Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Gifts, and Rainy Weather...

I wondered what to give my BO for Christmas, and the vet and the farrier, and the few other people in my life I want to give gifts to. But the BO is key. I have a great BO – she is a great instructor, has many years of experience with many types, breeds and ages of horses, and has been fantastic with helping me and Buckshot with the normal and unusual situations that have cropped up. So I wanted to give her a good gift, but stay within my budget. I noticed a sale at The Bitten Store, which is where I got my bit warmer and heat packs (which I am using a lot these days – love this bit warmer!) and so I browsed.
I came across the lovely gloves photographed above – Kampro Rugged Riding Gloves, which are a beautiful, caramel brown color, in suede, with light insulation inside. I decided to order three pairs, one for the barn owner, one for her husband, and since I can’t pass up such a lovely pair of gloves, one pair for me. Well, they arrived, and the wonderful folks at Bitten (see their website at assisted with sizing. They fit beautifully, the BO loved hers so much I gave her two pairs, the BOH loved his and I love them so much I bought two pairs for myself. When I find a great pair of gloves, I know I’ll use them a lot, so I went ahead and bought extra. I especially like these gloves because they are a little different from the usual standard black leather gloves offered in catalogs and at tack shops. I am really pleased with them, and I am glad they made such nice gifts for my wonderful BO and her husband. (I also baked them some chocolate brownies and butterscotch squares.)
In Virginia the wet, chilly weather that blanketed the East Coast arrived this past weekend. I arrived at the barn Saturday morning and found my sweet Buckshot doing one of his favorite things – eating hay! I chatted with him, checked his leg ( a recent scratch I have been tending) and his tail (getting dirty from some soft poop he’s been experiencing), cleaned up some poop in the stalls and corral area, and headed down to the main barn to get ready to ride in our Saturday class. After tacking him up, we walked to the arena under a heavy, grey, cloudy sky. I mounted and we began our phase one walking. First this pattern, then a different exercise. Some more of this, and then some of that. We do extended walk. Then we tried this, etc. Very quickly, it seemed, I checked my watch and we were at eighteen minutes of walking. After a few more minutes, we finished phase one and started on phase two, where we trot patterns, do some cantering as well as walking.
I kept him doing revolutions around the rail at an easy trot and I added: Jingle Bells! Yes, I sang it to him! (He thinks I need singing lessons! LOL) It is fun to sing to him, because when we are trying for a bit of stamina, it breaks up any boredom of just staying on the rail. Plus it takes my mind off of “are my legs just right? Am I giving too much rein? Did the saddle just make that sound? Etc” and gets me just riding. Riding, on instinct, without overthinking it. Just enjoying riding. And it seems to keep Buckshot on track and helps him to stay in a good rhythm.
And lastly, when we take a break and go back to the walk, it gives me a reason to laugh out loud at my own singing and my sweet, forgiving horse! And the laughter itself captures a bit of the joy and thrill of riding a horse, and especially this wonderful horse of my own, Buckshot! Sometimes laughing at myself and at us, and at the wonder of horses, is just a momentary expression of how wonderful it is to be with horses, and to ride them and to love them. Laughing while riding can really be that wonderful!
To continue on with the story, the other riders came out to the arena (they didn’t hear me singing, I definitely lowered my voice when any other people were around! LOL) and we started walking around the arena and it started raining! After about ten minutes, the rain intensity increased and we had to end the lesson. Oh, well, I had a great ride on Buckshot already!
On Sunday, it rained most of the day. I went to the barn to see Buckshot and help with mucking stalls and feeding but no riding. Buckshot seemed to forgive me for my singing on Saturday, but maybe he was saying, “I wish you’d learn a few other songs as well!” Sweet boy!


Carol said...

Those gloves are really beautiful and so different. I love the color. They'll match Buckshot so perfectly!
I used to sing when I was backing Rogo, also when there was no one else around :) I was afraid, having never backed a horse before, and singing helped me forget to be afraid. I just had no idea what he'd do or how a horse acted when being backed, so I feared the worst. I would also play upbeat music (female rockers!) to give me courage.
Your BO is very lucky - brownies and caramel squares - yum!
Glad you managed to get a good ride in amidst the rain.

juliette said...

Jan, I love the thought of you singing Jingle Bells to Buckshot. He is a lucky horse, indeed. I can't sing very well, but I do sing my heart out when in a sticky situation. I am stuck in the ring down here in Florida and I find myself sweet talking to the horse I am riding. All the other riders think I am nuts, I am afraid. I should add some singing in today so they KNOW I went round the twist!!! I definitely think I ride better (by instincts, as you say) when I sing or talk rather than think too much.

wilsonc said...

Hope you don't mind if I try your singing bit. My trainer was just telling me I overthink my riding and need to rely more on feel. Good post! Beautiful gloves. Who wouldn't love to be gifted with something like that!

Rising Rainbow said...

Those gloves look awesome. I'm going to have to check them out. I'm always looking for good gloves for wintertime.

I sing sometimes when I work around the horses. They seem to like it. Not sure anyone else would appreciate it though. LOL

Jan said...

Carol- thanks for your comment. I didn't notice that the gloves do match Buckshot! We are going to look so good together! LOL! And thanks for sharing about when you sang to Rogo. Forgive me for not knowing this, but what did you mean by "learning to back him?" Do you mean getting him to go backwards, or when you first got on his back to ride? Whichever, you two are a great team so you must have done it well!

Juliette, thank you for your kind comments. I chuckle when I think of you sweet talking the horses you are riding in Florida- they are lucky horses! As are your boys at home! I'm going over to read your latest blog post in a minute. Hope you are having a good time!

WilsonC- thanks for your new comment! Welcome! It sounds like you have a good trainer, one that knows there are times we need to think less and "feel" more. Several trainers/instructors I have had that do that are very effective.

RisingRainbow- thanks for your comment. I'm glad to know you also sing to your horses. I agree with you that maybe the horses don't appreciate it, but I read somewhere that horses love the sound of human laughter! I can believe it, too!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I really like those gloves and may have to check out a few pair myself. Great gift along with the sweets.

You're not the only one to sing to a horse. I used to do it all the time with my Erik. He was a really spooky sensitive guy and it used to calm him down. Of course, if people were around I wouldn't be caught belting out a tune, I have a horrible voice. Anyway, how about Deck the Halls for a change up.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Those look like beautiful gloves. You can't have too many warm gloves. And I'm going to have to check out the bit warmers. I bet Buckshot loved your singing. juliette gave me the idea of singing to Misty. So far, it's only been the lullaby "Hush Little Baby". I'm sure she would love it if I mixed it up with Jingle Bells...or Santa Clause is Coming to Town would be a good one. Next time I ride, I'm gonna sing a snappy Christmas tune. Thanks for the idea!