I had a great day today. It was my birthday (my real one). Yesterday my co-workers gave me cake, flowers and a VISA gift card. I took the day off work today. This morning I opened the rest of my presents (just two, but two is more than none!), read and relaxed in the morning after dropping my son off at school. In the afternoon I went to the barn, of course.
I put a saddle on Mr. Jones and exercised at the trot. My muscles definitely feel it. It's a great total workout.
I had a minor freakout when some birthday plans for this weekend fell through. I don't know why. Even at the time I was wondering what my problem was. Why it hurt my feelings so much. After all, I still had a good friend coming over tonight. I knew he was going to cook dinner for me (and my daughter). And, I have plans with M for Saturday, which I'm really looking forward to.
The best way to get over something like that is to ride a horse doing arena work. It's a good workout, and besides expending excess energy, you're completely focused on what you're doing. What your hands are doing, your posture, how you're sitting in the saddle, how relaxed your legs are, your connection with the horse's mouth through the reins....you have to be aware of what every part of your body is doing, all at once. You also have to be aware of everything your horse is doing. There's no room in your head for whining!
We were working on half passes at the trot. That is, we were moving forward and sideways at the same time. Sometimes more sideways than forward, others, the reverse. And some full side passes (entirely sideways.) For me, it requires lot of concentration to get it done properly. I like to use orange cones as markers. In one of his recalcitrant moments, Mr. Jones decided he'd rather go right over the top of one than do what I asked. No cones were permanently injured in the melee though. Nor horse. Nor rider.
At the end of our 45 minute ride, I was completely out of my unusual pique, relaxed and physically refreshed. How is it that exercise makes you feel cleaner somehow? I may have looked sweaty and gross, but I felt great! Mr. Jones looked cool and clean. No sweating for him.
I've been riding bareback, so my balance was a lot better and I didn't have any trouble keeping my legs long and my heels down. But I'm not in good enough shape yet to trot bareback. Every time I try, I just don't feel secure. I need more strength first. So I used my English saddle. I'm going to saddle up for awhile now when I ride. Once I get in better shape using the saddle, I'll switch back to bareback.
Anyway, I digressed there. I had a wonderful rest of my birthday. My daughter surprised me with a cake she made from scratch while I was at the barn. Dinner was delicious, and lots of phone calls, texts and FB messages made me feel warm and fuzzy. It was a wonderful birthday. Freakout not withstanding.