Friday, March 25, 2011

two new series starting tomorrow

I'm not sure if it's spring that's pushing me to organize, or if I'm being taken over by the "series Borg," but lately I'm thinking of all my blog posting in terms of themes and ongoing posts that relate.

On the November Hill Press blog I'm doing a series on The Writing Life. It's about writing, of course, but several people have emailed me to say they think it is applicable to all artists and to life in general, so even if you're not a writer you might go check it out and see if it appeals.

I have put the mystic-lit blog on hiatus because I felt I couldn't keep up with three blogs at this point.

And in an effort to corral my helter-skelter posts here on camera-obscura, I decided today I am starting two series, at least for a few weeks, to see how it goes. I will inevitably end up posting other stuff too but the series will keep me more focused than I have been lately.

The first one is a series on living with the senior horse, and all the issues that come with that. Salina's 28th birthday is tomorrow and I'm becoming keenly aware of time passing for her, and of the ways in which her journey is informing my own. I want to write about this because I need to make some sense of it for myself. There are ways in which it is both difficult and transformational, and I want to focus on exploring those ways.

The second series is completely different. As I've been writing about at least weekly, spring is here for many of us, and for others it is on the way. I am getting far too caught up in farm management tasks and want to get caught up in riding the Big Bay (and Cody) instead. For the first several years we lived here, I had riding lessons in our arena at least twice a week. I rode 3-4x/week and sometimes daily. The past two years I have seen a huge decrease in my riding time. Some of that has had to do with physical events - injuring myself doing a yoga move (opening the root chakra is nothing to mess around with, believe me!) and falling down the stairs two different times. It also has had to do with the death of my father, which put me in a very cocoon-like state in a lot of ways, and also focused my attention onto my own aging process.

This year I have felt more physical changes than I ever have. I know some of them are related to aging, but some are related to not riding as much. And it's time to take that last piece OUT of the equation.

So - I am going to post twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, using a series title I have not yet come up with, but it will be a post reporting on my rides during that time period. I'll do a little report on what I did, how it went, what was best about the rides, and what I want to do during the next ones.

But! This isn't a series of posts about me riding - it's also about anyone who wants to participate in this with me. I invite everyone to post about your rides during that time frame. You can elaborate or if you already blog about your work with horses, use the comment as a way to check in and feel free to link to your posts on your own blogs.

And if you don't ride, you can also feel free to check in about something you are doing that is meaningful and important and that you're putting into a prominent place in your life by making sure you DO it regularly.

I think I need a little camaraderie. Sort of like what I got from riding lessons being on my calendar twice a week. But free. And online.  I think I might call it Lessons in Riding.

Whatever it ends up being called, I hope you'll join in the conversation.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think a series on your two blogs is a great idea. I'm enjoying the writing one on November Hill.

I often thought of doing a series of posts on each one of our horses. What they are like and what their individual problems are currently and then updating their training etc. Just never got around to it.

Your horse series about aging horses sounds interesting. I did some research when I was going to do something similar. As they age they do have special needs. I'll be looking forward to hearing more about Salina and your herd. Happy Birthday to Salina too!

Like the idea of camaraderie with lessons. It will be a good place to discuss our riding, especially for those of us riding at home. J. wanted to start a blog where people would send her a video of them riding or their horses and she would help them with any problems they were having. She just never got it off the ground.

billie said...

Arlene, I'm glad these sound interesting to you. I definitely need some company in getting myself back to a regular riding routine, although even as I say that I want to also say that I value being with the horses just as highly as riding them, and some days the riding time takes a back seat to something that comes before, or after.

So while for me the focus is to get more time in the saddle, it goes without saying that I want the entire process to be meaningful for both myself AND Keil Bay.

I would like to get back to some riding on Cody too - he is very different than Keil and it was good for me when I rode them both.

And heaven help me for adding this in, but it just occurred to me and I really need to at least get it "out there." It's past time for me to explore driving - there's a healthy, able-bodied pony here and two young donkeys who both show interest in having some work.

This will be more complicated than the riding b/c I've never done it and I'm not willing to send anyone off the farm for training. Not to mention, we don't have harness or carts. But last weekend at the local feed store's annual tack sale, there was a cart that was lovely and inexpensive, and since we have a huge driving community close by, I feel I can start looking for equipment and get us geared up (double entendre intended) to drive.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Looking forward to reading (and responding to / about) the new series(s). Great idea. Happy birthday Selena!! :)

billie said...

Thanks, C. Looking forward to more of your posts on riding - if you check in here make sure you link!

Máire said...

Billie, this is a great idea. I am riding more now that we have longer evenings and I like the idea of a series to structure one's thoughts. I also look forward to your pieces on an older horse.

I got caught up for a while in thoughts about whether a horse should be ridden at all. I think it was Ben led, as he was so sour when he came to us. However, I do know that the kind of riding I do suits him - long hacks - and I think it is very important that if you are to ride, it should suit be, as you say, meaningful to both participants.

billie said...

I know what you mean, Maire, about getting into the space of thinking that horses should not be ridden. For the most part the three horses here who are ridden seem to volunteer themselves for it. I have stopped and untacked Keil Bay a number of times when it became clear to me that something wasn't quite right. He is generally so willing, I trust that when he isn't, I should listen.

Interestingly, we have two horses who seem to need work from a physical standpoint. Cody with his PSSM symptoms does infinitely better when he gets daily riding. The pony doesn't have to be muzzled for grazing when he is ridden.

Keil Bay seems happier when he is ridden - he seems to have a work ethic and enjoys getting his ride and the attention that comes with it. Today I was doing chores and told him we were going to get back into our riding routine. He stopped eating hay in the paddock and craned his head around to look at me. Then a little bit later I said it again, and he did the same exact thing. It's hard to convey an expression in words, but I think most people who have horses would say he was looking like "it's about time." :)