Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Barn Time

This is exactly what I needed today.
It's one of those weeks: loaded with appointments and deadlines that chop up my days, not giving me another day after Monday when I don't have to leave the house, don't have to put on makeup, can just wear the same clothes every day because the only thing that matters is crossing items off the To Do list.
Topping that list are three separate pieces needing to be researched and written: two columns and a sermon (which is basically a 1500 word essay). That's a lot in a week, especially when one column requires me to put on my "holiday" hat and write about Christmas on a 22 degree day with an orange-leaved maple tree glowing right outside the office windows.
I could have cancelled my riding time, could have hunkered down today, but I'm glad I didn't. 
We get caught up in believing we are too busy doing work stuff to take two hours to do fun stuff but yet again, my morning ride proves the fun stuff is how you get the work stuff done.

This is the kind of day that makes me grateful I am my own boss.

This was exactly what I needed today.
With three deadlines, with pieces needing my best writing, with other tasks requiring completion, I was feeling pressured. That's a surefire way to suck the creativity out of your brain so a productive ride on Dakota was the best remedy for feeling anxious about work. Rather than stressing out about losing two hours of work, I came away feeling energized and ready to tackle the assignments.
When I decided to take up horse riding way back in May, I never would have guessed that achieving "loose legs" while in the saddle would be a key to unlocking creativity. I didn't think about work for the entire two hours I was grooming and tacking and riding Dakota. All I was thinking about was keeping my head up, trotting on the correct diagonal, and letting my legs hang loose.
And I did all that. I practiced everything I've been learning, took a tip from Bobbie (who was doing barn chores and supervising my ride) about behaviour management, and pushed myself enough to elevate my heart rate. Not once did I think, "I should be working."

After I'd slid of Dakota at the end of our ride and slipped the reins over his head, I thanked him for a good ride.
"This was exactly what I needed," I told him, kissing his soft nose.
I felt good, I felt happy; it had been a successful practice ride. I reached up to rub his forehead and he shoved his face into my chest. I don't know much about horse behaviour yet but it wasn't an aggressive move. He simply stood there with his face pressed up against me, as if he felt my  satisfaction, and it made him feel good, too.

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