Sunday, August 9, 2009

Back to normal

With Charlie gone, our lives are comfortingly normal again — and although we miss him, it's also nice to be able to leave the house, walk our dogs, and go out to the barn again.

Although we had a busy day ahead of us, I made sure I got out to the barn today (Saturday) around late morning after we walked the dogs. It was the first time I'd been out there in 10 days — between my sister getting married last weekend, Michael taking Monday off, and finding Charlie on Wednesday, I hadn't been able to do any of my normal activities (including, unfortunately, working) in a week and a half.

I only had time to ride for about fifteen minutes, but we made it a good one. Panama was quite well behaved, as I often find he is when I haven't ridden for a while. In addition, I felt like I was better able to feel what my body was doing, perhaps also because I hadn't ridden in a while. It was an odd, but refreshing, sensation.

I started out with some practice on whoa, which I really need to practice more but usually forget until late in our ride. As a result, I discovered something that I consider very important: Panama stops quite well if we haven't already been riding for a while.

We also practiced both slower and faster trots, and slowing to a walk, while I worked on breathing and holding in my mind the rhythm I wanted in order to control Panama's gait and pace a bit better. It seems to work, if not all the time, at least a lot better than having no plan and yanking on the reins.

While it wasn't a very long ride, it was extremely refreshing to squeeze in some horse time with what little availability I had today. I feel like my life is back to normal, and it's a good feeling!

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