Tag Archive | horseback riding

A Fundraiser For Charlie

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This is my Charlie. I say my Charlie, even though he’s not my horse. He’s just the first horse on whom I began my lessons last year, learning to ride.  I’ve written about him here and here!  Charlie is sweet, patient and loving. He’s brought great healing to so many people, to so many riders, young and old, big and small and to little old me.

If you have experienced the healing power of horses, you understand how I feel. If you haven’t tried horseback riding or haven’t been around horses yet in your lifetime, I highly recommend their incredibly kind and patient nature’s as a healing source. I’m proof that they’re magical!  💕🙏🐎

Charlie shines his heartlight on all of us and by his loving way of being, he helps us all to heal.  I’ve never asked for a fundraiser before, but I’m sharing this one. If you feel inclined, you’d be doing a really good deed by donating so that Charlie can come home to continue to bring love, joy and healing to all who know him. Every little bit helps!

Charlie has shown that he never gives up on new beginner riders nor on himself. He’s been through a lot and he’s ready to come home to the barn and to those of us who love him.

Thank you for reading…and if you can, thanks for donating!  Stop over on Facebook to The Presents of Presence to donate!

Shine On!

xo

Story From Facebook from his owner:
This past year has been a tough one on our most beloved lesson horse, Charlie. Charlie has been a member of our lesson program for about four years, and is the most loving, willing and well-mannered horse that I have ever come across. He has taught everyone from three-year olds to adults. He has taught children to trot and post, and others to jump and count strides. Most importantly, Charlie is a horse that loves to be loved and regardless of what’s happening, he is still the happiest horse. Charlie has had a few surgeries over the past few months and has had to stay at the clinic and now he is finally better and ready to come home! We are asking for help to get Charlie home. His bills have added up as we try to do all we can to help Charlie get better!
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Trotting With Ty

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This is Ty and me at the end of our last lesson.  We trotted together for the first time which was a bit unnerving to me as he’s part draft horse and part thoroughbred and 16.3 hands which, believe me, is big!  But what a sweet fella!

I’m learning to ride English and right now, I’m learning to post while trotting while loosely holding onto the reins and hanging onto the saddle!  I’m working on rhythmically posting as Ty’s trotting in a circle on a lead held by my teacher.  Thank goodness she’s there to guide me and him as we work together.  I’m happy to say that our goal was accomplished a few times, but I think I still have a long way to go.  But I’m getting there which is good.

I haven’t given up riding Sam or Charlie.  It just seems that Ty has a smoother gait while trotting which helps when you’re learning to post.  I love how each horse is different and has his own quirks like people do.  It makes for interesting connections!  And as you can tell, my smile is always so big when I am at the farm after a lesson!  There’s something so healing about riding horses.  Their loving natures make my heart sing!  Do you feel the same way?

Do you ride English or Western?  I’ve trailed ridden Western years ago which I enjoyed.  I wonder if I try to ride Western again on a trail will it be hard because it’s so different?  Any horse people out there?  Please share your experiences!  Thank you!

Shine On!

xo

Miraculous Moment

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Sweet Sam and me after our first trot together!

I had a miraculous moment with Sam recently.  I hadn’t been riding in awhile and when I got back in the saddle on Sam, I needed a few minutes to remember.  You know what I mean?  Literally, I had to get my frame of mind back on the horse.  Pardon the puns, but they were so easy! LOL

I began my lesson as per usual, walking and guiding Sam around the paddock.  Keeping my heels down, body upright and core tightened as I took my cues from my instructor Sasha.  After a nice warmup, I could feel the tension in my hands still, but because it was chilly, I figured it was just me, which it was – me – still not trusting myself enough nor Sam.  So Sasha gave me a surprise which I can only liken to opening a big unexpected present on Christmas morning – and you know how much I love Christmas morning!

Sasha took away all of my control.  Putting Sam on a lead and taking away my reins, we rode in circles.  Holding on to the saddle for dear life at first and getting my balance.  I admit, I was scared.  Then Sasha had me let go of one hand on the saddle.  Deep breath in, I released my right hand and put it out beside me.  I wobbled at first, still walking in circles and then Sasha commanded both hands.  Deep breath in, exhaled and let go.  We went through a series of exercises all the while I was riding without reins and feeling more and more comfortable in my saddle on Sam.  He was a perfect gentleman and it clicked!  Suddenly it was like – I got this!  I’m utterly, wonderfully comfortable sitting on this sweet horse and I felt as if we were one!  It was such a miraculous feeling of profound centeredness and tranquility and euphoria!  Giggling with child-like wonder, I proudly sat up straight, fully comfortable in the saddle in that special moment with a big happy grin on my face as we bonded!

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Triumphantly Sam and I are bonding!  Look Ma!  No hands!

Sasha then informed me that we were going to trot a bit.  My heart leapt at the exciting prospect, but a little anxiety crept in.  I knew in my heart that I had full trust in both Sasha and Sam, so I agreed (not like Sasha would have let me back out though which is what I really like about her!)

Hands back on the saddle and Sam began to trot in a circle and with sheer delight, I was euphoric!  In a big wave of gratitude, my soul was flying, bonded with Sam.  As one, we trotted for the first time together in a circle!  We slowed to walk again and I rested my hands on my thighs to show Sasha my newfound balance.  Then we trotted again and I was on Cloud 9!    A first for me in so many ways as a wave of healing engulfed me.  Perhaps you won’t understand, but it was like a clearing for me in many ways, both personal and relative to my life.  It was as if all the debris of past broken trust had been swept away and a newness full of hope and utterly centered healing trust was returned to me.  Trust in myself, trust in Sam and Sasha and finally, trust in God and in the Universe!

Words can’t describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment and perhaps I sound silly to you, but to me it was a miraculous moment that I wanted to remember, so I am blogging about it.

After my lesson, Sam and I bonded for awhile.  Nuzzling and talking with him afterwards was so lovely.  It was as if we understood each other.  I gave him treats as he snuggled into me.  Even after I returned him to his stall, I was hesitant to leave him and I think he was enjoying me too as instead of going to eat, he stayed at the doorway, letting me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted to continue our time together.  So, I hung around with him, talking and petting his velvet face with him affectionately snuggling into me and making me laugh with his antics!

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Sam had me giggling when I took the photo and accidentally cropped myself out! But see his sweet face? Pure love!

When I left the barn, I walked to my car happily as I usually do, but there was a knowing in me that I haven’t felt in a long time.  When I got to the gate of the farm to leave, my trusty horse friends were there to greet me.  But even they were warmer with their welcomes.  It was as if telepathically Sam had told them of our riding experience.  I ended up spending extra time petting them too, reluctant to leave these amazing creatures whose love was filling my soul with peace and trust.

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One of the ‘gatekeepers’ – I don’t know this guy’s name, but he is so affectionate! All he wanted was for me to keep petting his velvet nose and talk with him! He kept following me!

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Here’s sweet Ely who always greets me when I arrive at the gate to the farm. He couldn’t get enough petting yesterday either – and frankly neither could I!

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Mr. Chips is more timid, but he too was interested in getting some affection yesterday before I left!

I remind myself that healing comes when we are ready to embrace it and that Divine Timing has all the answers.  We just have to be open to the opportunities of letting go and letting God and the Universe to help us to heal.  Mother Nature’s creatures innately help us when we trust and have faith.

Thanks for reading my post today.  I know I was long-winded and maybe not even making sense to you, but to me, it was a profoundly important moment that I wanted to share.

Shine On!

xo

Sam and Me

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This is Sam and me!

Charlie’s foot is bothering him so now I’m riding Sam who is even bigger than Charlie, but he’s a smoother ride and starts out our lesson walking very slowly.  Charlie on the other hand is a bit more spirited out of the gate and harder to balance on so changing to Sam whose gait is smoother was a good change for now.  I am hoping Charlie heals soon though because he has a special place in my heart.

As I was grooming Sam, he sensed my hesitation in cleaning a little bit of mud off of his face.  He stood patiently still as I groomed his body before riding.  But when I got to his face, he gave me such a look that it stopped me in my tracks.  I’m short, 5″2′ tall so he’s really big to me.  With every brush, I showed it to him before I groomed him.  I thought it was only fair that he should know what I was doing.  But being a seasoned veteran of lessons and of newbies like me, it didn’t faze him in the least.  Until I got to his face.

I was talking with him and commenting how he had a bit of mud on his face.  At one point, he turned to face me and stared hard into my face.  Those big eyes (you know they are the size of golf balls!) looked at me, but instead of seeing the full brown eye, I saw part of the whites of his eyes as he looked at me.  I was tentative and a little scared for some reason.  He’s so big that I got frightened even though he wasn’t doing anything but looking at me from the side.  I felt a pulse of insecurity which was on my part and stepped back.  Even as I write this, I only know that it was a significant moment because my fear was there.  Fear of what I’ve asked myself,  but there’s been so significant response.  Maybe I thought he was going to bite me?  I don’t know for sure because I’ve been told he’s not a biter.  But I didn’t know that then.

So I stepped back and asked one of the girls nearby to help me get the mud off of his face.  She calmly came over and brushed him, talking with him as I had done.  When she was finished, he seemed to look at me as if to say, Man up little girl and face your fears because I’m not scary.

I walked into the paddock to mount him and then we started to walk, but he stopped and wouldn’t move.  It was like he was testing me, not in a belligerent way, but in a have courage, do what we’re supposed to do and tell me what you want.  It took a good few minutes of him standing stoically before he began to walk (after my trainer clucked to him multiple times and I used my legs to urge him to begin walking).  Then he finally started.

Balancing on a horse was to me like playing the game Twister.  Reins at a certain height, put your heels down, keep your legs relaxed and not on his shoulders, sit up straight, hold in your core, but stay relaxed!  Yikes!  It’s hard work!  I tried (again!) the 2 point position that is the precursor to posting, but I was failing miserably even though Sam was so patient and gentle.  So my trainer took me off Sam and rode him, showing me what I wasn’t getting on my own.  What a difference that made!!

When I got back on Sam, because I could actually SEE what she meant, I was so much more comfortable and it showed!  I was able to keep the 2 point position correctly and for longer even though my ab muscles were getting a workout.  Sam, true to form, flowed with my learning curve, staying the course and making it easier for me to balance and concentrate on my form.

At the end of the lesson, for which once I finally was understanding the whole form thing, I begged to have another 1/2 hour because I felt in the zone!  But there was another rider’s lesson after me.  So when I dismounted, Sam and I had a few minutes alone while I waited for the next rider to come into the paddock.

I stood by Sam’s head and talked with him as we waited.  I’m probably being silly here, but the tears are flowing as I type.  Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but as I was thanking him for all that we’d accomplished today, he nestled his head onto my shoulder and into my neck so softly as if to comfort me and say See, we’ve got this you and me.  We’re a team and you can trust me and yourself.  He gazed into my eyes and I melted with love for him, bravely kissing his face and petting him with so much appreciation and love.  He nuzzled me again, rubbing his face onto mine as I cooed to him.  It was such a magical moment for me.  Truly.  What I’m writing sounds so hollow because it was so much more.  It was as if there were a breakthrough in healing for me and Sam helped me so much.

When the next rider came to take Sam, I kissed him good bye and thanked him.  As I passed some people who had been watching, they said they didn’t know Sam was such an affectionate horse.  I smiled and nodded because I had tears in my eyes, tears of healing and gratitude for my horse angel Sam.

Shine On!

xo

Bonding With Charlie

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A loving bond is forming with Charlie.

My third horseback riding lesson and I’m hooked on horses!  Between Sam and Charlie, I can’t choose between them although I will say that even though Sam is bigger, I think he’s a bit easier to ride because he’s, dare I say it?, not as energetic as Charlie.  Charlie, on the other hand, has a faster gait so I have to keep my balance more in check, but that’s how you learn to ride, right?

I likened it to gymnastics at my last lesson because it’s all about balance in the saddle.  I am learning to ride English which means there’s no horn to hold onto on the saddle.  In most movies, I saw the horn and thought of it as a safety handle to keep me in the saddle.  Guess that’s not going to happen for me.  LOL

Oh, so much to learn and to experience!  Sigh…and big, wide grin.

So grateful for the healing of horses!

Enjoy your day dear friends!  Anyone else horseback riding?

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Full Moon

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Hi All!  It’s Saturday and the weekend is here.  With that big ol’ full moon showing, the beaver moon as they call it, I’m just happy and hope you are too.

As I was thinking about what to write today, the song Blue Moon came into my head.  So I had to look up that famous song by Billie Holiday and listen.  I’m reminded of the years when I worked in a restaurant that had a band.  Weekends were packed with couples dancing to older favorites like this one.

It just makes me feel like dancing when I hear this song.  Does it do the same for you?  Imagine yourself dancing with a lovely partner who knows how to dance and makes you smile and sometimes twirl on the dance floor?

I remember as a young girl watching how beautifully these couples danced together and how the sheer joy played on their faces when they moved in sync.  It’s a lost art I think for today.  One which I would love to have return.

Oh maybe I should take up ballroom dancing now too?  Then I could get my dancing fix, just like I’m getting the healing horse lessons!  Who knows?!  Maybe I’ll do that one day too and you’ll see a photo of me dancing.

Until then, enjoy Billie Holiday’s Blue Moon and imagine dancing cheek to cheek with someone special.  Have a lovely weekend!

Shine On!

xo

My New Neighborhood

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The gate to my new neighborhood! Welcome home!

I have new neighbors.  Well, I call them my neighbors because I’m new in the neighborhood at the farm.  And no, I don’t live at the horse farm, but I would love it if I did!  Everyone is so friendly at the barn.  It’s amazing to me how people say hello and talk with you.  Even the seasoned riders patiently explain when I ask about something or for help when I’m unsure.  Not that my teacher isn’t there instructing me, but when I hang around for a little bit after my lesson just enjoying the peace within the barn, the atmosphere is so soothing!

It’s truly magical to me, this new adventure I’ve begun.  New smells, new experiences, new people, and learning something new – how to ride, how to groom and how to understand those giant beasts of burden with the gentle loving eyes.  It’s just lovely!

I can see how grooming is therapeutic for the horse and for me.  It connects us in a  spiritual way and it shows him that I care.  I’m back with Charlie these days, having only ridden Sam once and Charlie numerous times now.

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Charlie and me on a sunny fall day!

Chock full of new experiences, I am loving  and living my dream of riding!  Let me introduce you to some of the neighbors!   For instance, at the gate, there’s Ely, who welcomes all who enter.  He’s even been so bold as to try to get his nose in my car, looking for cookies (treats)!  I keep forgetting to bring him a treat so I just pet his velvet nose and coo to him.

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Ely coming to see what I have for him!

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Mr. Chips following Ely’s lead. Hey Lady, got any cookies for me?

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Ely giving me the look since I had no cookies to give him! LOL

Ely’s got a new neighbor too.  Mr. Chips who, like me, is a newcomer to the barn.  He’s learning rapidly from Ely!  What a cute pair!

Thanks for stopping by to meet the new neighbors in my life! I am so grateful for life’s new experiences.  I hope you have a lovely Friday!

Shine On!

xo