Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter horse activities

It's fully winter here in New England. Snow. Cold. Sun. Clouds. Cold. Mild. Really, really cold.

I am grateful that my dear RNB takes good care of the woodpile and the furnace and I have easy access to a warm home.

The horses are settling after their move to our new place. I love seeing them out the window in the morning. They know where to stand as they wait, and they can see our activity through some windows and patiently stand there until I come out to feed.

I'm getting more cardiovascular exercise since we moved. The hay is stored up top of a fairly steep, snow covered incline, and the gate to the horses' paddock as a bit of a walk as well. My body gets stronger and I find myself stopping between carrying bales to practice some Aikido, all decked out in my construction suit and sheepskin hat, there at the end of the indoor where the hay is stored.

It feels like I am endowing the indoor with some special energy each time I do it. I will make a small altar to properly acknowledge the spiritual side of my horsemanship.

My winter activity is developing my centering and connectibility through what I've been learning about Aikido. I suspect I will ride soon enough now that my horses and I are both in the same place as our indoor arena. But until I get mounted, there is so much I can do to practice -- paying attention, carrying myself properly, gaining emotional and physical strength, and integrating into my everyday life activities the wonderful morsels I gain each time I meditate and each time I invest in a clinic where my horsemanship and personal growth are the focus.

Life is good. There are moments when my emotions rear up and try to convince me that life is a struggle, but I don't believe that anymore. Sure, there are painful moments, energetic moments, tired moments, busy moments, quiet moments. But through it all runs a thread of increasing calm and acceptance. And I love bringing this to my horses.