Sometimes in life I find myself really struggling with the feeling of gratitude. I know I’m very lucky and have a lot to be thankful for, but I often [all too often] find myself fixating on what I don’t have. This weekend, I really wanted to focus on being happy for the opportunities that are before me and remembering how lucky I am to have so many blessings in my life.
Saturday I had an extra private lesson on Vinnie, and with Sam finally done with finals, he was able to come with me! As I’ve mentioned before, some issues with my leg have prevented me from moving up to the Intermediate Adult 2’6″ division this year, and I’m planning on showing in the same division I did last year (Limit 2′). While I know this is good decision, I still can’t help but feel frustrated and jealous sometimes. So I’ve been trying to think of all the positives, instead of dwelling on the negative and this lesson really showed me that I’m moving in the right direction.
We had three fences set around the outside, on the quarter line, one single and a five-stride line. Down the center was a three jump gymnastic, all one-strides. Our focus in the lesson was to follow over the jump, especially as they got bigger. Sometimes, especially if we have a bad spot or the horse over-jumps, I just pose in an awkward and stiff two-point, instead of flowing. We started out by going over the gymnastic several times and talking through each jump, until I started to get the hang of flowing better. My trainer explained the concept in several ways, but the one that stuck was “pushing my butt out” over the fence. Kind of crude, I know, but whatever works! We ended up having a bit of breakthrough, and I finally got what I needed to do! Woohoo!
Saturday I was grateful for the opportunity to ride and take lessons with a highly qualified professional. Without your own horse it’s not always easy to find opportunities to ride regularly, and my trainer has graciously provided that for me for a year now. I am also extremely lucky to have such a supportive boyfriend who wants to go out to the barn with me whenever he can. He enjoys watching me ride and helping out with grooming, tacking and cleaning up.
Sunday Sam and I got up early and went to the barn. My trainer let me hack Diamond, to give Vinnie a day off. It was great to get back on her, after not riding her for a few weeks. It’s amazing how much more sensitive she is compared to Vinnie, and how much she really makes you work for every step.
It was the perfect ride to continue to work on my leg, which I now realize on Diamond is literally useless on the right canter lead. That’s definitely not helping me! So we practiced circles, with special attention to the right side of my body, transitioning body positions at the trot and canter (variations of sitting, posting/half seat, and two-point).
Then I went to do some no-stirrup work and though it’s been a few years, I thought I’ll just post for a lap or two and it will be fine. Oh my god, was I wrong. I remember doing no stirrup work in high school and it was a breeze. I got two steps, literally, and almost fell off. How embarrassing. So I practiced at the walk and realized just how far I have to go. But at least I know, and will remember to work on it a little bit every ride.
After the barn, Sam and I headed to his mom’s house, about 30 minutes south of us. Mother’s Day is the only holiday she cares about, and she always wants the same thing: to set-up her garden and eat pizza. So that’s what we did — Sam and I helped her husband plant the garden and her flowers. Then I helped out in the kitchen and we ordered pizza. It was a great evening and of course our dog loved playing with his brothers and sisters (Sam’s mom has five dogs) and romping around the yard.
Sunday I was grateful for the opportunity to ride more than one horse that can teach me a lot about riding and help me improve on my weaknesses. I was also grateful for my awesome mom, both of grandmothers, and especially Sam’s mom. Her health isn’t the best, and I need to remember to be grateful for every memory we can make with her, because as we go along in life, there will be things she is no longer able to do. But I was very grateful to spend this Mother’s Day with her, and to have her in my life as my second mom. To raise me, it takes a village, that’s for sure.