So lucky, so impatient

A picture is worth a thousand words:

We bought a truck. A giant truck. A Ford F-350 Turbo Powerstroke Diesel, 7.3, V8, Crew cab, long bed, 4X4, 6-speed manual, with an in-factory tow package. And I can drive it. My lovely friend Jill has said she'd give me lessons on how to pull a trailer, but the electrical input on my truck is not compatible with the output on her trailer. So I am trying to borrow a trailer from someone at the barn. Before I had a truck people were all" Sure you can borrow my trailer anytime!" and now that I have one, no one is returning my emails. Hrumph.

Which leads to the "impatient" part of our program. I want my own trailer. Now.

If this whole trailer-borrowing thing pans out, we are going to our first one-day horse trial at Lincoln Creek on July 31. Entries close on the 23, and it is now the 14th so we will see. We will be going Senior Hopeful. Is there a more pathetic division name than that? If there is I don't want to know. But upon the advice of my trainer, for our first ever one-day, we just need to show up and make it through. One days are rough. So that is what we are doing.

Kip and I continue to improve, Kip just keeps getting smarter and smarter about how to navigate around a course and use his body, and my big lesson is to let him get into a good, rhythmic gallop and stay the hell out of his face. Yesterday's lesson was bending lines, with lead changes -- and then the hard part -- staying on the left lead down a long line. Staying on that lead over the last fence in a line and into a left turn for some reason is a thing for us. I am sure it is somehow my fault.


I made Lifetime today

In addition to learning how to ride, I have also been going to Weight Watchers, and today I made Lifetime. I have lost 26 pounds.

I am going to loose five more pounds, to get to what my leader calls my "Heart weight". We will see if I can maintain it. I have been pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy it has been for me to maintain these last few weeks to get Lifetime. I still need to watch it, but I don't feel deprived in the least.

So. Onward.


In just a year

Water at Aspen Farms

"They" say that it takes a year to build a relationship with your horse. It took Kip and I about a year and a month.

Our horsey anniversary was spent schooling at Aspen Farms. That was April 24th. He was really a rock star, jumping everything and really loving every moment. But sometimes (often) he'd blast through my hand and the brakes went away. He just wanted to charge on in a straight line and jump everything that was in that line, but turning was sort of not in the program. Since then, we have been working on keeping the canter up and bouncy, so he can rock back on his haunches and turn when asked. Just last week our Wednesday lesson was jump, land, turn and jump. It was really hard. It took us probably eight or even ten times to get it. But seriously, once he figured it out, he nailed it. Over and over.

We spent the last three rides practicing turning -- over fences and poles, and on the flat. A lot of flat work with him listening to the leg. Then today was Jump group. There were four other horses in the group with us, and I swear Kip really examines other horses jumping and figures out what to do by looking. Except Corina's little pony mare, who he is just in love with and wants to race after her. So we couldn't follow her. But besides that, I think Kip has really learned the jump, turn jump thing. Today was bending lines at a nice gallop -- Gallop up then jump, look and opening rein over the fence, three turning strides to the next fence, leg on, (leg ON!!) and turn to the third fence. It was really exhilarating. And Kip just was great all of this. Not that he did it perfectly -- not at all. The first time through one combination, he was swimming; paddling his legs not knowing where to put them. But that is exactly the right instinct in that situation, keep your options open, no propping or just bursting through the jump, but try lots of things out and go with what seems to keep you clear. But who am I kidding. He was mostly just really brave and scopey to every fence. He had the correct striding most of the time...sometimes he'd add a stride, but that certainly beats leaving long. And some of these fences are easily the biggest we've ever done. In the three foot range. Maybe more?

Can you imagine where we will be in another year?

Anyway. Kerry took photos of Jump Group today and I can't wait to see them. There should be some good ones.



As the great philosopher Linus once said: "I love mankind...it's people I can't stand."

I looked around for a suitable link for that charming Peanuts quote, but everything I found annoyed me. There is this Fan page which is just too twee, and ignores the more thought-provoking Linus quotes - like this one. Then I found a photo of the panel that I quote at the top of this blog entry -- but the caption of the person who posted the photo annoyed the snot right out of me. And then the idiot commenter below -- AUGH!

I did find this interesting analysis by an Unitarian pastor, though. This alternately annoys and interests me. Unitarians, you know.

Anyway what got me started on this whole thing was an incredibly annoying woman in line at the coffee shop, who could not be bothered to halt her indescribably inane conversation long enough to tell the barista her order -- then it annoyed me that I was more annoyed by this than the barista.
I need this.



Keeping with yesterday's theme of examining things I react to, I decided to go to the Bikram Yoga Studio in Renton. (Bikram has struck me as gimmicky and an attempt at a shortcut.) But I have been freezing lately, and the idea of a 105 degree room was attractive.

It is 90 minutes and 26 postures, and a whole lot of ass-kicking. (click on drawings for a photo of the asana.) Right out of the box, I found the breathing exercise challenging. Yogic breathing is hard, but I always enjoyed including it in my practice, and wish it were part of Anusara (the kind I practice currently).

I enjoyed the sweating part, and only got light-headed near the end, and sat out the second Fixed-firm pose. Not good on my knees. If I go again, I will heavily modify this -- only go down to my elbows, or not even that far.

The instructor did say to do some things that my current instructor say never to do, like clench your buttocks muscles and push your hips forward in Half-moon pose, to get more of a back bend. But all that does is crunch up the small of your back -- back bends need to move up the back to support the core and have the bend happen in the upper back. So practiced the way I practice and modified heavily.

All in all it was an intriguing experience, and they have quite an incentive program to get newbies to come back -- for $10 your first two weeks are unlimited. I do still find it a little gimmicky, but am willing to have my mind changed. I enjoyed the sweating, they are not kidding about that. My clothing and towel were totally completely wet at the end. You know that sound when you throw a wet rag on the tub floor? That "plop"? THAT wet. Also, I weighed myself on my fancy schmancy scale before leaving, and then after the class, and I lost a full pound of water weight.

Anyhow, I guess the upshot is I plan on going back on Thursday. We will see.



You know, I have strong reactions to things. I have opinions and if asked will share them far and wide. I try not to do too much sharing when I am not asked, and am not always successful at that, but I am way better than I used to be.

See? Learning.

That said, one thing that has occurred to me lately, is when I have a strong reaction to something, especially a negative reaction, I need to examine that thing closely. There is a lesson in there that I may be resisting. I guess I am far enough along to recognize there's a lesson, but don't want to look at it.

Just recognizing this is learning a lesson. Small steps.