Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Motivate Me Monday (Which is Actually Tuesday)

Weight Watchers only advertises certain days of the week, especially Sunday nights and Mondays. By Wednesday afternoon/evening, they don't really bother. Why? Because each week is a fresh start for people looking to make a hard change, like diet, which is really not even about the food. It's more about control and a mental thing than about chips and cookies. But, midway through the week, people mostly give up because that perceived window of opportunity already passed them by.

I have been in a funk for a while, and ever since we went to Italy in May, not at the gym, letting myself eat whatever, and now over the past month, I haven't even had the barn as a workout since I couldn't ride. While bathing a horse with a mile-long mane is a workout, grooming and lunging just don't get the job done, as my bras and pants can attest with the snugness of their fit.

I did get out to the barn over the weekend, and my husband was nice enough to come and suffer through a few hours of me doing my thing with him being bored. I rode, and Abbey was great. I know she doesn't feel her best, and her lope is still off, but not as bad as it was the week before. My husband even rode, and I was so proud of my girl. (Proud of him too, but she was so great.) She took care of him, and even helped him stay out of the way of some other riders who aren't the most ring-aware riders by skill or by choice. When he lost his center of balance a little one way or the other, she slowed down or stopped, and when he asked her for things she listened. She even loped off when he asked (I smooched, too) and she was just awesome. That was the happiest I have been at the barn in a while. He's actually a pretty good rider for someone who never rides, and only rode people's field horses as a kid (crazy country kids!). Sure he looked like he was sitting in a LaZBoy in his tennis shoes, but she was such a trooper.

So, looking back again, I am reminding myself that when I set off on this unexpected journey of horse ownership on a very cold January of 2012 when she was greener than grass and only two coming three in March, I am amazed at where we are now. We faced some of the hardest challenges of my life together. I didn't always make the best choices, and sometimes I was paralyzed by fear of making any choice at all. I have stressed my marriage over the time and money I have spent with this creature. I have watched her get hurt, sometimes because she's kind of a klutz, and other times because of human ignorance (mine and others), and once out of anger and cruelty at the hands of a "trainer". I have worked hard to heal her, and to keep her as safe as I can in this man-made world where she lives. I know there are still miles to go with my own education, and I never want to stop learning. But, as I watched her this past weekend with my husband, I can say with confidence that my original goal of making her a safe and reliable horse that I can ride and enjoy is met. It will keep work to stay there, and without consistent training and more lessons, it would be easy to lose it to some degree.

As my horse dad said when I asked if she would be a good fit for me, "She has a kind heart and a good mind. She will work hard to please you and try her best." I was worried that it might change as she matured and got more mareish, which there is some of that hormonal factor now that she is five coming six in 2015. But I get it. I deal with that crazy mare side of myself on a regular basis. On a good day I am passionate, on a bad one I am crazier than a bus-full of Orange County housewives. People always say that animals resemble their people, so I feel pretty good about that. She and I are a lot alike, although I think she's much more patient and forgiving than I am, but we are learning from each other.

So, if I want to be the best I can be to take care of her, I need to get myself back to the gym with my husband, because I know that means the world to him and I like going with him. I need to get to the barn and ride at whatever level Abbey is capable of for that day. I need to get to the feed store and sort that out and not worry about stepping on some toes with changing that routine, because damn it, she is worth fighting for and so am I. So, as I hit "publish" I am off to the gym for what is sure to be an hour of feeling floppy and out of breath, but you have to start somewhere.

Time to make a change, even if it's Tuesday.

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