Divine Swine.

Another awesome weekend in the books.

On the trail ride yesterday, I was talking with the beginner rider about someone I knew who used to ride and just dropped horses completely.  She couldn't fathom how such a thing could happen and I explained that it was like any other hobby/passion:  you invest so much of your life into it (time, money, emotions) and if the return on that investment (ROI) isn't worth it, it's easy to get burnt out.  Therein lies the importance, to me, of a horse/life balance.

So this was mostly a life weekend, with a little bit of horse.

The hubs and I met at the gym on Friday night.  No photos of proof, but the place was dead and I was able to finish my last workout for Charlie Mike, week 4, with some complex lift sets (push press, overhead squat (new one for me!), kettlebell swings, power cleans, front squat, more push presses and back squats).  This new program has invigorated my gym life.

bathroom backsies.

And then, you know, pizza and beer.

Saturday, we went to the gym again (front squats and running and burpees and lunges and mild death) before heading home, cleaning up, and making our way to the beach.  Lunch and thrift shopping and playing in the cool ocean and outlet shopping.  Then home for showers and more pizza and beer and Deadpool.
slush for the lush.
he wanted to hide his nips.
But Sunday morning was all horse.  My regular partner, the beginner rider and I all tacked up.  I'd given them warning that I'd been scared out of the woods earlier in the week by the pigs, but my riding buddy said she'd been in the same woods multiple times since and hadn't seen a single one.

So of course we see a family with four piglets and all three of us immediately about-face.  We kept it at a calm walk, since the pigs were headed in the other direction and we had the beginner with us.  We talked briefly about getting some bells or something, to alert the pigs that we were coming.  It's not their fault that there has been development of their normal habitat.

Since that ride was cut short, we crossed back and went behind the barn.  The beginner had never been that way, so we took her to the river and then to the plantation house, showing her the fabricated shacks, and then I showed her where one would theoretically go to get to the sports complex, but also said that we fell through the bridge there.

Shacks behind the tree on the left.
After riding Archie, I hopped on Big G.  I've still been riding him every weekend.  Normally about half an hour with lots of transitions and some bending/lateral work.  The pasture we'd been riding in is now being used, so I felt like he was frustrated at the sudden lack of open space.  Next weekend, I'll take him into a different pasture and see if he calms down quicker.  But it was a lot of work with gait changes and bending, with a reminder to me that a release is a reward and I need to be better about rewards.

sweaty pony got hosed off.
After exchanging Archie's bags of blankets for his bag of fly gear, I headed home, hosed myself off and D and I went, yet again, to the gym.  This was more work on deadlifts, some pull ups, some wall-walking and ball squats.  I'd spent so much time at the barn that there was barely anything left for dinner, grocery shopping and studying.

Okay, writing exercise time:  The hot sun pressing through the blanket of humidity as I wander along fence lines, eyes searching for little darkened berries and the tell-tell vines.  Knocking bugs out of my face with my free hand while gripping the edges of my shirt in my other.  Feeling a sense of elation upon discovering an untouched pocket of fruit, some beyond ready and some still growing.  Pricking my thumbs on the vines as I tug the bursting berries off the vine, some making it all the way to the pocket of others nestled in my shirt.  And others, juices running down my thumb as I blow sand off the berries and then delicately pop it into my mouth, savoring the tartness and the uncommon warmth of the berry.

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  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that can be found at the gym with her husband on a Friday night! ;) I do struggle with horse/life balance since I have two horses, maybe someday I'll get it all figured out but for now I just run around a lot.

  2. The plantation house and shacks sound like interesting scenery. Only cows around here...

  3. Hi Beka!! Glad the weekend was nice, mine was also :) Two thoughts on this post: my old trainer had a formula concerning horse ROI- add up all $$ spent on horse for a month, divide by the number of rides on that horse for the month. You should be able to feel good about the amount each ride is costing you, otherwise time for some changes.
    Also, you can find "bear bells" in camping and outdoor supply stores. Could probably hit Michaels up and make something way cooler and personalized. I have a short strand of belly dancer coins that I use.

  4. Sounds like a very full weekend!

  5. Normally I would agree about development and destroying habitat but... I do believe those pigs are an introduced species, horribly invasive and very destructive of their habitat. I believe I have heard (don't quote me on this ;) I am not a hunter ) that there is a year round hunting season on them and people are encouraged to please just shoot them to try to control the numbers so they don't destroy everything. Sounds like a fun ride though!

  6. Always pizza and beer. ALways.

  7. Love finding riders that weightlift! Usually the term "power clean" is met with a blank stare...