Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exciting News (!) and Other January Steps

There's lots of news, relating to my goals for 2012, and some of it's pretty exciting!

First, one of my goals was to get training assistance with Pie and Drifter, both to work through some of their holes and issues, and to work with me and them together so we can deal with the issues I have due to my fall and how I interact with each horse.  Pie and Drifter will be moving to Black Star Farm in Wisconsin around March 1 for at least 30 days and perhaps longer.  Heather there is a long-term student of Mark Rashid's, is one of his very few approved trainers/instructors (I believe there are only 6 worldwide), and I know her and her family well and have watched her work with a number of horses over the years I've been attending Mark's clinics at her farm.  She's very good with the horses, can deal with whatever comes up in a quiet and effective way, her methods are consistent with Mark's, and she's also a good instructor.

She will initially spend about a week to 10 days working with and evaluating each horse.  After that, I'll be going up there (it's about an hour and a half drive each way) several times a week to work with her and the horses.  And we'll see what we see.  One thing I've asked her to do is give me an honest evaluation of whether either horse isn't suitable for me.  I've told her that I believe both of them can be good horses for me, once we get by this point and our immediate issues, but that I really want to know if I'm wrong about that with either horse.  One of my goals was also to get a Western saddle that fits both horses (if that's possible), preferably an About the Horse saddle.  Heather has a number of these saddles and we'll be able to try out different tree sizes so I'll know model and size to buy, either new or used.

I'm very excited about this and can't wait for March to get here!  We're waiting until then because at least there's a shot of doing some work outside in March.  As things go along, of course I'll be updating all of you about how Pie and Drifter and I do.  (Once things warm up and dry out a bit here, Dawn and I will go back to work here on what we're working on - it's amazing to say, and it took a lot of work to get here, but Dawn is now very familiar to me, and she and I know how to work together.)

Second, I had a goal to develop a mindfulness/meditation practice.  I've been working to do some daily meditation, and to bring mindfulness to everyday life.  I'm also taking a drawing course - I find drawing to be a very mindful practice.

Third, I had a goal to improve my fitness, core strength and balance.  I'm starting a t'ai chi chih course this week - it's great for balance and also has a strong mindfulness/body awareness element.  I'm going to be starting some strength training shortly - more about that as it comes along.  I've upped my walking time and speed as well - I'm up to about 3 miles a day.  I've also modified my diet to elimate pretty much all red meat - we're mostly vegetarian, in fact vegan since we mostly use olive or canola oil rather than butter - with only occasional chicken or fish, and some eggs.

Fourth, I had a goal to take some lessons on trained horses.  I have calls in to two dressage instructors, and hope to start taking some lessons with one or both of them soon.

I'm pretty pleased with how 2012 is going so far, one step at a time . . .

22 comments:

  1. Yay Kate! I think you are making a great choice here, and I look forward to hearing more about how Pie and Drift progress. Dawn, too, of course. But she is more of a "known", I think. Great to see you moving forward in such a positive way.

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  2. I don't know you very well. But as a faithful reader; this post was so much lighter in tone. More upbeat. I'm happy for you. Your path is laid and you are on your way. Ysy

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  3. That's an aggressive plan, but it sounds like a good one and appropriate for what you're dealing with.

    Good for you.

    Dan

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  4. It sounds like all of the pieces are coming together for you. That must feel really nice.
    I like the idea of asking someone who knows your horse whether that horse is suitable for you. That's something I really should do with my horse(s). Maybe I'm just trying to fool myself, and my horse isn't what I need. Hmmm.... thanks for planting a seed!

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  5. Great goals and plans Kate! I'm excited to hear how it all unfolds.

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  6. Kate, what I love about you is the positive and practical approach you take to everything, and your determination to succeed. It doesn't come easy, and bless you for always trying to do the right thing.

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  7. Great plans Kate! :)

    I love how upbeat you sound in this post. Your horses will sense this too.

    (I tried to comment on the last few posts, but blogger denied me.)

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  8. All of these sounds like wonderful plans and I am so looking forward to hearing the updates and progress after March rolls around.

    It is amazing how taking steps to put plans into action can change one's outlook on a situation.

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  9. I can't wait to read your posts about training and suitability!! There is a Mark Rashid approved trainer in Washington, but I think she's about three hours from me. I sometimes have fantasies about me and the pony going for some 'boot camp' with her.

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  10. Excellent news!Great plan all the way around

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  11. Boy Kate! You lit a fire under yourself! The goals for 2012 are nothing less than fantastic and seem so perfect for you and the ponies. Talk about cookin'. Good for you.

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  12. I am thrilled for you, feels like a huge leap in the right direction!

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  13. One of the things I love about reading your blog, Kate, is that you don't wax and wane and hem and haw when faced with a problem or a challenge-you FACE it, and take very real steps to dealing with the issue. I think your approach sounds fantastic, if not a little exhausting:)

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  14. Those are great goals Kate! I agree with all of them 100%. We have tried a number of western saddles and have found that the Crates brand fit QH/Paints really well. You might give them a try as well.
    I am, of course, very interested to hear how the dressage lessons go! Make sure you use a trainer who's approach and philosophy match yours -- the whole horse, any horse, any goal is a good goal kind. You know. Follow your gut.

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  15. Fantastic news, and right on target to resolve all your issues. Sending your boys to a good trainer and then getting lessons there is absolutely perfect. I am so happy for you.

    Saddle suggestions abound, I know, but it might really be worth it to investigate the Westernaire (Ansur) treeless. It will solve the fitting both horses problem and give you a wonderful feel for both your boys.

    Ansur distributors can borrow saddles from the company for demos. I really think it would be worth the time and effort to try one.

    Meantime, you are inspiring me to get myself more fit. I need to get back in shape, that's for sure.

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  16. I'd be excited if I were you, too. Sounds like a wonderful new journey.

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  17. This all sounds wonderful! :)
    Oil tip; Canola is actually linseed which is not a great oil to ingest. Shocking. IF I may suggest; substitute the Canola with Grapeseed oil (higher heat point for sautee, frying, searing, etc) or Coconut oil (lower heat point) and of course, keep the olive oil too :) YUM

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  18. YES YOU GO GIRL!!!!! Sounds blooming fantastic to me! I love it that you have your goals in motion and are full steam ahead! I can't wait to hear how the boys go at 'school'!!!!

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  19. Great goals. Very tangible and measurable actions that will bring good things. As far as mindful, if your blog is any indication you already have a good start :)

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  20. Kate this sounds like a perfect plan, really hope it all goes well and look forward to hearing news of Pie and Drifter from March. I missed the details of your fall (had a bit of time in the blogger wilderness) so catching up with all this but you sound very positive for 2012.

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  21. What a fantastic plan! I can feel your excitement through the computer!

    Isn't neat that Dawn is the steady horse for you now? You should be very proud of how far you and her have come together.

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  22. All of these sound wonderful. You have inspired me. And I think the trainer's advice sounds like a really smart idea.

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