Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day Whatever . . .

I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread. - Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings

abandon, abdicate, back out, bail out, bow out, chicken out, cop out, cut loose, desert, discard, discontinue, ditch, drop, drop out, duck, dump*, dust*, flake out, fly the coop, give up the ship, kiss goodbye, leave, leg it, let go, opt out, pull out, quit, run out on, screw, ship out, stop, storm out, surrender, take a powder, take a walk, throw over, vacate, walk out on, wash hands of, withdraw, yield.

In other words, I give.  I simply cannot commit to my 30 day program.

I had a fairly major meltdown this weekend.  I came to the conclusion that I am simply exhausted.  There are too many pulls on my time and resources and I simply cannot handle it.

So I'm cutting back, scaling back and in other words just learning to say, "No."

After pulling myself out of the ashes of my crash, I spent good time with both horses on Sunday.  I gave Cricket a medicated shampoo bath in the hopes of alleviating whatever is causing her to rub raw spots on her neck.  She stood like a champ for her bath, even when the hose was on her face and between her ears.

Later the same day, when it was cooler and the humidity slightly less oppressive, I returned to the barn to play with Bleu.

We did a little Touch It on the 12' and she is quite eager to find her cookies on the different obstacles in the arena.  I had Ed move one of my bridges into the arena so we played with that in simulation for trailer loading.  I need to be diligent about this as my plan is to take Bleu to fall camp and I want the trip to be as uneventful as possible.

I switched to the 22' and we played with some Figure 8 and circles.  For the F8, I just want her to find the draw as she comes around the cone - she tends to zone out a little when in motion.  On the circle game, she offered more relaxation and less anxiety.  I asked for a little bit of canter with some "mirror me" and her transitions were racing and somewhat unbalanced but relatively unemotional.  I think she's starting to figure out I want an upward transition and not just more speed.

I saddled her and rode her.  There were other horses in the arena and though none were her pasture-mates, I think she felt a little more secure.  We played with gait and direction, whoa and go.  She gave me some good, sustained trotting and I jumped off and called it a win.

Yesterday I mustered enough energy to go feed.  When turning them out, Bleu paused in her gateway and I came in to scratch her.  For the very first time since she came into my life, she let down her reserve and thoroughly enjoyed the scratches and attention.  That just made my day.

I'm still committed to playing with them both - on some level, even if that's only friendly game.  I just need the breathing room to just be.


Kerrin Koetsier said...

... Rome wasn't built in a day! :)

Sounds as if you've made a good decision.

Kerrin Koetsier
Parelli Central

Lisa said...

Karen - I did a 30 day program with Cricket last fall and had an absolute blast. My hope was to achieve something similar with Bleu, my new mare. Alas it's too much pressure right now. Adjusting to two horses is enough of a strain. My normal LBI self has been having some intense RBI moments and, taking a prompt from Linda's cartoons, I need to be gentle with myself right now.

PeterC said...

It is good that you can make the decision, I try to remember at these times that what effects you effects your horse through you.

Burned out isn't a good place to be, and it is where I am at the moment, but I get three weeks off and plan to play every day with both my girls. It is a lot of time they need.

Keep yourself natural!


Lisa said...

Peter - thanks for the reminder. I don't know if I'd quite gone to "burned out" but I was headed that way.

A good friend pointed out that maybe I'd allowed the goal (completing 30 days) become more important than the process (unfolding my relationship with my horse). She hit pretty close with that one.

If the weather is not too stiffling, I plan to ride today. Or just hang out. Or just feed. It doesn't matter, as long as I feel present to my horses.

Kerrin Koetsier said...

You've definately made a wise decision, Lisa. The funny thing is that when you're not running on the treadmill, life becomes a lot more fun-and our horses certainly reflect this!

Parelli Central

Lisa said...

Kerrin (sorry for the misspell on your name in my earlier comment) - I didn't feel like I was "running on a treadmill" per se. I was enjoying my time with the horses, feeling playful and engaged or just peaceful and at ease. I never felt forced with them.

What got to me was the forced feeling of having to be there every day, on my game and ready to go. I just didn't feel that was serving what I needed.

Kerrin Koetsier said...

Hi Lisa

No problem, you're not the first! I get people battling to pronounce my name, too... :)

Having a plan is a great thing, but plans can (and should) be versatile. Being a LB extrovert, I don't always appreciate schedules. I found that although I was setting aside time to play with my horses, we were not achieving as much as we usually would at random! It was when I'd have those moments when I thought 'hang on, this is supposed to be my recreational time!' that I realized I needed to change my approach... of course there are different seasons in life, at the moment I have quite a scheduled routine, and it suits me fine!

So was your 30 day plan following a specific task-list, or was it purely setting aside time everyday for 30 days? What are your goals with your horses now?

Parelli Central

Lisa said...

Kerrin - though provoking comment. Might have to consider that and make that a separate blog entry