Riding: Then & Now

I just spent a while looking at my old blog (sorry, folks, it is now private!). I started blogging in 2004, and I didn't have much of an objective other than to record my life. Eventually it turned into a bit of a horse training blog, where I documented my horses' progress and my own progress with lessons. I blogged quite frequently, and most posts were just random thoughts. I enjoy reading my old posts. But there are things on that blog that I don't want random people reading now (I have changed a lot over the years), so no one can see it now but me (and I rarely update it anymore). Reading all that old stuff reminded me how much I love to blog, so maybe now I'll do it more often. And it reminded me that I don't have to stress over what to post - I can just write what I feel. ( :

But looking back over all my old posts did make me a little sad. Horses used to be such a huge part of my life. They still are, but in a different way now. It used to be my dream to own my own horse farm, where I could train and teach lessons and board. I would still love to do that, but I realize that will probably never happen. It takes a lot of money to start a farm. So while I realize my dream of a big horse farm probably won't ever come to be, horses will always remain a part of my life. I hope one day C will share my passion for horses and we can ride together. Which is why I introduced her to horses very early on, and she goes out there with me every evening to feed them.

I used to keep track of every time that I rode my horses. I wanted to keep them in good shape in hopes that we'd be able to go to a show (which basically never happened). But I rode them 4-6 times a week unless I was sick or they were injured. I made a lot of progress with them, and I'm proud of what I accomplished. 

When I was in college, I worked at several horse farms and absolutely loved it. I got to ride a lot of different types of horses, in several disciplines. I learned a lot and became a really good rider. Thankfully, I haven't forgotten anything and when I get back on a horse now, its like I haven't missed a beat. (Though my muscles may protest the next day!)
This was when we were both at our best. I was training her heavily in dressage and she was doing really well!
I got Sunshine in 2006, and she came to me with very minimal training. I worked with her and bonded with her, and before long she had turned into an awesome mount. Its amazing to think in 2006 she didn't understand what I wanted when I told her to stop and go, and now I trust her with small children in lessons!

These days, I'm really lucky if I get to ride once or twice a month. Its just not easy to find someone to watch C for a few hours on the weekends so I can play with my horses, especially when there are so many things I have to get done. I know it won't be like this forever, so I'm okay with it. One day, C will have her own life and she'll be spending the weekends with friends or her grandma, and I'll be lonely and will be free to ride again. Until then, I'll take the far-and-few-between rides I do get to take, and just enjoy seeing my horses every day (since they're right beside my house) and getting to interact with them. And I love seeing C interact with them. She has decided this week that she loves Sunshine. C stands by the fence when Sunshine eats and watches her, its so cute.

One day, I'll get her to be that soft again with a loose rein like this...
When I do get to ride these days, most of the time I just hop on bareback. I may take Sunshine out on a quick trial ride, or I may do a little work in the arena (not too much, since we're both out of shape). I don't ride Wiley bareback, though - he is super uncomfortable without a saddle! When I ride him, I basically just walk/trot and reinforce the training he received before I got pregnant. He hasn't regressed, he just hasn't moved forward since then. And that's okay. He's 8 now, which means he should be trained and totally rideable, but I'm not stressed over it. He'll be mine until he dies, and I don't need to prove anything with him (or prove anything else, I should say - I already proved to myself with him that I can break a young horse by myself!). One day, I'll get him back into regular training - I still have dreams of him being an adorable hunter pony.
me and Wiley in 2009
earlier this year. can you say fat pony?? haha
I don't have many pictures of me riding Sunshine bareback like I do most of the time now. But here's what it normally looks like:
And I love it. ( :

C likes to "go fast" - which is just a very slow jog, haha. I'm glad that she enjoys being on a horse. I love being able to share something so special to me with her. I can't wait for the day when she can ride by herself!

If you had told me 5 years ago that I wouldn't get to ride very often, and that my horses would all be fat and out of shape, I'd laugh in your face. And then swear that would never happen. Its funny how things change, huh? I haven't lost that part of who I am, I've just added on to what is important me, and had to adjust everything else accordingly. And that's nice to know. I like knowing that my passion for horses is still there, and that I still remember everything I learned in all those lessons I took and experiences I had.

Who knows? In a few years maybe I'll be with C at a fun show, cheering her on from the sidelines. ( :

1 comment:

  1. I bet you and C will be riding together before too long!


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