Time & Everyday Life.

Was it not just yesterday that I was excited we had entered the ‘ber’ months? Elated for everything fall? Now we are less than one day shy of March. It is crazy how looking back over the last few months it seems to have gone by so fast. So fast in fact, that today feels like Wednesday. In the midst of it all, it felt terribly slow.

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So much has happened in such a short time. Or maybe not so much has happened?

It feels like a lot.

Not too terribly much to report over here. Pretty boring, actually. Do you want to know something? I am OK with that at the moment. Work is chugging along. I have many loads of laundry to do. I no longer have any clean riding jeans and I am running out of boot socks. Who cares about work clothes. The situation is dire on the home front. Priorities. I loathe doing laundry. Anyone else out there also really dislike laundry? Sure, a stack of neatly folded clothes is oddly satisfying, but the process of getting there? Not really. Darcy needs a bath. Darcy always needs a bath. Every weekend she finds something nasty to roll in. It is a gift she has.

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We are entering the last month of the first quarter of the year. I am happy to report that I have so far made good on my riding goals for the year. The other things, oh well, maybe not as good, but I have not forgotten them and am still working on them. That is a win in my book.

I do not think I waxed poetic earlier this week about how awesome Lito is. Do not worry, I am not going to do that now. Well, at least I do not think I am. Anyway, I am planning his first off property ride with a friend for sometime in the next two months. I am pretty excited about it. I am glad to be making progress with him. I also spoke with my Aunt and Cousin about getting them on the farm schedule so I can have the support to continue to ride him regularly (Sorry for the repeat vid, but honestly, I can’t get enough of it!). Cheetah is doing well and I am excited about taking some lessons and going to a show in the second quarter of the year. I am also more than ready for the time to change back. Give me more daylight so I can ride more! I am planning to increase my rides by at least one more during the week. The next thing on my execution list is getting lessons actually on the calendar.

I have been listening to Midland this week. I like their older country feel. I also have a serious thing for 70’s fashion. I want a whole new wardrobe of just 70’s. Strange, I know.

So many words and not much said. Makes me think of this Jason Eady song with the line “words that come too easy sometimes tell the bigger truth.”

Anything exciting going on? A calm, everyday life is pretty comforting for me right now. How are y’all doing on your new year resolutions?

Walk in love, dear readers.

3 Things

I had a friend tell me that she was feeling blue yesterday after a great weekend and that she did not know if it was because the weekend was over or because of the unknown future. It got me thinking as I have often felt the same way myself and my suggestion was to:


Focus on something good from the weekend (or past), something good right in front of you, and do something fun for yourself tomorrow. Nobody knows the future, so you are not alone!

Too bad I can not seem to do that for myself in those moments, so I think I will do the same thing for myself right now. We all have something to be grateful for even when it is all going up in smoke and hitting the fan. AHAmoment. It also seems like a good idea since I am supposed to be practicing self love and all that. Disclaimer, this may or may not turn into another love fest, and I will make zero apologies for it.

  1. Something good from the weekend.
    I rode 3 amazing horses.
    Saturday I took Second Chance, Chance on a road ride with some long time friends. It was terribly HOT. Like sweating at 8 in the morning hot. He was amazing even though he made some ugly faces at some other horses. It was quite comical, really.  I also got compliments on his butt. It is pretty big. I really need to show you what he used to look like. I love how he shines like a penny even when he is a woolly bear.

    Sunday morning I rode the my best gal, Cheetah. We did some arena work with transitions and ground poles before going down in the pastures to check the cows and let her really open up and stretch her legs. I did not get any photos because I was having too much fun. I finished out the morning doing some chores and unpacking the trailer. Then, my parents (the most amazing parents ever) met me for lunch at a nearby town on their way home from out of town and then came back to the farm so I could ride my Lito. I could not ask for better parents or a better colt. Seriously. This horse. I think it was his 10th ride or so and the first ride in a couple months. He was AMAZING. He was much more forward and fluid than he has been. That was a little bit of a worry for me. It reminds me to stay the course and do not lose heart. He is still learning. AHAmoment. He is just so easy, brave, and keeps getting better…and taller. I will stop before I explode.
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  2. Something good in front of me from today.
    My dog is tired and happy from running at the farm and my boss told me she was proud of my work. Boom. Enough said.
  3. Something fun for myself tomorrow.
    My bible study is having a Valentines party as our class. Thank goodness because I do not like Valentines Day!

Pretty dang good at present. Certainly can not complain.

What are your 3 things? Something good from the weekend (or past), something good in front of you today, and something fun for yourself tomorrow?

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Better View & A Better Mood

Monday after work I snuck (sorry, I really just prefer it to sneaked, get over it) out to the farm to lock the horses into the paddock for the farrier who came out the Tuesday morning.

I arrived and got everything finished with enough time…and daylight…to fit a ride in on Cheetah. We have now redeemed ourselves from Saturday’s ride, and thank God, literally. AHAmoment. I did thank Him, for the ride and more. I have been pretty aggravated ever since Saturday, let us be honest.

It was a great ride and I feel better for it. I truly believe she does too. We just rode. That is all. Just for the fun and love of it. No agenda. No plans. No expectations. No pressure. Took what we had. Just rode for the shear joy. What IT is all about. AHAmoment, again! Those are our best rides. You can still make progress and work towards goals. Funny how that happens.

I snagged these quick videos for those of you who want or need a different view for a few seconds. If you are like my Niece, I welcome you to pretend you are riding. I will not tell anyone. Please notice the sun in that first one! I have decided I am not complaining about clouds anymore (sorry about Monday!). Do you know how many times in the Bible clouds represent God? A lot. Think about that. Do you want me to say it again??? AHAmoment! Also, clouds make the sun more brilliant when it shines through. So there.

What do you do just for the shear joy of it? Go do it.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Make it a wonderful Wednesday!

These Days & Those Days

Watching the super bowl made me think of how much has changed in this world and what

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My favorite part I think!

life is like these days. How many years ago was it that you had to wait weeks for mail or news to cross the country and that was your only communication outside of the odd telegram? No smart phone always at an arm’s reach. Can you really imagine that in this day and age of social media?

Being 28, I never got to experience any semblance of that, but it sure does sound lovely. Idyllic even. To be truly disconnected and actually experience what is in front of you. I remember when the internet became a basic household staple. Dial up, yes, but still. Instant messaging on AOL. I got my first cell phone before I even turned 16, which was after most of my friends got cell phones.

Now, all you have to do is open your phone and your immediate thoughts can be seen by everyone, whether or not you sleep on it. More people should sleep on their thoughts. To me, it is a scary thing to think…and to witness. That is another story for another day, I digress. back to the super bowl. The game was barely even over when they switched screens to talk about what everyone was saying about it on various social networks! Who cares! Let us hear what the players and coaches have to say in the moment! It really took away from the experience.

Anyway, on to other things.Yesterday was one of those days. Both literally and metaphorically cloudy. The low, flat winter kind that makes you long for the summer sun to take away the ‘seasonal affective disorder.’ I do not actually have SAD, it just feels that way sometimes when I am being melodramatic.

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Those eyes. This is what it looks like when you are frustrated with the weather tampering with your plans.

Why was I being melodramatic? It rained basically all Sunday morning. The one moment that I had the audacity to think I could fit in a ride before going home, the sky unleashed the real precipitation and made the ground slick as oil. Weather man, you mentioned nothing like this, by the way.

I spent Saturday morning doing chores because it was unexpectedly cold. I rode Cheetah Saturday afternoon which was, interesting. It was not the best ride in the world. Read this as the nut of the issue. At one point I had to dismount and lunge her by the reins so she could find her brain. Apparently we were both in a mood this weekend. Let us just be honest here. I really wanted to erase that ride with a better one Sunday morning. It just was not going to happen. Insert frustrated, annoyed me. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, as they say.

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My Lito could tell I was not my normal self and was extra attentive to me. I love him for that. Animals are great that way.

I will do a happy dance when the time changes back!

I got home and the sun was SHINING with no signs of past rain. Just an hour drive away. Naturally, I made brownies. The best brownies, seriously. I added a little strong brewed coffee, some coffee grounds, and cinnamon…and a little simple cream cheese frosting to top it off…oops. That made me feel a little better. Go make them. Pawning them off at the office today.

Post cleaning up my baking mess, there was going to be no cooking or cleaning for dinner. Insert the cheese tray. How I love thee. Winning as an adult. It was good game watching food.

What did y’all think of the game?

That is all for today. Clearly still random. Make it a great Monday, I am going to try to!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Focus.

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.

Walk in love, dear readers.

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Setting Yourself Up For Success

I read something recently about setting yourself up for success that really resonated with rawme and I figured I would share it with you. Setting yourself up for success helps you to have…success! Gold star for me! In all seriousness though, that is the key. Success leads to confidence and/or confidence leads to success. AHAmoment. It is that whole coming full circle concept that life is all about.

I have been working on my…‘resolution’ plan for the year, if you will, and how to best execute it. To be successful.

I have been pretty darn good about all the general, daily items on my list and I have even added a few things to it. Those are not overly important at present. What I want to discuss is my main ticket item, my riding related goals, and how that may help you with your big goals. Your 2017 goals. Your riding goals. Your cooking or baking goals. Your parenting goals. Your getting healthier goals. Your writing goals Your fishing goals. Your dancing goals. Anything. Your life goals.

No matter what it is that you want to accomplish, to be successful at, you have to set yourself up for it. To have some sort of execution plan or, let us be honest, more plans/adjustability/fluidity, since we all know how plans can go. Hello, life. To break it up into manageable bites and have a few benchmarks. All of this to me means preparation.

I have scoured my sources and filled my calendar with all the clinics and schooling/working equitation/dressage/SHOT shows in the general area. I am still doing some research on the clinics and thinking about who I want to take lessons from. The point for me is not what I do, it is that I do it, both my horse and I have a good, positive experience, and we learn something. To grow and never stop learning. To continue striving and searching. To always try and be better. It is the quest.

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My last time in any show ring over 5 or 6 years ago. I have done one clinic and zero lessons in that time.
I think I have landed on my plan outline that will get me prepared and set me up for success. I have not settled on specifics or looked at where things fall on the calendar, so the plan will likely change and that is OK. The first quarter of the year I am going to just focus on riding as much as I can to get us both back into shape and back in tune. Second quarter will be for lessons and making progress. I might add a show in here based on focus and progress. Third quarter will be for possible more lessons and a clinic closing with a possible show. Fourth quarter will be my rainy day quarter given it is the busiest time of year. Yikes, that feels like tomorrow!

I open the floor to you, dear readers. Do you have a better way to break the year’s plan up into acceptable bites? What is your advice for setting yourself up for success? What are your plans to set yourself up for success in your goals/resolutions, whatever they may be?

Walk in love.

On My Mind.

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.

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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 No Justice – Topic on YouTube for the vid.

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?

 

A New Day, A New Year.

I may be a day late with my New Year post, but I hope it is not a dollar short. I have missed y’all!

NYE was another rainy day, as was this morning. Photo evidence below of NYE. Luckily, the rain moved on today. Darcy and I had a lovely, sunny walk while listening to sermons after lunch with my Grandparents, Mom, Aunt, and Cousin H to celebrate my mother’s birthday. I am back to my normal working schedule tomorrow and am looking forward to it.

I am excited to hit the ground running…or at least walking and not standing still.

It seems like it was yesterday that we were beginning 2016 with such hope and optimism. Time is funny that way, how it feels so fast. I remember when they began doing the state 200_squarters and thinking how it was going to be SO LONG until they released the Texas quarter in, if my memory serves me, 2005. It still feels weird to me that we are in the 2000s. You would think being 2017 I would be used to it. It feels like it has gone by so quickly. In three years, it will be 2020. I will be 32 in 2020. Woof.

Anyway, I digress. No surprises there. I begin 2017 the same as I began 2016. Full of hope and optimism. Yes, it has been a hard year for a myriad of reasons, but there are always going to be hard and difficult times. The light is that there are even more great and wonderful times (yes, even in 2016). AHAmoment. I am looking forward to those times. I know there are great things in store. That will be my focus. I am going to be open to receive the gifts and allow them to happen.

I said that I was only going to make one resolution this year. I am going to change that. I am going to spend this year focusing on myself and getting myself back on track. Practicing self love. Setting my priorities. Stop making excuses. That is going to be my resolution. Naturally, that in itself involves a few different things. This list will likely change throughout the year, but here is my start:

  • Pray with intention while I make my bed every morning
  • Read my Bible every day (I am one day away from finishing Genesis. Woohoo! Let us not discuss the days that I have missed since I last spoke of this…)
  • See the positive
  • Stop making excuses
  • Ride more, worry less. Ride at least once a week (as much as I hate to admit this, 15740882_1829461203991198_8210992180279854157_nriding once a week for the past few months has been hard to manage between stuff that just needs to get done, chores, weather, my utter lameness, and, and, and….EXCUSES. It is like it has become a habit and I do not even recognize myself. I never used to miss a ride day before. Don’t judge me, I am trying not to judge myself. Can I go hide under a blanket now?)
  • Make a schedule with support system for riding Lito so I am not by myself. This is going to be hard, but it is time to move forward with his training. I have to do something.
  • Exercise on non ride days
  • Attend at least one clinic
  • Have at least 6 lessons
  • Attend at least one show

I think this is harder to admit than my fears. I want to thank you, dear readers, for being here and helping to hold me accountable. I am not perfect and I know I will likely fail some days and weeks, but is there really failure if you grow and learn from it?

I have already done item 1, 3, 4, and 6. Item 2 is next. Tomorrow I am going to start my research for clinics and shows to build my calendar.

What are your resolutions? Are they hard for you to admit? I will help hold you accountable if you need or want it.

Walk in love, dear readers.

 

 

 

 

 

A Soft Spot For Stars Blog Hop: Location, Location, Location.

This is my first blog hop, and it will not be my last! It has rained basically non stop since Friday, so I have no fun riding stories. I basically did chores and fed while getting wet. Then on Sunday, my parents and I got the family Christmas tree. I finished decorating it last night with the help of wine. The decorating is almost finished. Normally, I would be finished with Christmas deco within a couple days of Thanksgiving, but given the events of late, it just has not happened.

I digress, I am going to jump on the TB pedigree blog hop bandwagon eventually, but I can not remember who started that one? Cheetah‘s dam was an OTTB and has a fun pedigree. I did all the research while I was in grad school. It was great for procrastinating.

Today’s blog hop comes from A Soft Spot For Stars. I already like her because we both have dun mares. Anyway, I too am curious about fellow bloggers locations and what it is like where they are.

8e2fb13d66cac7d6dd11209131704afeNo secrets here, I am a Texas gal. I reside in the ‘southern half’ of the state, in a big city. My horses stay at our family farm an hour away. That makes things difficult for me and my fuel consumption. However, it is an easy hour drive and I can go out after work whenever I need or want. The time change makes it hard to ride when I go after work during the winter, but I can blanket the old guy and feed him before it gets dark on cold nights. I will be doing that the latter half of this week.

Demographic? Most people that live in and around the city board their horses if they do not have property outside of town. There are several equestrian friendly communities outside of town where you can live and keep or board horses. We are probably 50/50 mix of western to english riders of all kinds. There are many shows and clinics in the ‘general area.’ Most shows and clinics are just far enough away from where the horses are to not be ‘convenient’ (1.5-2+ hr haul). This is very frustrating for me as I am hungry for more knowledge and do not want to let my riding get stagnant. BUT there are many great trainers and I have a few that I plan to haul to for lessons in the near future. We have a few good tack stores in town (good or bad considering how you look at it!). There is a big tack store in the area. It is generally an hour from town or an hour from the farm, but I ride horses for people out that way sometimes.

Costs of horse keeping in my region of the great state:

  • Trim-$35 (Lito just gets a trim, as do the other geldings and Petunia)
  • Front shoes-$70 (I keep front shoes on Cheetah Beets)
  • Average cost of a month of full time training-$800
  • Average cost of monthly pasture board-$400
  • Average cost of monthly stall board-$600 (All kinds of board and prices range wildly. These averages might be on the high side, but there are places I have seen that have exorbitant prices. The ones that I have looked at and work for me are not all that much closer than the farm)
  • Hay, good horse quality Bermuda-$8.00 (I have not looked at the prices for this year yet)(We high quality pasture and have had good rains this year…I do not think we will need to buy too terribly much this year)
  • What I consider priceless? Feeding in my pj’s. That Texas sky. Sunrises and sunsets viewed from the back of my horse. When I am at the farm, I can do whatever, whenever.

Weather? In the summer it is hot and humid. The only ‘good thing’ about the humidity is that it keeps us from generally having too many 100+ temp days. The heat index is the killer…and the bugs. All of our cows have some percentage of Brahman in them to help with coping with bugs and humidity. I ride all year round. In the summer on the weekends, I wake up and feed in the dark so I can be tacked up and mounted by the time I can see with the first light. I generally ride 2 horses (groom, ride, cool out, hose down) and get some chores finished by 11 AM. I do not do much else until 7 PM when I will ride another horse. It also limits when I haul. I do not like to haul during the hot, middle of the day. During the work week, I hustle out there and get 1 horse ridden and get back home late. Sometimes I stay out there for the night and come back super early in the morning for work. Winter is pretty easy by majority standards. It will freeze a few times. Lows are generally in the 40’s. A cold night is in the 30’s. It will only do that for a few days. It is not uncommon to be riding in short sleeves in January.

Other notes? Hunting season. It cramps my style a little bit because some in the family like to hunt at the farm. That is all fine and good except that requires me to not ride. That bugs me. Other than that it is fine. Our property is on a river and there are some duck hunters that like to come and park themselves behind the barn. The barn is not right on the river, but it is close. Anyway, I can hear them and let me tell you, it is funny. They are not very good at their duck calls and I can hear them talking. That is not how you do it!

Frustrating things?

  • The drive. I wish they were closer. However, I like not having to pay board. I have contemplated it so I could have at least a horse closer. I also like them being able to live like horses. It is also simpler to have them at the farm with the others. I have also contemplated moving to a place somewhere in the middle.
  • I miss the barn community. It is a great thing. I have horse friends that I ride with, but most of them are not in our neck of the woods.

Join in on the blog hop if you have not already! I have had fun reading them!