My mantra: January, I must survive January.
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.)