Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going for a Stroll

It's been a long time since I've had a lunch break in which I was able to choose how I want to spend my hour. I usually spend it working or scrubbing something gross out of the carpet or running errands or passing out. Today my boss went golfing, the dogs held in whatever ails them, no errands needed running, and I actually had some energy. So, I chose to spend the time taking the horses for a stroll around the neighborhood.

A while back I had the intention to spend every lunch break exercising myself and working with the horses. However, I quickly learned that an hour is only enough time to either work out or work with the horses, so I had to figure out how to get the maximum amount of exercise for myself while working with the horses. Taking the horses on walks was my best bet.

Each one of them did me proud by only expressing curiosity in their surroundings as opposed to the usual fear. It was so nice to have drama-free walks. I thought it was funny that when we passed by my friend's house and she stopped me to talk, Bombay immediately started anxiously pawing the ground. He knows we can talk a long time, and he wanted to make it clear that this was his time with me.

Each horse got its reward of being able to graze on the front lawn once it completed a lap around the neighborhood.

What is this? Did something lay an egg?

There's no indentations on that there golf ball.

Despite not watering our lawn for two days, we still have mushrooms about the side of apples with worm holes in them.

Where else can you find plums and pine cones side by side but in the valleys of the Eastern Sierra?

I've been feeling frustrated that summer is already ending and I only got out on the trails three times in three months. Something always has to come up to get in the way of my goals. I'm taking some drastic measures to free up my time. First off, no more hair appointments. I'm letting my hair grow out and I'm letting it go gray. Secondly, no more vacation time lost sitting in doctors' offices and waiting in line at pharmacies. I took myself off my medications as an experiment to see if I really need them. If I start having problems, I'll resume the medications, but they were all prescribed to me back when I was very much overweight and almost all of my health problems stemmed from being overweight. Now that I am a good weight, I suspect that I don't need them anymore. Thirdly, someone else is going to have to start taking the vehicles in for oil changes and tire rotations, because that has been my job for way too long now and has sucked up way too many Saturdays. Mountain trails here I come.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Using My Time More Wisely

I had been waiting for the time to change so that I don't have to spend my lunch hour cleaning stalls. Once the time did change, I started cleaning stalls in the evening after work while it is still light out, but I still wasn't getting the most out of my lunch hour. I found that I was spending it picking up and reading the mail, fixing and eating lunch, and watching a little TV. Before I knew it, my hour was up and I had to return to my desk.

Last night I was dreaming of horses and this morning I awoke feeling frustrated that even with horses in my own backyard, I still have very little time to spend with them. I was determined to reschedule my lunch hour in such a way that would allow me to devote it to the horses.

I decided to eat my lunch at my desk while I was working, so that I wouldn't waste my free time sitting in front of a TV eating and getting engrossed in whatever show happened to be on. If I was doing laundry and the dryer buzzed during my lunch hour, it would just have to wait. If the phone rang, I was going to let the answering machine pick up. If a neighbor stopped me to talk, I was going to tell her I was sick and start coughing all over her.

Come noon today, I did pick up the mail, but didn't waste my time reading it. I went straight outside and started doing horse duties. First on my list was to lay out some poles to remind me to work on pole training. As I was doing that, I noticed one of my neighbor's construction workers was watching me... and watching me... and watching me.

Everyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about people who stare. Rude. Low class. Perverts. Weirdos. It's one thing if you are in public doing something to attract attention; it's another thing if you are on your own private property doing something boring and minding your own business. I decided to yell out a greeting to let him know that I was well aware of his unwanted attention. My hello had a tone to it that said, "What the hell do you want?"

The guy said hi back and just continued to stare as I carried poles around in my yard. Mind you, he was not doing anything other than loitering and staring. I had plans to take Gabbrielle for a walk off the property, but didn't want to risk it if this guy was going to be driving any time soon. He has a pickup truck with one of the loudest souped-up engines I've ever heard. So, I haltered Gabbrielle and walked her behind the trailer where the guy couldn't see us, and I groomed her. Sure enough, he got bored and drove off.

I then took Gabbrielle for her walk. There was a little tugging, but no spooks. Each time she got ahead of me and pulled on the lead rope, I said whoa and backed her up a few steps. Once she waited for a few seconds in that spot, I told her to walk, and we walked until she started tugging again. She was really happy to get out and about. She did not want to go back to the paddock. After I put her away, she kept running to the fence and pointing at the street, because she wanted to go back out.

I then groomed and walked Lostine. Lostine was a dream! It was as if I was taking a walk by myself. Horse? What horse? She walked so quietly beside me and did not put any pressure on the lead rope. I was in heaven. She led better than my dogs do on a leash. This is why it always surprises me when Lostine does something naughty like bucking when I ride her. She has such impeccable ground manners that it's hard believe she can be such a turd under saddle.

I then groomed and walked Bombay. I had no reason to expect any trouble from him, because he's been walked off the property more regularly than any other horse. However, as we were walking, he puffed himself up to the size of Standardbred. I couldn't figure out what he was so nervous about, so I just kept walking. Suddenly, I heard the whisper of a car engine behind us. We both spun around to find one of my neighbors trying to drive up the street in her quiet Jaguar, and we were blocking the road. Bombay knew she was back there, but I was oblivious. Sometimes you've got to trust that your horses know what they are talking about.

My neighbor waved at me as we stepped aside to let her pass. By the time I put Bombay away and fed the horses their lunch, my hour was over, but what a wonderful hour it was.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Horsey Goals for 2009

What a pleasant surprise it was to have my boss walk into my office to inform me that New Year's Eve is a holiday. You see last week I had a miserable cold (still do to some degree) and I emailed myself in for a sick day on Christmas Eve. He informed me later that I didn't need to do that because Christmas Eve was a holiday. I get confused because our company's personnel manual lists certain days as holidays, but the company doesn't always stick to it depending on what projects are in the works, plus my husband gets completely different holidays than I do.

Of course I was assigned a big task at 4:00 PM yesterday that is due by Monday, so I'll probably either have to work through the weekend or the holiday to get it done anyway since Friday is the only day that isn't a holiday or a weekend. I'll have to check the weather forecast and sort out which days I will work based upon which days will have the worst weather and ground conditions. If I play my cards right, I might get to ride a horse.

With that said, these are my horse goals for 2009:
  • Ride every chance I get since I can't always rely on me and my horses being in good health, having good weather, and having the space needed to ride.
  • Start Gabbrielle under saddle and get some help with it if it's looking like she's confused.
  • Learn a little dressage.
  • Practice a little jumping.
  • Find a trail riding partner and trail ride often.
  • Finish staining the barn.
  • Repaint the paddock fence.
  • Separate the horses during the day (even though it is more work for me) so that they aren't so herd-bound.
  • Continue with the de-spooking exercises. (Bombay and Gabbrielle still haven't let me touch their bodies with a plastic bag.)
  • Continue with the ground training, especially flexing to get softness in the face.
  • Continue watching horse training shows on RFD-TV.
  • Finish reading all those horse training books, preferably before I start Gabbrielle.
That should do it. If I'm still around come next New Year's Eve, I'll review these and see if I met each goal or not.

Happy New Year to all!