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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Sunday, May 24, 2009


What a fabulous weekend I just had. Okay, I know that it's the Memorial Day weekend, and it's supposed to go through Monday, but my holiday ended yesterday. It was so needed though, and I feel exceedingly refreshed. Everything went beautifully, and while I hope to do it again sometime soon, I feel like vacations like this come long only once in awhile. I can accept that fact though, as I get to appreciate them even more when they do happen.

Friday, after getting my repaired boot back (AGAIN), I washed the truck, packed my stuff, bathed my horse, and loaded Gogo and Salute onto the trailer. I was headed off to my lesson with Kerry Millikin at Hillden Farm, set for 3:00, and I was excited. The trip was uneventful, and Gogo and I looked pretty classy if you ask me.

That's Gogo's flybonnet signed by Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe and The Good Witch! But she was unimpressed.

I found Kerry to be really, really refreshing. She tells it like it is, but not harshly. I was later told that if she doesn't like your horse, she's going to let you know about it, but she had nothing but good things to say about Gogo - a real compliment. Right off the bat, she honed in on my equitation - "you ride like a dressage rider!" - and helped me get out of dressage mode and into jump mode, something I've never really been able to make the transition to fully simply because I've never really been taught how. I tend to sit up instead of really getting into my halfseat. Kerry helped me close my hip angle, turn my toes out a bit, and take the brunt of my weight into my heels and calf instead of stalling out at my knees and thighs - more of a dressage thing to do. The other thing we worked on was keeping her round instead of letting her cruise around with her head in the air. I usully leave her face alone while we're jumping, but by keeping her round to a fence, it helps to influence how she uses her body over the jump. She's tidy with her legs when she jumps with no bascule, but it does her no favors otherwise to jump so flat. So, instead of doing what we usually do, we tried to go around a little more like this:

Which, in turn, caused her to jump more like this:

The picture isn't at the best moment of the jump, and she's sort of trying to figure out where her legs need to be, but you can see she's actually using her body over the fence. Bascule what? We have that?

Kerry helped me stay up in two point all the way to the fence and away from it, staying quiet the whole way. She was totally pleased with how quietly Gogo dealt with the little challenges we set up for her, including a jump on a circle and some gymnastic exercises. She did super well, and I felt that I did do.
After the lesson, I went with Anne and Jen (and Salute and Lucas) for a nice relaxing hack. Or so I thought! We went all the way down the mountain, and trotted all the way back up! It was another hour before we were back, so Gogo and I were both pretty tired! We turned out our horses for a few hours each on grass (a REAL treat), and then tucked them into their stalls at Jen's place for the night.

And we rounded out the evening with a whole mess of people enjoying wine and cheese and dinner on the porch, watching the sunset:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh yea. A lot of wine and passing out on Anne's couch followed. Yessss.

The following morning at 7:30am sharp (oye!) after delicious smoothies, Anne and I headed off to yoga. I LOVE YOGA. I never get to do it anymore because I don't have the time or money to go to a studio and take classes, and lack the religious inspiration to actually do it on my own. I find the practice of yoga to be enlightening, refreshing, and rejuvenating. And not only does it stretch every part of your body, it tones every part too - I woke up this morning and EVERYTHING hurt. The classes at this studio run for an hour and a half and are only $15, and they're on Saturdays too, so it would be totally possible for me to go to them. On my way to Moksha, one yoga practice at a time.

After changing and helping a neighbor load some horses into a trailer, we cleaned out our stalls, let our horses out on grass again for awhile, groomed them up, and then loaded up and headed out for White Memorial Park for a few hours of trail riding goodness. The day started off with a downpour, but nature must have been happy with the positive energy we sent out into the universe with our yoga, so everything cleared up beautifully by the time we got out there. The trails were perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and the company was hilareous. We laughed the whole time we were out there.

Just perfect.
We finished the day with some lunch, and then cruised on to take the tired ponies (and our tired selves) back home. One of my favorite parts of the day is taking care of a horse's needs after a hard workout. Putting a freshly linimented, rubbed, and wrapped horse into a softly bedded stall with buckets of clear, cool water and a mountain of fresh hay in front of them just feels so good.

Today was a well-deserved day off for both of us, complete with some stretching, grooming, walking, and turnout. Tomorrow, it's back to work, and prepping for the show on Saturday!!

Breaking the daily cycle of Samsara and achieving a little taste of Moksha is exactly what you need sometimes. Thanks, Gogo. Thanks, Anne and Salute. Thanks, Kerry. Thanks, Jen. Thanks, yoga. Thanks, life.


Funder said...

It sounds like you had a perfect weekend! I love yoga too, but I haven't found a good place to practice here. I just do a bit as a cooldown after I run or lift. Man, I need to find a good studio up here!

manymisadventures said...

Yum, it sounds like you had an awesome time.

I love yoga. For a mandatory PE credit in high school, I took yoga last year. It was awesome! It stretched me out, relaxed me, and I definitely agree that it tones you - she worked us hard. I was thinking of signing up for a yoga class next year. Unfortunately in college you have to pay the fees, but I really miss the relaxation.

You could pick up a couple good yoga videos, maybe? We did this killer 'Yoga for Abs' video sometimes, oh man it was brutal...

hosschic said...

Food For The Soul
God Bless America!