Jan. 5th, 2007 09:32 am
pyrsandponies: (Default)
This was in my inbox this morning - author unkown according to the send trail I'm on ;)


A Simple Statement: "I Ride"

I ride.

That seems like such a simple statement.

However, as many women who ride know, it is really a complicated matter. It has to do with power and empowerment. Being able to do things you might have once considered out of reach or ability. I have considered this as I shovel manure, fill water barrels in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/electrician/hay delivery, change a tire on a horse trailer by the side of the freeway, or cool a horse out before getting down to the business of drinking a cold beer after a long ride.

The time, the money, the effort it takes, to ride calls for dedication. At least I call it dedication. Both my ex-husbands call it 'the sickness." It's a sickness I've had since I was a small girl bouncing my model horses and dreaming of the day I would ride a real horse. Most of the women I ride with understand the meaning of 'the sickness'. It's not a sport. It's not a hobby. It's what we do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

I ride.

I hook up my trailer and load my gelding. I haul to some trailhead somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog and I ride. I breathe in the air, watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my horse. My shoulders relax. A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face. I pull my ball cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the dust.

Time slows. Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies. My gelding flicks his ears and moves down the trail. I can smell his sweat and it is perfume to my senses. Time slows. The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the leaves become my focus. My saddle creaks, and the leather rein in my hand softens with the warmth.

I consider the simple statement; I ride.

I think of all I do because I ride. Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the Manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest. Other days, just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment. Still I ride, no matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the numerous horse-related injuries hurt.

I ride.
And I feel better for doing so.

The beauty I've seen because I ride amazes me. I've ridden out to find lakes that remain, for the most part, unseen. Caves dark and cold, beside rivers full and rolling, are the scenes I see in my dreams. The Granite Stairway at Echo Summit, bald eagles on the wing, and bobcats on the prowl add to the empowerment and joy in my heart.

I think of the people, mostly women, I've met. I consider how competent they all are. Not a weenie amongst the bunch. We haul 40-ft rigs, we back into tight spaces without clipping a tree. We set up camp. Tend the horses. We cook and keep safe. We understand and love our companions, the horse. We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail. We know that if you are out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait and doctor. Your hands are a little rough, and you travel without makeup or hair gel. You do without in order to afford the 'sickness,' and probably, when you were a small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real one.

I ride.
pyrsandponies: (Default)
Run walk! True, honest to God four beat, elevation up front, head nodding from the poll, back engaged, teeth clicking RUN WALK.

Only four or five strides because then I thought "OMG YES!" and it was gone ;) BUT WOW!


(And then we got off to rescue the pulled wool seat cover from Indy).

8 days in a row of riding =me in HEAVEN. and my GOD that horse!!

ok flist

Dec. 27th, 2006 10:29 pm
pyrsandponies: (Default)
I've been debating to get one of those over the shoulder bags that kind of go crosswise - a sling pack. For those times when a shoulder bag isn't convenient, a purse is too small, and a back pack too big.

I have a friend who can pick it up at MEC for me. But I can't decide on which one to get. So, thoughts:

this one is smaller (7 litres) but has funky features like the water bottle holder I don't have an ipod, but I DO have a NEW dig cam (Go Parents!).

I should note that I already own this so maybe I am being decadent even contemplating a new purchase?

this one has more room, and the stabilizer strap, but would I be better to grab a backpack if I'm going up this big? I have small backpacks....(Though they have no stabilizer strap for the waist, and the backs are not padded). And I have a couple good sized daypacks for hiking/city use.

input? thoughts?
pyrsandponies: (Default)
I shall say:

Merry Christmas!!

and Happy Chanukah!!!

and Blessings and Peace and the joy of good family, good friends, and wonderful pets this holiday season!
pyrsandponies: (Default)
[ profile] casacorona was talking about Christmas Tree traditions in her journal, and I once again was reminiscing about the snoopy ornaments. I've mentionned them here before. I'm gonna do so again.

Here is what I said over there:

we have SNOOPIES! ;)

my parent's neighbors at our first house, shortly after I was born, were a DEAR DEAR couple who's only son was grown and gone, and whose grandkids did not live in town. My grandparents were not in town.

Mom and Auntie May were true kindred spirits.

They became Auntie May and Uncle Judd to my sister and I, and we stayed close even after we moved houses. They were like surrogate grandparents, and they were just AWESOME. I LOVED going to lunch there. They had an old style "lunch room" and Auntie May served Tomato SOup with noodles in it, and we could put BUTTER in the soup (oh the decadence) and there were always grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it. YUM!

Anyway, back on topic. ;). (Now that I am HUNGRY!). One year, when I was quite little, Auntie May and Uncle Judd gave my sister and I a set of Skiing Snoopy Christmas ornaments. We LOVED them then, and they are still my favorite ornaments today. Putting them on the tree fills me with silly silly joy (plus, the snoopies, they are just Troublemakers!).

You can see one of them in this photo. Please ignore the other goofball ;).
Read more... )
pyrsandponies: (Default)
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Countess Raithen the Innocent of Hope End
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

see, I keep TELLING people how innocent I am. they don't believe me....

Mayhap I shall smite them.

ah yes

Dec. 21st, 2006 09:40 am
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
the solstice is here. May it be blessed for all.

And may the soon-to-be growing light (for those of us in the northern hemisphere, anyway ;) bring peace and joy for all!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And may my Mom have a WONDERFUL birthday!!
pyrsandponies: (Default)
the news is talking about the housing shortage. I am online, chatting with a lovely woman on my laptop computer, which I was able to easily replace the battery for. In a gorgeous house on a comfy bed with my horses in amazing quarters outside. I am blessed beyond measure.

Also, I nominate [ profile] dancinghorse for the Not-So-Invisible Ink Award for Superlative Novels and Attention to Not-so-Obvious Themes. :D.

to bed now....
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
My sister's band, TUIAS is playing a gig in Toronto this Saturday, December 9.


December, 9 2006 at Cameron House
408 Queen St West, Toronto, Ontario
Cost: $8

Tuias is honored to share the stage with Blue Venus on their first appearance in Toronto.

They are onstage around 10PM, I think.

More information and some of their music can be found at their myspace page:

They play a fun and eclectic mix of music, and I wish *I* could be there.

/PSA ;).
pyrsandponies: (170 lamb)
I too remember. I also laid in bed this morning, and could not remember any of the women's names. Though I could remember his. I am ashamed of this.

Thanks to crankygrrl, I don't have to look far for their names this morning. but I should remember.

These women were killed as I was preparing to go to university. they were killed because they WERE women in University. It had an impact. For years, I stood in solidarity with others every December 6, in the cold. To speak their names and to remember.

Today, I shall remember them here.

Geneviève Bergeron, 21

Hélène Colgan, 23

Nathalie Croteau, 23

Barbara Daigneault, 22

Anne-Marie Edward, 21

Maud Haviernick, 29

Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31

Maryse Laganière, 25

Maryse Leclair, 23

Anne-Marie Lemay, 27

Sonia Pelletier, 23

Michèle Richard, 21

Annie St-Arneault, 23

Annie Turcotte, 21

December 6, 1989


Dec. 4th, 2006 11:00 am
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
My aunt sent me this. It made me giggle>...

letter from a farm kid )
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
I immediately thought of you on my drive into work this morning when I was BLINDED by the FLUORESCENT ORANGY/Pink Blanket on one of the horses as I drove into work.

After the spots left my eyes and I got the car back on the road, that is! ;).
pyrsandponies: (JJ huh)
So tonight, little Miss JJ was in the back paddock area near the pipe pen stalls to have her evening grain. When she was done, I asked her to leave the stall, which she did. and then she promptly walked to the back of the paddock area by another stall. It was exactly the opposite direction from the gate I was asking her to go through.

So I took a longe whip with a long lash, and used the lash like a lead shank around her neck to invite her to the gate. We do this routinely.

Tonight she repeatedely said NO! don't WANNA! with very rude ears and looks, and with showing me the ends of her that should not be pointed my direction. For a few mins I just quietly worked with her. But she was clear: she did NOT want to leave. She wanted to stay in HER ROOM! (she often spends the night there with extra hay and nice clean shavings to sleep in. But with the weather so cold, she's been spending the nights out with everyone else, because the water trough has a deicer in it - her buckets in the back would freeze quickly).

So, I figured rather than having a big fight, she could stay. I carefully secured all three stalls so she couldn't go in, and I got her a couple of buckets of water. There was no special treats. She could stay, but it wasn't going to be the taj mahal tonight! ;).

And i went to aikido (which was great! I even managed to enjoy a class of only teenagers and the instructor!!). When I got home, I noticed the JJ was asking very politely, but also VERY CLEARLY to please be let out.

Which was when I realized I couldn't see any other horses -- I'd forgotten to shut the gate, and they had all decided to head out and help themselves to more hay. Poor JJ couldn't join them!! ;)

I brought the others in, locked the gate, and let the more than ready to leave JJ out. She apologized PROFUSELY for her earlier fit of pique and was deeply disappointed she too couldn't go out in the field....

I think the lesson was learned!!

ETA: Hey, [ profile] dancinghorse -- what did Oreo think of his blanky?! and are you frozen yet?

My Joy

Dec. 1st, 2006 03:07 pm
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
Joy was all kinds of awesome for the farrier!!

I was SO. DAMN. PROUD. and she was terribly sweet, too. Joy used to be SUCH a trauma to shoe. And now look :D.
pyrsandponies: (170 lamb)
The Naked Sheep is promoting an awesome messenger style knitting bag. It's 'spensive, but looks very cool.
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
Happy Birthday, [ profile] suzannemarie!

May the coming year be filled with joy!
pyrsandponies: (JJ huh)
I read this this morning, and thought some of you might be interested, too. I think this applies equally well to aikido, for the record ;)-- and after my frustrations with aikido of late, the passage is timely.

I have come to believe that talent is not a thing, but a process. […] This suggests that our ability is determined not so much by what we have got, but by what we do with what we have got, and this is the province of the mind.

Riders very often blame their bodies for problems which really belong in the mind – or at least in the body/mind system. Only in our language can we separate the two; in reality there is no clear distinction – attitudes affect postures, and postures affect attitudes. All of us have the physiological equipment required for riding. What counts is how we use it, and efficient use of a less well designed body beats inefficient use of a perfectly shaped one. […] Suddenly I realized that I was not alone in my despair or my frustration: I now know that practically all riders share this inevitable part of learning, and I regard frustration very positively, because without it – in a situation where everything is already perfect – there is little motivation for new learning. Problems arise, however, when frustration involves so much discontent with oneself, and so much envy of others, that it blocks the learning process altogether: in their inextricable way, body and mind together produce the problem.

I now believe that talent is a certain way of approaching learning, so that you perceive what happens between you and the horse, discover what works and what does not, and choose to do the things which work. […] When learning is effective it develops your confidence, your perceptions, your speed and timing: it brings out the best in you.

- Mary Wanless. Ride With Your Mind: A Right Brain Approach to Riding. pp.1-2


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