Friday, July 22, 2011

The 50th Post

Starting this blog has been a lot of things.  I had not written for enjoyment in years (ever?), which is probably because writing has always been an assigned task in term papers, research papers, lab reports, and lesson plans.  The same can be said of reading books, which I loved as a child, but do not make time for as an adult except to read expository horse books and nonfiction online, including blogs.  I think that I may be one of those students who read every single novel ever assigned in high school and college.  I thought that every student did this, until I noticed others mentioning things like CliffsNotes and online summaries.  My art teacher in high school called me a "purist" for completing a pen and ink drawing with an old-fashioned dip pen and ink well.  I guess that actually reading, cover to cover, assigned books in school also falls into this category as does becoming a teacher who expects the same from her students.  Not only has this blog, and blogs that I read, allowed me to discover the benefits of creative, personal writing, it has also inspired me to read fiction again.  I am the proud owner of a new Kindle with some freshly downloaded books.  Now if I could also download some time, that would be perfect!

When I started this blog, I had already been reading several blogs for going-on two years, although I had ignored the Follower button completely.  I did not like the term "Follower", but now that I realize it just means that you get a list of blogs that you like and their updates, I have learned to relinquish my skepticism and enjoy this feature offered by Blogger.  I do not participate in other social media (at least not yet), so blog-reading was my first exposure to the lives of others in cyberspace, their horses, and a community of people who share my interests and background.  I have also found a new love in writing and its benefits.  Nothing tops my list of topics over horses, especially my horse, so thinking about topics for the blog, collecting pictures and video, and letting my creativity have some "loose reins" has been an unexpected delight, albeit time consuming.  Writing has also forced me to think about what I do, how I do things, and what I believe in when it comes to horses and riding.  This has been a valuable experience, in much the same way that teaching is a profession of self-improvement, and I hope that my cherished group of Followers has enjoyed the process with me.  I also hope that there are a few readers like I once was, reluctant to press the button, but still interested enough to come back once in a while for a visit.  To those of you who frequent my blog and leave comments: Thank you for reading, for leaving your thoughts and input, and for often contributing little tidbits of your own experiences.  I had no idea how rewarding this type of discourse could be in both directions, as I greatly enjoy reading the updates from my blog roll, learning about you, your animals, and everything in between.  Thank you for taking me with you!

It is far too hot to ride, so Harley decided to offer some amusing photos.  As the frequent star of this blog, I hope that you have gotten a feel for his character.  He was born just before I graduated high school, and it took nearly nine years for us to find our way to one another.  Not bad for a future dressage girl born in Texas and a quarter horse born of barrel racing stock in North Dakota.  I look into his eye and I cannot help but feel that there is more than just an animal looking back at me.  He is a very special horse and I am grateful for every moment that we share together.

My horse, my love


  1. Congratulations on your milestone! My Drift was bred to do barrels, but I think he's going to do pretty well at dressage-type stuff, too.

  2. Thanks, Kate!

    I think that being bred for athleticism helps, although the sensitive trigger that comes with being a barrel horse can be a double-edged sword. I rode Harley in a spiral around a barrel once. I actually felt him cut around it at the center. I really felt like a cowgirl, but I have to say that Harley feels much happier in the canter now that he has improved his lateral balance, but man can he fly! I have a feeling that you know that I mean based upon what I have read about your lovely Drift.

  3. I'm happy you started blogging- you're good at it. You also selflessly share what you've learned which I think is wonderful (and helpful).

    My boy was bred to be a halter horse but he's fabulous under saddle. I'll get him showing someday and let him clean up in the hunter-under-saddle classes with some dressage thrown in for fun.

    I think my mare was bred for pleasure but her gaits are much too showy for it. If I ever get her steady under saddle she will be an incredible dressage horse. She's very balanced and she moves like a cat.

    Breeding doesn't determine everything!

  4. Thanks, smazourek!

    I try to offer what I have found helpful. There are too many conflicting things in riding that I feel frustrate riders. Like "look where you are going", but I often see this taken too far so the rider is turning so much more than the horse that the two are no longer in sync. I feel like a blog is an acceptable media for this, and it grows my own learning and understanding.

    You have a neat pair to work with and explore their talents. I am glad that I can follow their progress and your study of barefoot hoofcare on your blog.

  5. Val - I blog for many of the same reasons. It has become a real joy to sit and write each day and then to read what others have to say about the horsey-life that we all share. I am so fascinated with horse owners around the country. I love hearing how they live their horsey lives and find many opportunities to incorporate their ideas into my own horsey life. Keep writing and riding, and we'll keep reading.

  6. Congrads on the milestone! It's amazing how once you get into it, the posts just fly by; I recently wrote my 300th post!

    I love reading about Harley and sharing in all your joy. He seems like a great guy, and he's certainly lucky to have you:)

  7. Thanks, Karen. And right back at you! ;)

  8. I have truly enjoyed your day to day goings on with you and Harley, as you already know I am smitten with Harley. You write so well, sometimes when you write about something you've been working on and are really making good progress, I can close my eyes and picture exactly what you were desribing. I like that. Also, thanks so much for reading my blog!

  9. I have really enjoyed following your work with the darling Harley. Your explanations and descriptions are clear and helpful. In fact - (if we were closer) I'd love to take some lessons from you - do you ever teach? If not, you should :)

    Congrats on the 50th post!

  10. Thanks, Mare! 300! I am not worthy!

    Thanks, Mary! Fred is such a character. He is the perfect little guy to star in your blog.

    Calm, Forward, Straight! I enjoy visiting your blog and learning about your Val and your produce farm (on an island?). I teach 7th and 8th grade science as my day job and have given therapeutic and non-therapeutic riding lessons for about six years. I have spent many, many hours and dollars learning to ride so I love passing on information and techniques that might help others to learn (often from things I have had to unlearn). My teacher and Harley are a constant inspiration. Thank you for reading!


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