Oh, Emily, that is so wonderful to hear. Guess what? I had an awesome ride, too! In the fog and the sunshine. And Z also offered me a couple of trots and canters where he carried the contact softly and evenly, and kept the same trot rythm, such that it made me look like one fine rider! We even jumped a 2 foot log! (after which he kind of bolted at an all out gallop up the hill a ways, and it took me a bit to slow him.) pretty hard on the bit, but I was being a bit easy since the trail was muddy. A barge like Z needs like a runway distance to come to a stop. We trotted all over the place and I just would kind of leave the rein loose, and "roll" him over from a walk into a trot and see how long he'd stay nice and easy/slow (not long), but I really tried to give him no contact when I could, and I think he really appreciated that. In any case, I just so know what you feel. Having a great ride makes me a better person!
That sounds like you had such a lovely time, Caroline! I also find it really interesting that, though we're separated by a few thousand miles, we seem to share A LOT of weather. It was foggy, frosty, cold, AND sunny here today too! Your photo, with the sun coming through the fog, is just like things I saw today on my ride. I love it.
And I always love pictures of the trails you ride - it looks like you get to ride through such an deciduous rainforest-y area. The trails, at the camp I worked at during the summer a few years ago, looked just like that - that sort of terrain holds a lot of sweet memories for me. :)
Thanks for sharing!!
Lacey was so happy today, didn't show any obvious -to me- signs of soreness from her ride yesterday.
The masseuse, in L's massage, found that one muscle, in her left stifle area, was unusually tight and her rear-end was tighter than usual, but otherwise Lace shows no adverse signs of being ridden.
She also behaved AMAZING for her massage. It was the best!
Also, random fun fact, I finally brushed Lacey's mane out for the first time since...October-ish. And guess what!!? Her mane, brushed out, hangs a solid 5 inches longer than her neck!! If you recall, I used to roach her mane off all the time and the last time was about 2 years ago...look at the old girl go! Haha
I feel like sweet old horses, the kind kids ride+love, should always have long drape-y manes. I don't know, that's just a weird opinion I've always had. SO, since Miss L is at that point in her life, she gets to have a long drape-y mane. :)
Also, on Christmas, I maaaaaay have splurged on a new set of clippers. Does it help that they were 30% off and therefore under $100?
However, they were needed - Hazel needs shearing twice a year and my current clippers aren't meant for that kind of intensity. Plus, the clippers I have aren't "normal" = new blades for them are next to impossible to find. And the blade they have in them currently is dulldulldull.
Anyway, I'm really excited for them to get here and for it to be March+shearing time for Haze. I'm probably not going to play with them before then because you know me - I LOVE clipping things and if I started playing with them, Lacey would likely end up with an unplanned body clip.
I should get a poodle. Too bad poodles are on my list of "never never never" dogs. All shaved dogs really...not a fan of petting that action.
In other news, on Christmas my parents gave me THE FANCIEST sewing machine EVVVVVVVER. It has buttons instead of knobs. It's electronic. I don't even know how to thread it. Nor could I figure out how to thread it. It seriously comes with a free CLASS to teach me how to use it that I have to take before using it. It's THAT fancy.
I'm a little terrified. I mean, honestly, I don't even understand the INTERNET. I can't figure out how to "poke" people back on Facebook. My Iphone has me stymied. I'm basically a 23 year old person who has missed the entire technology train.
Anyway, I'm really excited to take that class and get sewing. I have a pair of pajama pants that I've been wanting to make and, since I've made pajama pants multiple times, I feel like that'll be good first project - better to do a project I understand on a machine I don't get, than a project I don't understand on a machine I don't get!!
Thoughts needed: would it be "bad" to try riding Lacey more...just to see if she can handle a heavier workload?
She IS going to be 29 in February...but we both just enjoyed that ride on Thursday so much... Of course, I'm thinking mostly walking, maybe a little cantering [her preferred gait], 45 minute rides at the most. Nothing really intense-intense, no goal other than having fun, and obviously not pushing her to ride more often than she seems comfy.
That front leg of hers DOES have arthritis in it and I really want her to be sound in her later years...but I'm just not over how much joy she had during our ride on Thursday. She was practically radiating joy.
Maybe it would be good to try one ride a week, see where that takes us. They do say that regular exercise is good for arthritis!
Gah, old horse problems. Haha
Also, in other news, I found a saddle pad while thrifting today! A nearly new Weaver "Tacky-Tack" pad Weaver Leather, LLCTacky-Tack All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad
AND IT WAS $9!!! Just about 10% of it's original cost. WHAT??!
It's a little dirty but nothing a solid pressure washing won't fix.
First those saddlebags, now this pad..who decided to get out of horses? Haha
I feel so blessed! Lacey's going to love it. I've wanted a pad like that for years but never felt comfortable spending THAT MUCH money "just to see if something works better than the cheap option".
I've seriously never found horse stuff while thrifting ever before - I don't live in a horsey town/area...but oh my gosh, OK.
In other news, Gman and I had anotherrrr big talk today. It was really good. This time he initiated it and I'm really glad he did.
Basically it was about how he was worried that "I'm beating myself up too much trying to be his perfect friend and that he wants me to to be me and not worry so much about saying the right thing all the time." And that he was worried that the amount of texting/facebooking we're doing is unhealthy when it isn't combined with a solid amount of in-person time.
He's so right, AND him bringing that up brought up quite a few other things that needed to be said.
Basically it was all around really good. Painful to hear but good. I had been thinking similar things, honestly, but I didn't know how to bring it up without seeming like it might have something to do with the stuff he told me about himself last week.
I'm of the "love people no matter what orientation/gender/religion because everyone has DEEP worth" school-of-thought..but we had never talked about "that" stuff, anything about that stuff, before "this" and I really didn't want it to seem like I was maybe pulling away due to what I had learned about him.
I was, as many "Christians" are today [I prefer "Christ-follower" for myself - I disagree with a lot of what current "Christian" thinking tends toward. I believe in the teachings of Christ and try to follow his true example...most of which involves peacefully loving the hard to love], raised in a household that believes that, if you're gay/whatever, you must have "chosen" to be that way and that you can somehow be "fixed" through logic. And I disagree with that. Well, I mentally knew I disagreed with that but wasn't sure of precisely why...until Gman told me. And I KNOW, 100%, that he would not have, if he had any kind of "choice" in the matter, chosen the hardest route possible. I know him, he adores kids more than anything in the world and that's realllly what seals it for me - there's absolutely no way he would have chosen to never have blood-related kids of his own, if he had any kind of choice.
Therefore, for me, there's no longer any kind of possibility that it's a choice.
Anywhooo, got a bit sidetracked over here! Haha
Basically, I'm glad HE brought it up.
Man, that kid. Our friendship just makes me half want to barf. In a good way. In a "wait, HOW did this happen and why am I so 'special' that I get to be part of it??"-way.
I've never had someone really truly care about me, like this, before. Sure, my family has always cared for my physical needs...but emotionally it was a wasteland growing up. I love my family, for sure, but emotions are kindddd of important too.
HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY?
I reallllllly don't think I deserve half of the wonderful-ness I receive.
Why in heavens not? Putting yourself below others is a form of pride, not humility.
That sounds so very harsh, but what I meant is why would you ever question why someone would care about you, and share their "wonderfulness". You gotta know they get a lot out of it, too, and that's due to YOUR wonderfulness.
Regarding riding, I think it wouldn't hurt to try!! I ride my older, arthritic guy probably 1-3 times a week, mainly at a walk. Just the movement and trail riding keeps the body and mind engaged. I'm sure Lacey would really enjoy it. You know how much you can push her and when she can't handle it anymore.
Happy New Year, y'all! May this year be better than the last.
That's a good point, Caroline. I know that is definitely an area I struggle in - I have a hard time believing people WOULD want to be around me "just for my own wonderfulness...and I'm not sure how to get out of that cycle of thinking, you know?
Good points Amp! We went for a lower key ride yesterday and she LOVED it again so I think you're right!
In interesting life developments, a guy I recently met just invited me to go with him and "a group of church people" to the zoo tonight...
We've barely talked in person at all, certainly not to "invite level"-friendship... But OK...
In any case though, I told him I have plans tonight, thanked him for considering me, and asked him to "keep me updated on future hangouts".
It's one of those things that if I knew this guy really or knew who else would be there, I mighttt go..but since I know neither of those facts = yeah, no.
But OMG, Emily might have just gotten asked out....? That's literally never happened in my life. Actually, being personally invited by a gentleman to do anything, for any reason, has never happened.
He IS cute+funny+shy...but...yeah.
Also, curses of curses, he looks a lot like Gman. Not the same as Gman, less GQ model-ready...but a lot like Gman. Awwwkward. Plus side, I DO like gman's face. Even just on a purely aesthetic level. Oh dear. Poor new guy.
As I predicted - potential romance has presented itself. Nonetheless, you were wise to take the action you did as it is far better to be cautious until you know what you are getting into and you're no dummy that's for sure.
Hah, potential romance. We'll see. Hopefully he'll actually talk to me on Sunday at church. We're both greeters so we definitely see each other every week! Haha He seems really shy about talking to me in person...every week he's all "Hi Emily!!", I say hi back, and he basically runs away..but then starts cracking jokes to other people and looking at me to make sure I'm laughing. Haha It's sweet.
Hazel doesn't like to dress up. :( I put stuff on her and she RUNS away. Therefore, I avoid making her dress up because scaring her makes me sad.
However, she did wear a hat the other day!!
I thought it made her look like some kind of Christmas gangster.
But, in my rush to tell you guys about this whatever with "New Guy", I forgot to tell to you about Lacey's and my ride yesterday!
Basically we had a WONDERFUL time again. This time Lacey was even more excited about getting out - calm excited, but perfectly happy to leave the goats behind and head out of the pasture.
By the by, I've discovered that a way to keep the goats contained, while we ride, is to leave Atti clipped to his breakfast tie [he's tied up to eat in the morning, the rope is long enough that he can eat comfortably and lay down but not long enough that he could get into trouble], give Hazel and Atti some alfalfa, leave their pen shut -with them inside- like I do overnight, and just leave.
Last Fall, they had started regularly escaping the pasture to come after Lacey and I when we went for rides which was 1. Dangerous, and 2. VERY stressful for me=hard to enjoy the ride.
Anyway, so far everyone seems to really be functioning well with this new system and it's SO much less stressful than it was. It's even less stressful for the goats - before they would see Lacey's saddle come out and start making panicky baahs, then chase us up to the gate bawling and bawling. This way, there's maybe one little "baah?" and that's it.
I would like to one day be able to leave Atti untied in there when we leave..but he really could easily jump the fence if he wanted to, I think, and I would prefer that he not learn he can do that.
Anyway, we had a nice ride, I do need to discover where my crop went and reattach it to my saddle though..Lacey tends to get "sticky" when she doesn't want to go somewhere, then, if she's not quickly swatted with the crop, that stickiness turns into backing up which turns into rearing, etc. My leg just isn't generally enough to "convince" her when she's feeling sticky [well, right now it is because she thinks the next step is a crop tap...however, if I don't have the crop and she decides to test me..] so I have a crop on my saddle that I just kind of wave around to "motivate" her out of that behavior.
Over all, we had a nice little ride.
I asked her to canter again and, again, she gave me SUCH a nice little steady canter! We cantered for probably 5 minutes and she was rock steady with her speed+rhythm the wholeeee time. It was so so fun.
Cantering makes me nervous but with Lacey... Man, that horse is a gem. I was actually able to relax into the canter and just "be" with her while we flew.
It was so perfect!
I was sore when I hopped into the saddle and I'm sore now! I've ridden regularly for so long -until recently- that I haven't been sore in yearsss. But boy, can I fee my seat bones or can I feel my seat bones!! Haha
I love that horse.
Unlike myself, she wasn't sore, or even really tired, after our ride! We got home, I untacked her, turned her out, she rolled, lept up squealing, and went buck-cantering off to graze.
To think her 29th birthday is in 46 days. Hot diggity, woman!
She's going to be 30 SO SOON. I'm really looking forward to 30. I'm not sure why 30 is so important to me..I guess it seems like a huge milestone. I don't know, I might actually have a birthday party for her. She would love that - so much attention, ALL for her!