Thursday, May 19, 2016

Isn't it grand?

I had a wonderful ride on Eags last night.  It was so peaceful and quiet...

We spent a bit of time doing relaxation maneuvers (him, not me) with flexions, head and neck, then legs and a little massage.  He adored it!  His eyes were so droopy he kinda looked like a hound dog and he just yawned and yawned and yawned - licked, chewed and more yawning.  *sigh*  It was a beautiful sight.

Then I saddled him up and we just walked around.  I decided to use as little rein as I possibly could, and I rode him in the side pull, no bit.  We were in the round pen, so I wasn't worried about anything. The evening air was cool and there was a slight breeze.  Perfect weather for riding.  He did no rooting at all.  Not one bit.  I'm not sure what made the difference, but I think it was directly related to how mellow he was to begin with, and I wasn't nervous or worried at all riding in the small ring, as opposed to being in the big corral, and nothing in his mouth.  Likely it was a combination of all those things, but it was so enjoyable.

I didn't ride long, probably twenty minutes or so, but quality over quantity, pure gold.  We both felt good.  Afterwards I brushed him down and held his head in my arms and told him how wonderful he was.  First horse I've ever had that would let me hold him and be so at ease with it all.  I just love that.
I've had several people and one close friend who've told me how silly I was to get this horse.  How someone like me, who's become what many will call, a timid rider, shouldn't have picked a troubled horse, one who especially needed a very confident rider to give him confidence.  I can't say that I disagree with their logic.  In my head I would agree with the strong leadership being so important for a horse like Eagle.  But, mostly I just shake my head and tell them that we're exactly what the other one needed.  And at the perfect time.  When I watch Eagle in the field with the other horses, he oozes confidence and exhibits a quiet leadership role over all the other horses in his herd.  He shows kindness and patience.  And that's exactly what he's needed from the people in his life.

For whatever reason, and I no longer question it - we needed each other.  For different reasons, maybe.  But he is the perfect horse for me, emotionally.  He's so cool, so loving, so patient and kind with me.  All I ever want to show him in return, is my love and my trust.  He's given his trust to me.  In spades.  Now it's my turn.  I will learn to relax and place my trust in this horse.  This very special horse who I'm so very smitten with.  He is my gift.

I'm so sure of that.

And I'm so very thankful that I was chosen to care for him.  Aren't I the lucky one?  Deep in my heart, I know we were meant to be.  I have no idea what our future together holds.  I don't know if my dreams of riding in the mountains on the back of this majestic Mustang will ever come true.  Maybe we will.  But if all we ever have is this relationship we're building in the safety of our back yard, then I will be eternally grateful for that.  All I know for sure is this:  I am enjoying this journey.

And who knows where we'll end up.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tractors, chainsaws, barking dogs and monsters

Seriously.  Those were the distractions we faced during last nights' ride.  *sheesh*

But we've lived to tell the tale!  Neighbor Bob was on his tractor mowing, moving logs, cutting those logs into firewood, and providing plenty of nervous distractions for me.  Eagle was good with all of that.  Mostly.  Me?  I was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof.  Oh, and I forgot the goats.  Eagle nor I were too concerned about them.  They're always coming through our fence and cruising wherever they want to go, whenever they want.  All good stuff right?  Well, tell my poor old heart that, will ya? My back is actually a little stiff from tensing up so much.  Oh, and it was our first time riding in the big, outside corral.  Shouldn't have made a difference, but remember we're dealing with my head here.

The distractions that did prove to concern Eagle were the "monster" that lives in the brushy area near the apple tree in one corner of the corral; and Charlotte, who was barking continuously at the injustice of having to stay in the yard while we had our lesson.  Occasionally, she'd come up to the fence line and bark, making herself invisible in the tall grass.  That proved to be Eagle's un-doing. He spooked, rather shied really, a couple of times.  One time he did the stop and drop deal.  Neither was a big deal, both were good lessons for me, but still.  Let's just say, a relaxed ride it was not.

Jessica praised my efforts, told me I'd done well, but I know better.  I so wanted to quit.  I was tired.  I was not having fun.  But I hung in there.  Bless Eagle's heart, he was doing his best to take care of me.  I know he was.  Jessica said as much to me as well, so I know it's the case.  But, he made me work for every little movement the whole time.  Good grief!  We had no rhythm, no cadence at all - even at the walk.  Eagle was so tentative in his movements, just wanted to stop, which meant I had to work for every little bit of forward movement the entire time.  He stops just fine.  No doubt his favorite thing.  I really had to struggle to keep him straight between my reins.  Who am I kidding?  We had no straightness!

The previous nights' ride in the round pen had been my best to date.  I thought so anyway.  I was totally relaxed, had some confidence too.  Eagle was working fairly well for me.  Still makes me work for forward, tries to root his nose down, but it was a pretty good ride.  I guess they were both good rides though, I prevailed and ended on good notes both times.

An issue that seems to come up fairly often is while travelling to the left, he likes to get strong and go to the inside.  All the time.  I really have to use a lot of inside leg and outside rein to try and keep him on the rail.  After a while my arm gets tired and I just try to use leg and ask for more forward to keep him moving.  Jessica would like to switch bits, I'm not certain at all that's the answer. I just don't really know what the solution is.  Keep at it I guess.  Seat deep, heels down, eyes where I want to go.  Breathe.

I'm already questioning my instructor's approach.  Not good.  Certainly not everything, just some. The problem is, I've learned my methods from the best of the best.  Now to me, that's not a problem, it's the best way to approach horsemanship.  The problem is, most trainers/instructors don't necessarily follow how I've learned.  In part they do, but in part they don't.  Presents a challenge.  In my head, I know the answer is not a different bit, or any kind of gadget.  It just never works in the end.  Truly, the best way is to work with the horse's mind to control the life in the body, through the feet.  Simple enough right?  However, it's more difficult in practicality.  The approach is everything.  I run short on how to, really quickly.  I'm not getting discouraged.  Not really.  I just want to stay true to what I know is right, and find the best way to get Eagle to stay soft, and continue to get softer through his body, but liven up his feet and lighten up his body.  He feels heavy.  He feels strong.  Just don't know how else to describe it.    He is soon to be 16 years old, and was in reality, started at 15.  He's not had anything done right, for most of his life.  Truthfully, he's been treated unfairly, unkindly, was starved, neglected and mistreated.  My promise to him was this.  No more pain.  Ever.  Nothing that is unfair.  I just will not treat him in any way, but respectfully.  How do I accomplish this when I need help from someone for me?  For my confidence?  Nothing's ever simple is it?

I've ridden 5 times since my last lesson.  I have a little over a week to make some change for the better before our next session with Jessica.  I'm certain of only one thing.  The problem lies within me, not with my horse.  With time and consistency, Eagle will improve and learn.  He's super smart and willing, if he's got a good rider aboard, the odds are stacked in his favor.  I just don't want to compromise the standards for my horse, for my sake.

I need to put my big girl panties on.

In between rides, I guess it can't hurt to brush up on a little reading.  It's supposed to start raining tomorrow, that will likely cut into my riding time, but as I keep trying to remind myself - there is no time clock here.  I just need to keep at it.  Like that tiny trickle of water that over time will carve a crevice through the rock...

be like the water.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rock Stars and Courage

Remember to breathe.  Important stuff when trying to relax.  In case you're wondering, this is filed under my mental, "notes to self".  My list is getting quite long these days.  But it sure helps.  

"Whistle, grin and ride".  Something Ray used to say.  A lot.  It's why I ride.  I feel more pure and simple joy when in the saddle than at any other time.  I can't whistle, but I sometimes sing and I'm real good at grinning.

I've ridden Eagle twice this week.  First time, we spent the majority of our time doing groundwork, catching up and getting rid of my third thumb.  *sigh*  Remember that old saying?  "If ya don't use it, you lose it".  True enough.

I haven't done anything except for caretaking and some grooming since last summer, and it's showing.  For the first few times, I feel like a total newbie.  Like I've never done this before and I'm all thumbs.  Then it starts to come back to me, slowly at first, and then it's like riding a bike.  I just go with the flow, it comes naturally and it feels so good.

Eagle, of course, has been a perfect gentleman.  *sigh*  Dear God, how I love that horse.  I often wonder to myself, what did I ever do to deserve such a horse?  He is just wonderful.

So, getting a little ahead of myself.  A week ago yesterday, May 3rd, Jessica came out to meet my horse.  We decided not to waste the beautiful evening and got to work.  We did some groundwork, saddled him up and Jessica rode him.  Beautifully, I might add.  I was just a tad jealous.  Well, if I'm truthful, I was completely enchanted with watching how beautifully she had my boy going.  Amazing what a little confidence can do.  Or a lot.  Just makes me sad that I struggle with my own abilities so much these days.  Honestly, it breaks my heart.  I sometimes think that I'll never get back to where I used to be.  You know, completely at ease, and feeling more at home than at any other place I could possibly be?  Yeah.  That's how I used to be.  My favorite spot in the whole, wide world was on my horse's back.  Out in the woods, feeling so free.  And peaceful.  Joyful beyond explanation.

But, if you've been reading for any amount of time, you know that these days I struggle.  I have to work so hard at my confidence, my abilities and my level of comfort on my horse.  I've not suffered any wrecks, have no concrete reason to feel fear.  But it is fear that I feel.  It can be crippling on some days, but I'm not about to let myself be overcome.  I will survive.

And more than that, I want to triumph over my fear.  I choose to acknowledge my fear, give it its' due, but then put it down, and mount up anyway.  I try to quiet my mind, squelch my thoughts and breathe.  Sometimes I pray, sometimes I sing.  Sometimes both.  I've been known to cry.  But, I have absolutely no plans of quitting.  I want this, so I am willing to work at it.

So far, Jessica seems to be a good fit for me.  She has the skills and the experience no doubt.  But more importantly, she seems to understand and be willing to work with me, at any necessary level and speed, to bring back my level of comfort and revive my confidence in myself, and help me convince my horse that I am capable of taking care of him.  That is my goal.

True partnership.  True harmony.  I do not believe in overpowering the horse, or manipulating him into doing what I want him to do, by any means at my disposal.  Absolutely not.  If that were my only choice, I'd never ride again.  What I want is to see my horse as my equal, have respect for him and his emotions, his likes and dislikes, and yes, give him permission to feel his own fears.  Show him that there will never be any punishment, no pain, no retaliation for any of his expressions, whatever they may be.  Some things he could choose to do are unacceptable to me, of course.  But I want him, to want to take care of me, just like I want to take care of him.  It's the only way.  For me, it is truly, the only way.

So.  First ride was short and sweet.  I won't lie, I was timid and nervous.  But I got on, walked around for a short while, did some flexing and then just sat there and enjoyed being on my horse's back.  I stroked his big, beautiful neck, ran my fingers through his mane and talked softly to him, told him how very amazing he was and what a gift I thought him to be.  And after he let out a big, old sigh and started licking his lips and chewing, I got off.  I felt good and so did he.  It had been a good start, and was a perfect place to stop.

Last night, I did some groundwork while Jessica watched, then she mounted up and got Eagle good and warmed up for me, and then it was my turn.  Again, I was a bit nervous.  Not like the previous time, but still uneasy.  I rode at the walk and the trot, did some flexing, some backing, some cross overs in the front and a lot of changing directions and practiced our one-rein stop.  That is my go-to emergency button so it needs to be smooth as silk and as common to each of us as eating our breakfast, or breathing.  Yes, I believe it's that important.  If you don't practice it perfectly, you won't ever achieve a perfect one-rein stop.  Bottom line - it won't be there when you need it.  Notice I said when, not if.  Because if you ride enough, you will need it at some point.  Harley had the one-rein stop better than any other horse I've ever ridden, and it saved my butt more than once.  It worked like a charm.  That's how common and reliable I want it to be for Eagle.  Harley wasn't a small horse, in fact he was a good inch taller, but he doesn't feel half as strong as Eagle does.  Eagle is a powerhouse and having lived in the wild, his self-preservation runs deeper.  I have the ultimate respect for that.  I need to for both our sakes.

So, long story short.  By the time I finished up with my ride, I felt good.  I felt relaxed on my horse.  And Eagle?  He was like butter warmed by the evening sun...I couldn't have wished for more.

I can't wait to try it again.  I'm a softer rider than Jessica.  She's not aggressive, but she is more assertive than I am.  That's not a bad thing, we're just different.  I need to be a little more assertive for now, but in between lessons I'll be working on softness, lots of flexing, directing the feet, backing, getting that "soft feel" whenever I ask for it, and yes, that ever-important one-rein stop.

And, at the core of it all, maybe the most important element of all.  I will give my horse the time that it takes for him to learn what I'd like, the luxury of not understanding, or even making mistakes without fear of punishment.  Isn't that how we all learn, how we all learned?  Rome wasn't built in a day.  And my favorite horseman of all time used to say, "the slower you go, the faster you'll get there".   The clinician that I'll be riding with this June, Joe Wolter says to, "give him time to soak". Important stuff, that.

It feels so good to be riding again!  I just can't explain how good.  So, although I'm just in the round pen for now, I'm looking ahead to moving into the corral, and even beyond to those glorious mountain trails.  Jessica has already offered to bring her trailer and one of her horses, so we can go ride the trails.  When I'm ready, no pressure...but I can't wait.  She even offered to ride Eagle, and let me ride a more experienced, well-seasoned trail horse and if I want to switch, we can.  I think we're going to get along just fine.  I'm looking forward to more.

Courage was my chosen word for this year.  And yes, this is exactly what I had in mind when that word came to me.  My horse and my riding.  Courage.  Stepping outside that comfort zone even though fear is my riding partner.

My faith is bigger than my fear...

and it sure doesn't hurt to have the most amazing horse in the world.  Seriously!!  He blows my mind with all that heart, all that try.  The willingness to please and be accepted and feel safe.  So humbling for me to think about what an awesome responsibility I have to protect and take care of this horse.

And what a pleasure it is.

The Rockstar

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring flingings

Our weather has been all over the place!  Since last we spoke, we've had yet another heat wave. Summer, for the second time this season has showed her face.  And what a showing it was - worrisomely hot!  (yes, it's a word - I googled it)  :)  And for the second time now in recent weeks, I'm lamenting that, hopefully; this isn't a precursor for things to come.  Last year was such a long, dry, hot summer that I was ready for its' end long before it finally finished.   Add that plus an unusually mild and very wet winter, you know what that means.  Bugs.  Lots of bugs!  *sigh*  Oh well, nothing I can do about it.

Now we're having colder than normal temps, cool breezes and rain showers interspersed with glorious sun breaks.  Now that's the kind of spring that I enjoy.  Flowers everywhere, birds singing and doing bird things all over the place, horses shedding and yes, even a fire in the wood stove the last couple of days.  Felt delicious!  I even cooked a pot of cabbage/vegetable soup and hot bread on that fire.  So good!

And yesterday, in my domestic bliss, I baked traditional English Scones.  Oh my!  Such a treat.  To truly enjoy an English scone, they must be sliced in half while warm, and one side generously buttered.  On the other side, you slather on un-sweetened whipped cream or just lovingly pour half & half until it's lightly soaked, top with fresh berries, applesauce or whatever you prefer, put back together like a sandwich, topped with a bit more fruit, a little of the juice and more cream - and there you go!  Yummy deliciousness best served with hot tea (or coffee).  Just a lightly sweetened, slightly more flaky version of American bisquits.  It just doesn't get any better than this.  Unless it's pie. Either way, give it a go!

Oh, and I did get my new car!!!  I am totally loving it!!  I had truly forgotten how luxurious driving can be when you're comfortable, and there are little delightful surprises at your finger tips (or under your bum).  Now there's no question in my mind.  It was definitely time for an upgrade.  Granny has served us well, but she's ready for retirement.  Later alligator!  We have plans to get the old girl all cleaned up and sell it at our earliest convenience.  Hoping it'll provide someone else with inexpensive and reliable transportation for years to come.  So.  My new ride isn't really new at all.  It's 11 years old in fact, an '05 Lexus RX330 with 65,000 miles.  But whoever owned this car took really good care of it.  Aside from a couple of tiny imperfections in the paint, and a scratch in the back center bumper, it's like new.  Nice.  Comfortable.  And drives nice too.  I got all the little bells and whistles that I'd hoped for, like leather, heated seats, great stereo, moon roof, navigation, blue tooth..and probably a whole bunch of things I have no idea how to use.  Yet.  :)  Sure isn't taking me long to adjust though.  Not at all!

Flint Gray Mica / Light Gray 2005 Lexus RX 330 AWD Thundercloud Edition
Not my car, but this is what it looks like - love it!!

I seem to remember casually mentioning that we'd taken our truck into the shop for a water leak repair.  Well.  A simple water leak repair it's not.  *sigh*  This has got to be at least 3 things in a row!  Couldn't afford to buy a new truck, and wasn't willing to replace it with something we could readily afford but would likely have problems of its', fix it we must!  Around our place, we need a truck.  And with our good old truck, we know what we have.  But really?  We were really hoping not to have to dump all our cash reserves into more auto repairs, but easy come - easy go!  Whoever said that should be horse whipped.  It certainly isn't so easy to come by, but it sure goes "poof" all gone in the blink of an eye!  I could have cried, then my mind went in all the directions we could have gone, and came up with the only plausible solution.  Write the check.  And when that doesn't cover it - hand over the handy dandy old credit card.  I'll pay off the balance of the repairs when we get our tax return back, but pretty much all of that was earmarked for next winters' hay supply, but we'll still have over half the $$ needed for that, and we'll have a little time to start saving again.  We're fortunate that either, or both of our hay guys will let us pay over time if we need to.  Thank God for all those day-to-day blessings He sends our way.  And make no mistake, after the initial shock; I was SO grateful that we can pay for the repairs.  Our truck will be back on the road again in no time, and it should run reliably for a good, long time to come.  *please?*  But...vacation plans for this summer?  HA!!!  That's going to take some seriously creative thought there.  Oh well, we will have a vacation, or maybe a "staycation", but time off from outside job responsibilities will prevail.  That is so important.

Guess we could always take advantage of time off from work to accomplish some worthwhile projects at home, around the yard, rework on our deck, gardening, horse/rider improvements...the list goes on and on.  I don't understand boredom.  Not these days anyway, maybe once years ago, in a galaxy far, far away...around our house as a kid, one learned very quickly NEVER to admit to being bored!  And if you did mistakenly say the dastardly word - you ran swiftly.  And far!!  Know what I'm sayin'?  Yeah.  Mommas can get real creative too.  When the need arises.

How things change.

Can I get an Amen?  :)

Oh, almost forgot to mention the dentist.  I begin my dental work this week, just a few needed repairs there and my teeth will be good as new.  Cha-ching!  Dental work is not cheap, but necessary from time to time.  I've got a Care Credit card and will be able to make monthly payments for a year if I need to, with no interest charges.  But when, oh when do we get to spend some of our money on something far more enjoyable than maintenance, repairs and "have to's"???  You ever ask yourself that question too???  Sometimes I'm afraid to ask the question for fear of what my answer might be.

For me, the key to happiness is to always, under any and all circumstances, count thy blessings.  Of this, I am filled with the utmost of confidence.  Have you found this to be the truth as well?  Not so much?  If not, then how do you handle life's ups and downs, twists and turns?  All those unforeseen little surprises that continually cross your path???

Do tell...

And when in doubt, go to the beach.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

...some days you're the bug

Lately, I've been the bug.  Or that's how it feels anyway.  *sigh*

You all probably remember that just last week I was all perky and happy-faced about, well just about everything I guess.  Nothing lasts forever right?

Since last week, we still have no new car.  We did it by the books, their books anyway.  We reserved the car we were interested in and waited until Sunday afternoon when we'd also made an appointment to fully check out and drive the car.  At this dealership, it's pretty hard to find a good car that's not already been purchased, or is on reserve.  When they're reserved, most people seem to buy them. They sell very quickly, but you retain the right of first refusal.  So, that's what we did.  Safe bet the car would be there, right?  You would think.

When we arrived, they couldn't find the car.  Not a good sign.  After waiting and looking for almost an hour, the computers were checked and apparently the car had sold the very day after I'd put the reserve on it.  When I overheard the sales lady exclaim from the office, "how does this happen!?" - I knew it wasn't good.  Apparently, it's never happened before.  And the key was hanging right where it was supposed to be.  Hmmmm...

I was so disappointed!  My hubby was mad!  He gave them a piece of his mind which did absolutely no good whatsoever, because the car remained - gone.  Que-sa-ra...apparently wasn't meant to be. That's what I kept telling myself.  Since then, I've moved on and realized that's probably true. It's how I choose to look at most things that happen, if they're meant to be, it will happen.  Don't sweat the small stuff and all that.  Still.

So, the search goes on.  I'm convinced that if we're supposed to buy a newer car right away, the right one will turn up, and everything will work out.  If not, granny will continue to get us where we need to go.  Just not in quite the style I'd become accustomed to - if only in my mind anyway.  I've mentioned before that I have a very vivid imagination, have I not???  :)

The other dastardly deed that took place was worse.  Much worse.  I looked down at my hand the other day and realized that the largest of the 3 diamonds in my wedding ring was gone.  Just gone.  I had been just about everywhere throughout the course of my day, and it wasn't even considered to look for it.  The pretty rock was just gone.  No sense crying over spilled milk, or lost diamonds. Pretty baubles come and go, and this one will turn up (miraculously) if it's meant to.  Again.  It's happened to me many times before.  I lose an earring, or a watch, whatever.  Gone.  Next day or next month - I look down in the driveway, or in the barn aisle, and there it is.  Just like that!  So, I choose to put it out of my mind and forge ahead.  In the grand scheme of things, it's small potatoes.   But still.

Our farrier appointment last Monday evening went absolutely great! All the ponies got their pedi's and not a single soft-step from a single one.  And we've been watching Ladde like a hawk.  We are so grateful for that!  Cars and baubles don't even compare to that.  Troy has been ever so cautious with Ladde's trims, doing a front set one time, and the back hooves the next.  It's working, so we're inclined to stick with it.  Troy comes by every 8 weeks for the herd, and then every 4 weeks for Ladde.  He's doing so well, that we're hopeful about riding him before too long.  We will probably put some shoes on his fronts, just to give him that added measure of protection.  :)

I left a message on the "trainer-to-be" gal's phone yesterday, and am just waiting to hear back from her.  One of our clients here at work told me about her.  He and his wife have been taking lessons for a couple of months with her and are very pleased with the results, and with her overall style and way of working with their horses.  She lives very close to me - within a few miles - which would be so convenient.  Again.  If it's meant to be, things will work out.  My mantra in life.  "Worry about nothing, pray about everything".  I do my best.  I sent my check off yesterday for half of the fee for the clinic on June 30th, so I'm committed.  *gulp*  I need to get in some saddle time before then. Absolutely!  Have I mentioned that I haven't been on my horse since, oh last fall - early fall - sometime?  Well, it's true.  Sad huh?

Summer arrived here yesterday!  It's hot and beautiful, but whoa to us if this is what we're in for.  I'm hoping it normalizes and we get to enjoy spring weather for a while, before the summer heat is upon us.  It was almost 80 yesterday and it's 85 today.  Another warm one forecast for tomorrow and then things are supposed to cool down a bit for the weekend.  Still unusually warm for this early in spring, but not like the heat of today.  We're not expected to have any more showers until maybe on Wednesday.  At this rate, we'll be having another early hay crop this year.  Just seems like everything is on hyper mode lately to me.  I would appreciate everything just slowing down a little bit.  I want time to stop and smell the roses!  *sigh*  Surely, I'm not the only one who feels like this, am I?

We don't have any grand plans for this coming weekend, but I'd surely like to get out and do something enjoyable.  We haven't done much of anything lately but work.  Go to work and work around home.  Boring!!!  The weather is cooperating, the truck will be in the shop for a water leak repair - likely a water pump replacement, but hopefully nothing too expensive.  And, we're dog sitting for the boss's family, so our choices might be a bit limited, but I'm hopeful we can figure something out that would be outside in the sunshine, in the fresh air and getting some exercise...maybe a hike somewhere, followed by lunch or dinner?  We'll see...I'll bet a trip to the beach might be enjoyed by all.  Whatever it is, I am looking forward to a nice weekend of not working.

Hoping my bad luck is over for a while.  My granny used to say that bad things ran in threes...hoping she was wrong on that one.  *wink*

Blessings all!  Until next time...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Glory days

Oh my, spring has finally arrived and in all her glory!  This week has been, and continues to be ah-mazing and warm and just about perfect.

My goodness, how good it feels to turn my face upwards and feel the warmth of the has been way too long my friend.  So.  The dogs and I have (finally) resumed our walks in the park.  It's still a bit muddy and mushy in some places, but nothing we can't manage.  The dogs are loving it.  I am loving it.  Life is good.

The horses are shedding like mad.  Blankets are dismissed, thrown aside for the season and seriously, I think they can stand up on their own they're so dirty and smelly.  I must make sending them to the cleaning lady a priority so they lay ready and waiting until next year.  I always love getting that done and then I can totally forget about them until we pull them out of storage all freshly laundered and folded.  One less thing to remember later.  Trust me.  I need all the help I can get.

So, it's not a sure thing yet, but I just might be getting a new car.  *squee!!*  I've been driving my mom's old car for 10ish years now and although she's been a good and reliable car, she's a bit lacking. We've put a good bit of money into repairs of this and that over the last couple of years, and now my power steering fluid needs to be refilled weekly.  I fear to ask, what next?  Charlotte has destroyed the back seat and it will forever smell like the "doggy mobile".  My fault, I know.  Most people don't haul their dogs just about everywhere they go.  *sigh*  I'm certainly not complaining.  I felt blessed to get mom's car and have no payments and practically nothing in repairs until lately, and just drive it.  I've gotten spoiled in that regard.  Our truck too, has been paid for about 13 years now as well.  You can't say we don't get our money out of our vehicles - ha! In that time we've worked very diligently at reducing our overall debt.  And that feels so good!  But we would really like a car that is a bit nicer and has a few cushy options for a change.  We're not getting any younger and feel like we've earned a few perks from our automobiles.  Well, at least one anyway.  I can't say we're ready to go truck shopping anytime soon.

Heated seats.  Oh my!  I really, really, really have been hoping for heated seats for a long time now.  It feels sooooo good on my bum and especially my lower back.  Pure luxury!!  A sunroof with 1-button opening, leather, real wood trim...a stereo that actually works!  Be still my heart!!!  I can even listen to my CD's or my online playlist.  Good grief, you'd think I've been living in the dark ages, right?

It's not a for-sure thing yet, but as my dear old granny used to say - "pert near".  :)  I'm going to take it for a spin and a final inspection this Sunday...

I feel like a little girl waiting for Christmas or something.

Nothing newsworthy to report on the Eagle front yet.  I hope to observe my chosen trainer gal at work real soon.  She does lessons at a nearby barn Sunday mornings, and that would be perfect for me as well.  We'll see.  This weekend is already pretty full, so maybe next.

Ladde continues to improve.  His lowered weight is holding and other than still being quite hairy, is looking really good.  We have another appointment with the trimmer this coming Monday and I'm hoping that Troy cuts his toes back getting rid of some of the "seedy toe" that's developed recently.  I actually watched him trot across the pasture last night and he looked sound.  So thankful for that!  I'm starting to think that we'll be riding the Laddmonster this summer after all.  Nothing short of miraculous considering where he's come from.  I thank the Lord for it all, including giving us the energy and tenacity to persevere through all the painstaking nights of it all.  The new growth on his feet measures about 2-1/2 to 3" now, and looks healthy and tight.  God willing, this time next year it will be nothing but a memory.  Our big, bold and beautiful boy just turned 20 years old last Sunday and we're hoping to have him around for many, many more healthy, happy years to come!  What a wonderful journey it's been with this amazing horse so far!

Harley's 19th birthday is coming up on April, I can hardly believe how the years have flown by.  We choose to celebrate with healthy treats these days, instead of the carrot cake of years past.  We're all getting older and must watch what we eat a little more carefully, don't ya know? Harley is healthy, content and still the horse who will forever be hard to wake up in the mornings.

Kadie is doing amazingly well.  32 years young in May and still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  She pretty much gets whatever she wants, diet-wise and anything else.  :)  She's earned that I think!

Shad continues to be the most playful and joyous horse we've ever had.  He tries, many times in vain, to stir the pot, and incite playful activity with his herdmates.  Occasionally, one or more will jump in and play with the goofball.  These are the times Shad lives for!  He just loves to play...and run...and buck...and shake that long, red mane of his!  And he is magnificent when he's in his glory.  I do believe he missed his calling as a beautiful and lofty dressage mount.  Oh well, life is perfect for no one but
Shad's life has come pretty darn close.  He is happy, and that's what matters.

Missy is our sassy little redhead.  She's feisty and determined and fierce.  She and Ladde remain "happily married", for the most part.  And despite having navicular disease, she's an overcomer and
enjoys life to the fullest.  What more could I ask?

And what can I say about Eagle?  He is a heartthrob - nothing less.  He continues to use his beautiful deep, dark brown eyes and adorable facial expressions and quiet nicker to enchant and woo all those who come within his presence.  He is a master and I'm a goner.  I absolutely am in love with this horse.  Well, truly I love each and every one, because each in their own unique way are beautiful, and we treasure our time with them.  Our lives are forever enriched by having spent time with them.  I exaggerate not.  We are rich, indeed.

We spent Easter afternoon with my family.  Dinner, conversation and time.  It was nice.  The sun shined, children played and I was reminded, once again, at the inevitable passing of time.  The circle of life.  After all this time, I am finally learning to stop the expectations and enjoy life for what it is.  Unexpected, and each day unfolding like a wonderful, new gift.  For truly, that's what it is.  Oh, if only I'd figured these things out while in my youth.  Que sa ra...

Life just is.  It unravels moment by moment and we never know what is to come.  Just relax, enjoy the ride and revel in the anticipation of new days ahead.  I'm still learning to appreciate the now.  The moment by moment lessons, blessings, disappointments and everything else that's involved.  Life can be messy, joyous, horrendous, sad - it's all part of the plan.

I read this the other day and it just resonated with me - "Whenever I think there's a problem, I decide there isn't one."  It's just life.

I love that.

Blessings everyone, and until next time...
Lorie @ Cingspots

Monday, March 14, 2016


It is always such fun to look forward to coming events.  Hoping for longer daylight hours, sunnier skies and drier weather has me looking forward and anticipating our spring and summer.  Oh, it will be so wonderful having warmth and sunshine back in our world!  I've done alright again this winter with my SADS, but I have to admit that I've grown weary of all the rain we're having.  And did we get it this past week in spades!  Don't ask me for measurements, but trust me when I say that it has been record-breaking wet!  

So done with it.  *sigh*  I'm not ready for hot weather where I lose all ambition and just want to lounge in the pool - no, not that yet - but mild, beautiful, warm spring.  I am ready to start riding again.  I haven't been on my horse since last fall.  Seriously, hate that I'm never able to keep up even a light riding schedule through the winter months, but I just don't seem to be able to do it.  Oh well, no sense beating myself up about it.  But I am gearing up and hoping this is the year when I really get going on Eags.  

Remember back in early January I decided on a chosen word for this year?  I chose courage, and elaborated by adding - "if not now, when?"  Well, up until now I really haven't had much opportunity to put that idea into action.  But that's going to change.  I've entered Eagle and I in a clinic with Joe Wolter the end of June.  There are only 5 riders total, and that will make for a very intimate riding experience with a wonderful clinician.  I've never ridden with Joe, but I did audit one of his clinics years ago.  I've always wanted the chance to ride, and I got it.  We've got some prep work to do before then, and I've got a plan of action that I'm hoping to get started on real soon.  I haven't got everything sorted out yet, but I may have found someone to start taking some lessons from, and only a couple of miles from home.  That would be a great opportunity for Eagle and me to improve our skills, conditioning and especially our relationship.  He trusts me and I know he feels good when he's with me.  Now, I need to feel that good when I ride him.  It's a mental thing with me.  That's where the lessons should help, a lot.  Courage...bring it on.

Anyway, that's my plan and by golly, I'm stickin' to it!

Is anyone else heartbroken that Downton Abbey is finished?  Oh my word, I hate that the show is over!  Quitting while you're on top is seriously overrated...*sniff* That was the thing I always looked forward to watching Sunday evening, the only thing.  Television these days is pathetically bad.  If you have a favorite series that you just wouldn't want to miss - please help me out.  Tell me, and maybe I can buy the series on DVD or something...I need my veg-out tele time!!  :)