Ahhh, just inhale and take a big whiff! Smell that? It smells like spring! It seems that between one day and the next we have gone from brown and leafless to green and bushy! Bursts of color are everywhere between the magnolias, forsythias, azaleas, and tulips, standing out strikingly against a background of fresh green. It’s simply divine!
Of course with the warmer weather comes the periodic buzzing of pests past the ears and the smell of fly spray in the air reminding me of the future dread of the summertime. The horses appear to be some sort of ghosts or mummies in their paddocks for we have them suited up head to toe with fly sheets and masks, but boy, are they enjoying those sun naps!
We dried up from our spring thaw rather well and are now in a month long period of no rain whatsoever. We could sure use it to save us the time of hand watering everything, and to allow us to ride outdoors and enjoy this nicer weather. As of now it’s too dusty to do some real training out there. However, there appears to be some hope of precipitation in the forecast and we have our outdoor ring set up and ready to roll for the time when we can both see and breath while riding….both helpful senses to have while sitting on a half ton beast!
I have loaded up my pony and taken him for two trail rides so far this year. How I miss access to trails everyday! He gets so excited to be out and about that his trot turns into a Mr. Fancy-pants trot and I imagine we’re passageing down the centerline into a Grand Prix test! I even let him gallop a few times and we all know how much every horse loves to run when given the chance!
I have begun to focus on my art more and am relying on client commissions to keep me motivated. Please, if you want anything painted I encourage you to contact me as I have more discipline to keep up my talent when it is demanded. My recent piece was of Rio, commissioned by the request of his owner.
This painting is rivaling for my favorite of all time and has given me the affirmation that I love to paint and I still have the ability to do so and should not shove it aside as I have been likened to do while feeling lazy to create. Man has been created in the image of God, our Creator, and are therefore instilled with the ability to create and appreciate aesthetics. I love showcasing His creation in my paintings and hope to glorify Him with every brushstroke through to completion. I am an image of Him and my art is an image of His. And God saw that is was good!
In April we had an “I’m done with winter” party where we all showed up in summer clothing, donned some leas, and drank summery cocktails. This party morphed into a birthday bash for me as my birthday was the following week! Here I am idly chatting with those around me when a birthday cake with candles comes out from the kitchen and all guests strike up into the birthday song chorus! What a surprise! Next comes out a minion pinata….yes you know, the cute little minions from the Despicable Me movies. And yes, I may still have him hanging up in my bedroom wearing the princess crown that I wore all day at the barn on my birthday! All in all it was a wonderful birthday and I am thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people at the barn.
Our first horse shows are coming up next month and so it’s nose to the grindstone time to perfect all those pesky transitions and the challenging maneuvers we will encounter during the rides. Sometimes the hardest things to master are the simple basics and you notice it when you need to perform a transition right at a letter! Too bad if the walk is not perfect you need to canter now! He’s pulling on you and not balanced enough uphill in this canter? Well, there’s no time to fix it before you trot because–oops, you needed to trot back there! What half halt? And then my all time favorite: And we’re walking…*sigh*…think walk… *scratch his neck*…..waaaaalk…*jig, jig*….No! we’re walking…..*scratch*….carefully try to gather up the reins without—*jig, jig* Gah! But, I am looking forward to our 3rd and 4th level debut this year! It’s going to be a fun summer!
My family will even be here for one of the weekends of my shows as they have planned a week long visit! Yippee! Is it June yet? Can’t wait! Now, to decide what to do while they are here…no matter, I’m just excited to be able to spend time with them! However, I will be jealous of their road trip through Canada doing some sightseeing. I love sightseeing and the photographic opportunities that comes along with it, not to mention I’ve got this passport and would love to use it! I’ve got it! Dressage in Germany? Can anybody help me out with that? Anybody?
Well, I can sure tell it’s coming upon summer as the squishing of spiders in my apartment has become a daily occurrence again, oh, and that dancing mouse is back with all vengeance in my ceiling. Sweatshirts are required while in my apartment as it hasn’t seemed to have gotten the memo that it’s May and so I go from summer to winter in just the span of a few steps. I wonder if this what it feels like to be a hobbit? Winter was nice, however, as one would descend from “freeze my nose off” winter to about 60 degrees! Sweatshirts and slippers still required.
As I come upon my one year anniversary here at Five Stars Farm in beautiful, historic New England, I can’t help but reflect upon how far I have come as a rider in just a year. I pray this forward thinking momentum does not slow down and this can be a launching pad to bigger and greater things to come. The most important concept to master in Dressage is to ride your horse forward and keep him straight. I hope this rings true in me as a rider and trainer and my career will continue to progress forward.
I am reminded of a few Proverbs I have been studying recently: “He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who takes the crooked path will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9 Also: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 In all aspects of one’s life God should be there and through traversing these ways of the wise and righteous is one’s path made straight. Do not confuse this with easy, but straight. And He will help you through all obstacles you may encounter. By the grace of God we can overcome any anchor that seeks to pull us down, the penalty of sin being the biggest. The result? Everlasting life in eternity with Him! Therefore, Lord, I pray that you would assist me to stay true to this path, walking straight with You and avoiding the crooked paths of the wicked. Forward and straight. And by this “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Welcome to spring, my friends, keep on trekking. Forward.