Saturday, 13 July 2013

Mental Health Break

I was having a bad day today.  While not a bad week, I've had a busy, stressful week and it got to me today.  Then, problems with a certain person just made everything worse.  I was in such a foul mood, my cat kept alternating between head butting me and hiding.  I haven't been out to the barn all week because I've been so busy, and man, did I ever need to go out today.

K and I went out together.  We caught Socks and Tango and K suggest we have a lazy day and go bareback.  I hesitated at first because it's been two and a half years since I rode bareback, but then I remembered this was Socks and she'll be fine.  She was.

We went for a ride off the farm, just exploring nearby roads and (unintentionally) scaring cows.  It was fun.  All we did was walk but my mood improved immediately.  Socks was perfect, she was having a great time so I had a great time. 

When we got back to the stable we went in the outdoor to do some trotting.  This made me realize two things.  First, my confidence is just non-existent.  I've been slowly realizing that lately but how hesitant I was to get back on bareback and then how hesitant I was to trot bareback, was kind of a slap in the face.  When Socks was at my dads, during the winters I only rode bareback.  We'd go galloping through the snow, having a blast. 

It's to be expected I guess, I did have a pretty bad fall.  And that's why I'm hesitant, it's not that I'm afraid of riding, I'm afraid of getting hurt again.  Maybe it would be better if my arm still wasn't in near-constant pain.  I don't actually feel like I'm healed because it still hurts all the time and when I do anything, riding, walking through crowd, working, my first thought is always if it's going to hurt me more.

The second thing I realized, I can ride.  Okay, I know that sounds conceited but I'm not saying I'm an Olympic-level rider, or even a good rider.  I just realized that I'm not completely horrible, I can stay on a horse (for the most part) and I should relax a little.  I started trotting around Socks, weaving in between the jumps, having a blast, and it made me realize that my lack of confidence is a little unwarranted.  I stopped worrying about falling off and I think I actually rode better. 

K cantered Tango a bit and though I wanted to, even with my new revelation, I couldn't.  Not yet.  But I think that's a good goal for me.  I have no problems loping or galloping with a saddle, and I never used to have a problem loping bareback, but I was way too nervous to today.  I think it would probably be good for me to do it again.  Socks is fine, it's not her, it's me.

Anyway, moving on from my insecurities.  Before we left, we went down with L to visit Artemis.  Man she was glad to see us.  She came right over to us, Ebony at her side, and enjoyed the attention for a while.  Then L wanted us to see if Artemis would follow us.  She ran over to the gate and Artemis followed her.  L wanted us to try and see if Artemis would run after us if we ran away.  K ran first, away from the gate towards the creek.  Artemis followed her a few steps and then stopped.  L ran next and Artemis just watched.

When it was my turn I ran and in about half a second, I heard hoof beats behind me.   I looked behind me (which is hard to do when you're running through mud) and there she was, loping after me.  She followed me, staying a few feet behind me, all the way to the creek.  When I stopped, she stopped a little bit behind me.  I have to say, that felt good.  Any bit of negativity left in me vanished.  She followed me away from the gate and was respectful about my space. 

She hung out, following behind us as we visited with the other horses, and then followed us back up to the gate.  She was dying to come with us, she's like her mom, the two of them are happiest when they get worked.  I know many people would disagree with that and say horses don't like to work, but honestly, I find they both get sour when their left to their own devices.  I don't mean they get a little wild, I mean it's like they're in a bad mood.  They get cranky and unhappy when they're not worked with.

This day was exactly what I needed and my horses couldn't have been anymore perfect.  Even Jimmy was awesome the short minutes I was with him.  He nickered when he saw me.  Okay, who am I kidding, he nickered for the handful of grass I had.  But still, he was good.

So as an ending note, hopefully starting next week, Socks and Artemis are going to switch places for a while.  Socks will go out into the pasture and Artemis, providing she and Tango get along, will come up into the pens.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Liebster Award

A few weeks back now, Wolfie over at What Was I Thinking...? nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Go read her blog, seriously, it's awesome, it's one of my favourites out there.  And her horse Gem is not only gorgeous but he's also a Canadian horse like Artemis.

I know I'm really late to the party but oh well.  I'm actually not going to nominate any blogs because I'm doing this so late, all the active blogs I read have already been nominated for the award and filled this out already.  It feels redundant to nominate them now.

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
  • Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them

11 Random Facts about me:

    1. I am a big fan of British Television, more specifically, British dramas.  Doctor Who and Sherlock are my two favourite shows.  I think they tend to be more witty and the camera work, especially in Sherlock, is just amazing.
    2. I'm a pretty big zombie buff but most zombie movies, especially older ones, terrify me, and I maintain a zombie apocalypse would suck.  A lot.
    3. I have small writing and I apparently write my fours strangely.  Both of these are constantly pointed out to me by customers when I have to write in front of them.
    4. I have a tendency to name my animals after people, living or fictional.
    5. I'm a night owl all the way.  I'm most productive between the hours of 1-5 am.
    6. I use my left hand for everything now except for writing.  It feels unnatural to use my right hand. 
    7. I'm horrible at responding to phone calls, texts and emails. 
    8. Despite currently owning a cat, I'm not a cat person.  Luckily for me, my cat thinks he's a dog.
    9. I hate Socks' name.  I wish my twenty-two-year old self could go back in time and slap my twelve-year-old self for agreeing to that name.
    10. It has to be almost 30 degrees before I'll stop wearing a sweater everywhere.
    11. I don't read instruction booklets.  It took me four years to figure out my camera took multiple pictures at once because I refused to read the instruction booklet.

    11 Questions from Wolfie
    1.  Who do you prefer - Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds?
    Ryan Reynolds

     2.  What is your favourite gait when riding?
    Loping, I think it's the most comfortable

     3.  Have you ever had a light bulb moment when riding?
    Yup, quite frequently.  I actually had one last time I rode.

     4.  Do you care what you wear to the barn?
    Not even a little bit.  Except for my work uniform and maybe one or two fancy shirts, I consider everything I own barn clothes.

     5.  Do you wear a helmet when you ride? 
    Not all the time, I'm bad I'll admit.  I don't on Socks, I do half the time on Jimmy and I'll always have on Artemis.  If I'm doing any "above" work (standing on the mounting block, things like that) with her I always have my helmet on.

    6.  What is/was your favourite book?
    I have a lot.  I love The Sight, Harry Potter Series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians the most probably.

    7.  What is your favourite part of the riding experience (grooming, competition, lesson, trail)?

    I like trail riding the best but honestly the moment I live for is going out to Socks' pen and hearing her nicker for me.  That's the one moment that makes horse ownership just so worth it.

     8.  What is your favourite season for riding?
    Autumn, it's cool and no bugs.  Especially wasps.

     9.  Do you have other interests in addition to horses?
    I love writing and drawing, that's what I spend most of my non-horse and work time doing.  I also love film and media.  In the summer I add hiking and mountain drives to my lists of hobbies.

     10. If you could only have one food if you were stranded on a desert island, what would it be? 
    Chips.  Any kind except for Sour Cream and Onion.  I don't think I could survive without my chip fix.

    11. Would you prefer a social person next to you on a long flight or someone who keeps to themselves?

    I'm not overly social myself but I think I'd prefer a social person.  As long as they were nice, I'd be able to talk and that'd help time go by faster.

    I'm not going to nominate any blogs but I will mention a few of my favourites.

    What Was I Thinking....?
    The Adventures of Lucy
    Simply Horse Crazy
    Just a Girl and Her Horse