Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a number of paths

It's being a nice week. Sunday evening Keil Bay and I shed years off our respective ages and jumped a trot pole three times. Leave it to the Big Bay to show me we can both soar.

Monday I had a lovely ride on Cody. He is such a different ride than Keil; it teaches me an entirely different set of skills and when he really relaxes and settles into his stride, he's wonderful.

Later that afternoon, my daughter had her dressage lesson and as usual, I learn almost as much as she does just sitting there watching.

Pilates update: I am not planning to turn this into my own personal training journal, but I'm excited to report that not only have I kept up my daily Pilates, I am already losing inches in the waistline. It happens fast with the mat work. I'd forgotten.

And a labyrinth update: the first circuit is nearly done. We started an external circle path that shoots off from the actual labyrinth and goes around the outside. While this isn't a "true" feature of a labyrinth, I decided that with horses and the potential of having two at a time down there, it would be nice to have a way for one horse to be able to walk the labyrinth while another simply takes the bigger circle around. Eventually, the outer circle will also have another path feeding off it that goes up the hill and through the woods.

Chiggers notwithstanding, this labyrinth is going to be fun. I need to dust the path with DE, keep the foliage cut well back, and between that and fall, hopefully we will be chigger free. I think I forgot to say that late last week I made a huge error in judgment and worked on the labyrinth one morning, then wore those *shorts* and socks for several hours after coming inside. It was afternoon before I realized that I was being bitten by chiggers. Aiyiyi - this batch is about 4x worse than the first one. But the homeopathic ointment, remedy, and baking soda baths got me through it yet again.

Today we had the chiropractor here, and minimal issues. I found a crow feather in the arena, which really made my morning. And to top it off, it's 68 degrees out and we're getting a very soft and steady rain that feels wonderful.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, what a beautiful horse! I keep saying "one day"....

Pilates are great - yoga too -- they both strengthen the core muscles and help with flexibility, etc

(here from Backspace *waving!*)

billie said...

Hi, Kathryn - nice to see you here! You will have to come to one of my Writing With Horses retreats one of these days! :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Everything with the horses and their training seems to be going so well. I have often found that sitting on the sidelines listening and watching lessons is very enlightening. I've got to say the labyrinth seems very mystical and interesting, I'll bet you can't wait until it is finished. Too bad about the chiggers though, ouch! It is unusual to have such cool weather at this time of year we are having the same thing although not as cool as you, we're about 10 degrees higher.

billie said...

Arlene, we're back to normal tomorrow, but it was nice to have such a cool, rainy day w/o the thunder and lightning and storm stuff.

I'm feeling really good about Keil Bay. With Cody, I'm feeling good but also thinking we need to make more of a plan wrt his continued training. Complicated by the fact that I am just not able to send him away for it. Does this mean I have to learn how to do it myself? :0

He has the basics, and he's jumping baby jumps both at liberty, on the lunge line, and under saddle with a rider. I did manage to "teach," or at least get him to remember how to do turns on the haunches the other day. Some of his cues are Western Pleasure - so we're translating as we go.

Janet Roper said...

Crow feather? Did someone say crow feather? ;-) Sounds like life is perfect! Perhaps the chiggers add a dose of reality to an otherwise dream life?
Much harmony,

billie said...

Janet, I was so enamoured of the crow feather IN the arena, I left it there!

And yes, I think those chiggers carry a message - nothing is perfect, and one should always come prepared. AND... what seems never-ending does indeed end.

I have not tried spraying any sort of insect deterrent on my legs when I go down there, and until I get control of the 8-foot things growing along the path, it will be an issue. I am trying to embrace the itching and the message, but there are moments when that's not exactly working. :)

Victoria Cummings said...

This seems to be the Summer of the Itch. I've never had so many bug bites. It's great that you're persevering with the labyrinth. Can't your wonderful trainer work with Cody? She sounds like such a good horse person, and he doesn't seem to really have a problem but is just ready to take the next step in his training. Actually, I'll bet you could do it yourself.

billie said...

LOL, Victoria - the summer of the itch!

Unfortunately, while our trainer has helped us with a number of basics, she does not jump or ride dressage, so for Cody to go forward learning those we'll need more focused assistance.

My big gap in jumping is setting up the jumps and the gymnastics - and using those to help the horse learn to jump efficiently. With dressage I'm learning and riding - but not sure I can train the movements.

For now we're still working on rhythm and relaxation, and suppleness, and there are tons of "experiences" to work on - trailering to clinics/off the farm, soaking feet, getting legs wrapped, etc.

I just always tend to think a few steps ahead.