Christmas Day. December 25, 2015
Merry Christmas to team green and my blog readers.
As this first Christmas on my endurance journey closes I have some loose thoughts to share…
I want to say thanks for the wonderful gifts I’ve gotten this year:
From Team Green’s Florida Contingent (Sarah & Madison) we got an early delivery of Omega Fields Horsehine supplements for hoof & health support. Both girls’ hooves are looking great, and their coats are healthy even in a few weeks from adding it. Also to help our feet stay in good shape this winter a new rider rasp to help clean them up in between winter farrier visits!
From Susan who is the newest member of the team and has been coming to do training rides on Faygo (which have been great for both training and conditioning for Khaleesi) we got help with a new set of front Renegade hoof boots for Faygo- to keep her moving through the winter without wearing out her front feet.
Also from Susan a training log for 2016 to help us keep track of our miles and ride calendar for the year!
My husband Ed (an honorary member of team green since he’s supportive from afar) continues to be my ‘gear guy’ and always comes up with thoughtful gifts to keep us riding in all weather and conditions!
This Christmas he geared me up with half a dozen under-layers in every different weight and color- tops and bottoms… some with half zip, some with hoods, some with V necks, some with extra long arms that extend over my hands… super light for spring and ultra heavy for the coldest winter days- along with a bag of hand warmers, toasty toes and even the full feet insoles.
He also picked up a nice red on black biothane breast collar that I’d been looking at to go with my new saddle. (pictures of that to come… when my saddle shows up STILL WAITING on that… it’s just about killing me trying to be patient!)
Also with a new saddle I need a new saddle pad- my mom sent a new Diamond Wool saddle pad that I’d wanted. She also sent some great cold weather tops to help keep me snuggly and warm- I won’t have to do laundry now for weeks and still have great clean gear!
We are lucky to have such a great home barn and always consider Laurie as part of the team- even if she’s not with us often a hay feeder, or bucket, or fencing system, or just about anything else we might need and not have of our own is always there for us to borrow- and she gave me my absolutely favorite snuggly riding pants. On the few super cold days we have had I just want to wear them – riding or not! I’ve never put on a pair of pants so cozy and warm in my life!
My sister-in-law Kathy is not officially on team green and says she’s terrified of horses- but she drew my name in our santa swap and picked up a couple pairs of my favorite smart-wool snowboard socks (my current ones have threadbare heels).
We are so lucky this Christmas to get so many great gifts helping us on toward our eventual goal- 100 mile one day ride… though this year the short term goal is taking on the 50s sound and healthy if possible.
Christmas week has no riding as I’m on the road visiting family for the holidays. This year it doesn’t feel quite so bad because it’s pouring rain at home with flash flood warnings.
I have tried to continue working toward our goals even on the road! Peggy Sue and I are out there each day jogging 4 or 5 miles to offset the wonderful celebratory meals we’ve been part of. I know Khaleesi is better off every pound I can shed and to stay fit and in shape myself!
As Peggy Sue and I were jogging this afternoon I was listening to my favorite Christmas album (Sufjan Stevens- Songs for Christmas) and when The Friendly Beasts came on it touched me to be reminded the part equines played in the Christmas story- and how God choose a barn to be the first stop of the Christ Child.
It was a donkey that carried Mary…. and a donkey that carried Jesus later… and many times in between. It was a rainy afternoon and as I listened to the lyrics I was really touched and it made me miss our barn today:
(Listen to my favorite version here)
Jesus our bother, kind and good; was humbly born in a stable rude. And the friendly beasts around him stood. Jesus our brother, kind and good.
“I” said the donkey, shaggy and brown, “I carried His mother up hill and down; I carried her safely to Bethlehem town. “I” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.
The song goes on with the parts all the animals played in welcoming the little baby Savior: the cow gave the manger and hay to pillow his head; the sheep gave wool to keep him warm; the dove cooed him to sleep so he should not cry; the camels brought the wise men bearing gifts…
Thus every good beast by some good spell in the stable dark was glad to tell of the gift he gave Emmanuel.
I’m not one to get overly concerned about celebrating special days. Sure- I like to do something special for birthdays… but I also like to try to make every day a day to celebrate and give thanks as much as I can. I try to find special moments on random days to enjoy and be thankful for. I hope I don’t only use our anniversary to tell my husband that I appreciate him and celebrate our life together… and on the flip side if we have a nice dinner together on the 19th instead of the 21st that doesn’t bother me at all.
I did feel a special moment today with Peggy Sue, looking out over Western PA, jogging in the rain and finding some pretty blooms and berries left on random trees- hearing the song about how the animals welcomed baby Jesus in the barn and even though December 25th may have little to do with that event- it’s still the day we chose to remember it, and for a moment I stood quietly and pondered what it meant in my heart.
I hope you found a special moment today- or many- with family, friends, animals, horses or even that moment alone. Joy and Peace.