In southwest Colorado it’s been very cold and snowy. Many mornings I’ve bundled up to below zero temperatures for the morning feeds. I bought a pair of Carhart lined denim jeans and switched from lined leather work gloves to ski gloves, both of which have kept me warm and changed my opinion of braving these frosty mornings. It is so beautiful and still, with crystalline light and snow so dry, it sparkles even on an overcast day. My hungry horses and cats greet me with friendship and appreciation; I’ve grown to embrace each morning’s sojourn with Nature.
My arena is a frozen lump of ice, sand, and manure. I won’t even use it this month for ground work. While I plan a trip to Mexico in February and arrange for some indoor arena time, I can still move forward with my riding goals. I have 3 focus points to begin my NewYear’s resolution of courage and trust.
I’ve begun working out again, something I let go of during the busy holiday season. I’m stretching, building my core, taking Tai Chi and Feldenkrais classes. I have a gym membership to improve my cardio, with a therapy pool. With all this lovely snow, now would be a good time to plan some cross country ski trips. Soon, I’ll be back in good shape. I’ll be a strong enough and supple partner for my horse.
Since Monarch has had two and a half months off too, I also need to build him back. We’ll begin slowly , first with ground work and then conditioning with a focus on the training scale. We will concentrate solely on the base fundamentals: rhythm, suppleness/relaxation, and connection/contact.
Finally, this winter, I will delve into study. With like minded friends, we began a support group/book study: Solo Schooling by Wendy Jago….. and that will be the subject of my next post.