Monday, August 29, 2011

crunch, crunch

A year ago, I wouldn't have batted an eyelash at jumping in the saddle and riding 50 miles.  Sure, my legs might be a little crunchy, but nothing I couldn't walk off within a couple of days.

30 minutes in the saddle this morning, and my legs are grumbling at me.


Someone's a bit out of shape, methinks.

Yes, I admit it: I've spent most of the summer hibernating indoors, venturing over to the barn enough to maintain Mimi's feet and make sure she has plenty of her flax/beet pulp mix she gets.  But riding?  Eh, not so much.  One four-mile trail ride a couple months ago.  A couple rides around the neighborhood, maybe a miles' worth of distance.  A handful of arena sessions.

All of this adds up to one out-of-shape rider.  Not that I'm completely out of shape.  I've spent a good portion of the summer helping my father with some of the larger carpet cleaning jobs...not exactly a low-impact activity.  Add to that the frequent petsitting jobs and the walking of said pets, and my cardio isn't doing too bad.  It's just the riding muscles that are suffering.

I'd like to say that fall is just around the corner, and nicer weather will be more incentive to ride, but we're nowhere close to being out of the woods yet.  In fact, I think my rearview mirror thermometer in my truck just might have gotten busted today, since it refused to actually register a temperature for outside on the drive home.  Its poor, overwhelmed little brain was giving me an Ice warning.  Hah!

I'm now hugging the a/c back home and downing an iced coffee.  When I left Pony, she was employing the do-it-yourself swamp cooler method: standing herself, still wet from the shower I gave her, in front of her stall-mounted fan.  And nibbling on a cool, salty, bran-and-beet pulp sloppy I gave her.  Not a bad life.

But it's this time of year that fish pond in the backyard starts looking real attractive.  That, or I contemplate why my parents though a fish pond over a swimming pool was a good idea.

As a final random aside: I know my last number of posts have been completely picture destitute, and as a result, probably kind of boring.  I'm working on changing that.  I have pictures, i just need to get them uploaded/sorted/edited.  But as a preview, Happy!Pony:

That was from our ride out at Estrella Mtn Park in March...still a lil' fuzzy from winter, but looking so chipper and happy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Absentee Blogger

Not promising anything regular by way of posting, but just a quick note...yes, I'm still around.  I've become a very good 'net lurker these days, and a pretty bad blogger overall.  Several reasons:

- I haven't had much to blog about that is interesting and positive.  I went through some major upheaval and changes in my life when we sold Beamer and the trailer several months ago.  Long story short:

Dear Economy,
You suck,
No Love,

Beamer went to what we feel is a great home where he will be able to continue his endurance career in a way we currently aren't able to do.  Horse and trailer actually went to the same place, so Beamer gets a little bit of home and familiarity with him.

- Consequently, I've been in a sulking funk most of the summer, and have ridden Mimi maybe half a dozen times, and only one of those times on a proper trail ride.  I hate not having a trailer, and I really hate bumming rides off people, because then I feel obligated to ride with them in a style that is very much not my own.  I'm a control freak with a healthy dose of Slavic guilt complex.  Means I'm sort of a pain to deal with in these kind of situations.  So I feel somewhat like a neglectful pony mom...but I'm still going down to the barn and keeping up on her feet (ironically, they look the best they've ever looked now...I have all of the flare completely gone), she still gets her regular supplements, and she's turned out with the herd in the 3+ acre big pasture for close to 14 hours a day.

- I don't like whining too much on my blog.  I tend to approach much of my "public" life with a "If you can't say something nice, don't say it" mentality.  I figure that most people have enough of their own problems, concerns, and drama to deal with.  They don't necessarily need to be hearing all of mine heaped on them as well.  Couple that with the fact I try to be an optimist (boy, is that getting put to the test this summer), and I just haven't felt a whole lot like blogging this summer.  Each post would have essentially looked the same: "Went to the barn.  Trimmed feet.  *insert photos here*  Rode around the arena.  Wilted in the heat.  Gave pony a bath.  Went home and hugged air conditioning."  Lather, rinse, repeat.

And just a quick life update:

- I took the summer off of school.  I needed the break, mentally.  And I noticed that I suffered fewer nervous breakdowns and stress headaches over the last few months.  And I still have plenty to be stressed about.  That lead me to the conclusion that, when the fall semester starts up this coming Monday, I don't believe I will be sitting in that classroom.  At this point in my life, I don't know if court reporting is for me.  Yes, I put a lot of time and effort into it...yes, it seems a shame to quit now.  But I don't feel like incurring further student loans debts while I figure out whether I want to continue this or not.  Maybe I'll come back to it.  Maybe I'll figure out something to do within the field that isn't the level of a certified reporter.  There are options, so the past four years isn't a total waste.  But right now, mentally, I don't have it in me to throw more of myself into that program.  If it hasn't happened by now, I don't know if it ever really will.  And I don't want to give up more of my life trying to figure that out.

- I did find a new hobby/time-occupier over the summer: I'm learning to play the guitar.  At the moment, I'm self taught, since lessons take money.  But there are a lot of videos on youtube that are fabulous resources, and I'm slowly learning.  Turns out I do have an ear for music, after years of wondering if I was tone-deaf.  Not tone-deaf...just untrained.  I still don't know what I'm doing, but I know when something sounds right or not.  And I'm definitely leaning towards a more countryish flavor with some of the tunes I'm managing to pick out.  Not like that's a surprise with a guitar, but whatever.  I've sort of come full circle with music...growing up around barns and horses, I was always a country girl.  Expanded my music listening repertoire in high school and especially college, but have recently re-embraced the country thing, especially some of the newer, up-and-coming artists that are more than just traditional country.  (My new favorite artist of pretty much any music genre is Christian Kane -- he does a great blend of rock and country with a ton of energy, great vocals, and he writes most of his own material.)

- It's summer in Arizona.  It's hot.  That mitigates some of my lack-of-riding guilt factor.  And makes it really easy to, while giving Pony a bath, turn the hose around on myself.  Long hair holds water for the next couple of hours and keeps your head cool. 

So, anyway...if you stuck with me for this long, my hat's off to you.  I can't promise regular updates, but I will say this: At least I have an interest in blogging again, and reading other's blogs.  For a couple of months, I was completely incommunicado and not even looking at blogs.  So this is a step in the right direction.