I'm not sorry to post this mostly through my Monday as opposed to before I begin this week.
I want to share a story from today.
The sun shone for the first half of the trip out to the horse barn, then I needed my windshield wipers. It had rained on and off all day, so all the girls were in. I normally expect to spend at least 2 hours at the barn when I go, and obviously no exercise was going to happen in this cold, wet weather, so I took each mare out and gave her a good brush down and cleaned her stall.
Rainy days mean craptacular stalls… quite literally.
Calico is usually good for half a wheelbarrow of crap (actual defecation + wet shavings); she almost filled it today. Both Barbie and Dancer (the massive drafts) had overfull wheelbarrows. No biggee - my arms & thighs burned in a good way from the exercise. (This is not a new lesson. Since we got the woodstove, I became acutely aware of the work involved with moving heavy wheelbarrows! Poop and shavings, however, strike an easier balance than wood.)
Rachel, Sue's daughter, had impeccable timing to come down and visit. She taught me a better way to herd chickens (so they wouldn't get out with the wheelbarrow loads to the designated Poop Mountain.) She also showed me a few tricks to keep Dancer, who's still a young and spirited horse - that's HUGE, from pushing me around. By the end of our grooming session, I'd found Dancer's happy-scratch spot and her impatient pawing had gone down significantly. When it was Barbie's turn, I couldn't find her happy-scratch spot, but she was still great to hang out and cuddle with.
Calico, of course, was her usual sweet self, and we got lots of cuddling time - on the crossties and in her stall. We have this nice head-leaning thing going on, where we touch foreheads and I rub all over her face and jaw. She's also a good nuzzler on my cheek and shoulder - truly the gentlest horse I've ever known. On top of that, we're getting better at communicating. She realizes when I'm massaging (no, I'm not certified or trained - just pretty good at it), and will move herself to show me where she's stiff or where she wants me to work. I can tell she knows because I do find some tightness and the occasional knots in those spots.
I left the barn feeling amazing, knowing I was leaving three happy horses who nickered goodbye at me.
The lesson: Enjoy whatever you can. I feel like I can get everything done on my to-do list tonight because I feel like I got a lot accomplished - physically and on a bonding level with all three horses.
I also hopped back on the Wii today. Though it told me it was 152 days since the last time it saw me, it still had that "friendly tone," and I ended up scoring an "age" of 23… so despite the fact I was up 2 lbs (not too bad, actually), I was fit. I'll hop on again tomorrow before I'm off to the barn again.
As long as I'm alive, I can always start over!
There's still a lot to do this week, but no Impending Deadlines of Doom - at least not for articles - so I'm feeling good.
Even though it's a rainy Monday.