As I’ve mentioned… a lot of people tell me that I need to take time for me.
To be honest, very few have offered to help make “me time” possible for me. I want to thank Kari for stepping up to the plate and making my “me time” possible. Let’s face it, I’m not the type to ask for somebody to come watch kiddo unless it’s important. But I do gladly accept volunteers, but he/she probably will have to tell me- I’m free on this day at this time- would you like me to come? That’s just the way I am. IMO “me time” isn’t a requirement and doesn’t necessitate contacting somebody for help.
One of the things that I would very much enjoy would be to ride again. I have seven perfectly good– okay maybe six perfectly good horses standing in my field. Eating well. Pooping lots. Doing nothing. To quote John “lazy assed horses.” I prefer to refer to them as “big dogs.” They do serve as great therapy by just being there, but honestly they really should start earning their keep. (Can you just see me telling this to Nathaniel in a few years?)
However, toddler and riding really don’t work to well together. Kiddo is too young to put on a babysitter type pony. He’s too active to be well occupied in a play pen. Sometimes the “baby pen” works, sometimes not. He’s also not aware of how he could get himself in dangerous situations. It’s just not an ideal combination at the moment. And on the flip side, I would just not feel comfortable riding without someone capable of calling 911 here. Horses are big, often spooky creatures and accidents can and do happen. If I were to come off it could be quite a while till somebody, other than Nathaniel, realized I was missing.
This week has had lovely weather and I’m off work, so I was beyond thrilled when my great friend, Kari, volunteered to come watch kiddo so I could ride.
I chose Willow to be my victim… I mean partner… Willow Bear was the one that I rode when I was pregnant. She is a kind, gentle soul who enjoys attention and is a good honest ride. She’s relatively un-spooky and not very athletic. I’m more worried about her tripping and falling with me than I am her bucking or rearing- it just takes too much effort for her. And let’s face it… she’s never going to make bucking stock material.
Willow is my plain Jane mare. Bay with not a white hair on her. Plain. Not flashy. Not the World’s greatest mover. Not the prettiest headed animal. Nothing special. She’s a standardbred- a beauty queen of the breed but average as they come on a whole. But she’s the most reliable, quietest, most honest horse that I own right now.
As I’ve aged, I’ve appreciated the “Willow’s” of the equine world more and more.
I tacked Willow up with the hopes of getting on her. But wasn’t going to get on her if she was being an idiot. I lunged her first and she we very good. A little zippy at the canter, but she didn’t buck once! I decided to get on. She was a superstar. It felt so great to get back in the saddle and be sitting on a familiar horse. She didn’t even feel stiff in my hands and she was light to my legs. I like my horses light in my hands and responsive to my leg. I want a shift of a seat bone to get a response.
She felt almost like she did when we last worked… when I was about 5 months pregnant. The last time I rode her- or any of my horses- was right before my post-natal checkup. With all my tearing, I wanted to make sure it was still comfortable to sit in the saddle- if not, doc and I were going to have words about the problem that needed to be fixed!
It felt AWESOME to ride again. There’s just something about riding that lifts my spirits. I think Willow enjoyed it, too… or at minimum all of the peppermint horse treats that she got!
She even was a good girl when the neighbor’s garbage truck came backing down their lane. I was so impressed with her! We just kept it low key… mostly walking… a teeny bit of trotting. Both of us are out of shape and I don’t want her to get hurt.
After our ride, Kari’s daughter got to sit on Ms. Willow and she had a blast. Everybody had a great day… which is very good!!! I need more good days…