Fall brings change and for my horse and I this year it will mean returning to our Western discipline and kicking up some mud (hopefully). As many of you know, I am limited to the riding that I can do with my pony due to the fact that we have no decent trails where he is owned and housed. I have a long term relationship and lease and he is mostly an arena and field horse. And I am thankful for having him and a place to enjoy horses so this should not be taken as me bitching. But, it gets boring sometimes for both of us. His life is much more fun and creative than it was before he came to us. In his prior situation he didn't even have pasture buddies. He was strictly ridden in an arena and sometimes turned out by himself. He was loved but not treated "like a horse" by any means. He has a lovely field and friends now. We do have some trails but they are fairly treacherous and we have used them a couple of times but he was terrified and frankly, so was I so we kick around the barn and up and down the long lane beside the pasture sometimes....
I have spent the good part of the spring and summer returning to English and working with the bitless bridle. It has been a great experience. We had an almost year long bout with some sarcoids (wart-like growths some horses are prone to - they multiply and can get quite nasty) and have finally turned the corner with those. I have had a hankering to get back to Western and recently purchased a synthetic saddle that will allow us to have fun no matter the weather! My girlfriend's saddle, which I normally use for Western riding, is a humongous, expensive, honking, reining saddle that looks something like this:
It is an awesome saddle. But, as you can see it is huge and I have a hard time "finding" my seat in it. Reining is a whole other sub-discipline in and of itself and requires a good bit of ability to shift and move around for both rider and horse. We are not reining. LOL.
It is heavy. I mean heavy. LOL. My other girlfriend, who is two inches shorter than I am, balances it on her head before hoisting it onto the horse. I find it completely cumbersome, frankly. Plus the saddle is expensive. And leather. Rain? Snow? I think not. So, I had decided that I would explore my options and ended up picking a synthetic saddle of traditional Western design. Basically, a riding saddle.
So, my bum fits nicely into the seat and the damn thing is as light as my English tack! My horse seems to like it. He didn't even sniff it funny like he does most new things. LOL. And go figure, the first time we used it, it was raining! Not full out raining but misty and wet. So, good stuff. Our first ride was mostly spent trying to get a feel for it, getting the stirrup length correct, etc... Hopefully we will break it in as well as we have the bitless bridle and be riding no matter the weather!
I feel my year of travel has begun! Physical travel, spiritual travel, day travel, long-term travel, fun travel, work travel (sort of), travel to new realms of possibility… Oh, that’s right I am an extra in the next Star Trek.
LOL LOL LOL nawwwwww, wish so but alas, no.
Sam is headed off on a journey of a lifetime for someone with his
particular hobby (photography). Just shy of two weeks in and around Yellowstone National Park. And staying on a dude ranch at
that! And believe me Dear Heathens the ONLY reason I am not turning three circles widdershins and saying “I divorce thee I divorce the I divorce thee” is because he is in charge of scoping out NEXT summer’s adventure which will include a dude ranch and much MUCH more riding than he will be doing.
During this return to single (aka crazy cat lady) life, which will be the SECOND longest time I have been alone in years (refer to blog entries during my Balance Cleanse in the Living Well blog when I was alone for five days this winter) – oh god that sounds pathetic doesn’t it? I don’t mean for it to I LOVE being alone.
Anyway – travel. When he returns we go immediately into Stay-Cation mode for the annual week-long camp trip, then in late July a possible overnighter for me at a conference downstate, the journey to the end of
land (aka the beach) in August, a two day concert trip in September, possibly the Ren Fair in October, more camp weekends scattered throughout all this, November will find us in Florida AND New Orleans, a holiday get-away close to home is planned for Winter Solstice and in January/February someplace warmer for
a week or so….
OH.MY.GODS I need to learn to pack a better suitcase. What can I say. Experience junkie. Admittedly.
And speaking of experience I am wondering about the soul lately. What is it without experience? What is it without fostering hope and intentions of living well? Define "well" you say – I define it as whatever makes you feel alive.
For me it includes working hard and I do mean AT work. I love my job. I mean, sure, sometimes it is stressful and I think we can all agree that people mostly suck but I still love it. Why? Because I like solving
things. Mysteries I call them. Because that sounds better than “stupid people things” even though that is what most of them boil down to. I like getting to the bottom of stuff and sitting down people that can’t
communicate with each other and fostering some sort of agreement. Oh, you say – I thought you worked in parks and recreation! LOL well, I DO! So, at least I get to do these sorts of things while NOT sitting behind a desk pushing paper. Mostly.
So, I like to work hard and I like to play hard. I love to sweat, smell horses, ride, run, jump, twist, turn, I like to
play awful guitar (I’m not very good), read books that disturb the shit out of me, cry, scream in fright at stupid scary movies, laugh, save toads from being run over in our garage, chase crows, dig in the dirt, hike….NOT do the laundry just to be a rebel. LOL.
Life is made for living and living is only for awhile so why not travel through it with ALL of your emotions intact? Least that’s what I think is necessary…
I find that mostly, people do things because of an alterior motive and normally that motive has something to do with them and what they want. Really want. Like, deep down. And specifically here I am addressing the motive behind the need to be liked, accepted, even....popular. Everyone wants 1000 "friends" or more on Facebook. Everyone wants as many Twitter followers as the celeb down the street. Really, we have no celebs down our streets but if we did... Everyone wants to be appreciated by their co-workers and valued by their friends and really isn't that also just a damn popularity contest?
I have never quite figured out the knack for popularity. I have found myself having it at odd times and for what I considered the most stupid reasons imaginable. For instance, after being the favorite bully target for my entire grade school career, I got popular in 9th grade because over the summer I had grown boobs. It was ridiculous really and I knew it. I began to find the reasons for popularity so absurd that I started to actively seek being ANTI-popular.
Being anti-popular doesn't mean being hated. It doesn't involve being outright mean or snarky. It more means to me being your own sort of creature and being OK with that. Being anti-popular has had rewards. A thick skin is formed with practice. Learning to hear and recognize the beat of your own dance, whether it is coordinated or not, does have merit. Laughing outloud at yourself and others is highly underrated as a stress reducer. Speaking your own mind, whether the thoughts that come from it are the most sought after of the moment can give you your own voice.
Of course there is the stigma attached to not really giving a shit about fitting in. Also, people confuse being anti-popular with not caring about anything at all. As if because it doesn't matter to me how many Facebook friends I have I am somehow flawed. I don't care about the right things to the extent that I should. I rarely ask how anyone's weekend went. I really don't care so why would I ask. I engage in very little "water cooler" talk. It isn't that I am some company sod it is just that people are boring. I don't care if your aunt has the flu or your grandpa has gout. I'm just not interested. I don't enjoy shopping with girls. I'm not a fan of designer purses but I'll be damned if I will drink bad beer. My chick compass is a bit "off" and it does make for a more uphill walk through the park of life.
So, at various times and for various reasons I have tried to lessen my disdain for all those perfect, wonderful, white-bread people of the world. I have attempted to look on the brighter side, smile and promote myself and join the ranks of those chasing fame, whatever form it may take in a person's life. I find it exhausting mostly. So, I always go back to being anti-popular. Still, it stings doesn't it? I work hard. I am highly educated, at least for my career track and even for my geographical area. Even my "hobbies" get the amount of attention most people give their actual job. At certain points I do find that as a whole, I am a bit too prickly for most people, too opinionated, too stand-offish. Rest assured I am only appearing that way because I am observing, therefore protecting what little sensitivity I have left after all these years. Either that or I really do think you are an idiot.