Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dont worry be happy

Lately I feel like my life has been so overwhelmingly busy that its flying by and all I have to keep me grounded is my horseback riding. Its the one part of the day that feels like I can breath. For a long time, Tillie added to my stress with her non-stop injuries, high energy sass and explosions and just general worry. Finally, she is the one thing that is the glue getting me through the day.

Such a gorgeous evening to ride yesterday

With my last day at my current job rapidly approaching, Rolex trip right around the corner and a friends wedding in the not so distant future...I am scrambling just to get it all done. Not to mention some pretty exciting freelance work I am doing on a way cool horsey product Ill announce once I am allowed to!

Last year at Rolex
What's crazy is despite all this great stuff happening, I found myself fretting. Almost like I needed to ask permission from people to allow myself to be excited and be happy. I was raised in a large family where we almost always were taught to sorta stay neutral because it might upset a sibling that may not be having a great time and if we celebrated it might make them more sad. My parents were great in that way because they were sensitive to us all, but at the same time with there being so many of us, more than likely someone was always having a not so great day so the happy sibling had to find another outlet to express joy. (I am making my childhood sound really wasnt and it was awesome).

Trail rides are becoming more relaxed and pleasant
I admitted this to my therapist who promptly shouted: "Girl, you have so much right now to be happy about and you SHOULD be! Don't feel bad about, you earned it." She's totally right...I know how the highs and lows work. The highs make it worth fighting through the lows and boy did I have some not all that long ago.

I have so many really cool and exciting things and its OK to be excited about them! I celebrate when others have their exciting things so why cant I do it for myself?

Can barely see it, but there are tiny fox ears hiding from us in the field
So I am working on it...and trying to be exciting without sounding braggy. I dont want to be that person that walks around saying how awesome life is, but, as my therapist said, I am allowed to be happy.

So with that said, I am excited to ride right now. I have a plan, I know our homework and I can confidently flat AND jump at home. That wasnt something I could always say and I am sure wont be...and Jumping at home without an instructor present is a fairly big step since in the past I was too nervous to attempt it.

A portion of our hack out/cool down
I got on yesterday interested to see how Tillie felt after the massage and boy was she super supple. I am super thrilled with how she went especially in her canter. I decided to go ahead and try a jump school with the plan of starting out low and working on getting the correct leads on landing as well as the timing through the corners...I also made a point to attempt to let me reins slip a little longer and allow Tillie to maintain a rhythm with a little less contact.

Jumps are in the process of a face lift and fresh paint! This is the height we finished at.
She did this so incredibly nicely and came right back if she did get excited or flat so we upped the jumps to dig in and do more work. The course that was set up is really fun and had a lot of options, so I left it and just set the jumps a bit higher and adjusted the distances in the lines for us since the one stride (pictured below) and the oxer line (pictured above) would have been WAY too tight.

I started off with the one stride line, bending the the upright skinny barrels, around to the 3-4 stride line (we rode it in 3) to finish on the red white and blue filler.

Tillie jumped them all soooo well and the goal was to do them all out of a more forward, truer 12ft canter stride and she did it beautifully. She knocked a few rails at first...the first one out of the one stride which I dont think she realized they went up that high plus I didnt have her canter big enough and the last fence of the course because of my error. Once I sat up and made sure I didnt drop her to that last fence she jumped it quite well.

These were set at a pretty decent height, most at novice goal was to be able to feel like we could navigate them all confidently to prep for our first Novice early next month. (Yes its true, we entered our first novice event!!! eek!) I am thrilled that its exactly what happened, even over the skinny barrels!! Although that is still one jump that will be homework for us since she really gets tense through her body on the approach. She didnt wiggle up to it like she did the first time we did them a few months ago, but she still doenst quite trust the question yet. BUT we jumped them twice willingly!

Tillie is starting to understand this whole sport horse thing

I didnt push it more than that and quit while we ahead....she half halted so nicely through the turns and came out in a nice forward stride like I asked. We just felt so in tune and on the same page which felt so incredible. What was even more awesome was she was able to go right back to dressage mode and relax which in the past has not been achievable.

To cool out I decided to hack out on the trails through the woods so we could hit some of the hills and get some walking conditioning in. Tillie was way more relaxed and confident than shes ever been and good thing too because we came across some illegal dirt bikers. Tillie flicked her head around a bit in protest and wasnt so sure about them but she kept her head on and I was so proud of her.

Being able to take her out for conditioning like that has been a goal of mine and its nice to feel like I can start trusting her more!

So if anyone read all that, kudos!! And my motto for the day. Dont worry be happy!!!


  1. Hakuna matata! I got that stuck in my head now because my brain went to Disney :)

    Tillie has her big girl pants on! I'm glad you are starting to get the rewards for all your hard work.

  2. I am kind of the same way - needing permission to be happy and make decisions and such. Hugs to you!

  3. I know how you feel, I'm pretty much a very insecure person so I feel like I'm constantly looking for an okay from someone else to either enjoy my life or do something I really want. Doesn't help all the schedule mayhem. Hope things get exciting and calm for you at the same time soon.