14 February 2013

Off path- again

Off the beaten path, again....

Nothing to do with my list but then maybe the whole impetus for my list.

Last week for the first time in five months I rode my horse. His name is Picasso. He's a paint, of course.

 Picasso- the view from above.
Beautiful mane, isn't it?

My fall was a shambles (see why here) and once the holidays roll around, I'm toast. In our family we have a Thanksgiving birthday, mine two weeks later, Christmas 11 days later, New Years, another birthday two weeks after that and then ANOTHER birthday 13 days later. Nothing beyond the minimum happens between November 27 and January 26 in this house.

So my horse has been ignored. Fortunately he has a barn mama that loves on him daily.

Fabulous, amazing barn mama. She treats my horse
as if he is hers. Which is very, very good.

But the horse is what got me to realizing that age has nothing to do with anything.

I had ridden some when I was little but my "mean" parents never believed me when I said I HAD to have a horse. So, of course, I got my girls riding as soon as I could. Watching them ride eventually led to my taking riding lessons again.

When I was 49 I learned how to jump a horse for the very first time.
It was like flying.  Total freedom from gravity.
And it was something I never in a million years imagined I would be able to do.

The only picture I have of me going over a jump.
Not so great form, not much of a jump. 
But the first time was exhilarating.

For my 50th birthday I got a new saddle and 11 days later on Christmas my husband gave me and the girls a horse. Well, he said "Go find a horse for us".  He thought (hoped) this would be a long, drawn out process. Imagine his surprise when we found a horse and had it in our hands by January 26th.

The first time we met. A bit chubby and
WHAT happened to his tail?

Since then the girls have taken up soccer but I have continued to ride. Weekly for the most part. The summers have gotten a bit hot for me but otherwise I have been pretty faithful.

Last spring I realized that no matter how much I worked with him, my horse was never going to be the horse to jump.  He's sweet. He's bombproof. He's a doll. I love him dearly. But he isn't built for lots of jumping.  If he jumps, he needs a chiropractor.

Bombproof. While I was taking this picture, a tree fell.
All the other horses ran like chickens with their heads cut off.
This horse never raised his head.

This realization made me VERY sad.

So I had been separating with him a bit thinking he needs a new home maybe. But he's a pet to me at this point, too.  The thought of selling him/ giving him away makes me cry.

And then after 5 months of not riding I realized the real reason I need to keep this horse.

He keeps me in shape.
He keeps me sane.
He is my gym and my therapy all rolled into one.
And he makes me realize I can do anything.

I knew this. But I had forgotten.

So, in a round about way, thanks to Picasso, I have this blog.  When I was 49 and realized I could learn to jump, I also realized I could probably do anything I set my mind to.

And I realized if, at 49 or 50,  I could learn how to jump and learn how to give a horse meds and learn about worming and thrush and tacking up and bit sizes and the difference between all the saddles and pads and boots- then what else could I learn?

So I made myself a promise that every year I would learn something new. Or try something new.
Stretch myself a bit.

Since then:
I've taken surfing lessons.
Bought a house in another state and learned a lot about long distance remodeling.
Learned a new computer system and new programs.
Become gainfully employed after 20 years of not getting a paycheck.
Driving in the snow-I can handle it.
Driving in the mountains-LOVE it.
Driving in the snow in the mountains- learned to avoid it as much as possible.
Puppy training. A lesson learned, forgotten, and re-learned.
Teenagers.  That's a work in process but I am trying to learn how to deal.

And there's so much more out there that I don't know about. Yet.

What have you learned or done that you never thought you would?

Yes, after 5 months of not riding, I was incredibly sore the next day. And even more sore the day after. 
But I'm headed back to the arena for more. More sanity. More exercise.  

My barn is Sunrise Equestrian Center.  Shangri-La for horses.

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