Grace in her sleigh bells and Christmas lights
Horse time has been a real commodity for me in the last few months. As my job has demanded more of my time, my idea of being home early enough in the evenings has not been a reality. With use of the neighbors indoor lighted arena 2 nights a week and 2 days of groundwork sessions at dusk, plus riding both weekend days I am still able to keep Grace going 6 days a week. Grace is show fit and ready to go - in December. I was sidelined with a chest cold this last week. I was still able to do groundwork, but didn't get my much needed saddle time. I think I made up for it over the weekend.
We had a group lesson at Sarah's on Saturday. We've been doing these on and off since October. I'm really enjoying each lesson, I get so much more out of them by watching the other riders. So often Sarah will say something to another rider and the light bulb will go on for me. This week it was while talking about the outside rein. Sarah told me not to bring the outside rein to the horse, but to bring the horse's body to the outside rein. I had to use my leg, my hips and the rest of my body to push Grace into the left rein. I then got to watch as another rider struggled with the same concept. At one point during the lesson Grace got upset with the new concept. I've ridden her off my hand for so long that at first she isn't quite sure what to do when I start to use my leg correctly. As soon as she figures it out, she moves so beautifully all I can do it sit there and smile.... and add leg, stretch up tall, fill my back, stay straight and oh yes - BREATH!
On Sunday Grace and I meet Jeanni and Jasmine for a trail ride. Being so close to Christmas we brought out the sleigh bells and Christmas lights. Grace jigged early in the ride - but settled down at her usual point 20 minutes in. We had a great time, strolling through the beautiful wide trails, talking, laughing all the while listening to Grace's sleigh bells. Jeanni and I even wore Santa Hats! It never fails every time Jeanni and I trail ride together we always end it talking about how we need to do it more often. After my weekend rides I can't help but agree with the Winston Churchill quote "There is Something About the Outside of a Horse is Good for the Inside of a Man".
At the end of our ride in Port Gamble