Yesterday was a warm day for December, in the 40's, and my husband surprised me by asking if I wanted to ride when he got home, that he would watch Cora so I could do that! How sweet of him! So, I made sure to take advantage of that opportunity.
This is a photo from early October. Yesterday was the 17th ride I had on Arabee since I started riding again back in September....before that it had been at least 2 years since I'd ridden. It feels so great to be riding again! I know the equitation isn't great, but at least I'm up there!
We're riding in a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle, which she goes great in. She's barefoot - I've started trimming her hooves myself. Since the photo was taken we've added a beta breastcollar from http://www.runningbear.com/ and I made a set of rhythm beads for her to wear. We also have a crupper to help keep the saddle from slipping but I'm having problems with the T, so it doesn't stay on well, but Arabee has adjusted to wearing it just wonderfully. I'm riding in my mom's dressage saddle, but I added some shenandoah trail stirrups (from ebay) for comfort.
I still need to work out my winter riding wardrobe (to keep warm and dry), but I'm hoping for a pattern to make some riding tights from warm material for Christmas, as well as a set of stirrup cages for safety.
Beyond the fact that I get a great deal of fun out of riding, I'm still trying to really look deep and decide whether this is a God-thing or a Nicole-thing. The idea of endurance (I have a goal of completing two 25 mile LD rides this summer) is so exciting, but the amount of time it will take to do right is tough to reason around. Both my husband and my daughter need my time, it can't be spent two places at once! I guess we'll see what happens - I'll keep riding as often as opportunities like this come up, I'll try to give Matt the same kinds of opportunities for time to himself.
I believe that if you put God first, and His will, that he will make time appear for the other things, if He chooses. So, I will make serving my family the priority, and if the opportunity arises for me to enjoy the horses he's put in my life, I'll be back in the saddle again!
**for a more horse-specific blog, check out this one: http://adventuresonarabee.blogspot.com/