Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Today started out on the "tough" side.  I had a 2.5 hour one-on-one training session on how to use the new website format we are switching to at camp.  It was alotofinformation.
By the time we wrapped up the session, my head was pounding, and realizing I still have a bizillion more things to learn didn't help my overwhelmed head.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not afraid of trying new things, or learning new things, but by golly it sure is more of a challenge to learn in your 50's!  Though I actually love to learn -- I am finding I'm not as quick of a learner as I'd like to be.

For instance, I thought that riding a horse would be easy-peasy.  Actually, it is.  If you are only walking the horse.  If you want to trot, cantor or gallop it takes a bit of work.  Remember when you were learning to ride a two-wheeler and your dad/mom kept saying, "look straight ahead - keep pedaling - balance - move the front wheel slightly back and forth"?  Or how about learning to golf?  "Keep your head down - knees bent - arms close to your sides....blah, blah, blah"?

Remembering to do all those instructions, all at the same time felt so mechanical, so impossible, so much to think about. Then one day, they all clicked.  You rode off without someone holding the seat of your bike and you swung at the ball and hit the sweet spot.

To clear my head of all the computer-website-html-java-mumbo-jumbo floating around in it, I left work a tad bit early and headed over to spend time with a few friends . . .

At 2:30pm today it was 54 degrees and I was ready to be outside!  We rode today wearing only sweaters.  No long-johns, no gloves, or hats, or wool socks.   <sigh> It was glorious.

Today I was challenged.  It was time to ride Layla while she cantered/loped.  I've (mostly) got the trot down and feel comfortable with that.  The lope is scary.  It's fast and requires balance, and looking where you are going, and sitting just right in the saddle (my biggest challenge).  Did I mention it's faster?  My gut instinct wants to let go of the reins and hold the saddle horn when Layla starts to canter/lope, which doesn't work so good!

Today I learned to trust Layla... and  I learned to trust myself.  I kept working on the lope/canter when I really wanted to quit.  Because I was afraid.  Because I felt like I'd never "get it right".
I still don't have it all "right".  I still bounce too much in the saddle among other things.  However, I did get in the groove a few times and rode her smoothly -- and I felt what "right" feels like.

You won't see me riding my best in this video, but you will see that I have overcome my fear, and achieved some balance.  (you should have seen me before this point!)  There was a moment when I was paralyzed and couldn't even make myself walk Layla.  I froze up.  So I got off, took a bathroom break, and returned with a new resolve.

I was going to work at this.  I could do it.

The voice in the background and the videographer is my wonderful & most patient teacher, Karen.

I can do it.  I did do it.  I will do it again.
Thank you Karen for all you encouragement and excellent teaching!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What an accomplishment Cheri, You look like a REAL cowgirl :)

  3. awesome awesome awesome! Good for you pushing throughout the fear and making ti happen!

  4. Anonymous11:10 AM CST

    Looks like you're a natural! What fun for you!

  5. Hardly a natural ... and so much more practice and learning to go ... but I am loving it!


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