Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Importance of Exercise

For Christmas Zoe's previous owner surprised me and gave me some wonderful gifts. I wasn't expecting anything, so this was a nice surprise! I got a beautiful saddle pad with the Oldenburg breed logo, a training and health care log book, 2 Christmas stockings (now hanging on Jimmy's and Zoe's stalls) and a magazine focusing on the Oldenburg breed. I love the saddle pad and will use it for our first show next summer.

It's funny with the stockings. Jimmy's was normal size, but Zoe's was small, signifying that she is the baby. At least that is how I interpret it. Everyone at the barn made a big deal that Zoe's stocking is so much smaller than Jimmy's. They of course are anthropomorphizing that she is going to be jealous about having a smaller stocking. I think it is funny. Zoe doesn't even care. She is getting lots of peppermints, which is her real concern. I think peppermints are her favorite treat. I am pretty sure this is the first time she has ever had peppermints.

I have been very diligent to make sure Zoe is getting plenty of exercise this week, despite the cold. I have lunged her every day. On Saturday I free lunged, then lunged in side reins, then rode. She was very good! I worked on downward transitions. She is quite bad at halting, so I will focus on that for the next month of rides. I figure that will be an important concept to have in case she decides to buck and bolt again. :-)

Jimmy has been communicating that he hasn't wanted to be messed with. At least that was the message over the weekend. I left him alone on Sunday. Last night he was acting more eager to be worked with, so if it is not too cold tonight I will ride him. I think it's important to listen to your horse and make sure he is approaching things with a positive attitude. Believe me, it is not fun if your partner isn't happy.

Here's to wishing it could be spring already.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Concept of Time and Holidays

Has it really been a month since I last made a post?? Time is a funny thing. I do think time goes faster the older you get. It has nothing to do with fun. It just whips out of control until you have no sense of past, present, or future. You only know it is when it is. All week I have had trouble remembering what day it was. Maybe it has to do something with the fact that there have been holiday parties for us to go to every day since Sunday. On Wednesday we went to 2 parties in one night. It has been fun meeting new people. Wouldn't you know it that last night I chose to sit at a table occupied by horse people! They were complete strangers in a whole room of tables and strangers, and I went straight for that table. Weird.

Speaking of horses, let's get to the point of my rambling. It's been bitterly cold, so my actual ride time has been at a minimum. I did ride both of the kids last weekend. Jimmy has been doing absolutely wonderfully. I am ecstatic with how soft and supple he has been. He's even been a foaming machine! My last ride on Zoe was an adventure. The girl decided she needed to get some kicks out and took me for a wild ride around the indoor arena. Twice. I stayed on out of determination not to be thrown into a wall or get hurt in front of spectators. I'm proud of that. Anyway, Zoe showed me I have to keep her well exercised and make sure she gets her kickin' time without me on her back. :-) I've been making sure to work her extra this week. I'll finally have time to ride again this weekend.

What's the other topic? Christmas shopping. Ugh. I just realized 2 days ago that Christmas is next week and I better start shopping. Now I have no idea if my gifts will arrive on time. I may be forced to go to mall hell. Please, no, don't make me go.....

Bad news is that my father is in the hospital right now for a blood clot in his lung. Thankfully it doesn't seem to be life threatening (or is it?). He'll be in for the next few days. Talk about adding some holiday stress.

We had our small division party today. I was so stressed out from having meetings all morning and not being prepared for the party at all. It was potluck with a small gift exchange. The gift exchange was a hoot. More fun than last year. We had our traditional video of a hearth fire projected on our big screen, a step up from the small TV we've had it on in the past. The crackling logs and flickering flames make our celebration atmosphere special. It's very cool. Anyway, in the gift exchange I got a TGI Friday's gift card. I think I will give it to my parents. :-)

I finally get a haircut tomorrow.