Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Goals - Q1 Review - Looking Forward!

I have been away for six weeks out of the first quarter of 2015 so my list isn't going to look like much, but here goes.

2015 Goals...

  1. Go to Europe for 6 weeks in February/March and have a safe, enjoyable trip.  Done, done, and done!  *happy dance*
  2. Write a second novel.  I'm pretty well on track with my month-by-month checklist. My only problem at this point is that I still have two story ideas. Cannot decide!!  
  3. Go back to school.  See the bottom of this post, where I write more about this goal.
  4. Ride Lady 120 times.  11 rides in so far, and considering the six weeks off, pretty good!
  5. Ride 12 other horses.  No progress here. Move on...
  6. Take 10 riding lessons.  Had one in January and loved it. 
  7. Improve lifestyle to be healthier in the physical sense.  I'm working on new habits now, but I had a good start with the awesome clean food in Europe, as well as all the touristy walking around.
  8. Improve lifestyle to be more balanced and productive.  Again, working on new habits now that I'm back to normal life. Motivated!!
  9. Improve both of my blogs.  Slowly getting there!
  10. Improve my riding ability so that I can ask for transitions properly, ride the canter and gallop, jump up to 2' and ride diagonals.  There was tons of improvement made in January. Now I have to regain some of that ability.
  11. Continue to work with Lady - especially in fitness.  The plan is set up for the spring.
  12. Work Lady through her trailer issues and go to an event of some sort.  Fingers crossed... we're about to dive right into this goal.

When I made this list of goals at the beginning of the year, it was with the mindset that I would analyze them for the first quarter of the year and then adjust them if I thought they needed it. After the first quarter was gone, then the goals would be final and I would just have to keep working at them, no matter what.

Well... the only one that I have had to change is my goal about going back to school. The first few weeks of the year were so hectic, and it just became too big of a deal to squeeze my audition in before leaving for Europe. Plus, my savings wasn't where I wanted it to be, which meant that moving would be very difficult.

Therefore, I've pushed that goal up to the spring 2016 semester. The goal is now to move in October of this year and start school in January of next year.  It's still not going to be easy, but it seems much more attainable and I'm much more relaxed over this plan.  :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Europe - Part One

Definitely time to share pictures from the "vacation abroad", don't you think?  :)  I'm doing this in four parts, and mostly just pictures, so enjoy!  I'll try not to overload, but since I have to sift through 4000 pictures.... well... who knows!

Small towns in Germany.

Palace tower!

View from the palace tower. Still Germany.

Small towns in Germany.

Palace in Germany.

Castle ruins - Germany.

Cloister ruins - Germany.  Check out the tree!

Cloister ruins - Germany.

Paris - city center.

Horse statues everywhere!  Paris.

Up in the Eiffel Tower!

The Louvre - Paris.

Mounted police - Paris, France!

View from the Notre Dame.

Sacre Couer - Paris.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Being Home

Yes, I am home! :)  We flew in Wednesday evening and I was in my own bed by midnight the same night.
My adorable wiggleworm of a dog was so happy to see me that he nearly burst. I was seriously afraid he might actually do it. o.O

The jet lag is miserable this time around, considering I hopped six hours back in time. So I'm waking up between 6 and 7 in the morning, feeling starved for lunch by 10 in the morning, and falling asleep out of exhaustion by 5 or 6 in the evening because.... I don't know... my brain is convinced its midnight?  Ugh.

All my horses are doing just fine.  I'll have more on Lady and my various concerns about her later, but I've been told she was a very good girl that was able to control her spring energy while being ridden.  (My friend R from Days in the Life exercised Lady while I was gone.
The Tempest-Pony was also super-good, allowed herself to be caught several times and moved between pastures, and seems to have been quite good mannered.

Lady was my favorite to hug and kiss upon returning home, but there was a certain other horse that I was also very very excited about seeing again.

Remember this boy?
Who, me?
The change from winter to spring has been very good on Comanche, and he actually looks like a horse now instead of a gangly baby!  I was actually very surprised by how much he grew.

I'm pretty excited about working with three awesome horses this spring!!

Provided the rain holds off, that is.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pony Noses!

I get to see my horse this week!  Ya'll - I'm super stoked about this.

Only two more days until I get to kiss this adorable nose again!!!!

How long can you go without seeing your horse and survive?  I think six weeks has pushed my limit. SO excited!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

20 Things at 20 List Update

Back in July 2014, on my 20th birthday, I posted a list of 20 things I would like to do before I turn 21. I know most people do a 30 before 30 list, and I want to do that too, but I wanted this one for now.

Here is an updated list...

1. Make new friends.

2. Complete Level 3 Freestyle with Lady (solid).

3. Act on stage.

4. Laugh every day.  Not really done with this yet, but yeah... ;)

5. Write a third novel.

6. Pay for a drink for the person behind me at a drive-thru.

7. Try out a new instrument.

8. Learn how to dance.

9. Get my health back.

10. Visit Europe.

11. Take riding/jumping lessons.

12. Eat vegetarian for 28 days.

13. Have a party.

14. Try a new language/learn basic phrases.

15. Go see live horse racing.

16. Go to the beach.

17. Help/volunteer at a horse show/event.

18. Ride/work with as many horses as possible.

19. Start writing with 1-3 penpals.

20. Try a new art medium.

Several of these are on the list to complete yet while I'm abroad, and some have just been pushed back for various reasons until I get home again. But that's where I am now.  Feeling pretty good actually! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Missing Home

We're still off on vacation and having a blast! But I do miss home and  my babies. We're going on week four of being gone, and today was the first day that I got to see pictures of my ponies :)

So... while I'm not jealous of the weather that Texas is getting right now (while I'm enjoying balmy weather in Rome), I am jealous of everyone and their ponies.  :(

Here... enjoy some phone-quality photos of my cuties. Photo credit of my mother :)

Pony nose!!  It needs kisses....

She's probably thrilled with the time off due to the weather...

My  babies.....  Mwah!
Baby Comanche is looking so much more grown up!

And eating lots too....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Reflections on the Sport of Dressage

There are a very small handful of persons in my area that ride anything besides Western. I’ve only had my English tack for a year now, so I’m still relatively new to the concepts of it all. But I have SO enjoyed studying dressage and classical horsemanship over the past year and one thing I have learned over and over again is that no matter what discipline you do, there is some dressage involved.
Because dressage just means training.
Nothing special.
Just training you and your horse.
That’s all dressage is.  J

Dressage has now become a sport that prompts ideas of absolute precision, technicalities, and horse abuse. Sadly, that is the truth in a lot of circles. But I don’t understand why it has to be that way because a lot of good dressage riders are focused on relaxation, balance, and proper carriage. All of which are vital for an equine athlete.
Most dressage exercises have been modified and simplified into “flat work” exercises that everyone uses. Serpentines and circles and flexibility and the like… Jumpers and eventers and solely dressage riders – everyone uses them!
Is it that some people just don’t care for the technical aspects of the sport? Or the repetitive nature that it sometimes has? Or what, exactly?  Do I just have a mental block about this?

I'm obviously still travelling and haven't ridden a horse in several weeks... lots of thinking going on!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Inspirational Show Jumping

I always enjoy watching some good show jumping - gives me a thrill.  ;)