Homework Time!

TODAY WAS AWESOME.  I was exhausted, but I learned a lot.  I had a lesson on Fable and we discussed his conformation.  She gave me several books to study the conformation of the horse, as well as the balance and movement, and all of that jazz.  We are going to have a chiropractor/massage therapist come to look at Fable sometime this week, so that will be interesting to see what she has to say about him. 

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The Books…

I finally got everything organized in my humble abode today.  We are working Fable tomorrow at 9:00am so I have to make this blog post short since I have to get some reading in before I go to bed.

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A wee bit of organization…

Today’s most beautiful memory was walking out of the camper in the morning and seeing a full moon stuck in the morning sky.  It was a cool morning, but very calm and peaceful. 

A fun and exciting challenge for tomorrow would be to drive down to the beach with my Madre.  There is also a New Years party I was invited to, if I am feeling well (relieved from this wretched cold) I would like to go to that, too.

BoG… Breath of Gratitude… Holy cows. Life is amazing.

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My noble steed awaits…
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Memories That Stick

When I first walked into my best friends house after a wonderful day of shopping and getting our makeup done, I saw her dad holding the video camera.  My initial thought was, “Oh, they got a new video camera! They’re testing it out! Let me hide behind the stairs!” I didn’t want to stand over there forever so I proceeded to walk into the kitchen after about four seconds of hesitation.  It wasn’t too long until I looked over and saw a bunch of people jumping out yelling “SURPRISE!!!!” … I want to get the video of my reaction because I’m sure it was hilarious.  I was so shocked… I still am!  Normally I’m the one surprising people, but they got me!  It took me a few seconds/minutes to process what was actually going on, and realize who was actually there.  I thought for a second I might have been dreaming or something.  It was one of those “pinch me” moments.  They even got me a cake! 

It was so nice talking to everybody.  I want to emphasize how thankful I am for all of the people who love and support me.  I’m pretty convinced I have the best friends on the entire planet, and I could not be any happier.

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The amazing supportive people, missing just a couple of people who had to leave a little early but none the less I will always have the memory of everyone who came!

 

Acceptance

Today I fully accepted the fact that I am destined to work with horses and riders for the rest of my life.  I had an amazing day filled with lessons and riding horses.  I wasn’t worried about school, money, or time.  My mind was open, I was sharing my knowledge and listening to others to see what I could learn from them.  Because I am on break from school, and remembering the decision I made to take my college courses at a slower pace, I feel as if I’m no longer in a hurry and I can focus on the quality of my life vs. focusing on my to-do list and the clock. 

I accept the fact that the horse world is hard.  I accept the fact that it is very competitive.  I accept the fact that horses and people will come and go.  I accept the fact that my existence will be dedicated to improving the communication between horse and rider through as many aspects as possible.  I accept the fact I might not have the biggest paycheck and ton of ‘toys’.  Taking a risk and putting a step forward toward something you really care about and would like to change for the better is a risk worth taking.

There are so many beautiful things in life to witness, and I am certain that you do not need money to witness them.  I will work for passion and purpose, not the paycheck. 

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Sometimes you have to march forward even if you can’t see where the road ends.

 

Equestrian Update

I cannot recall where I left off with this blog about my equestrian journey, but I’ll go back to the point when I detected a bit of lameness in Fable.  He just seemed uncomfortable and not as willing to work with me like he normally was.  Even at the Novi Expo he just felt a bit off.  He didn’t have the sparkle in his eye like he normally did.  I was able to have the vet out to take a look, we did a flexion test and got X-Rays of his right fetlock, right hock, and right stifle.  The fetlock and stifle were clean on the X-Ray, but he had arthritis in his hocks.  To help with that, we gave him hock injections in both the upper and lower joint, and also put him on Adequan for a preventative measure and to help with his hocks.

Now that we got the vet stuff out of the way, we are ready to rock and roll in Florida!  We’ve been working on getting back in shape.  I found myself getting really frustrated when I thought about where we had been vs. where we currently are in our training status… So instead of thinking about that and making a big fuss, I turn on my iPod and get a nice marching walk for one song, a nice floaty trot for the second song, change directions, walk again, trot again… etc.  I love riding him like this.  My mind stays quiet, and I am able to release all of the tension I hold so he is able to move better.  After we warm up in both directions, I start working on changes of directions, a bit of shoulder in, and some half pass at the walk.  Note: I have loose reins throughout this entire process.  Since we are starting from the beginning again, I do not want to hider his ability to maneuver his body from my hands blocking him.  I want to communicate with him through my seat and body, the minute I start using my hands we forget about our other limbs and it just doesn’t turn out very well.  So, to make sure I don’t cheat, I just keep my reins loose and focus on keeping my arms elastic and centered. I’m excited to see his muscling change.  I already notice a difference in his neck, it is looser at the poll and he has soft muscling toward the base of his neck.

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After a fun workout!

In addition to getting back in shape, Fable and I have started to work on some Parelli stuff.  A couple of my friends have been working on Parelli and I love the calm and willing nature of their horses when they worked with them.  I only know a little bit about the system, but I have been trying to work with Fable in the mindset of having “games” and giving him more time to digest information after we just worked on something.  After just a few days of paying attention to this, he is licking his lips, chewing, yawning, and all of that jazz on a regular basis!  He finally has the sparkle back in his eye!  I think it’s a grand combination of feeling better physically and feeling more comfortable and confident.  I know he senses when I feel rushed and stressed, which is where I think we were butting heads.

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Yawn number 78 of the day…

Thankfully we’ve been able to reconnect and enjoy ourselves!  Sometime last week I rode through the neighborhood next to the farm… at 10:30pm… It was AWESOME! Everyone had their Christmas lights on, the stars were crystal clear, and the moon shining just for us.  I could not wipe the smile off of my face.  Fable was so brave, too.  Even when I could not see through the trees because it was too dark, I just stuffed my face into his mane, held on tight, and he led the way.  I am so thankful for that horse.  He is truly one of a kind.

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From the unforgettable trail ride!

 

Importance of the Mind

Your mind is your unique treasure.  A treasure you must take care of and treat more precious than gold, diamonds, or any other valuable item.  If not protected, you will become a mere reflection of your environment.  If you unconsciously surround yourself with negativity, worry, disappointment, you will probably inherit all of those traits.  If one day you open your eyes only to find yourself in such a situation, you need to be the one to change something.  Whether it’s changing the environment or looking at your surrounds in a new light, something needs to change.

This became apparent to me after my two final exams this semester.  I had a whole semester to learn the material, but I overwhelmed myself with a busy schedule and my studies were not at all a priority.  Needless to say, my grades were not up to par for this semester.  However, I was able to learn something very valuable about myself.

I have always been a passionate learner towards things I wanted to learn, (ie. horses!). My school work was another story though.  Opening my math book was like pulling teeth.  Starting my 4 page papers the night before it was due, stuff like that.  My care level was at a bare minimum.  I had a slight realization of this after I graduated high school and I told myself college was going to be different!  And, it was!  I got a 3.46 GPA for my first semester! Then, I let work and the other joys of life take precedence over studies.  I could feel my self slipping my second semester of college, and then two classes this semester just really went down hill.  Coaching the Equestrian Team, giving 16 lessons each week, trying to ride my horse, trying to finally have a social life… It can be a lot to balance.

Long story short: I am making a change and starting fresh.  A new leaf, blank page, whatever you would like to call it.  I am starting next semester enrolled in one class. I am going to MASTER that class.  I am going to teach myself how to study, and get really good at focusing on one class and really breaking things down so I am able to form a good studying habit for the future.  In addition to that, I am going to teach myself to read.  I absolutely love to write; however, reading is a different story.  The irony of this, I just came across a quote by Stephen King, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”  That pretty much sums it up.  Anyway, it’s hard for me to focus.  But here’s where this blog’s title comes in: Importance of the Mind… You have to keep your mind SHARP! By avoiding studying, and failing to read and keep those parts of my brain in tact, I am only hurting myself.  Let your strengths improve your weaknesses: I’m good at writing, creating analogies, and visualizing.  I will incorporate those three things into my studies to ‘strengthen my weaknesses’.

I am getting ready for my Florida trip, and I will be writing every day.  I took last month off of blogging as a little experiment.  If I didn’t reflect on my day, how would my moods differ?  I can tell you for sure I was not nearly as happy during that time of ‘rest’ as I was when I wrote about each day’s lessons.  This challenges me to pick something inspirational and educational to analyze everyday.  Throughout the day I think of things I want to write about.  If nothing else, it gives me a purpose to recognize how wonderful life is.  Brace yourself, Blog World.  This new leaf starts NOW.

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My Boy, with the sparkle back in his eye.