Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I Reached My Goal, but What a Year


I knew Sunday was the 1-5-0, so I wanted to reach my goal with Beautiful Girl.  I started the year with a plan for her, and a helluva lot of determination, and it's fitting that she be THE. ONE.

Our day started out crappy--not at all like the 150th SHOULD have been.  She was tuned into her herd and bucking, kicking, changing directions on the line.  None of that bothered me, but when I'd tell her "whoa" she wouldn't listen, and that did bother me.  I started to jump in front of her path like a wild-ass woman: half cougar--half wildling--half crazy.  My reactions were not out of the normal playbook.  They were primal.  But you know, some days are just raw like that.  We know when we're being challenged--and sometimes, you just gotta fight back and defend yourself.

When I went to throw a leg over, I actually told her, "This is your chance to get even and buck me off, Bee."  (The day had that kind of feel to it.)  Surprisingly, she didn't take me up on the offer, and I stayed planted safely in the saddle.

Afterward, I dismounted, attached the long lines to her halter, and drove her around the 20-odd acres next door and at our place.  I want her to get used to walking out in the open.  There was a freak out moment--when Cowboy came running.  Beautiful bolted away.  I kept hold of one line and got her turned back around.  She was a little wound up in the lines, but very calm.   I unwound her and we proceeded with our driving ride.  (That is why it is best to drive in HALTER).

This year has been full of happiness and tragedy--

*I lost Old Red as I was flying to Hawaii. You can read about my "Terrible Landing in Paradise."  I still miss him.  Cowboy misses him even more.  Since his death, Cowboy has been ostracized from the herd and has only me and, sometimes, the pony, to keep him company.


*We added two horses to our herd around the 1st of March.  I hadn't intended to do that so fast, but a friend approached me with Little Joe and my son-in-law got the itch to become a horseman--thus adding Foxy. Both additions were a god-send: Foxy bonded hard with Cowgirl (who was grieving her horse husband) and Little Joe became the heart-horse for my granddaughter, Catherine.



*I introduced Leah to lots of new trails.  She did pretty well.  I don't think, however, she's going to be THE horse for me.  She's a sweetheart, and I love her, but she doesn't have that umph that I'm looking for.  I'll continue working with her, and riding her on trails, but when Cowboy is fully retired, I'll be wanting a true heart-horse.  (I think part of her issues are just bad conformation. You can't do much about that.  But she is a sweetheart, and she'll always have a home, and lots of love, with me.  And, I'll always ride her because she needs to keep moving!)



*I rode Beautiful for the first time ever this year and, although, I am scared of getting bucked off, I truly believe that if I build a relationship on heeding/partnership/unity/at liberty/being chosen--I won't ever be.  I am carefully building each step of our journey.  Even after our little spat the other day, on day 151 she came right up to me when she saw me approaching with the halter.  She has a heart for me, and I for her.


It remains to be seen if she'll be "the one" that I bond with for the trails, but she has been "the one" in my heart for ten years.  She's my baby.  I'm her mama.  We will never part.

My goal for next year is to have more days in saddle or training, than not.  That means, I will need at least to reach.....

183 Days!!

It's too late to get there this year with December only having 25 days left.  But, if I want to get to where I plan to be with BEE, I need all the days I can get: trailering her off the property, ponying her on the trails, training her away from home, taking lessons away from home, and generally building her confidence in herself and me.  And, our partnership together.

A lot of things can get in the way of these plans--health problems (for her or me), work obligations, family and travel, but if I follow through and do what I say I'm going to do....

this time next year.....

I hope I can say.....

I have found  my next trail riding heart horse.

Wish us luck!



16 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic amount of good has happened, and will continue with that attitude of yours. :) As far as "arguments" go, they happen, even in the best of relationships. Frankly, I think sometimes they just clear the air. And set good boundaries.

    And yes, my husband bakes pies and cookies...and he even cleans up his messes. Usually. :)

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    1. Wow. Cleans his messes?? You won the lottery!! I know my husband, as sweet as he is, would never bake a thing.

      Thank you for your encouragement with Bee. If we didn’t have those moments, we’d be robots. I had those moments with Cowboy—lots of them—and we are connected forever. We try to be perfect, but love is messy.

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  2. Well, that year end review puts everything into perspective. You got a lot done. I'm sure next year you'll have no problem meeting whatever goals you set for yourself.

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    1. I hope you’re right, but there is that variable of what Bee is capable of giving. We will see.

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  3. You’ve done so much to be proud of. Congratulations on completing your 150 days! That’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve no doubt you’ll reach your new goal too and have a great time doing it. Bee might surprise you and be your heart trail horse. We’ll find that out as you both go along your journey together.

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    1. I deeply hope Bee will surprise me in that way. I love her dearly, and if she can give me her trust and heart enough to be that trail horse, I will be so grateful and so humbled.

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  4. It's been one of those years, for me, too... but you've accomplished and overcome so much! And the wins are big :-) Sending you and your family and Bee and all your heard the best for next year!! Set those goals and go for it!

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  5. It's been quite a year. I admire how determined you are.

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    1. Thanks. The older I get, the more determined I get. I see time as a limited commodity.

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  6. Overall, except for Red it sure was a good - and busy- year for you. And- you forgot to mention- you set your curls free!
    Once you have had a heart horse it is really tough to find another one. I have been blessed with a few over the years. I sure hope Mesa will be my next one.

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    1. That’s true. Maybe we measure by too high a stick. And, it’s near to impossible for any horse to compete With Cowboy as long as he’s alive. Our bond gets deeper and deeper with time, and the days where we had our own rough patches, more difficult to remember. I have this vague memory of having to work a lot with Cowboy, but I see it all now as 100% my fault and none of it his. I think Mesa is going to be an exceptional horse!! And, you have so much to give her.

      Yes, my curls. That was BIG.

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  7. Our 2 mares are very chummy - from the outside looking in it would be easy to think they don't care about Padre. But it's evident to me that he is an integral part of the group - though he prefers to stand to the side, eat from his own feeder rather than share, and stand over the girls while they stretch out for naps, I see that as Padre being the leader, the one responsible for the decisions & everyone's safety. If I thought he were really lonely, I would have to find a companion especially for him. On the track, there was a mare on another shedrow who had a goat of her own (who snuck out and robbed our feedroom a lot), another horse had a rooster (God that thing made a lot of noise), and one of ours had a cat who perched 22 hours a day on the horse's butt (only leaving to do cat things when the horse was out of the stall). Even on farm days (our racehorses each got 2 days a week at the farm for turnout, year round, trailering back for nights) the cat rode the horse into the trailer and stayed within sight of him all the time.

    Looking forward to hearing all about it. *Fingers crossed Bee turns out to be The One.

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    1. Sounds like Padre is the leader. His relationship sounds more like Little Joe and the mares. If Cowboy comes anywhere near the herd, Penny runs him off at least 200 feet. Basically, she doesn’t stop chasing him until he’s at the end of the pasture or in another pasture. If he doesn’t run full sprint, she will bite him. I feel like he’s too old and doesn’t deserve that, so I have been keeping him in a stall to feed and then when I turn him out, he just walks way out from them and doesn’t look twice at the round bale. He does have the goat keeping him company, and a couple of barn cats. When they were born, Cowboy was the horse who came in to watch and nuzzle them. He always loved the kittens. I don’t know what happened to ostracize him from the herd, but as an orphan foal, he has never been that in to them, and he seems happy with this arrangement. Old Red was the only one he really bonded with and Cowboy would always tease him and keep him playing. Every morning I’d look out and see them bobbing their heads and nipping at each other playfully. I don’t see that with any of them anymore. The mares are a serious crew.

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  8. Linda, you're determination & achievements are SO admirable! With your positive outlook on life, nothing within your control will stand in your way of realistic goals. I know it's over said, but I do believe things happen for a reason. Even the bad stuff. Looking forward to seeing where this next year takes you & beautiful. Sky's the limit!

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    1. You’re always so encouraging—thank you! I believe you’re right about things happening for a reason. I am optimistic that if I keep this up through winter I will have a trail horse by summer in Beautiful.

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