I am incredibly grateful for Grace today, maybe a little more so than every other day. I had a rough day yesterday and it meant the world for me to come home to her last night. I am a big believer in positive thinking, Law of Attraction and lots of other feel good stuff. I’m finding my rainbows and unicorns approach to life to be much more enjoyable than always looking on what is lacking or always assuming the worst cast scenario is fast approaching. Still I get stuck over not having control over inanimate objects. Somewhere in my mind I am pretty darn sure that I am Wonder Woman. Then this week my truck breaks down and I am rendered useless. To add to the stress, each day that the truck is not running my husband becomes increasingly cranky. He told me last night that he just doesn’t see me using the truck as a daily driver. Not sure what is wrong with his eyes, because I love that truck and it is my daily driver!
My truck is more than just a vehicle; it is a symbol of my freedom. The idea that at any given moment I can hook up the trailer, load up Grace put Belle in the front seat and just go. It’s also my dream car, while others might want a BMW, Corvette or Mercedes; I’ve always wanted a 2000 F250 with a 7.3 liter diesel. It was with my husbands help that I was able to purchase the truck last year when a co-worker replaced it with an F150 King Ranch (which I still refer to as his girly truck!).
My frustration comes from not being able to fix it myself and having to rely on others. This means I have to admit that I am not Wonder Woman and I cannot do it myself. There is also the stress of the potential repair bill depending on what is wrong with the truck. Right now we are guessing that there is some water or air in the fuel line, but it’s been 2 days of continually recharging the battery and still no start. But I don’t want to stress out over the money thing right now (rainbows and unicorns) I’d rather tell you how great Grace is.
Last Thursday night I hauled Grace up to Diamond Hill Ranch for free jumping. Sarah set up a chute and we ran several of the horses through it. We kept the fences low for Grace as the goal was just for her to get the rhythm of going through the poles and over the small cross bar. At first she thought it was free lunging trail course. She stopped in between the poles, and then did a 360 before proceeding to step over the cross rail. With a little encouraging she figured out how to go though the chute and over the cross rail. On Saturday I set up lope over poles at home with one elevated pole to lunge her over. Every time she came out of the poles her lope was better. It’s been fun to watch her figure it out. She rocks back on her hock and lifts her back in order to make the distance between the poles. Her lope even sounds better; there is a clear one, two, three rhythm to it. The best part is how good she feels under saddle.
So last night after my stressful day and driving home with cranky husband who was less than thrilled that he had to drive back the way he came from work to pick me up, I got my Grace fix.
There is a spot along the driveway as I walk up to the pasture where I habitually take a deep breath. As soon as I let it out all the worries from the day disappear and I see Grace. She stands at the bottom of her pasture and waits for me, always greeting me with the same low nicker. It always makes my day. I didn’t brush her off or tack her up right away last night; instead I spent time rebraiding her mane. There is something so therapeutic about playing with my horse’s mane. It seems to bring me into the moment, which is were Grace lives. I went ahead with the bareback pad last night and headed to the arena. We had a great warm up, Grace was soft and supple and I was able to stay with her keeping my low back soft and my ab muscles engaged. I then loped her in a circle over a single raised pole. It’s only 4 inches off the ground, but she has to get there in a rhythm in order to make the distance. It works best when she keeps the same rhythm on the entire circle instead of adjusting her stride at the last second. We worked on this over the weekend in the saddle and on the lunge line. Grace nailed it last night. The raised pole became less and less of a jump and more of the lope over it was intended to be. Her lope improved with each circle. It wasn’t until we were finished that it dawned on me that I was riding bareback. I had loped my horse over a raised pole (small jump) bareback. I hadn’t done that since I was 11 years old and injured my back in a fall while jumping picnic benches bareback in the pasture. That fall was the first big blow to my confidence and I think I’ve always unconsciously carried it with me when I rode. So here I was last night, loping over a small jump without a saddle and staying with my horse stride for stride. As we walked another cool out lap around the arena I reached down and patted Grace on the neck. I then reached back and patted my own back. Breakthrough!