In appreciation of summer’s end, and fall’s advent, I want to write my thoughts on this past summer. The good, bad, forgettable and unforgettable.
This summer was the beginning of my blog! What an accomplishment for me (it's much more challenging to set up a blog than I initially expected!), and what a joy it has turned out to be. I sincerely thank each of you who has visited and read my blog - what a compliment to me. And an especially big thank you to those of you who have left your gift of comments and following– many, many days your comments thrilled and delighted me! You are my friends and I appreciate your blogs, and the gift of your time and thoughts. This blog has been a wonderful, surprisingly touching development for me. I find I am eager to share my stories, thoughts or worries with you after my weekends with Buckshot. I am even more eager to read about your lives. It’s a delightful community, and one that I am honored to be included in.
Also, this summer I learned about uveitis (moon blindness) and had Buckshot examined for it by the vet. While he has evidence of past episodes in one eye, the other eye (which I was more worried about initially) did not have any evidence of it. Nor is there any evidence of loss of sight. So I am relieved and have much more knowledge about it. I also put together a box of preparations in the event an episode of inflammation should occur. I have talked to the BO about it and we will be watchful. In the meantime, I will enjoy every minute with my sweet horse. None of us knows how long we have with these precious companions.
This summer also marks the beginning of learning to really canter. I will be glad to see cooler weather arrive so that the temperatures won’t limit our canter practice as much as during the summer. I am proud of our progress in the canter, but I want to develop it more. I want to become better balanced and softer. I want to develop a slow, controlled canter that is comfortable for Buckshot to sustain. Since it is an advanced skill, and I am far from an advanced rider, this will be a challenge.
Reining has been a lot of fun for us this summer. The reining clinics motivated me, thrilled me and have helped my riding. I rode a trained reining horse that did fast spins, for the first time ever. That was thrilling! I rode a different trained reining horse that is the youngest horse I have ever ridden – four years old, but with extensive training. While Buckshot, who is twenty-ish, will never be a great reining horse, we are both having a lot of fun doing the maneuvers that we can do, and we have benefitted from the maneuvers.
This summer I have made more progress in my book. It is a memoir of my journey with horses, from the beginning of my riding days (just eight years ago) to my more recent adventures with Buckshot, my first horse. I am going through each chapter, polishing, cutting, rewriting. Some days I lose all interest in my own story, while other days I think it will be of value for others to read someday. I give myself credit for making progress in it.
Lastly, the summer has been a good season for Buckshot and I. With the long hours of sunlight, I have visited him during the week after work. In the winter darkness, that won’t be possible. So, while I have grudgingly endured the horrendous heat of the summer, the daylight has given me this gift of extra time with my sweet horse.
In terms of small, subtle accomplishments, I think I have become more brave this summer. In terms of riding, I have tried new and difficult things, like cantering and fast-moving reining patterns, without letting my typical excuses – all of which are variations of “Oh, I can’t do that!” – stop me from trying. I have tried new things – like spinning, and loping, and riding very high caliber horses – without listening to my old customary thoughts of “That’s beyond me.” I also have a bit more bravery in handling Buckshot and other horses from the ground. I feel as if I have many more skills and experiences with horses, to call upon when needed, and therefore I feel more prepared and confident to handle the unexpected from horses and demonstrate a better leadership of horses. This is a subtle self-confidence, but I am glad to see myself grow in these areas.
I hope your summer held some special moments for you as well. The autumn will bring its own unique treasures. I look forward to the experiences, and to sharing them with you, my blogging friends.
Goodbye, summer. Thank you.