Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye to 2009

December 31, 2009
11:00 pm

2009 is just about over. Time to say goodbye, as I had to say goodbye to Finny earlier today. After almost 3 months, I could write about what I had been feeling after the initial shock of his death wore off. At first I was sad, then for some reason today, as I continued to write about some of the good memories of him, a great weight was lifted. I didn’t realize that it was happening. I just knew that the end of writing my farewell to Finny, and posted many happy pictures, I wasn’t as sad. Maybe Finny found a way to lighten my heart. Maybe I can start concentrating on who I want to have as my next riding partner. I knew I couldn’t stay sad forever. I just needed time to heal.


But before saying goodbye to 09, I need to think about all the good memories I’ve had this year. New grandbabies, visiting family, Nebraska Horse Expo, tack store, Centered Riding Clinic and Instructors Course, NATRC CTR’s, training and giving lessons, my summer week-long lessons for kids, Anniversaries and Birthdays, a warm vacation with sun and sand, and having my elderly parents visit twice.

We had 2 grandbabies born December, 2008. Our granddaughter, Makenzie, came Dec 10th.

and our grandson, Caden, was born on December 26.

We enjoyed visiting with both of them as much as possible. With Makenzie in Colorado, we were able to see her about once a month, but a few times, we missed a couple of weeks. Our 2 newest members of our family have brightened our lives to an extent that filled our hearts with an unbelievable love.

We were able to take a warm vacation in January and visit Tom’s mother in PA in February. On a sad note, his father had passed away a year ago, and it was his first visit home since the funeral. He spent a few days with his mom while I visited my parents 3 hours away.

We attended the Nebraska Horse Expo in March as a family. Sara, Jake and Makenzie came to help in the store vendor booth. Jacob, Amber and Caden and Micah and Amy came. But I think everyone did more visiting with friends who haven't seen Makenzie and Caden.

We visited Sara’s twice in March. Once for Makenzie's baptism,

again for Easter.

Training horses soon started arriving, and I began riding in the evenings and on the weekend. We celebrated Jacob and Amber’s 3rd Anniversary in April and Sara and Jake’s 5th Anniversary in June. Micah is in his 4th year of college, but will have another year before graduating. Tom and I celebrated our 28th year together. I won’t say what birthdays we had, but it wasn’t as hard as last year when we went into the next decade!

Sara and Makenzie came home for a quick weekend in May for hay. We stayed home for Memorial day and visited with Jacob, Amber and Caden. We tried hard to see Caden at least once a week. That was a special treat to have him so close so be able to play with him often. During the summer, he came to swim often.

We took a vacation with Jacob, Amber and Caden in May to Branson, MO.

I started my Centered Riding journey in May when I attended my first clinic in Kansas. I knew at that time that I wanted to continue to study this style of riding and to pass along what I learned to my students.

My tack store flourished. I had vendor booths at the NE Horse Expo in Lincoln and the State 4-H show in Grand Island. The store’s business increased dramatically, even with the ½ days that I had decided to keep after summer. Summer time is busy for me with training and lessons. In May, I spend a ½ day training and a ½ day at the store. June through August, I spend a ½ day with lessons or riding my horses, and a ½ day at the store. As fall approached, and I was getting busier with the NATRC CTR’s and Centered Riding Course, I knew I couldn’t keep up with my riding and work the store full days. Most mornings were quiet at the store anyways, so I decided to keep my ½ day schedule, which has worked out well for me and my customers.

My fall was filled with NATRC CTR’s and beginning teaching the Centered Riding exercises in my lessons. I enjoyed my lesson times this fall. The lesson kids get busy with school events and I was gone at events, so I missed a lot of their lesson times. I was able to have a few adult group sessions. As I taught the Centered Riding principles, my adult riders did extremely well, building a renewed confidence.

My parents came to visit the first time in August.

This will be the first time they see their 2 newest great=grandchildren.

We went to Sara’s in Sept to help them build a lean-to. Tom and Jake’s dad built the lean-to while Sara and the 2 grandmas painted the kitchen and played with Makenzie. In October, I finished my last 2 CTR’s for the year. With bittersweet memories, Finny died after the first day of my last ride, with a bad case of colic. Our ride was incredible and I will always remember that ride.

We had an earlier birthday celebration for the grandbabies, when their Great-Grandparents from Pennsylvania came for a visit in November.

We had an early Thanksgiving meal that weekend also.
My parents were so happy to see their 2 newest grandbabies!

Sara and Jake were able to come home then, and again in early December, for a hunting trip.

4 generations, together. Grandma, Great-Grandma with Makenzie, and Sara.

Micah, Jacob with Caden, and Pop.

We had Caden's Dedication at his church in late November. He looks like a little college student!

The grandbabies turned 1. We had Makenzie’s birthday party in Colorado the weekend after her birthday, which was on Dec 10th. For Makenzie's first birthday, she went horseback riding! Yes, I know, I need to find her a small helmet!

Caden’s 1st birthday party was to be the Sunday after Christmas, but the snow storm changed everyone’s plans. Then the cold and flu bugs hit and we had to cancel Tuesday night’s party plans. His party will be this Sunday, but since I‘m in the middle of bronchitis and a mild pneumonia, Pops will take lots of pictures for me.

Christmas came a week early for our family.

I am so glad that it did as Christmas on the 25th came in a snow storm. We were all together, Grandma, Pop, our 3 children, 2 spouses, a girlfriend, and 2 baby cousins. What a joy!

Then the important decision came of changing directions in my life’s work. Centered Riding has become part of me. Centered Riding is a journey, both of riding and of life. Centered Riding changes how you think about your life. You begin to enjoy the same principles that you are taught in Centered Riding while going through your daily life. You relax as you go about your daily routine, breathing deeper and slowing down.

The decision I made was to sell the store or clearance the tack and all the other inventory. My goal is to close the store by the end of March, after this next year’s Nebraska Horse Expo. I’ll start training full time, do more horsemanship clinics, continue adding more Centered Riding lessons to my schedule. I need to have the time to start and condition a new NATRC CTR horse for next year’s NATRC rides. Another decision I need to make is whether to geld my stud and start riding him. He would make an awesome riding horse, I love his big trot and his smooth, deep lope. I’ve been riding Shaggy and he is coming along fine. I’m not sure what I would do abut a CTR horse though. I’m still thinking about a gaited horse, for me to ride at CTR’s and for Tom to ride on trail rides with me. I want to make more time for weekend trail rides, too.

2009 was busy. We’ve had many happy moments and many firsts. I’ve started finding time to sit and enjoy life. I think that is what the grandbabies are teaching me. I have made a decision that is giving me great satisfaction. I don’t know where this Centered Riding journey is taking me, but I’m welcoming the change. Wherever it leads, I’m ready to teach as many people as I can about horses. I want to teach my students how to feel their horse’s movement, how to love their horse’s soul, and how to be one with their horse.

2010 is arriving soon. Happy New Year to all of you.

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