Horse Owner Today
Real HOT, Real Life with
Bonnie Newton


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Horse Owner Today

I Ride!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   September 19, 2013 15:07
 

Photo credit:  Andrea Lawrence Photography

by Author Unknown

I ride.  That seems like such a simple statement.  However, as many women who ride know, it is really a complicated matter.  It has to do with power and empowerment.  Being able to do things you might have once considered out of reach or ability.

 

I have considered this as I shovel manure, fill water barrels in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/electrician/hay delivery, change a tire on a horse trailer by the side of the freeway, or cool a gelding out before getting down to the business of drinking a cold beer after a long ride.

 

The time, the money, the effort it takes to ride calls for dedication.  At least I call it dedication.  Both my ex-husbands call it "The Sickness".  It's not a sport.  It's  not a hobby.  It is what we do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

 

I ride.  I hook up my trailer and load my gelding.  I haul to some trailhead somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog, and I ride.  I breathe in the air, watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my horse.  My shoulders relax.  A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face.  I pull my ball cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the dust.

 

Time slows.  Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies.  My gelding flicks his ears and moves down the trail.  I can smell his sweat and it is perfume to my senses.  Time slows.  The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the leaves become my focus.  My saddle creaks and the leather rein in my hand softens with the warmth. 

I consider the simple statement;  I ride.  I think of all I do because I ride.  Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the Manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest.  Other days just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment.  Still I ride.  No matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the numerous horse related injuries hurt.  I ride.  And I feel better for doing so.

 

The beauty I've seen because I ride amazes me.  I've ridden out to find lakes that remain for the most part, unseen.  Caves, dark and cold beside rivers full and rolling are the scenes I see in my dreams.  The Granite Stairway at Echo Summit, bald eagles on the wing and bobcats on the prowl add to the empowerment and joy in my heart.

 

I think of the people, mostly women, I've met.  I consider how competent they all are.  Not a weenie amongst the bunch.  We haul 40 foot rigs.  We back into tight spaces without clipping a tree.  We set up camp.  Tend the horses.  We cook and keep safe.  We understand and love out companions, the horse.  We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail.  We know that if you are out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait, and doctor.  Your hands are a little rough and you travel without makeup or hair gel.  You do without to afford the "Sickness" and probably when you were a small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real one.  Now you are there.  I ride.

Gratitude

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 30, 2013 08:25

Gratitude is absolutely essential to human beings.  Gratitude keeps us grounded.  Gratitude reminds us of “the really important stuff” in our lives.  Gratitude is defined as “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gratitude)


Do you take time to acknowledge “the really important stuff” in your daily life or do you con yourself into saving it up for the big one?  For example are you thankful for that first cup of coffee in the morning or are you going to be very thankful when you win the lottery?

 
Saving up for the big one is a common trap.  In my personal opinion that is procrastination.  Procrastination is a very slippery slope. Put a foot out there and suddenly you are careening, wildly, out of control, wondering “what just happened?”

Photo credit:  Bonnie Newton

How am I grateful?  When? And why?
I take time throughout each day to be grateful.  Each morning I express a prayer of gratitude for that first cup of coffee, the fragrance, the flavor, for that moment of peace when nothing else matters but the silky slide of hot coffee down my throat!


I was grateful several days ago when I blew a rear tire on a busy highway.  Some may read this and think “you’re nuts, why be grateful for a blown tire”!  My answer to that is simply, if it was a front tire, our vehicle could have and probably would have rolled; in that context, a rear tire is not a huge issue. 
I was grateful that I knew how to change the tire.   My son knows the procedure and thought of it as an adventure (he is 7)! 
I was grateful that the tire was changed out, torqued and we were back on the road in 10-15 minutes.  My years in the oilfield and on the farm paid off in spades.  Expressing gratitude, very quickly in this case, gave me confidence and an inner sense of peace to deal with the situation quickly and effectively.


I was grateful again, as our beautiful son Wyatt was fitted with his hearing aids.  The light that blossomed on his face when they were activated was amazing.  
I am so grateful each time Wyatt says “Mom I am exploring sounds”, I offer up thanks for the professionals, resources and support we have.


My takeaway message is simple:  express gratitude often, be grateful for “the really important stuff” in your life, be sincere in your expression, and teach your children gratitude.  

This quote by Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose sums up gratitude! 

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

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Be sure to sign up for our free “Real HOT, Real Life” newsletter RealHOTRealLife@horseownertoday.com  for great tips, recipes and much more. - See more at: http://horseownertoday.com/blog/fitness/#sthash.Ie3K8j9j.dpuf

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Gratitude