Making a suppressed rider happy

I’m realizing it’s not actually that long since I wrote last. And that this is going to be my second post today. And third this week. Awhaaa?

I guess I’ll keep it short then! Thursday I got to ride my old friend Sonny at Horse Connection, and our intention that morning was “Patience”. Definitely something he needs to develop a little more of.

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“Look at me, I’m so perfect!”

Lucky for him I match his stubborness play for play. The most significant exercise we did that morning, after putting him through his regular paces, was just standing still and “being” for about 15 minutes. Oh boy. 5 minutes in and he was thinking I should consider calling it home time. Oh brother, 10 minutes we were digging to China. Annnd then the mind games went in my favour and we stood still and relaxed for another 5 minutes. Then he got to leave the ring. I know. I’m such a slave driver.

After spending my night off Thursday accomplishing nothing productive (except for going to the gym for the first time in what feels like years), I was on strict orders from Emily to a) not take back my shift at work and b) NO SCHOOL WORK. So I wandered around with her for the evening. Friday, my busy day, went by quickly and before I knew it I was hopping around under the lights trying to keep warm, assessing concussions, and watching my underdog team win their semi-final game. We didn’t get off the field until 11:30, which meant I didn’t get to get until close to 3:30AM (coaching staff was very insistent the trainers join the “debriefing” at Tavern). This lead to a relatively unproductive Saturday. However, the weather was just too perfect to be stuck inside writing about the physiological and psychological effects of massage on a rowing athlete. I got some of my own physiological and psychological benefits by riding both my horses and heading out across the fields with Mom for the afternoon.

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Willard surprised me in a couple ways. For one, I was able to get his girth on without too much struggle (he is a little chubby..), and secondly, he hasn’t been touched since the end of August– so getting on him I was slightly apprehensive and ready for psycho-horse to emerge- but he was decently sane the entire time! He seemed equally as happy to be out and about with me as I was with him.

Felix! He is really starting to grow into himself (seriously, take a look at those pictures!). I haven’t been on him since Carman Fair in July, but mom has been riding him throughout the fall and I am so excited about everything to do with him! He’s developing a little bit more attitude, but for the most part, he is SO willing. His jog just floats, and his lope is gorgeous to sit. I wish it was spring so I could be on both my boys more often!

Sunday I got a little more horse time, this time playing the role of coach.

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Week to week, it’s so great to see these two improving and gaining confidence in themselves and each other. The past couple weeks have come complete with a few new challenges and speed bumps for them- all part of the growing process. I’m so happy to see the right instincts there and developing. It’s honestly one of the highlights of my week, every week, to work with these two.

The remainder of my weekend was spent working and finishing up my first (unfortunately not last) paper of the year. 12 pages down, god knows how many more to go! That’s my week in a nutshell. Things I’m looking forward to in the next week? Playing in the Investor Group Stadium (by playing, I mean hanging out by the 50-yard line and dealing with injuries)!

I’ve been managing my time like a pro lately, and really hope I can keep up with that over the next few weeks. Now, to work on sleeping!

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