Thursday, May 24, 2012

Courage

It's been an emotional roller coaster the last couple of weeks.  I didn't realize how thinly spread out I was.   Apparently, I can't do everything for everyone.  :-)  On a particular bad day, I booked the afternoon off and my sister met me for lunch.  We sat out on a patio next to the river, drank really cold beer and talked.  It was wonderful.  She had a great analogy:   We are like wells; we start out full and eventually life starts to deplete our supply.  If we don't do things for ourselves to replenish the well, it runs dry.  She has 5 kids, so you can imagine how crazy her life is. She has to work a lot of overtime to help make ends meet.  But when she gets her nails done or goes on a day trip by herself or spends time with a girlfriend, she has no guilt.  These (very) few items are hers alone and they replenish her soul.  She reminded me how lucky I am to have Gem and if I didn't, the top of my head would have blown off long ago.  :-)

In spite of the crappiness I have been experiencing lately, I have been on a couple good of trail rides over the last couple of weekends and my last two lessons have been pretty good.  Both lessons were outside in the front paddock.  The weather was perfect on both occasions.  The barrels were set up because a number of people have been practicing for an upcoming Games competition.   Barrels are great at testing your balance and turning technique.  My lesson Tuesday before last had only myself and nervous classmate in attendance. Gem actually loves doing barrels and for a big guy, his turns are pretty close.  LA explained what the pattern was and Gem and I did it at a trot the first few times, working up to loping home.  After Gem got used to the pattern, LA encouraged us to do it at a lope.  And, we did!  It was great.  

As you know, Gem doesn't like loping small circles.  Head tossing is his usual way of showing me his displeasure with small circles.   This time I tried a different approach.  Instead of opening up the inside rein to bend Gem's nose around the barrel, I used a slight indirect rein as suggested by Glenshee.  Using this technique helped maintain my balance and helped Gem retain his.  And, no head tossing!  I believe that his resistance to doing small circles was because he was falling to the inside and loosing his balance. Thank you Glenshee and thank you Grey Horse Matters for pointing me in the right direction! 

Gem likes to go really, really fast going home when we do barrels.   Both LA and nervous classmate commented on how I am not bothered by speed.  Oh sure, I am brave when it's in a controlled environment.  ;-)  At the end of this lesson, LA said that I was "courageous".  Courageous?  Really?  LA explained that I wasn't afraid of much (obviously she has forgotten how she had to walk me around on Gem when I first got him because I was freaked out about his height!) and although I have resisted on occasion, I still gave whatever she asked me a try.  She was impressed with our performance and it left me with a smile on my face.


This week's lesson was pretty much a repeat of last week's.  Gem really tried and I smiled a lot.  I was with my other classmate this time, the one that everyone hates (in a good way!) because he is a natural.  This classmate was riding with a sore back and was still fantastic.  When he rides, his upper body doesn't move.  His balance is perfect.  He was loping around those barrels like nobody's business.  It was beautiful to watch.   Even LA said she hates him!  :-)   When he rides, he reminds me of Viggo (be still my heart) in Hidalgo.  Yes, he's that good.


 Jump to 3:15 if you want to see what I mean....... (spoiler alert for those that have not seen the movie!!!)  Lead changes after going around the barrels was on the agenda for this lesson.  Other than correcting my lead, I have little experience in this area.  Yikes!   Gem and I struggled with this.   Of course, my classmate did a couple of flying lead changes that were effortless.  Amazing.

 A parent of one of the young ladies, was watching this week's lesson.  He is a very experienced rider and has gone on many family cattle drives out west.  As Gem and I got more into the routine and he saw how hard we tried and how fast Gem and I loped coming home, he commented that perhaps I was on my way to becoming a real cowgirl.  Giddy up!    :-)

Gem replenishes me every time I see him.   Yes, he can sometimes be a pain in the arse, and yes, he can sometimes be a challenge.  But he's always good for my soul.  He makes me "courageous".   He has helped clear my head.  I am a bit of a control freak and I admit that it is hard for me to let go.  However, I have made some decisions over the last couple of weeks and have had the courage and strength to say "no" and to push back.  The twinge of guilt I initially felt has dissipated and is slowly being replaced with relief.  My well is starting to fill up again. :-)  Thank you, Gem!!  xoxo


25 comments:

  1. Nothing like sometime with a horse to clear your head and blow away life's stresses

    ReplyDelete
  2. I sympathize with you about having so much to do for everyone else. I'm sort of in the same boat. There are so many people that need me and I can't say no or I do feel guilty. There never seems to be enough time to do anything for myself (I guess I'll have some cheese with that whine). The bucket from the well is starting to come up with less and less water lately. My only regret is I don't get to spend enough time with my horses and only get to ride once or twice on the weekend. But it's better than nothing.

    So glad to hear you and Gem are having some good rides. Our horses really do make us feel better. What a great compliment from everyone about how courageous you are and what a wonderful rider. That's got to keep a smile on your face. The barrel exercises sound like a lot of fun.

    p.s. thanks for the mention that was very nice of you, have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally relate to what you are saying (I'll supply the cheese for your whine!) It's difficult and it will take some time to get used to it, but I really have to start pushing back more often. I am starting to realize that if you don't take care of yourself first, you eventually won't be in any shape to help anyone else. Like you, I only get to spend time with Gem a couple of times a week.....but I sure make those visits count. :-)

      Thanks again for your help. Hope you get some good face time with your horses this weekend!!

      Delete
  3. I completely understand about horses replenishing you and having to learn to take time for yourself. I still work on that. And also, Viggo in Hidalgo is hot, hot, hot. Nothing like a hot guy on a pony, who can actually ride to get a girl revved up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Viggo...... he gets my heart fluttering. He did that scene bareback....hot, hot, hot!! :-)

      Delete
  4. so glad it's working out for you! the indirect rein of opposition behind the wither is one of the most useful and important reins in riding - once you master that one you'll see your riding improve dramatically :-) it sounds like you're on your way - good luck with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am telling you, it was like an "OMG" moment. Thank you!!! When I think about it, I have been using direct and indirect reins, but I was unaware of the mechanics and when it should be used effectively. Your posts are very informative and easy to follow. Gem was trying to tell me something was wrong, and I just didn't understand him. I appreciate that you have helped open that door of communication.

      Delete
  5. It sounds like you have had a breakthrough of sorts with cantering in circles. That must feel really good! I noticed how upright Buck was when he rode. He has such presence on his horse.
    I do like your sister's analogy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a breakthrough! I will be practicing, practicing. Oh, yes....Buck. There's another one that looks hot on a horse. ;-) I think it's his (and Viggo's) quiet disposition that makes them even more attractive.

      Delete
  6. "She reminded me how lucky I am to have Gem and if I didn't, the top of my head would have blown off long ago." I absolutely love that! It's so true for me too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to hear from you, Terry! My sister was absolutely right....and I am glad she pointed it out to me.

      Delete
  7. Such a great post Wolfie! I loved it. Horses definitely help us replenish the well and teach us to be brave and believe in ourselves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marissa! I am glad that both my sister and LA pointed it out to me. Hey, what about doing an Equestrian Heartthrob post on Viggo and Buck.... ;-)

      Delete
  8. Yee-haa cowgirl!!! Love this post, Wolfie & {HUGS} for the crappy time you've been having. That's a brilliant analogy about replenishing the well, your sister is a clever lady :D

    Your lessons sound great, and I'm so pleased that LA has pointed out how well you're doing, and to have a stranger (the dad who's been on cattle drives) say it as well -- you go, girl!

    Viggo (yum! you has good taste ;o)) in Hidalgo *sigh* -- I have watched that film soooo many times ...

    You look after yourself and have a great weekend xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister is a clever lady, for sure. :-) Ah, Viggo....I have watched Hidalgo a ba-zillion times! xo

      Delete
  9. Cowgirl up! ;)

    My trainer always says you get the horse that you need. The challenges they provide help us address our particular issues and grow, even though it's a struggle sometimes. You and Gem are doing so well together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with your trainer. Funny, I went out with a girlfriend for some alcoholic beverages on Friday and she said that she believes Gem came into my life at the right time and for a reason. I believe that, too.

      Delete
  10. It sounds like Gem is a real treasure and communicates with you very well. And Viggo...well, who cannot (ahem) like Viggo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are getting there Detroit Dog! :-) Really.....who can't like Viggo!!

      Delete
  11. Good on you! Life throwing a lot at you, I can so relate to that at the moment. If I could lock my front gate and nobody could come in I would be one very happy girl!
    I am really happy that Gem fills your soul and helps replenish you. We definately need that at times!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hope things settle down for you soon, Nina!

      Delete
  12. You should give yourself more credit, that IS courage. I avoid horses with turns of speed because I am nervous despite my years in the saddle - or because of it? Who knows. I think you are finding your feet. Good for you Wolfie, stay strong my friend. x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Easily Boost Your ClickBank Banner Commissions And Traffic

    Bannerizer makes it easy for you to promote ClickBank products using banners, simply go to Bannerizer, and grab the banner codes for your chosen ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.

    ReplyDelete