Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chrome Ride 115 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 1 - Life Update

 I have missed the view between these incredibly cute, fuzzy ears!

There is so much I want to say... so much I have on my mind... but I don't want to turn this into a long, boring, rambling post, so I'm going to try to keep it short and to the point.

I started reading blogs again yesterday, trying to get caught up.  I am months, almost a year, behind on a lot of my favorite blogs.  I feel so bad for getting that far behind, but life happens I guess.  I hate to say it, but I did use the mark all as read button in my blog reader.  :(  I am still going to try to catch up on a bunch of blogs, but it might have to be one a week or something like that.

I've been feeling really sorry for myself lately.  I was really happy and optimistic back in December because I was leaving a job I absolutely hated that was killing me emotionally and destroying my back physically, but then the horses got sick, then I got sick (took three weeks and antibiotics to get over a sinus/ear infection and then the side effects from the antibiotics, finally feeling normal again!), then they started working me nights at the new job (which I was told I wouldn't have to do) so my sleeping schedule is screwed up and my insomnia is kicking in big time (I'm very dependent on a predictable eating and sleeping schedule to keep myself happy, sane and healthy)... so a lot has been going on and I have been getting really depressed (vitamin D deficiency doesn't help... I have started taking my supplements again though).  I was even starting to wonder why I have horses because I never do anything with them and thinking maybe I should just sell them, but I realized what I was doing and sternly told myself to knock it off.  It was just the stress and lack of sleep talking.  I would regret it if I got rid of my boys.

In the midst of my huge pity party I read Nicku's blog Polka Dot Periodical about her having to euthanize her best friend and I realized how big of an ungrateful idiot I was being (go hug your horses guys).  So I decided to get over my funk (easier said than done, but a wake up call helps and having a weekend off to spend with hubby for the first time in six weeks helps).  Then I read about the 100 Day Horse Challenge (I shortened it to 100 Ride Challenge in my title) over at Gray Horse Matters (post here) and was considering trying the challenge to find my elusive motivation.  She told me to just do it, because I had nothing to lose and everything to gain (she also asked me to come back to blogging which was so sweet and helped inspire me to want to write again), so I'm going to do it!

The 100-Day Horse Challenge originated with Linda at Beautiful Mustang (post here) and the goal is to improve your horse skills through riding and/or training horses, at least 100 days out of the year.  A day in the saddle always counts towards the challenge, but anything else has to demonstrate that you're working toward an objective, rather than just hanging out.  Considering I hadn't ridden Chrome since October 4th which is FIVE months this is definitely something I need to do (if not he will always be green!  He needs experience!)!  So our first ride was today.


There is a TON of rain coming (like days on end, maybe up to 6 or 7 inches!) so I knew I needed to hurry and ride this morning, so I just threw his bridle on and got on bareback.  I will be completely honest.... I was kind of scared... I haven't ridden bareback much since I fell off (he spooked and spun while I was riding bareback over a year ago... how has it been a YEAR????) so I was very tense.  Every time he looked at something, tensed, the dog came around a corner, the squirrels ran through the leaves, a neighbor horse neighed, the donkey brayed, etc. everything made me tense up and/or flinch!  It was crazy.

I only rode 17 minutes at a walk with a couple of short trots.  Then when I saw the mail lady drive by I used it as an excuse to get off and get the mail (I can't open the gate from his back very well, so I got off, then couldn't get back on because he's too tall).  He was a little tense and stiff (he's very out of shape and was just trimmed), but he was fine.  He's a saint to put up with a ball of nerves hanging on his back.  I was consciously forcing myself to relax my muscles from the waist down, but I was definitely carrying some tension in my shoulders and neck (good thing we don't work on a contact yet lol).

After walking up the driveway and back (he was very eager going up because he could smell the neighbor horses and hasn't seen them in a long time) I stopped him in front of the house and asked him to flex laterally and then worked on backing up some.  Then I spotted my mom standing on her porch and laughed because I didn't know I was being watched.  Talking and laughing with her calmed me down and that's when I was able to chill, stop being hyper aware of the environment and trotted some.  She also said he was very pretty and getting so light.  I love when she compliments him because she's not a horse person (she likes them, will pet them and thinks they are pretty, but she doesn't want to handle them) and doesn't see him very much because she doesn't go out to the pasture.  I love my mom, but I definitely didn't inherit the horse gene from her hehehe.

Anyway, it was a nice, short, uncomplicated, get back into the groove kind of ride.  Challenge accepted!  :D

Sorry for all the chattering that I said I wasn't going to do lol.  Here are the pictures.

He melts my heart!


I forgot to mention I rode Chrome over to the pasture fence to see Rocky.  They sniffed noses and Chrome nibbled on Rocky's face.  Then Yankee came running up and started harassing Rocky, jumping on him, climbing his back legs, doing his stupid goat noise thing, etc.  It pissed Rocky off!  He pinned his ears and Chrome thought it was something he did, so he spun away.  I squealed in fright because spinning while riding bareback is how I came off a year ago!  I stayed on though lol.  He wasn't cantering sideways this time so that helps haha.  Then I was able to snap the above picture of Rocky going after Yankee.  I hate to admit it, but I laughed!!  I have no sympathy for the goats.  They bring it on themselves.

Which reminds me of a story my mom told me.  One evening when I was at work mom was in her front yard looking up at the pasture and Chrome was laying down.  Rebel was being obnoxious and torturing Chrome, not letting him nap.  She felt sorry for Chrome because the goat was relentless.  Chrome finally stood up, grabbed the goat (by the neck? back? not sure), picked him up clear off the ground and THREW him!! She was shocked!  I wish I had seen it!!!  I'm so glad to hear that Chrome stood up for himself because the goats are total pests and it's like they get away with it 99% of the time.   I wish I had that on video because I have never in my life seen a horse throw a goat!  It's kind of intimidating when you realize how powerful their jaws and necks are!


 When I put Chrome back in the pasture he turned back to the fence and immediately started offering smiles.  He is so cute!!

 Here is what he offered.  I wasn't really ready with the phone so I missed the better efforts.


Then I picked some grass and clover as a reward for his efforts and asked him one more time and got this (I was ready that time hehe).  I love him!  He is so cute!

So if anyone else is interested in the challenge please join us!!  I know we're getting a late start, but it's still possible and even if we don't finish it in 2016 we can still do it in 365 days.  :)  I'm looking forward to giving it a shot.  I really want to improve Chrome's fitness (for his benefit) and get him more experienced about the world and riding in general (for both of our benefit).  I obviously know that things can happen such as getting sick (heck he's already had the staggers and I've had a sinus/ear infection this year so it's fresh on my mind that this is a possibility) or injured, so if it doesn't happen I'm not going to beat myself up or consider myself a failure.  It's a challenge, a goal, nothing more.  No pressure, deadlines, perfectionism (hard one for me to fight), etc.  We are going to have fun and work on improving our relationship and training.  That's the whole point of the challenge after all.  Wish us luck!! :D

34 comments:

  1. Good for you! Glad to see you back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It feels good to be back.

      Delete
  2. So glad to see you are back--we missed you. Your blog is my very favorite, and I always look forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thank you! You are so sweet!!!! Yours is one of my very favorites as well and I'll get caught up as soon as possible. :D

      Delete
  3. Welcome back! I can't wait to hear how the 100 ride challenge goes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm really excited about it. I'm so thankful she shared that post because I really needed something to get me motivated again.

      Delete
  4. Glad to see you back to blogging. 100 days is totally doable! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! With my track record it might not be totally doable, but I'm going to try my hardest. :D

      Delete
  5. Glad you are back to blogging. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I have definitely missed it!

      Delete
  6. Welcome back. Life can be a bit hectic at times. Rather then beat yourself up be kind to yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome back! I know all too well how life can sweep you away from blogging, hope you can come back semi regularly. If nothing else, you have to keep us UTD on the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you do know hehe! I will definitely keep you up to date. Thank you!

      Delete
  8. Happy to see you back!! :) I watched my nephew's new pony throw one of our goats! Scared me to death!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet it was scary to witness, but the funny thing is as soon as it happened the goat ran back over and immediately started harassing Chrome again. I swear they have no brain cells whatsoever!!

      Delete
  9. ^.^ This is a good way to start back! Keep your head up, heels down. You've got this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad to hear you and the ponies are all better. That challenge sounds like a good way to jump start motivation! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I needed some sort of jump start. My motivation has been hard to find lately. I know it's mostly just the winter blues because I get down every year about this time. It's just not normally this bad because I usually take my vitamin D. Definitely getting back on those! Thank you!

      Delete
  11. Hopefully riding Chrome again will help you get back into your happy place. It is frustrating when life keeps getting in the way. I didn't join the challenge because I didn't want "one more thing to do", but now I'm starting to think I do need the extra incentive to work toward better horsemanship. Linda is very encouraging and supportive. Good for Chrome and Rocky for kicking some goat butt. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can feel like one more thing to do when you're super busy, but that's why I'm saying no pressure, no deadlines, etc. I'm going easy on myself because I know how life can be. I don't want to add a bunch of pressure and make things worse, but I am very goal oriented and if I don't have some sort of goal I just seem to float along and do nothing. So I think this will really help me. :D

      Delete
  12. I'm so glad that you're getting back to riding (and blogging). I guess I caught up with your blog just in time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were actually part of my motivation to get back to blogging! After you were interested enough and dedicated enough to read the whole thing I couldn't disappoint by not posting hehe. Thank you for that!!

      Delete
  13. Sending big hugs! Good for you for getting back in the saddle. I bet more riding will help you cheer up :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. YAY I am so.glad to see you back, your blog is one of my favourites and you and chrome have been a real inspiration for magic and I. You've really helped le.out when I have had any question'sand your just someone I really enjoy talking to. I have learnt so much from our chats and reading your blog and it has really helped me with Magic,I know how you feel about health issues as you know I have them too but these horses as much as a pain in the arse can be l are such a good reason to get up and keep going. God knows where I'd be withoutyour advice and help. So please keep blogging as you and chrome really arse re an inspiration to me :) always here if you want a chat to,you've listened to my rambling a lot so ik always here to.to return the favour sorry if my spellings rubbish by the way it's 6.11am here and I've beenup since bang on 5 and didn't go to sleep until midnight so it's safe to say I'm exhausted!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thank you! I read your comment this morning before work but didn't have time to reply and it totally made my day! You're awesome. I enjoy talking to you too and I'll send you a message soon. I've been having a lot of trouble with Facebook lately. I think it's my slow internet. They are supposed to be doing something to make my internet faster within the next couple of months so hopefully that will make things easier. I'll be over to your blog as soon as possible to see how sweet Magic is doing. I bet he's getting so big!

      Oh and I get you on the exhausted part. I got more sleep than you did, but I'm still so tired. Being the kindhearted person I am I let the barn cat in last night because it was pouring rain and he woke me up all night! I think he's staying in the barn tonight hehe.

      Delete
  15. What an interesting color Chrome is in those first photos. And his mane looks healthy and thick.

    I wish I could do that challenge but 1. I'm not riding yet 2. That's every 3rd day or more, and we still have snow on the ground, and it can snow in May here and 3. How bored would you all be if I just wrote "Cleaned hooves without getting kicked, woo!" and "Took another walk, horse snorted the entire time." YAWN

    I keep thinking back how you brought Chrome along slowly, pretty much on your own....cuz I'm feeling pretty alone right now.

    Good luck on the challenge, and since you started late, and you work so much, all you can do is what you can do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was noticing all the different, interesting colors all mixed in his fur and mane too! I think a bunch of that is dirt though LOL!! I didn't brush him very well before my ride yesterday because I was trying to beat the rain. He was a bit dirty.

      LOL!!!!! I wouldn't be bored, but I'm weird. ;) Everything you do with Mag right now is training progress because your relationship is so new, so yeah the ground work would actually count toward the challenge. You could do a weekly post about it though, instead of daily posts about hoof cleaning and walking. I enjoy reading those posts! Or you could do a fifty ride challenge when you start riding him or any other variation. :D

      I'm sorry you're feeling alone. I understand where you're coming from. I still feel that way too. I'm going to have to do my riding when hubby is at work for the most part because our schedules are so messed up now (we haven't had the same days off since I started the new job except for last weekend). Maybe since the days are getting longer we can ride when he gets off work if he's not too tired. Hang in there! I think you'll be able to meet up with some of the other people around there with Mag eventually. He's not going to be the same problem Mara was in a group I don't think. :D Don't give up hope yet! It's still early.

      Delete
  16. Great to have an update post from you...!

    I think the 100 day challenge sounds fun (but hard!). It even has me thinking of starting blogging again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should do it if you can find the time!! It really has made me feel so much happier and more motivated already. I honestly didn't realize how much I missed it. :)

      Delete
  17. I grew up around a horse that used to pick up mini horses by their manes and throw them across the pasture.... lol Goat sounds a lot lighter and easier to throw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes!!!! Mini horses?? Awwwww! I think the goats are definitely a lot easier to throw! I'd honestly never heard of horses throwing other animals. They normally just trample them lol. So weird!

      Delete

I appreciate all comments, advice and questions! Your comments are what makes blogging so worth it. I love to hear from my followers, so thanks for taking the time to share your comments. :)