Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hello February

Hello February. 
You're looking a little drab this morning, but welcome. 
Your job is to get us one month closer to Spring. 

Gray Mare on a Gray Morning
January recap:
  •  I prefer to ring in the New Year in my sleep, waking early and refreshed on January 1st, relieved to have the stress of the holidays behind me, and hopeful for a better year ahead. That's just what I did.
  • My dressage instructor encourages us to have a positive mantra to say or think at the beginning of every ride.  It can be as simple as "I love my horse."  Any positive thought that connects us with our wonderful mount. Now, whenever I settle into the saddle, I take a deep breath, let it out slowly, give Misty a rub on her neck and say, "Go Team Misty."
  • January was pretty cold and snowy, but Team Misty squeezed in a few productive dressage lessons. We are still taking it slow, literally.  We are in  "...walk detention..." while my injuries continue to heal and I get my balance, rhythm, and confidence back. I'm still in chronic pain, but I perceive my aches to be lessening ever so slightly.  I haven't used my cane much in the last few weeks and last time I saddled Misty, I was actually able to lift my western saddle onto her back in one motion, instead of getting it 3/4 of the way up her side and having to push it onto her back.
  • It is difficult to ride in the winter.  I have not been on the trail since my July 2014 fall (broken left elbow, frozen left shoulder, badly injured right knee), but I hope to enjoy some short trail rides in April or May.  I have trail riding plans for the summer, but my priorities are western dressage first, trail riding second.  Therefore, I've increased my dressage lessons to twice a week, which means, if I'm lucky, I get to ride once a week when the weather and my work schedule cooperate.
  • I attended a western dressage horseless clinic on the last day of January.  A lot of good information was shared.  I'm enthused.  We pretended to ride our horses in a tiny dressage arena inside the lecture hall. We were instructed to use our corners, ride with correct posture, turn properly with our shoulders and waist while we rode a mini circle.  Surprisingly, I could really feel it in my core.  My horse was a little lame.  I had to lie down and ice my knee when I got home.  But I like my local western dressage group; they are good peeps.  They are all about community, encouragement, and honoring the horse.  I look forward to associating with this organization.
Good things are happening.  The daylight is lengthening.  I'm looking forward to more ride time.  Oh, and the minis, Lyra and Lola, are still beloved members of our herd. They just didn't want to leave their breakfast in the barn for a photo op.