at me. But in all honesty, it did. I am sitting here with my coffee trying to psych myself up for this work Monday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving week (after the Charlotte Dujardin clinic…which I still need to write up for you…sorry, I will get to it. In short, it was great and I shattered my phone screen) I spent at the farm by myself. It was a terribly therapeutic weekend. Strong and funny language, I know, but stay with me. It was both releasing and restorative.

After taking care of some errands and chores during the day on Saturday, I quickly saddled up Chance and went for a sunset ride.

Then I built a fire in the pit, hit play on some great music, made a cocktail, and sat down with my dog to watch the last of the sunset with the northern front at my back. Drew Kennedy has a live album titled Sad Songs Happily Played which acted like my own personal concert in the best venue.

Sunday started early and chilly.

I took a little drive in my pajamas while the horses ate with my dog, coffee, and music. Because I could. I started listening to Dani and Lizzy’s ‘Dancing In The Sky‘ on repeat (I am weird like that) and just allowed the tears to flow. It feels …strange, I guess, to say that. To admit that. But hey, it’s the truth, so there. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry or two…or three, as was the case on Sunday.

I got dressed and headed out into the sun to catch up my first horse of the day.

I came upon the horses and discovered the three young geldings laying down, having a post breakfast nap with Cheetah standing guard over them. I just could not resist the temptation and sat down with them. The most wonderful thing happened when Cheetah decided she felt comfortable enought to lay down with us. I have no idea how long I sat there with them snoozing, but it was simply glorious. One of them broke the spell and they all got up, so I haltered Cheetah and started grooming.

Keep scrolling for this cow’s newborn on Thanksgiving weekend!

Cheetah decided she was a saucy mare, but her son made up for it by giving me the best ride on him to date. Lito is really starting to put the pieces together and it feels really great. Really learning to travel between my legs and reins and lift his shoulder. Yielding his hindquarters and shoulders. I just need to keep reminding myself he is not farther along because I can only ride on weekends. I need to not push too hard and have it not be fun for him. Well, both of us. He is seriously the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden.

I had a quick ride on Ike after a late lunch on the porch. Then I built myself another fire to close out the day. As one of my dear readers said, I just sat with my feelings and reflected. That is what time alone at the farm is about for me.

I stayed at the farm until Monday morning to meet the farrier before heading back to town and into the office for the short holiday work week.

I took the day off of work on Wednesday to get my cake baked at my parents house and the kitchen cleaned before Thanksgiving. Middle Sister, K, her husband, T, and their dogs were staying at my parents house for the holiday so Darcy had ample entertainment. She is currently passed out after I made her go outside.

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake cake was worth all the work and calories, trust me. It really was not even that much work. Do yourself a favor, and go make it for yourself. Decorating it is also easy peasy, if you want to do that. Which you should because it is fun. And pretty.

My mom’s side of the family and a few friends came to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. And oh, the food. The food was so good! I am still dreaming about it. We all had a grand time and then loaded up and headed out to the farm just in time for sunset.

I give to you the post Thanksgiving sunrise if you missed it.

Remember that calf I mentioned? We all got to see it right after it was born. You are welcome for the cuteness. I do what I can for you, you know.

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

On Saturday my dad’s side of the fam came out for lunch and some much needed togetherness and fresh air at the farm.

I took three kids on lead line rides and one solo ride all on Chance. There was so much fun and cuteness, I almost could not even handle it. Chance was so well behaved and we stuffed him with carrots and gave him lots of love.

My cousin got to harvest his first deer which was very exciting for everyone in the family.

I came back out to the barn before bed to give Chance another carrot and to thank him for giving those kids his gifts.

You haz carrot?!

This is a terribly long dump of a post, but there it is. The point is, I am thankful this Thanksgiving and wish I had another day before going back to work.

Thankful I got to enjoy it. Thankful to be surround by loved ones. Thankful to spend time at the farm and create memories. Thankful to ride all the horses. Thankful for cows and calves. Thankful for my happy dog. Thankful to see the sunsets and sunrises. Thankful for music and reflection and fresh air. Thankful that I got to pick out a Christmas tree with my parents and begin decorating. And even thankful for my job that I need to go get ready for.

That is all. Up next, all about the Charlotte Dujardin Clinic!

Walk in love, dear readers! Thank your lucky stars today and every day. Keep in the spirit of thanks and giving.

Exciting.

I am going to get learned this afternoon/evening. That is right, learn-ed. And I am turbo excited about it.

A certain Olympian that even non equestrians might know of is going to be in town giving a masterclass and about a year ago, I bought a ticket to audit it. Because, well, how could I not? Duh, I had to. Life is about opportunities, and this is one!

I have heard very good things about Charlotte Dujardin Obe‘s clinics and I am exited to see and hear in person. There will also be vendors, so there is also that. Hopefully I practice restraint and not spend too much. No promises that I will not be the first one there…

Exciting, I know.

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Do not be jealous, I will share all the details and exciting learning with you!

Can you tell I am excited???

Not your average Friday night out I dare say.

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! 

Elemental

Earth, air, water, and fire. 

And the Oxford comma. Ha! Hey, I’ve got jokes today! 

No, for real. 

Something so Elemental as to embody all four of those concepts. More than just words. They are senses. Images. Feelings. Emotions. All in themselves. 

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. God’s paintings twice a day, every day, no matter where you are. Both at the beginning and the end. Of everything. Yet different every day. New. 

Seeing and smelling the earth, feeling the air across your skin as you lope your horse around, praying for those clouds to produce some rain (at least where we are, they have had more rain than us!), and having your soul set on fire. 

Blessed and grateful. 

The reflection of the sunset on the eastern sky Saturday evening with horses and friends. Clearly no better at focusing for photos than I’m sure we were as kids…






Please take a moment to enjoy Lito’s expressions. Seriously, that horse. I just can not contain myself.

Sorry. Where was I? Right.

Sunrise progression Sunday morning. I told you God likes Sundays to be foggy…



Two things that inspire me most next to my horses and my dog. 

Have you caught a sunrise or a sunset recently? Share if you have! If you have not, do yourself a favor and watch one soon. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Dry

Hopefully we got some rain at the farm today. It has gotten pretty darn dry. Straight up crunchy. Burnt up, not turnt up. If you catch my drift.

Now, I am not one to complain about it. Especially since that whole drought thing across the state that went on for a good ten years, as drought cycles like to do. We have had a good amount of rain over the last couple of years which has been a pleasant change. Some might argue too much. Not me.

Growing grass for livestock is hard without rain! Just look at that grass. Now, I know it is hard to not admire that majestic giraffe, but look at that brown grass. Granted, that particular spot is a difficult one and is the first to dry up and get bare. It doesn’t ever get really flush with anything. Even those sad little weeds look tired. All that seemingly green back there in the background is a different kind of grass.


The point is, we are praying for rain over here!

Makes it hard to get chores done. Like fix broken water lines…Something I do not like doing and am not really all that good at. Well, I tried to fix it Sunday. I found a break that was easy to fix, but I had a suspicion that it was broken somewhere else too. Well I went to gather the PVC premier and cement so I could fix it where I knew it was broken and see if that would do the job. Naturally, I could not get either of them open (please send all eligible men my way that are good at opening these, or better yet, that are good at fixing water lines so I do not have to. I am good at giving moral support! Just kidding. I think.).

Great. OK. No worries. I will go get some more, it won’t take long. I even sprung for the cleaner. The cashier even gave me a pitiful look at my having to do this on a Sunday. I get back and get it glued back together. While I wait the thirty minutes for it to set, I went to go pack up and clean the house. The thirty minutes ran out, I turned the water back on, and…what do you know…it did not fix it. It is broken somewhere else and I do not know where. I guess we will have to go fishing in the pond, it seems the only logical place…Luckily we have a pond so the situation is not too terribly dire! Except that pasture could use some rest…enough on that though because it is bringing me down.

The dun duo never brings me down though! They are more than carrying on despite the summer doldrums.

I rode my Lito man yesterday morning and he was pretty darn good. A little flamboyant and giraffe like at times (which, too bad there is not any photo or video evidence of that), but he is making progress. He is solidly forward and consistent. Well, he has been for a while now. Anyway, we have started focusing more on straightness and separating his body parts, learning how to move them independently. Lifting his shoulders. Quick learner, he is, and I could not be happier with him. Plans are to take him over to H’s house with R and Ronan for an overnight. Looking forward to good times.

On Saturday I rode Cheetah with a friend and had a red letter day. Side note, the place was actually booked. I usually check the calendar before hauling, but this time I did not like a knucklehead. I showed up at 7 AM, because you know…heat…and realized we might be out of luck. Saturday was our day though and they were gracious and told us where we could ride and be out of the way. We were and are extremely grateful. They didn’t have to do that, but they did. I made a point to send a thank you today. AHAmoment. Tell people when you appreciate something and why!

My friend, T, was running late so we worked in the arena for a while and I put Cheetah through her paces. It has been a while since we have done ‘real work’ and man was she great. Just the right kind of forward. Very adjustable, and on the aids. Really, she did not put a hoof wrong. It felt like we could have gone out and done any class at a horse show and won. When T arrived we rode out for about two hours. Just walking and talking. Great therapy. There is a new obstacle course there and we went through a few of the questions before heading back. I just love this mare! Seriously.

Saturday evening offered up an awesome sunset and the cows were rather docile and friendly…

Having computer problems at work today…Can I go fix the water line now?

Happy Monday!

Walk in love, dear readers!