Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exciting News (!) and Other January Steps

There's lots of news, relating to my goals for 2012, and some of it's pretty exciting!

First, one of my goals was to get training assistance with Pie and Drifter, both to work through some of their holes and issues, and to work with me and them together so we can deal with the issues I have due to my fall and how I interact with each horse.  Pie and Drifter will be moving to Black Star Farm in Wisconsin around March 1 for at least 30 days and perhaps longer.  Heather there is a long-term student of Mark Rashid's, is one of his very few approved trainers/instructors (I believe there are only 6 worldwide), and I know her and her family well and have watched her work with a number of horses over the years I've been attending Mark's clinics at her farm.  She's very good with the horses, can deal with whatever comes up in a quiet and effective way, her methods are consistent with Mark's, and she's also a good instructor.

She will initially spend about a week to 10 days working with and evaluating each horse.  After that, I'll be going up there (it's about an hour and a half drive each way) several times a week to work with her and the horses.  And we'll see what we see.  One thing I've asked her to do is give me an honest evaluation of whether either horse isn't suitable for me.  I've told her that I believe both of them can be good horses for me, once we get by this point and our immediate issues, but that I really want to know if I'm wrong about that with either horse.  One of my goals was also to get a Western saddle that fits both horses (if that's possible), preferably an About the Horse saddle.  Heather has a number of these saddles and we'll be able to try out different tree sizes so I'll know model and size to buy, either new or used.

I'm very excited about this and can't wait for March to get here!  We're waiting until then because at least there's a shot of doing some work outside in March.  As things go along, of course I'll be updating all of you about how Pie and Drifter and I do.  (Once things warm up and dry out a bit here, Dawn and I will go back to work here on what we're working on - it's amazing to say, and it took a lot of work to get here, but Dawn is now very familiar to me, and she and I know how to work together.)

Second, I had a goal to develop a mindfulness/meditation practice.  I've been working to do some daily meditation, and to bring mindfulness to everyday life.  I'm also taking a drawing course - I find drawing to be a very mindful practice.

Third, I had a goal to improve my fitness, core strength and balance.  I'm starting a t'ai chi chih course this week - it's great for balance and also has a strong mindfulness/body awareness element.  I'm going to be starting some strength training shortly - more about that as it comes along.  I've upped my walking time and speed as well - I'm up to about 3 miles a day.  I've also modified my diet to elimate pretty much all red meat - we're mostly vegetarian, in fact vegan since we mostly use olive or canola oil rather than butter - with only occasional chicken or fish, and some eggs.

Fourth, I had a goal to take some lessons on trained horses.  I have calls in to two dressage instructors, and hope to start taking some lessons with one or both of them soon.

I'm pretty pleased with how 2012 is going so far, one step at a time . . .

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