January 2, 2016
Last year was my first introduction to endurance and the start of my blog. This year I know just enough to be dangerous… And still have a long learning curve to go.
I do have a few goals for this year, and hopefully they will help me continue with sound healthy horses and good experiences for me and those on my team.
1. Improve my body.
Specifically- I do need to drop at least the 5 pounds I’ve picked up through last year which is 5 more than I wanted the year before that. It will be good for me and my horse. I promise not to loose enough to put me in another weight class though 🙂
More importantly this goal is about improving how I use my body and in turn helping my horse improve hers. I have been fascinated with Sally Swift’s Centered Riding and she printed some great diagrams about how our body mirror our horse’s that I’ll add here. She has experienced that if the rider holds tension in an area it usually corresponds to an area the horse will hold tension as well. Pam worked a lot with me over the summer to engage rather than hollow out my lower back and it seems to have helped Khaleesi develop a nice top line as well. This is supported by the concepts in Centered Riding of finding your center and strength, balance and grounding come along with that practice.
I have been focusing on this lately as I run. I have concentrated on using my center and not allowing my lower back to hollow and breathing all the way into that center. I also think of the ‘bubbling spring’ balance/pressure point under my foot as giving me energy and I have felt stronger and a little faster in my running.
It’s also been interesting to consider how jogging is a lateral movement (arms and legs move a lot like a trot) and to work on ‘lengthening my stride’ and imagine how my horse has to work to add speed to her own movement. I can understand better how it takes time (and patience) to really develop that.
Those are the ways I hope to improve my body and how I use it this year.
2. Rack up some AERC miles
Specifically- Team green has joined up with a ‘green bean’ (riders with under 1000 miles) team. We are the Rockin’ Mountain Monstas and I’m looking forward to having some team support and comraderie along the journey. In an individual sport where a leading motto is “Ride your own ride” it’s nice to have friends along the way.
My riding goal this year is to do roughly a ride a month from March-October. I hope to do as many 50s as my horse can do healthy and sound, and to have the sense to move her back to LDs if that is what she needs.
I have a pendant I bought almost 10 years ago when I was going through a major transition in my life. I chose it because it was the one I liked. After I bought it I read about the stones and design to find the piece was created to represent freedom (the wings) with strength (purple heart stone) and balance (blue stone).
I strive all the time to find this balance in life. Sometimes I’m good, sometimes I’m not so good, and sometimes I can’t really tell.
In order to be truly great it takes dedication and time- however I can’t ignore my husband, home and work to ride and train full time every day. Also my horses would hate me if I didn’t give them some down time mentally- and we always hear about the dangers of over working the horses and not allowing them to rest and heal in between events.
So I work on strength to pursue my goals and fitness but also to find balance to keep a full life; engaged in my world to use my lessons from the horse world and to make the non-horse part of my world a better place.
Of course I’ve already written here about my desire to not just be a good rider but to always grow towards being a horseman. I hope through this year and every day for the rest of my life I will chase the feel and stay a student of Equus.
“Keep the earth below my feet. Let me learn from where I have been. Keep my eyes to serve my hands to learn”
For those of you who read these words- thank you for being part of the journey. Happy New Year and ride on in 2016!
4 thoughts on “Ride on 2016”
I’ve followed all of your blogs, but since I’m so much “out of it” with the passion that you have, I haven’t replied to your blog.
I love everything that you have done, especially the growing that you have done as a sensitive rider/trainer/owner. I’ve gone thru so many of your issues and most especially your thoughts about your horses.
I’m beginning to wind-down at this age. That doesn’t mean that I can’t and won’t ride but what I can do will be lessened, but that’s a very interesting journey in itself, isn’t it?
Keep doing what you’re doing. It makes me happy that you, too, like Sally Swift. She is one of my heroes.
Much love and admiration,
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Great goals and good luck this season- hopefully we’ll see each other at a ride sometime this year 🙂
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I hope so grace! Where do you ride?
I am new to the sport too, though I have been doing mostly CTR. I really connect with your 2016 goals and appreciate your desire to continue to grow as a horseman. I think that the greatest compliment which someone can give us is to say that we are an outstanding horseman (more so than being a good rider), and the sport of distance riding certainly requires the growth of horsemanship skills. Good luck in 2016!
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