I got up this morning and felt compelled to go out to ride my horse after dropping my daughter off at school. I actually had a wave of guilt while driving up to the stable about how I *should* be doing all this other stuff to chip away at my never-ending to-do list. But then thinking about that made me feel like crying (why yes, yes I am in the midst of PMS ...) so I tried to get my mind of things by listening to NPR. But they were talking about the execution in our state this morning of a death row prisoner and what was the most ethical way for the government to kill someone? That made my head feel like exploding.
I felt better when I got to the stable. Girlfriend on the other hand was a bit riled up. She kept calling to one of the other horses out in the pasture and was very ancy on the cross ties and kept doing little jigs even when I firmly told her to stop. She was a big calmer once I was riding her and we did a lot of trotting and a little cantering and she didn't stumble once. In fact, she seemed to be feeling really good because she tried to break a gallop more than once during her canter.
I tried trotting with no stirrups but didn't do very well and decided I should only do that in our lessons with constant instruction. But I can tell it already has really helped me find better balance. While I was posting today I had this sense that something had changed because it was effortless for me to stand up on the post, and then I realized that I was using Girl's energy from the trot to stand up on the post and as her body bounced up, I was standing up in perfect rhythm, and it felt like we had this perfect flowing dance move going. That was really cool!
Another cool thing was that as I was practicing my riding, there was another woman taking a lesson. I was only half listening to what our instructor was saying to her but then I did hear my instructor say, "Watch J. - J. show her how to do a free walk on long rein," so I did. But I realized it is the first time that I've been asked to show someone how to do something which means I'm actually improving! After two years of trying to re-learn how to ride on my hot little Western horse, I'm finally getting it and knowing a little bit what I'm doing. My instructor then said, "And that's a feather in J.'s cap that she can do that on that horse. It shows what working hard will get you." Yay!
In other good news, I asked if I could start taking jump lessons now and my instructor did not say no. I'm not sure if she said yes. I asked if I could start jumping, but not on Girlfriend, maybe on the beginner horse, Doc. And she said, "I wouldn't teach you on Girlfriend because she's too hot. No reason to scare you half to death and make you not want to jump at all," then she said, "I'll start you on Doc just like any other beginner at something new." I'm not completely convinced that now that I'm old and mildly crippled with rheumatoid arthritis that I *can* even jump again (any more than really low poles) but we'll see. I guess if I can rock climb and I can probably jump again. Then I can take up this. Oh yeah. Guns and horses. Doesn't get much better than that.