Monday, July 28, 2008

Toes Forward!

Today I learned a new mantra. Taking a cue off the US Marine Corp's creed of Unit, Core, God, Country (as seen in a movie), I decided I needed to set some serious priorities. So here they are: Family, Horse, Health, Job. Not that my job is even that significant in my life, but it is LESS significant than the other three. So when my boss asked me to work late yet again tonight, I repeated my mantra in my head and discovered that no, I would not work, I was going riding.

And ride I did. Brego and I worked on our form over fences. Actually, Brego was a star over fences, as always. He really loves to jump and just pings around. We did a couple of passes through the triple and then a couple oxers. All the while, I took my mind off Brego and focused on my toes and my elbows. And I made some progress. I got the feel of holding with the side of my calf instead of the back and things started to click. I had raised my stirrups a hole and that helped me get out of the saddle. On a couple of jumps, where we blew the distance, I reverted to more squatty toes out as I focused on us not dying, but in general, if I could stay aware and relaxed, I felt much better.

I had a good spotter on the ground who noticed that I was raising my hands the stride before the fence and not following well, stiffening. When I focused on quieting my hands and relaxing, my upper body stayed more supple and I am sure Brego appreciated the room. I also did some no hands work and that really helped me feel my calf and lower thighs over fences.

So progress.

And of course, while we were cantering around the course, Brego's canter was so balanced and I can thank the dreaded Dressage for that. So I know we're making progress there as well. I just need to relax and stop worrying, progress is good.

I rode my bike home today from the barn and felt good, I am getting more fit.

Family. Horse. Health... Job.


Maybe Mae said...

Wow, love your new mantra. Wish I could remember not to put my job so far up on my list of priorities. (Is it wrong that part of me secretly wishes the entire nationwide company folds under the rough economy so I am magically set free?) Anyway, this is a good reminder that there are so many better things to focus on besides work. Good for you for not getting roped into working late!

Anonymous said...

Good for you Daun. I'm glad to hear that you have the guts to say no to working late. People need to have a life and hobbies outside their job.
Glad to hear you were able to have a decent ride today :)

Interesting that Brego loves to jump so much. Klein feels the same. She turns the smallest things into jumps. She really loves it. That and it's like she almost hunts for fences. Even though we're at the very, very, very beginning of o/f training I could tell from longeing her o/f the first couple times it was like she was seeking out the fences :)

spotteddrafter said...

My husband would say that mine are: Horse, Dog, Family, Health, Job. LOL!

Good for you for setting boundaries and riding instead. Too often today employers take advantage of their employees and take for granted that they will always say yes.

"Dreaded Dressage." That's about how I feel these days. :(

Maybe Mae said...

Daun, this post totally had an impact on my morning! I woke up a little early with plans to actually sit down and write (fiction). But when I got out of bed I felt crummy and thought, "Oh, if I get ready now I can just make the early bus. I have a lot of work to do at the office and can get started on that instead of trying to write for myself."

And then I thought, NO! Getting to work earlier should not be my priority. It should be writing.

So I sat down and wrote. Only got about 30-40 minutes in, but every bit counts and I'm so glad I did it. Thank you for reminding me to pay attention to what is important to ME. :)