Trying to Overcome Excuses

Today’s Tip: There’s a fine line between self-care and overindulgence. Sometimes it’s good to make yourself do something you don’t want to do.

I’m a flip-flopper. Not the shoes (well, those too sometimes!), but my life approach. I’ll go really hard for a little while – sometimes several days, sometimes just a few hours, and then I’ll realize that it’s not worth killing myself over and give myself time to relax. I’m afraid over the last few months, year, or maybe even as many as three years, I’ve leaned more toward the self-indulgent side in the overall scheme of things. There is so much in life that I want to do that television, computer games, and naps don’t accomplish! Yet at the same time, I don’t want to be too burned out to enjoy them.

Today I was looking forward to a nice relaxing, yet productive, evening at home. Then I remembered the farrier was coming. It was a relatively quick visit (Pretty got redone a couple of weeks ago and Evee just got a trim so the longest thing was Classy’s trim and fronts reset), but I still didn’t want to just start to ride at 8:00 p.m. On the other hand, I thought of this morning’s post and thought it would be a little hypocritical to bail after just preaching about the need to keep working at it.

My solution came to me as I remembered how I started off the riding season, back when I was refreshed and ambitious. I had been working on some groundwork with Pretty to improve her concept of giving to pressure, especially leg pressure. Also, as I mentioned recently, I want her to have a canter sooner rather than later. My hope for that has been to be able to build up her muscle memory for it through lunging. Free lunging in a round pen worked wonders for Evee. Unfortunately I don’t have a round pen here, but I do have a lunge line. So my work for tonight included some ground work and lunging for Pretty.

There weren’t amazing leaps and bounds, but I did see huge improvement from the last time I had worked on those things. She was giving to pressure much better than when we first began those exercises. Her right lead canter, which should be her better one, wasn’t great, but she was doing better than expected on the left. I even saw her trot some! Ok, for those who don’t really know, Tennessee Walking Horses aren’t generally encouraged to trot. However, Pretty is very pacey (leans more toward the lateral than the diagonal). So if she’s trotting, that means she’s using opposite muscles, and it’s more similar to the canter than the pace is. A horse that both trots and paces would probably end up with a more even gait in the end than one that ONLY trotted or ONLY paced.

I’m working really hard on not coming up with excuses, or at least trying to shorten the amount of time I spend on self-indulgent activities. I’d love any support, encouragement, or even tips that anyone has to share on the subject! Now I’m off to write an article I’ve been procrastinating on…

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