Saturday, December 31, 2011

My "medicine"

When I started this blog, I wanted to post very regularly, at least 4 times a week.  I was doing OK last August until a big event in my life changed my daily and weekly rhythm and I just let the blogging slip away. 

The big event was that we bought a horse for me.  His is my "medicine" and his name is "Doc" (I kid you not!)   I didn't name him, that was just a happy coincidence.  Speaking of "Doc" and "Happy", did you know that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are NOT happy?  (My husband told me that joke.)

I don't have any good photos of Doc yet as he is a big challenge to photograph on my own (he always comes up to me when turned out in the arena so I can't get him to be far enough away to shoot properly on my own) and when my husband comes to watch me ride, we have a boisterous 3 year-old with us who, thus far, has rendered the photographic effort to be, well, let's just say "non-productive". 

Here is a photo of us on the day the vet visited:
He is a very pretty bay thoroughbred, age 15, which is "middle-aged" for a horse and he is very sensible.  I love riding.  As a systems analyst, I am a professional "thinker" and it's hard to quiet my mind.  When I ride, there can be nothing else going on and my mind gets a rest.  If my mind wanders, Doc knows it.  Riding is a partnership between me and my horse.  We have to be in tune with one another.  He's very powerful, so I need to be sure we're communicating well and my focus HAS to be on him.  Not on anything else.  So it's a little vacation for my mind and I find it incredibly addictive for that feature alone.

My loving husband always encourages me to go ride and I am so thankful for his generosity.  He takes care of Joaquin while I ride and I'm usually gone for 3 hours each time--at least 4 days a week.  He got tired of me thanking him all the time and finally "explained" it to me.  It went something like this:

Me:  I know I've told you before, but I just want to be sure you know how much I appreciate your support with my riding.  It means so much to me, thank you.

Him:  (huge sigh...) Look.  I am a selfish man.  When I "let" you go riding, I always get back a happy wife.  I LIKE having a happy wife.  When you ride, you lose weight and get more fit.  I want my wife to be healthy.  I want my wife to be around for a long, long time.  For ME.  I like the way you look when you are riding and fit.  That pleases ME.  So this is really all about ME and what I want.  You don't have to thank me.

Me:  Oh.

Riding is also very physically demanding (I am learning dressage) and it's outdoors in the fresh air.  Not only that, but it is surprisingly social.  You develop a relationship with your trainer and other riders at the barn.  And you have a relationship with your horse.  Horses are amazing.  So willing to cooperate and so giving and sensitive.  I just love riding.  Today I had a really lovely "practice" ride (that's where I ride by myself and try to practice everything I've been learning in lessons) and it went really well.  I come home floating on another happy...and so "rested"...and so worn out from the physical demands.  Very good medicine!

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