Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Living

Summer is in full swing and my life carries on as busy as ever. 40 hours on the clock for work, 4 horseback riding lessons, and various life responsibilities consume me from Monday - Thursday. I run away to Dave's on the weekends where we enjoy lazy mornings, active afternoons that lapse into the evening hours, and then end the day with a nightcap with or without friends.

On top of the world with my favorites

I feel so rushed about lately, jam packing my schedule as I have, but I feel fulfilled with such a busy life, so I really can't complain too much. At first, the thought of giving lessons on top of my job seemed a daunting task - I had interest from 6 or 7 people! I'm grateful for the interest and I love sharing my passion with others, but I am only one person with two horses and a whole other life outside of them, so my time is limited. I capped my students to 3 (one girl comes 2x/week) and life is wonderful. Each is eager to learn and passionate about learning more and being better. It makes me so happy to watch them learn and fall in love with horses all over again each lesson.

Her first time jumping something more than a tiny crossrail and her second jumping lesson ever! She LOVES it.

Between lessons and my training rides, Griffin is getting his fair share of work lately. I'm riding him in the LD at RBTR in 2½ weeks, so I need to polish him up and into shape quickly. He's coming right along and doing very well; he absolutely loves having a job. Most of his workouts have been restricted to the farm of late - dressage-focused flatting (with quite a bit of emphasis on walk-canter transitions as I really want him to work that booty!), some hill sprints, jumping, and of course his patient lessoning with the girls.

Blurry still from a video, but we've still got it.

Last night I got him out on his first significant trail ride in a few months - 8 miles with 1,300' climbing and an average ride pace of 4.8 mph. He's significantly spookier on the trails than he once was, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that for a time as he hasn't done as much trail work since 2014. Time and miles cure most things, so I'm sure he'll move out a little better with more trail work. He gets shoes on Sunday (his first!), and I'm sure they'll increase his confidence just like they've done for Q.

July 5 on top and July 20 below. Sunset lighting for the win.

Q is doing well. The 8 mile trail ride was her first real ride back (I rode her for a brief 5 minute bareback jaunt on Monday and that was followed by a bareback lesson which consisted of almost exclusively ring work on the lunge line) since the 100. My lesson student was on her and followed me most of the time, but for the moments I did watch the little mare, she seemed content. Or as content as she gets - she's such a stoic little creature. Her footfalls sounded confident and relaxed throughout the ride.


Post-ride, we untacked and sponged the horses. Griffin pulsed in at 57, which I'll totally take considering his non-Arab status, and Q was at 47. Clearly the ride didn't do much to challenge her; I love the level of fitness she's at right now! She'll also be doing the LD at RBTR (with a non-endurance blogger aboard!) which will play perfectly into maintaining her fitness levels. (A quick aside, but I want to note this for the record: I observed Q roll all the way over last night For The First Time. She is so focused on scratching certain parts of her shoulder and bum and usually rolls on an incline that I've never actually seen her roll over. I've never worried she was physically unable to, but moreso just never witnessed her rolling on a truly flat patch of ground.)

Dave and I picked a gallon of blueberries last weekend. Each of these jars is a quart.

Biking and climbing are helping me push my fitness into another dimension during the summer months. My legs especially are more fit than they have been since my competitive swimming days. It's fabulous. My bike handling skills are so much improved from last year, too, and I'm really enjoying the trails anew; it's so satisfying to only dab a foot once or only walk a short section of a trail I was hike-a-biking for much greater distances last year! Long uphill sections are also increasingly easier as time goes on. Cardio for the win.

Ride at Five'rs heading through ferns on Hellbender trail.

I'm excited for a lot of upcoming opportunities in coming weeks for riding, biking, and climbing. Summer is sweet and it is my every intent to soak up as much of it as I can being as active as I am able.

'Cause when the blueberries are in, you stop and enjoy! Ride at Five, Forage at Five. Bikes and Blueberries.


  1. Oh man, all those blueberries look great. I miss living on the east coast.

  2. Griffin is so cute with his student! Sounds like you're having an awesome summer so far :)

  3. The feeling rushed but also satisfied with a jam packed schedule is something I know well. Here I am on tevis morning immensley grateful I'm sittig at home not rushing off to do something and have a moment and in SAVORING that moment....but I'm also really excited to go this afternoon to volunteer for the event. I feel like I'm always doing something (husbands main complaint) but

  4. I try to approach it like an endurance ride - never hurry, never tarry - as I heard it put recently - be quick but don't hurry.

    Sorry about the multiple comments. Your blog and my iPad and phone do really weird things in the comments

  5. So much goin on all the time!! Looks like a great time all around tho :) esp glad to hear the ponies are doing so well!