Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The No-Riding Blues

I may have mentioned this before, but M is a genius and a therapist and I love being at her barn. I was very nearly crying into Lex's mane the other day and she was like, "Let's go on a trail ride." So I saddled up Spike and she rode Seneca and off we went. On the ride, she said she thinks I'm depressed because I'm not able to move forward in my riding right now while my horse is laid up and whatnot. She's giving me lessons on Seneca, and as I wrote about the other day, she let me ride both him and Spike when she was out of town. That was FUN.

But she's back now, which is tremendous. She also hasn't really ridden Seneca in like two weeks because I've been hogging him, and I'm sure she misses Spike. So I'll be handing the reins back over to her and probably won't be able to ride at all for the rest of the week. This is, of course, driving me nuts.

So in the meantime, here's what I'm doing to beat the no-riding blues:

1. Fix up my brain. Thanks to Mary, I'm working my way through a stack of sports psychology books, starting with Jane Savoie's That Winning Feeling: Program Your Mind for Peak Performance. I will probably write a book review when I'm done, but for now, I'll say that this is very useful and I recommend it.

 Also on my list are Savoie's It's Not Just About the Ribbons, Denny Emerson's How Good Riders Get Good (I have actually read this before, but it bears repeating), Dan Millman's Body Mind Mastery, and Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code. If Mary thinks these books will help me, they will. Riding is such a mental game, after all.

2. Stalk JWo. M has been riding with The Woff for 30 years. He's not far away. She's going to e-mail him and tell him that I'm going to come set rails during lessons. I don't think she's taking no for an answer on this one, but I don't think he'd say no anyway. He appreciates people who want to learn.

Along these lines, I might also ask Joe Fargis and Marilyn Little if I can do the same thing, because they are nearby and I idolize them both.

3. Bug people I know. I do know people around here with horses I can get on. I just need to get over my nerves and ask them. And I will. In fact, I already sent one text message today and will call someone else tomorrow. Or maybe even when I'm done writing this here post. But if you're in the VA/MD area and you've got a horse you wouldn't mind me hopping on, I will not turn you down.

4. Hang out with Rocket. No, I can't ride Rocket yet, although she looks like I could because she's enormous. But she's fun to hang out with and spending time together is good for our relationship. The more time I spend brushing her and scratching her withers, the more I like her. And (knock on wood) she's been pretty good on the lead line, too.

Hay girl.

5. Read all your wonderful blogs. I get sad sometimes when other people are having way more fun than me and I worry that I will never have fun on my horse again. But that's ridiculous and negative thinking so instead I'm going to enjoy all of your good times, and feel for those of you who are on the struggle bus with me right now.

6. Mucking lots of stalls. At least I can keep up my fitness and do something good for the horses every day.

7. Ride along with my vet and farrier. There's a lot I can learn from them. I need to learn to do IV injections, I could stand to practice removing shoes since it's been so long since I've had a shod horse, etc.

8. Keep you all hanging. I might have a pretty fun announcement coming up. I'm waiting for it to be 100% solid, but when it is, prepare yourselves. It will definitely help lift my spirits.

What do you all do when you can't ride besides mope?


  1. When Lily was on stall rest last year, I worked out. Rider fitness and all that. It paid off later when I decided I wanted to be a crazy endurance rider. Haha...And there is just so MUCH to do and see in this area in the summer (I'm in MD about 30 min outside DC so I'm local to your area) that it was easy to find plenty of outdoorsy stuff to do to stay distracted. My husband and I went tubing on the Potomac and made a point of hiking a different trail once a week. We explored a lot of the neighboring towns and just had such a blast. We love this area. I know you miss FL but I don't miss it one bit! I hope Lex is back to 100% very soon. Sounds like you have plenty to do to keep busy and continue learning in the meantime!

  2. When I couldn't get tack time due to work I was very mature & sulked *nod*
    Sorry not remotely helpful advice, in all honesty I was so exhausted I mostly slept. I did finally take charge and move my girls back closer to home with arena access vs trails which has made riding much more accessible to me.
    Love your goals though, you're lucky to have so many fab people near you to learn from & lovely Lex will be right as rain and back to her lovable self in no time. *hugs*

  3. I'm a little obsessed with Joe Fargis, they might have to remove me from his property on a regular basis if he lived nearby...

  4. Fingers crossed for good news! :-)