It got me again - the time change thing. I don't know why it throws me off my game, every year I know that it's coming. I need that extra hour of light at the end of the day - that part of the day is MY time and now I have to fumble through it in the dark. I am determined not to let the lack of daylight get to me, but it's been less than a week and I'm already bummed out about it.
This time of year I am very grateful for my job which allowed me the flexibility to set my own shift. I start my day at the office at 6:00am with the idea that I will leave at 3:00pm. This week was the first time in months that I've come remotely close to leaving near 3:00pm. I've been working 9-10 hour days all summer, so there is one positive to the time change in that I am getting myself out of the office on time. I love being in the office before the sun comes up - really! I get to my desk while the place is still quiet, get to make the first pot of coffee just the way I like it and I get to enjoy some quality time with my customers on the other side of the pond. I wake up at 4:30am or earlier in order to feed Grace and get to work on time. Yes - I am one of those freakish morning people.
Monday was the first day that I had to deal with the time change after work. I had this great idea that I would get all my chores done before I rode, cleaning the pasture, putting down new bedding in the shelter, filling and hanging the hay net. It was 4:30pm before I set my seat in the saddle. I dislike being kept to a schedule when I ride, if Grace needs an hour, I will take the full hour. If we accomplish the task at hand in 25 minutes, then exit the arena and hit the trail. Monday was an hour long ride, and we had ended with a lot of loping. I now had a horse in need of a good cool out and there was very little light to see by. So I did what any stubborn cowgirl would do and I took my horse for a walk on the trails in the dark. Luckily Grace was steady as a rock, and was very much my Seeing Eye horse.
Tuesday and Wednesday I was smarter, I made sure to get out of work close to 3:00pm and rode as soon as I got home. I was even able to get most of my chores done with some daylight. My LED head lamp is now with me morning and night since I start and end my day outside in the dark. I'm trying not to think about how much darker it is going to get over the next month and a half, I really want to keep Grace going 6 days a week this winter, I would imagine that a few of those weekdays will eventually be groundwork days. Riding all winter isn't just for Grace, though I do get a ton of valuable training done in the off season; I need to keep riding for me. It is my happy place, my Zen, my chance to reconnect to my soul. I end up getting more creative in the winter; riding in the dark, riding on the driveway when the arenas are flooded, more groundwork or hauling out to covered arenas. We "spring forward" on March 10 2013, 123 days from now, in the meantime I will be making use of every last second of day light.