Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January, I Must Survive January

My mantra: January, I must survive January. 

When T.S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month, breeding. lilacs out of the dead land, mixing. memory and desire, stirring. dull roots with spring rain," he was wrong....

January is.

However, I am determined to make the most of it.  I tell myself the days are getting longer. We are closer to spring every day. My tailbone is almost fully healed.  I've had the week off of work!  The bad weather keeps us inside, slows us down, yet inspires more family gatherings.

And, the horses are so appreciative of their massages.

Monday, I rode Cowboy and Leah in the arena--the only place that has decent footing. It's not great, but it's rideable at the walk.  My only goal with the rides is to get them to relax and enjoy it.  I stop a  lot, massage their necks, walk a little, stop again, slide off, finish massaging and stretching them.


I have spent a lot of time and money on lessons in the past--and recently, too.  Some of those lessons were from a T-Touch practitioner and, lately, it has come in handy.  The horses sure love it.

Yesterday, I got to share some of my lessons with a friend who is working with her somewhat green horse this winter on much of what I was working on with Leah a while back.  I gave her the exercises my teacher's gave me.

Start in the small circle, when you've got relaxation, move to a larger circle, proceed to a circular set of lines--or points on the wall--ride 4 steps to them, look at the next point, four steps, next point, etc--expand out to longer lines toward points--and the last of all the steps is the straight line along the arena walls, but support the nervous horse with a light touch of the bit on alternating reins.  It is a miniature version of taking them to different points and keeping their mind working.  Of course, if all hell breaks loose, you go back to the small circle.

Today, I rode Cowboy and worked with Leah and Bee.


As I worked with the girls, Cowboy watched from a distance.


As I worked with Cowboy, the herd watched.

I wonder how January would look if I didn't have horses.  What would I do to survive the cold and snow and ice?  What would pull me outside into the elements every day, if not horses?

******

For Christmas, I received a very special gift from my granddaughter, Sophie--these drawings.  They are extra special because they are her first serious attempts at drawing horses, and I watched her sketching, erasing, sketching, each one of these over a long period of time.





I'm having them framed into one large piece.

The night before she left, I gave her a canvas and paints, and she whipped out a picture of Little Joe and Penny-- (They're our new married pair.)


12 comments:

  1. Aww- she drew a picture of Carmen (the Lippizans were bred from the Andulusians). :)She's very very talented.

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    1. Thank you. I didn’t realize they were related!

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  2. Yes January is much worse than April! In April there is the promise of spring, and Easter and usaually foals :) I must say February is the blah month for me.
    Sophie is quite talented. I hope she pursues art in school.

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    1. Me too. She is very creative—both musically and in the visual arts. She also embroiders—the old fashioned way. It seems like she is also creating something.

      February can go either way here. We’ve had warm February’s and then horribly cold ones, like last year’s, that took Red’s life. I don’t know what’s in store for us this year.

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  3. She did excellent work. Growing up, all of my friends were horse crazy and we all had the same sketchbook that taught us how to sketch horses. I probably still have it around somewhere. My mother minored in art, and she taught me this technique of starting with light circles to get the placement of the joints and head. I never really learned how to draw despite all my effort.

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    1. Horses are hard. Sophie has been diligently working out of that sketch book. I’ve also seen the circles as joint placement, but I never really got it. I see art is like to make, in my head, but I don’t know where to start to bring it out. 😭

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  4. The winter months are tough. Especially this year with the record breaking low temps. But we will get through it. Spring isn’t that far away.

    Sophie is a very talented girl. Lovely pictures to be treasured. She is definitely on her way to becoming a professional artist.

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    1. I gave her another canvas and some paints—she can just keep drawing and painting me horses every day! I called her the Rumplestiltsken of horse art for me—Turning straw into gold. 😂

      Yes, spring will come and we will appreciate it so much more when it does. I bought yak tracks, btw. They work great.

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  5. Love the drawings! How old is Sophie? Horses are not easy to draw, she did a great job. The scenes she put the different horses in are awesome. Drawing is such a wonderful form of expression. It can be done anywhere, for a lifetime. I need to get back to drawing, sigh. One of these decades... From an outsiders perspective, you get outside & work with your horses a lot - in any kind of weather. It's inspirational!!

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    1. She is 13. Yes, she does draw everywhere. When we have quiet moments, she will be sitting somewhere drawing, embroidering, reading or slipping over to the piano and serenading us. She’s a creative soul...and an animal and horse person. Tender ❤️.

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  6. Wow, what great artwork for the Cowgirl Cave! Talented young girl.
    I think, if we didn't have animals, I might only be drawn outside for my Grand-Amy. It's a good thing we have animals so I don't age prematurely. ;-)

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    1. Thanks. Yes, our horses are good for us. I spent a couple hours spreading wasted hay yesterday and my arms were so sore I had to take Motrin to help me get to sleep. Free exercise! Thank my horses!

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