I got to ride on Friday night. Oh, how wonderful it is to be in the saddle! The Barn Owner/ Trainer (we'll call her BA) had been really sick but still managed to meet me out at the barn to show me around to Chance's girth/ bridle/ martingale/ saddle pad (I brought my changeable gullet Bates which I love so dearly). Chance was really pretty good. He responds to an outside rein and outside leg for a canter transition (I am used to inside rein to pick them up and outside leg to push them forward), but once I figured out this cue, we had no problems. He did tend to pop his inside shoulder to the inside and wavier off of the straight lines in the arena (by the way-- oh indoor arena, why have I not ridden at a farm with you before?!!). I tried to do some 15-20m circles when he began doing this, but I don't think it had much of an effect. He is really rusty and so am I, so it is something on which to be worked. Sadly, the outside (tendon? ligament? muscle? I know horse anatomy slightly better than my own) of my ankles gave completely out after about 30 minutes of flat work. This is so depressing! I have been working out so hard, but there is no substitute for riding when it comes to develop riding muscles. I am so lucky that BA has offered for me to ride Chance. I have planned to come out next Friday night again. She even showed me how to lock up the barn so eventually, I can come out when I want! Persistence pays off, things didn't work out in October, but now it seems like I may actually have come together for me to get to RIDE! I love it so much. BA even told me that "we'll get you in shape to ride that big guy of yours."
So Saturday was a great day. I had to work in the morning (yep, I got a government job for the great hours and benefits, yet I was at work at 8am on a Saturday). Then I had a trial meeting with the Daughters of the American Revolution. I actually really enjoyed it, but I need some more info before deciding to join. Then Daphne and I went to this great park and ran the greenway. I was pumped and felt energized for the whole jog (by jog I mean probably 2/3 jog and 1/3 walk). When I finished, I realized that I had jogged 4.9 miles in 1 hour, which, if you ask me, isn't too shabby. 6 full weeks of working out and I am FEELING the progress! Then, I went to the barn and worked with Granite, who was wonderful.
In light of the recent tragedies among our little blogger community, I have really been inspired to take every minute I can to appreciate Granite. I sacrifice a lot for him. He is worth all of it. He brings me so much joy and it is such an honor to have him. I just want the ladies who have had their dreams with their horses just pulled out from under them, that I am doing all I can to consciously appreciate what I have been so lucky to have.
Sunday was another good day. Eva and I went to the 'A' show in Raleigh. OhMyGod, there was ON ONE there. Classes of 2-6 people! Apparently the economy has had most people choosing the C circuit. In turn, more people leave the As because they don't want to spend that kind of money to pay to compete against such small numbers. Eva and I watched the 3'6'' Ammie Owners then I went back home and went to the barn. I came home and worked out and then started my week over again.
So, sorry for the blow-by-blow, but all that to say that I am so grateful to have the opportunity to have such an awesome little horse and to now be able to ride at a farm at which I could never afford to board. I am also pretty proud that I have done so well starting on my 7th week of working out at least 5 days a week. I think I am on the road to once again being an athletic rider! I can't wait, and I know that my hard work and luck will pay off one day... soon.