Lesson Update - February 2018

My lessons have been going pretty damn well since I decided to not get sick again, so I finagled my husband into coming out and videoing a lesson. My lesson was the day before a schooling show started, and I wanted to get a good video of us doing the hunter course perfectly.

But now I kind of realize why Leo doesn't do a lot of shows. He was so interested in everything going on, as told by our inability to jump the cross-rail towards one end of the ring because a horse was being loaded into a trailer. He literally did not see the jump either time until the last minute...

After settling from being distracted it was a constant struggle between not running down each line and keeping him from trotting in the corners. Combine that with being sore from a no-stirrup, no-spur lesson on Wednesday (complete with cantering) annd it was hot and there was a ton going on... I'm just glad neither of us had a meltdown. He has just the best expressions though and I'm so glad he puts up with me. I was told he bucked a girl off last weekend, so he's not beyond being a v. naughty horse!

When my husband decides to become the artsiest horse photog ever.

When my husband decides to become the artsiest horse photog ever.

Twoh Reviews: Millbrook Leathers and MDC Stirrups

Twoh Reviews: Millbrook Leathers and MDC Stirrups

I chose to purchase a pair of after attempting to save some money and getting a pair of SmartPak lined leathers. They were ridiculously thick and didn't seem like oiling them would do anything. Buy quality and only cry once is pretty much my favorite idiom (my husband always adds that we're still crying). Anyway, I'm not a fan of lined leathers and wanted something of quality that would last a while.

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Holiday Wishlist/Window Shopping

Holiday Wishlist/Window Shopping

Christmas is my favorite time of year, by far. Last year my husband and I travelled for the holidays and I felt that I didn’t get to fully relish in the spirit of the season. Poor me, right? We won’t be spending our holiday at the beach this time around, but at home with family, food and our pups.

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Husbands at the Barn

Husbands at the Barn

I've been reserving Fridays that I have off for riding lessons and it's really been paying off - especially since my husband agreed to come with me! It's only every other Friday and he already has the day off (law school lyfe) so he's not too put out. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for him, he's been steadily improving on the picture and video taking front as shown below and has agreed to continue coming to document my progress. Plus, he actually seems to enjoy his time there, as opposed to his first time videoing but that probably had something to do with seeing the lesson check!

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Why I do it

I had my usual Wednesday riding lesson last night, and though I think my lesson updates are done with for now (unless I have video or an update to report) I had a thought that I wanted to share on why I chose to return to riding. Why do it when I don't own my own horse, I'm not competing [yet] and it's a financial strain to participate in this hobby? This post may sound like a classic TEN REASONS YOU SHOULD RIDE HORSES, but oh well.

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What I’ve grown to love most about riding and just being at the barn and around horses is how much it puts life’s stresses and minor problems into perspective. It both removes the worrisome thoughts from my mind while there and brings me enough confidence to conquer those problems [when I return to real life].

Riding, at least for me, takes every ounce of concentration and brain power I can muster. There is no room for thoughts about grocery shopping, did I make the dog a vet appointment, crappy work meetings, that one time I embarrassed myself last month, or anything else. Other than the straight distraction, it’s great confidence-building which sounds a little lame when you’re not talking about a child, but it’s true. I don’t think it’s just the hopping on a 1,200 pound animal and steering it around a jump course that does it, or even having a bond with an animal that large. I really think it’s the continuous improvement. 

If I can return to the same challenge time after time and make improvements, why should any other challenge in my life be any different? And I think this is true with any hobby, or anything else in life. Compare yourself only to how you did yesterday and focus on continuous improvement.

My favorite part of finishing a particularly hard lesson, even though it’s definitely never perfect, is being able to say that I did X better than last time. In my mind, that’s really what it’s all about—the continuous struggle to overcome a challenge.

This is only in addition to other obvious benefits like it's some of the best exercise you can get, it gets you outside, you get to hang out with animals which make most souls happy, character building, etc.