Monday, October 11, 2010

Horse Back Riding. Go Susan, Go Susan...Go! It's Your Birthday


To create positive results in

your life just replace the

"what ifs" with "next time"

My birthday was so incredibly fun, actually it started the day before when my mom brought "red-velvet" cupcakes to my swimming, exercise class. It was like I WAS six years old and she even made a sign for me with pictures of me. One of me really little, and then 4 years old with my curls and blond hair (I knew I was naturally blond) and then the middle picture was when I was six. So she wrote from 6 to 60, Happy Birthday. We are there at Easter Seals to become more fit, lose weight, and gain strength. My sister made scrumptious cupcakes at the exercise pool? Uht-Oh! I had to taste it. Dark chocolate is good for you, right? So, on the way home, I licked the frosting off the top of one for about 5 miles, then little bites all around the edge until something happened and it went in my mouth, not a crumb wasted. I might add my sister makes goodies like no one else. My mom and my sister and when everyone started singing, Happy Birthday, the surprise and the sweet gesture made me cry at the pool. I really tried to hide it. It really was like Kindergarten. I was embarrassed and happy to the point of like I said, tears, and I'm thinking...Can I really eat one of those cupcakes? I worked so hard exercising on Friday. I think in my head I was planning to eat one all along and was trying to work-it-out ahead of time. I have been swimming for a very long time and have been on this "weight-loss diet thing" forever.

I started the pool swimming because honestly, I wanted to feel better and get rid of the pounds have been creeping-up ever so slowly. I needed exercise so my sweet Visiting Teachers took me to the pool hall with them, they had started swimming there a couple months before and really wanted me to go with them. They really are my best friends. My Visiting Teachers were assigned to me by the Relief Society inspired she was to give me the two best ladies in our Church. How come when I receive new ones I still am WAY attached to the ones I had before? Church, that's what's so wonderful, we honestly become sisters and the whole ward becomes our family. My Visiting Teachers knew what I needed. I needed someone to go with me to the Easter Seals Pool, not be shy and they introduced me to everyone. My Visiting Teachers both have had their circumstances change. One went to work and my other has extra duties at home and they are no longer at the pool. I believe Heavenly Father had this plan for me to help me become healthy and they both were inspired and followed through.

Oh, the pool seems like home, now. It really is like this big Cultural Hall at Church, but it's all pool and the people I hang-out are wonderful. All of them are helpful and supportive. I love it. We even go to the movies on Tuesdays or Thursdays when the classes aren't being held. We have great fun and I get to see movies my husband would not be caught dead watching like: Alice In Wonderland. BTW, that movie isn't for little or big kids. It scared me so bad especially when the monster dog/cat came out of the 3-D screen, I crushed my pop in my hands and it spilled all down the front of my blouse. was red soda-pop!

My birthday lunch with my family was Ceviche and so many of my family was there. I loved the big bouquet of sunflowers the vendor had brought inside the restaurant. My dear husband bought them 'cuz I was looking at the flowers from afar. My son (it's his birthday, too) and his kids, Marnie and her kids, Tressa and Hannah, my mom and my sister and my sister-in-law, Luana all came in super-short notice. And yes, my husband is just the best. He knew my favorite place and my favorite meal... and this was all planned in less than 1/2 hour. I miffed a few family members because they were in Camarillo and couldn't come.

I love the low-cal part of Ceviche, but I do really like it, a lot. It's my favorite out-to-eat meal. Fancy that! I love something not fattening. My daughter called me the evening of my birthday from Utah and said she saw a special on the Discovery Channel about the seafood off our coast, The Channel Islands. She explained that the fish caught in these waters are incredible, but the Red Snapper has worms and they could cause a huge blockage and death to those who eat raw fish. Ceviche is raw fish and cured by lime and lemon. The citric acid "cooks" it, but it doesn't cook out the worms. Oh, no! I was eating Red Snapper. I think this worm thing is a fairly new, like in the last 15 years, because the temperature changed a lot since I was a little girl. The only fish that had worms used to be the Ronkies or King Sea Trout. I saw plenty of those worms, my dad would open them up and use them as bait and also tell me, "See this, don't eat these fish." Swell, I didn't sleep the night of my birthday. My husband called the restaurant the next day and they said, "Oh da' fishies....'dhay are berry good fish and 'dhay are frozen solid for a good bit of time before the restaurant gets them." Steve mimicked her just like she spoke with her heavy Spanish accent, made me tickled with him. The waitress is absolutely the cutest thing, darling. I love hearing her talk! My Larin did say that the program had explained that if the fish are frozen you can eat the fish because that actually kills the worms.The program name was, "Monsters Within Us," I think. I'm not watching that show, ever. Whew! It would be just my lot to have a favorite meal--- I couldn't eat. Oh, hard frozen.... good for me...It is! Happy me.

So now the fessing-up. I wish constantly I would not be so hesitant in riding. I had this idea in my head that I had to be in perfect shape. My knees had to work and I didn't want to put to much weight. And that's not even hard for me to write. Because that's really me. I just thought maybe by chance by the time my 60th birthday I would be thinner. I'm not. The "Big Mormon Wedding" and everyone's great hospitality in Utah, just added to my gaining. Yummy cherries you have in Payson! I then decided I was just going to keep working at it, and I have. My goal was to lose enough weight to ride, easily.

I haven't ridden for 25+ years and scared my kids so bad back then, because I got bucked-off. All started screaming and crying and ran to my mom's house and they were trying to dial an ambulance. Not a difficult thing for my children because in a small town...hey my mom was the police and fire dispatcher. "Grandma! Send an ambulance!" Thank goodness I limped my bruised rear-end and pride up to the house and told my mom I was fine, just embarrassed. I really knew that at that time it was the end of horseback riding, until I read a wonderful blog about a young girl that is on the heavier-side and she rides. She gave me the confidence to just do it. Just do it anyway. Her horse is able, strong, and good health, and so is ours.

One of my son-in-law's co-workers trains the sheriff's horses and came-out to check to see if it would be right and proper to have me sit on our horse. He rode her and she is absolutely untrained, but sweet. He thought she would be bigger and I really thought she was bigger. We are used to raising our Bashkir Curlies, (cob-sized) and really our little mustangs are just over 13 hands. I thought Ellie was a lot taller. Not so much. But he did say she had great muscle and there was absolutely no reason she couldn't hold me up. He actually said, "She's in great shape, not carrying around a lot of fat, and not long." (in the back) "This horse is perfect for you...I'd put my kids on her." I cried.

Here is our expert horse-training officer--finished
with his sacking-her-out. Pre-birthday trial run.
There are my precious grand babies up on Ellie.

I'm teaching her how to turn. I'm giving Ellie direct or single rein to the right and giving a squeeze and little kicks to the right with my leg... to wrap her around me a bit, to turn. She's stubborn too, but I can make her walk forward with a nudge from my body and a lead this way and back that way. The horseman trick to get her to step forward. It works.My horsemanship "skills" (lol) all came flooding back. Wow! I am so happy I did this!

This is my "Miss Guatemala Wave" as if I'm in a parade. Well, I was sorta' in a parade. A bunch of family and friends came to see this event... even my son, and it's his birthday too. Actually, he was my best birthday present ever. Dustin was going to help me put my foot over the saddle and I about kicked him in the face. I may have grazed him. Then, a few moments later, Ellie was trying really hard to NOT go on the pavement of the driveway. My son automatically took her by the rein next to her mouth and she opened-up and a big, huge glob of what look like flem to him; and she launched this ugly stuff out of her mouth. It really was just recently chewed alfalfa. Ellie completely flung the drool all over his arm and some may have hit him in the face. I'm so glad he celebrated his birthday the night before, because I was actually ruining his birthday, big time. He said, "Sheesh, I'm going in the house" Sorry, Dustin. I love you and thank you for all the encouragement and help. He really did help me and my confidence, by holding her and making sure Ellie stayed steady for me while I was mounting-up. I was able to do so much better than I thought I could. Surprised myself.

Ellie was a bit jumpy, and my dear Marnie, my middle daughter who lives in the yellow mansion next door, was taking pictures and I really made her "heart-stop" (her words) when Ellie started to perform naughty-stuff. Frisky, heck yes, and I loved it. I knew exactly what to do. A horse can't do two movements at once. I leaned forward and kicked her out, moving her forward. What was about to be a rear was just a slight hop and bounce.Crow-hop! Yee-Haw. I was already warned about her rearing and it didn't scare me, maybe it all should have just a little, but I was relaxed. I did my thing and I was prepared. Ellie was tacked-up with a western martingale or tie-down. I measured exactly. I went up to her throat latch, through the breast collar and tied under on the cinch. The tie-down also had a little bit of elastic to it, just for a panic that I knew all untrained horses were capable of performing a "panic attack." Ellie was wonderful, anyway. Marnie was so glad it was nothing. Yep, it took us two hours to tack her up. I know that seems like a very long time, actually it was about an hour longer than I rode her, but honestly.... everything was going to fit. All leathers had to be in good shape and she was well groomed before we even started. I was taught by the best from my cowboy dad and grandpa. I will be forever grateful for their guidance and example of kindness to all animals.

I know what I was thinking right here in this picture. I was looking at the ranch, counting my blessings. My dreams coming true at age 60. I had prayed for so long and prayed that Ellie would love me and let me ride her. I know my husband had the same prayers for both of us. I love our ranch. Heck yes, I'm riding tomorrow and going to "don" my favorite cowboy hat. (just for a picture) It's the cowboy hat my husband bought for me five years ago at Disneyland. I knew it had my name on it when I picked it up. It was right the Pendleton Gift Store in Frontierland. New Frontiers...that's what it's all about.

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