Ashke is such an affectionate and loving horse. He is verbally welcoming, neighing when he hears my voice, playing with my clothes and snuffling my hair. He has never been mean. Even when he caught my skin with his teeth, I don't believe it was intentional.
Yesterday, when he was so ramped up heading home, or when the runner came past us, he settled and calmed down under my touch. On some level, and I'm not sure where this is coming from (perhaps fear of being thrown and injured), I get a little afraid that I won't be able to control him. But even when he was cantering in place, I felt strong and still in the middle of him. It also helps that Nicole immediately begins talking to me about how to use my body to help calm him down.
I am so blessed to have Nicole as a friend. I love riding with her and really admire her ability with horses. I'm also thankful that she's willing to share her thoughts and knowledge with me on a daily basis.
Gymkhanas should be so much fun this year.
Anything that looks like a jump is terrifying. So are manhole covers, sewer drains, random pipes shooting out of the ground, yucca plants and dried weeds. Just saying.
Started my diet again today. My goal is 20 lbs weight loss and then I will take another break and just maintain my weight. I did pretty well, even though it was the holiday.
My dog, Spike, is dying of cancer. This makes the second dog in a month that I am losing. Spike has been my heart animal since he was born. He follows me all over the house, sits in the kitchen and supervises while I make dinner. Sleeps by my bedside. Smartest damn dog ever. I am going to miss him so much I can't even begin to tell you. It sucks having four that are so close in age. Soon we will be down to one.
My back seems to be strengthening. Although I still have a lot of pain after I ride, it is getting better. I haven't been to see the chiropractor yet this month. Maybe I can get in this week. I feel like the muscles are getting a lot stronger. I am really sore after ever ride, though. Especially my groin. Teaching my lower body how to be on a horse again is not for the faint of heart. Don't expect me to pick up running. Just saying.
I am toying with the idea of taking a couple of dressage lessons from Cinnamon. I really want Ashke to be well balanced on both sides and to flex and give to the bit. Since this is a new area for me, I might seek some help. Haven't decided on it for sure, but am beginning to lean that way. I haven't ever ridden in any of the English disciplines and although I have no intention of showing, there are some parts of the discipline I think would be helpful, however I don't know how to make them happen. I also want him to be soft on the bit. Part of that is just being consistent and working him as often as I can. He is beginning to neck rein pretty well. And I was able to hold in comfortably while I was riding yesterday. I guess I will see as we go along.
We spent all of our ride yesterday with his tail flagged.
He so wants to race. One of these days I'm going to have to ride him hard enough to make him tired. He just got more and more energized yesterday.
Shed is starting to happen. I think it's too cold, but obviously the horses have a different idea.
I think about Ashke all the time.