Sunday, August 24, 2014

A typical Sunday right (not)

I am dictating this story and I find that I actually tell a story better than I write a story.  I will make an effort to check for typos. However, I am dictating it to my android tablet I mostly expect what I say to come across. The Android is much better at dictation van is Siri.

I decided to go riding today. I had to go alone because maggie is at her fathers and though I had tried a bit to find someone to ride with I didn't try very hard.  Everyone is always telling me that I need to ride alone more often. The fact that I have not ridden anyone alone since 2008 is probably an indication of this. The only time I have ridden alone that wasn't in competition was when I took Liberty to Bismarck, Arkansas while maggie was there at camp. I spent several days riding him alone in the woods.  He was very good back then but since Maggie and I ride together I just have never really ridden by myself.

Liberty up just fine. In fact, he didn't seem to realize that he had no company until we arrived at Joe pool lake and he saw some other horses. I had intended to ride about 10 miles at a five mile an hour pace. He was eager to head out on trail and forgot that he was alone.  He did not call to anyone else and we were alone with Bailey running down the trail. I use this day to try out some renegade hoof boots. I really liked them for the first 22 minutes of the ride. They stayed on at a trot and a canter and he did not seem to even notice that they were there. We went through some deep mud and they were still intact afterward. When I gave Bailey a break to drink I was so pleased that they were still on his feet after the speed and the mud. However, things went wrong after that. At 44 minutes I discovered that we had no hoof boots at all.  I am assuming that they came off in the deep but that we went through on the second time around. Joe Pool does not have a lot of trails but they are conducive to making many loops.

When I realized they were missing immediately turned around and went back to the spot that I had assumed they fell off in.   I this is the place where they came off then it would take a shovel or a bulldozer to find them.  I made 3 extra loops and covered all the trails again 2 times and never saw a sign of them. Of course there is black gumbo and the boots that I purchased from eBay are, you guessed it, black.

But this was not the only adventure I had today. It became very warm while we were out and I worried that Bailey would overheat. There was also no water on the trail and no good to get down to the lake. All of the bank was very steep and dangerous to go down. At one point I found a bank that I thought would be suitable  Liberty to go  down.  Bailey got down with no trouble so I dismounted and began to walk toward the wire. I like Lake Whitney which has quicksand there is no quick sand at Joe pool lake. However there is clay. I took a couple steps down the hill and probably fell on my butt all the way down the hill. I almost landed in the water. How was completely shocked because it looked totally benign. I quickly told me to stand still. I had already unclipped his reign and had one and in my hand and he had stood perfectly still during my descent. He continued to stay right where I put him and I tried to climb back up the hill to him. I did not want him to slide down the hill and into the water. I had seen that the water was not be there but after I fell down I wasn't sure she be able to get back up the hill later. We were completely alone on the trail. Earlier we're probably long gone as they had already scared coming around the corner as we work answering and I had fallen off. (But that's another show). I tried very hard to climb up the bank every time I put my foot down further and further toward the water. I was starting to panic and I tried to call Lloyd Park main phone number but Siri told me that no phone number existed. After standing patiently for quite a while Liberty decided he was thirsty and proceeded to come down the bank. I about full on flipped out at that point I yelled at him to stand back and back up the hill but he did not. Meanwhile Bailey is having the time of her life. She is drinking water and playing in the filthy muck . She is completely oblivious to the fact that I am stuck.  Liberty charged into the water completely tacked up. He went down his belly immediately and began to Waller.  I got him out of the water and back on dry ground. I was really shaken up as I had no idea how to get out of this mess. I was completely muddy from my head to my toes. I decided the only way and hope that the fabric of my tight would not slip out of my boots have done.  I told Liberty to whoa and he starts very still I began to climb up the hill on my hands and knees.  I found that I had traction to get up the hill this way and I was able to reach a vine that was attached to a tree and did not come. However I was getting out for him to get out as well. I was still holding and he was instrumental in helping to pull me up the hill and out of the mud.  When I was back on solid ground I was very shaky & I was thirsty. I ended up feeling like I must have had a panic attack at the bottom because when I try to eat and then. I was going to throw up. Liberty seems fine and we watch for a while so I can catch my breath. I have never go down to the water along the trail and Joe pool lake ever again.

So, I fell off today. But I hated that since it has been almost two years since I had come off liberty. We try it and cancer most of our ride. The first 22 minutes we're done at a six point eight miles an hour paste that was very comfortable for both of us. The second 22 minutes were almost there why did slow down because it was hot and Bailey needed to drink.  We work answering down a big wide open trail and saw the two men riding  toward us. They were in the shadows and we were in the daylight so I imagine he didn't see them until it was almost too late. I didn't either so I can't really blame him. They stopped and asked me if I was ok wish I was. I almost did not fall off and I landed on my feet. It was one of those moments where you just don't quite catch yourself in time. Then we went on to the muddy part where I think. I wish that I had looked when I remember to see if he was still wearing them.

When it was all said and done, including the time I spent almost falling into the water we still went 4.2 miles per hour. We did about 13 miles so  really not a bad day all in all. When I got back I disconnected the trailer and started to turn for home. When I got to the gate and looked up and discovered that the trailer was still attached to my truck even though I had crank it off the truck. The new truck holds so well I hadn't even noticed the trailer was still attached. I backed up and put the trailer back in its place making sure this time that it was going to stay there. It was a much longer day than I had intended but now I am tend to spend the rest of the evening watching some television and crocheting. Bailey is a very tired dog.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Epic weekend fun!

This was the weekend of Juggs, the epic fun weekend put on by Kate Love and Nancy Williams.  As they called was a weekend full of horse recess.  I took Fiera because Liberty has been complaining about his back. She was so wonderful. We even went on the night ride.  She never took a misstep and she reminded me why I have hung on to her all this time. 

I'm having a hard time believing that summer is already coming to a close. I'm happy because of the heat, but I will miss the schedule.  During the summer I can be home at night and during the school year I do most of my work from 3-8 in the afternoon.  However, this year I have gotten Monday mornings clear so I can work a little longer on Tuesday-Thursday, but have an extra morning to recover from my weekends.  I can get to the store and do a little cleaning and just feel like I have some time to breathe. I can help Maggie with school work more on Mondays too which will be great.

I have enjoyed a quiet morning catching up from the weekend. I should have been writing an assessment, but I didn't do that either, just have rested and watched some TV. I like it. I like it a lot.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Red box

I went to red box and got DVD's tonight. I remembered when my dad bought us a membership to a local vhs club in Liberty. We had to pay a lifetime membership fee and then still rent the movies. And you couldn't touch the movies as they were behind glass. I remember how cheated we felt when movie companies came along with out the fees.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A homeless person mowed my lawn

For those of you who thought I was being coldhearted about the panhandler at the gas station, wanted to let you know I was not actually meeting Crow about four people. Today a gentleman who was clearly homeless came to my door. He asked if he could not along for a few dollars.  I said of course since I actually have cash money on me right now, something that is rare.  If I had clothes that fit him I would have given him some new clothes as well.  He also could've used a bath but I didn't go so far as to invite him into the house.  What impressed me about him was not that he knocked on my door and asked for anything except for work.  

Alice Yovich MA, MT-BC, LMT

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Worst workout ever

I'm not really sure what got into me today. I just had the worst workout ever!  It may have been that I haven't slept well for the last couple nights since I have been stressing out about the ride coming up next weekend.  I am not exceptionally stressed, just the normal stress that one has before they go manage a competition.  Nonetheless, it has kept me up at night.  

And then last night I was awakened by a hot flash. I think this was a real hot flash, not one of those pseudo-hot flashes that I've had before where I just woke up a little uncomfortable. This is a full on sweating need to crawl out of my clothes the covers the sheets and stand under a fan kind of sweating.  This is not make me happy! I turned on the overhead fan, something that I never do. And of course the light was on along with it. This means I woke Peter up in my effort to have cool air. Sorry honey.

I woke up before my 5 AM alarm went off. I should've gotten up then, but of course I didn't. When the alarm went off at five I hopped out of bed which is my habit. I don't understand why I can't just hop out of bed at 5:45 AM or 6 AM.  I also don't really understand why I can't get up every day at 5 AM since it is apparently so easy. I seem to have trouble getting up early for no reason. And, going to spin class at 5:45 has not yet seemed to be a good enough reason.  This is why I have been enjoying my workouts with Roy. I have a commitment and I have to be there or else.

This week my weight has been up. It has been up higher than before I started. I am pretty sure that it is partly real weight and partly water weight. My fingers feel swollen and with the advent of warmer temperatures I typically gained a few pounds.  Roy has been really hard on me about it though. He looked at my food diary this morning and told me I have to cut out all the carbs.  Yeah, right buddy, you cut out all your carbs. And while I'm thinking about it since you're a vegan how you cut out carbs too. What do you eat? You don't eat meat so do you just eat fruits and vegetables all day long?  Again, I like rice so I'm being hard on him just like he was hard on me this morning. 

I was very weak today. I felt like everything I did was hard. Everything I did took maximum effort and cause my heart to beat fast and my breathing increase. I have learned that if I don't rest at that point I will eventually feel like I need to puke. So I would push myself to almost the point of feeling like I was going to puke and then I would back off. He says it's because my diet has been crap. The funny thing is, my diet is really not as crap as it used to be. I still don't lose any weight so it's very difficult to get excited about eating right when the scales pretty much stay the same whether I eat right or not.  I will admit I have not been eating enough green stuff. Part of that is because when I eat a lot of green stuff my stomach gives me trouble.  I have been trying to get my carbs down but I like cards so it's difficult.  I think I did go in entire day without eating sugar yesterday? I have to go back and check.

I'm being tongue-in-cheek and flip about this but the truth is I find the whole thing very frustrating. As of this morning on my scale I weigh 215 pounds. This is 5 pounds higher than I was just two months ago.  I have gone down below that and then I have gone above that but I never seem to really go down.  Working out has made me stronger and I feel better but I'm still not losing weight.  On my current food tracking streak I have gone 180 days. I write down almost everything I put in my mouth.  Even if I missing 20% of my calories I'm still eating far less than 2000 cal a day. And I'm moving at least 2000-2500 cal per day. (I know this because I use my Fitbit). By all the numbers I should be losing weight. My thyroid is not entirely healthy but I take medication for that.  I have an active lifestyle and I work out.  My daughter gives me a hard time because there is not a thing that I eat that is not well thought out before it goes into my mouth. Even when I'm eating badly I'm thinking about what I should be doing instead.  I have tried to tell Roy that my main goal is to get more fit and to not worry so much about my weight.  However, he says that if I'm gaining weight I'm not losing fat and he doesn't want me to gain weight so he continues to harp on my food.  Maybe if I become a vegan I can finally lose some weight? I don't really think so though. This week I'm supposed to give up the cheese I love and the cards. Obviously sugar is a carb and falls in give them up. 

 I have been thinking a lot about Alton Brown and how he lost his weight.  He has list of what he ate every day, ate only two or three times a week, ate  only once a week. He had one dessert and weak one pasta week one alcoholic beverage per week.  He ate yogurt  every day… I can't remember the entire list. He got his weight off and has successfully kept it off.

I am reading and listening to a book called the diet fixed. It is about how to recover from the traumatic dieting.  I am only into the book where he talks about the seven diet sins in the emotions that accompany the sense. I think there is a psychological program at the end not just a food program.  So far a lot of what he talked about in the introduction really spoke to me. It talks about people like me who of been on diet all their life and still aren't any thinner.   Evidently, he also addresses the support system those people have, or the lack thereof.  Mostly, I just wish I could quit thinking about it. I wish I could quit tracking my food and just eat what I feel led to eat.  

The one time in my recent life that I have been then or on my way to fit was in 2007. It was the fall that I bought Liberty. I gave up drinking all diet soda, so subsequently also do since I never drink regular soda.  I was working as a massage and music therapist but I spent a lot of time riding my horses and I had just started to train Liberty. I was also teaching writing lessons.  I wasn't eating particularly well but I lost 20 pounds between the middle of September and the day before Thanksgiving.   I was so pleased with my success that I started tracking my food and I immediately gained it all back. I am sure that I was eating more calories and not as well when I was not tracking my food. Chicken express was a common part of my existence back then.  I had also recently discovered sweet tea from the same restaurant establishment.  So why did I lose when I wasn't trying?  Not logging right now is not really an option. Roy looks at my food every day and I have to run extra laps if I haven't entered my food.  But I do find myself wondering what would happen if I just turned the loose of the food diary. I'm afraid to, because I'm afraid I will just get heavier. But there's part of me that wonders if turning latest would actually make me lose the weight once and for all. Scientific evidence suggests otherwise, but I wonder.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pole canyon ranch NATRC ride

This weekend my daughter, Maggie, and I got to ride in one of our favorite places, Pole Canyon Ranch. We had pur semi-annual Natrc ride there and it was such a pleasure to see the Barefields. The rode aside, they have built a bathhouse and told us it was because of us. I don't know if it was or not but the showers were a delightful addition to an already wonderful place. 
Alanna, the ride manager always does a fabulous ride and this was no different.

We were supposed to take a first time competitor with us but she had jury duty and was unable to go. As a result we headed to weatherford to deliver her horse home and then decided to keep on going. We stopped on Wichita falls for supper and then kept driving to Childress. Turns out another friend had the same idea so we had a nice layover at the high school rodeo Arena.

Friday we made it into pole canyon ranch and discovered that we could use pens at the ride. This was great news. We don't mind a bit to camp at the trailer but since the camp ground is close it was great to have that options.

The weather for Saturday was predicted hot and windy. We were warned to drink extra water because it would be far dryer than we felt like it was. The horses did great in spite of the heat and I can honestly say I felt better than I ever have at the end of a day's riding. I'm sure its because I have been working out and I drank enough water. Other people, especially some open riders, were on the trail longer and faster and looked hot and tired on their way back.

Sunday was cooler but still surprisingly hot. Liberty lost a p&r point for respiration which has  only happened one other time. Of course as an Arabian he was better than most, including Maggie's horse.

The obstacles were a great mix of observation and set up with my favorite being an in hand side pass to a mounting block and off side mount. Liberty was set up perfectly and then moved and had to do the obstacle a second time which cost points. We did well on a hidden downhill. For one of the first times ever I beat my horse. I thought that I would be bested by maggie and was sad that she rode so well and didn't score better.

I had a close encounter with a rattlesnake on Sunday. Liberty was walking along and we heard a loud rattle close to his his hind left leg. He was fine but I moved him over as quick as possible while my friends went back to take a photo. I could not get out of there fast enough.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bits and Bitting

Yesterday at the end of the TTC there was a bit and bitting talk. The folks who did the talk were very knowledgeable and commented that horses who ride in hackamores were typically very tense and anxious. I ride Liberty in a s Hack and it's worked better than anything else I have ever used, but he isn't very relaxed and it's something I'd like to fix.  So, I grabbed the last unused bit and put it on a bridle for Liberty.It's a Myler short shanked comfort snaffle. It has the roller in the middle and doesn't collapse. It's a basic bit that I have seen horses use a million times. It took me a couple tries to adjust it properly but he was very patient with me. I got on him in spite of his nashing and gnawing at the bit and we walked around. I gave him all the rein he wanted, which was to take his nose to the ground (trying to drag the bit out of his mouth, silly horse)  I did like how round he was if I picked up a rein, but when I asked him to trot he was not regular at all and asking him to stop was frightening, even with a one rein stop.  So, I went back to the trailer, took it off and put his s hack back on.  He was immediately the horse I knew. He was steady in the bridle, light, responsive and didn't pull on me.  I then got Fiera and ponied her for 30 minutes. We averaged 6 mph, cantered, trotted, etc for almost 3 miles. Unfortunately it was all in circles in the pasture, so kind of boring, but I was impressed how good he was. We did some footwork after it and he did good turns on haunch and fore. I do wish he were more relaxed and I wish he could wear a bit, but I'm not sure how to force the issue. Maybe I need to try a bit with more tongue relief. It occurs to me that might be his objection...but at $100 a pop I'm not sure I will be trying another bit any time soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Decision time

I headed to the Texas Trail Challenge Friday as a judge so that Maggie could compete on her mare, Dixie.  Dixie is older than we had originally thought she was (This seems to happen to Maggie a lot, as her first pony was supposed to have been 15 and was 25) and she is suffering from ulcers, so we have decided to give her a break.  Maggie has decided to compete in TTC this year instead of NATRC, which is longer and faster and harder on Dixie at this stage of her life.  To this particular ride I had to bring a horse to get to my judging spots and I chose Fiera for this activity because I figured that she would stand quieter and be better riding out alone. Liberty will ride out alone, but if Dixie is there he wants to be with her and Dixie isn't as good either. Dixie is a siren to our other horses. 

To back up a moment, I rode Fiera in her first NATRC ride last weekend. While we placed last (which I had assumed would be the case) She behaved very well and did a good job for a baby on her first outing. She even handled being left behind when he buddy had to leave her beautifully. I have often been told I should ride her alone more and after my success last weekend felt comfortable doing so. 

I headed out of camp with minimal difficulty. Fiera didn't want to leave her friends but she did it anyway with only a few discussion. we had trouble getting through the gate, but it's a bad gate, so I wasn't all that worried.  We rode out with some other people and then rode on. We passed several people on the way out to wear we were supposed to be and she was relaxed and happy. I was singing You are my Sunshine and All Creatures of our God and King....and then it happened.  She "spooked" and the next thing I know was running off to the right...without me. I landed hard and she was running fast.  Several people came back on the scene quickly. I lay still for a long time because I hurt so bad. I wasn't sure I was going to be able get back to camp on my own, walking, but I did. Fiera made it back to the fence where Maggie was riding around. She brought her back to me and we walked back together. I then tied her up and promptly ignored her the rest of the weekend. Of course, I fed and watered her, but no love, no pats, no affection. I was pretty pissed and not sure I wasn't done (still not sure).

So, the contemplation began...

Her mother used to do this to me. She'd be solid as a rock and then she would spook and run away for no apparent reason.  But, Fiera is just a young horse, not even six, perhaps she really was afraid...but it felt like she "upped her game" on me. We had a series of smaller things we'd been working through and I was finally over being afraid of that stuff and we were becoming a good working pair. then, when something scared her, she totally forgot I existed and ran off, as I feared. I have Liberty to compare her to and he doesn't run off even when I fall, so she has a lot to live up to. 

What have I done wrong in the relationship? I can really think of anything, though I have always felt a lack of connection to her.  I try to work with her, but have the distinct impression that is in it "for herself"  She makes no effort to take care of her rider in any way. It's all about her. No one matters to her when she is afraid or angry. Maybe I have pushed her too fast. One friend says that maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. She's an Arab and they don't mature quickly. She's not yet six. Maybe mentally she's not ready.  Maybe I need more training on her? I can't really afford this.

Could a better ride have stuck it? Maybe, but she was really scared (apparently) and/or really determined to run away. If I had stuck it out, would I have come off worse later in a worse spot. I was lucky I fell out in the open instead of in the woods or up against a fence or something. I have ridden out a runaway and it's so not fun.

A couple of friends say to ride alone more. One has given me a good, safe way to ride "alone" mostly meaning to not take any of her buddies with me. Not so much that I ride alone with no one there, but to ride alone with none of her stablemates for her to lean on or run back to, making me her herd.  Another friend says I just need to go and ride alone. But I now don't feel safe riding alone. I have the big what if I had been riding alone...really alone...and this had happened.  I would have been horseless and alone and that's not a great plan. I see the positives in riding alone and I can't say I'm actually afraid the riding. It's the falling off that hurts.

Another good friend knows these horses really well and suggests that I give her more time because she is young and that she will likely mature into a really nice horse if I give her a couple more years.  My thinking on this is twofold.  My friend is probably right and she probably will become a solid citizen in the next couple years...but it's going to take a lot of work.  I'm not sure I have it in me to do this for another 2 years.  I will be on guard every time I ride. Of course, that may be what I need to do. People had suggested that I was spooking her because I was tense. I think I can lay that to rest now. I was calm and cool and not at all worried.  I actually suspect that she spooked because I wasn't as "on" as I should be.  So, in the future I have to stay more "on" and less relaxed which makes her more relaxed and makes no sense to me.

So, Maggie was going to ride her in the clinic in the hill country next weekend, but then changed her mind. I was able to talk her into it with a couple of modifications. We are going to take only Fiera, no friends for her, just Fiera. And if she does anything stupid in the next 6 months like she did to me, I agreed to list her for sale.  I think that we will take it one ride at a time and start to build on the relationship.  I also think that she will be a fantastic horse for someone, though maybe not for us.  I may list her for sale for a decent price and see what happens. She is good, just young and inexperienced.  In the mean time, Dixie can rest and I can ride Liberty, who is my first love.  I also find myself thinking about something Dave Ramsey tells people when making money decisions. If you didn't own it, would you buy it. I can't say I'd buy her if I hadn't bred her.  But I also know that because I bred her I have responsibility to do by her the best I can.

We will see what  the next week brings. And hope for the best.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fiera's first ride

This weekend was the highly anticipated Louisiana purchase Natrc ride. It was Fiera's debut to distance riding and I will call it a mild success.

The good parts were:
1.  I did not fall off even when she had a rodeo moment.
2. We did not get held at any p&r.
3. She is an excellent camper and slept and ate well at the trailer.
4. She did not create enemies at the p&r hollering for other horses (and in fact is not a hollering horse most days anyway)
5. Spent the weekend with my best friends!
6. Very calm and reasonable for the most part with o my 1 scary moment on the first day.
7. Smooth, comfortable gaits.

The parts that need work (not necessarily in order)
1. I didn't get to ride with my friends as much as I wanted because Fiera is evidently kind of slow.
2. Sore back and girth, either BC of tack or not enough conditioning.
3. Higher than desirable pulse Rate on p&r.
4. Needs a lot more conditioning!
5. Nonexistent obstacle skills. 

I admit that I missed Liberty most of the weekend even though Fiera was great. Its hard to start a new horse when you have a beloved rock star in the pasture.

In two weeks we do the comfy clinic but I'm thinking of taking Liberty to Pole Canyon. I think Fiera needs more riding before I want to try again.

The ride itself was great. We didn't have to time out till 8 on Saturday and it was nice to sleep late. The start was near disastrous as a lot if fresh horses came charging down the hill. Annette's reins broke and there was a lot of nerves exchanged between  first time horses Tally and Fiera. I ended up near the back with Maddie Martin and Christa, though Christa left us soon To go faster. We had a rodeo moment when a stick stabbed her in the flank but i rode it out and she went to be just fine.  Maddie and I rode the day alternately pushing and pulling the other along when both horses got tired. Knox did the obstacles perfectly and Fiera did the natural ones pretty well but blew anything the judges set. We had a great time and barely made it back in time. She was tired with a slightly sore back and girth. Not NAD enough to not rude,but I planned to baby her the rest of the weekend  

Sunday we timed out much early and due to Sharon Martin-Holmes horses setting a quick pace we made much better time. Then Maddie had to pull due to a gall and Sharon rode with me till she couldn't go my pace anymore. With many apologies she left me with the safety rider and went on to catch Annette and Christa. It was time for us to be grown ups and Fiera rose to the occasion. She continued at a slow but steady pace Into the  p&r and beyond where she bumped into her trailer mate and they finished together.

She needs a better walk to be more but really did a great job of moving out. We cantered some and she was always in control. I would really like to be able to ride with my friends in the future. Riding with Sharon was good for Ber because I don't tho k she realized she could go that fast.

All in all a good first ride.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Save the date

Looks like we will be having a reunion concert with the old concert choir from LHS when Dr. Bucker was our choir director. It will be December 27, 2014 so it should mean Christmas in Missouri. More details to follow but I'm excited.