Weekend Coffee Share

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Would you like some coffee? Or perhaps tea? The coffee is made, and I will have the tea kettle going in not time, if you’d rather have tea. There’s plenty of teas to choose from; black, red, green, and white ones. I’m on my second cup of coffee. It’s a dark roast, and boldly brewed. Strong, just like a like it.

How was your week? Mine was good. We’ve had strong winds here this week. Strong like trying to move my truck sideways on the freeway. My daughter and I have indulged in different school projects; such as a research project about Australia, Valentine’s Day history, rhyme words, remarkable Queens throughout history, what it takes to become a participant in the olympics, and how to research topics of interest on the internet etc. School wise, it’s been a great week!

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Ghost (my horse) is doing fantastic. On the windiest days I’ve adjusted the training, taking that into consideration. I have worked with him twice a day, every day, as usual. I only work him 15-30 min at the time. If we just play it can be slightly longer. I believe in consistency, and short, creative, session. He seem to thrive on routine. A lot of people around our neck of the woods are unfortunate to have the flu, making the indoor riding arena available, more than ever before. We’ve built obstacle courses there, and played with a big yoga ball, perfect for windy days. (You can see this weeks photos, and a short video of Ghost, if you head over to Instagram.) Yesterday it wasn’t quiet as windy as the other days, and I decided to work outdoors, in the round-pen. Since I’ve only had Ghost for a little more than a month, I’ve spent a lot of time working on gaining his trust. It’s true that I have asked him to do things, but more in a getting to know you kind of way. I feel that he trusts me fairly well now, naturally I will keep working on our relationship, but I’m upping the game a little, asking him to face some of his fears. It’s only by stepping out of our comfort zone that we can truly grow. Ghost is a sensitive horse, a very sensitive horse in some ways. He is intelligent, and it is possible to connect to his thinking side, of the brain. Did you know that horses have a thinking side, and a reactive side of the brain? On top of that you have to teach a horse everything from both sides, it’s not enough hat he knows that a plastic bag won’t eat him on the left side of the body, you’ll need to make sure he knows that it won’t eat him on the right side either. With Ghost it is easy to connect to the thinking side of the brain, but the reactive side is still very close. Especially with everything that involves ropes. I can hang over his back, and put my leg over his back, but if a rope touches his back, he is at the other side of the arena, or as far away as he can get, in the blink of an eye. I’ve been working successfully with silk gloves around it, but now when he trusts me a little more, I ask a little more of him. I’m being very carefully to not push too much, because he is so sensitive, but it is necessary that I help him overcome this fear. It can take as long time as it need to take, but I need to help him get through this. Before I do, he’s not going to be able to become a safe riding horse. We did have some major breakthroughs in the matter yesterday, but I am expecting this to take some time. Surely Ghost can have opinions about things, like where he wants to go when we are out for a walk etc, but when it comes to ropes, it’s not that, he is afraid. He’s been through something, at some point. Maybe someone have roped him when he was very young? Even though that doesn’t match the story I was told. Anyways, we will get through this. He is very trusting, and tries, even when he is scared. There was a lot of licking and chewing yesterday. He is definitely thinking, trying his very best. I purposely waited to deal with this, until I knew that he would come to me for reassurance, which he constantly did.

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I’m going to work a little more on this, and then I’m planning on spending lots of time long reining him. Driving him on the ground, with long reins, (sort of if I would have a cart, but without a cart. LOL.) That way he’ll have plenty of time getting used to ropes/lines on his body, before I start riding him. He will also build more muscles, and learn to be soft and supple, flex/bend, and steer easily. All of those things will highly benefit him (and me,) when I do start riding. I’ve also decided that I am not going to use the beautiful, heavy duty, F.Vela saddle I got last week for him. It weighs at least 55lbs, and I’m not sure it would be very comfortable for him. I might try to trade it for a more light weight endurance saddle. We’ll see. Plenty of time to think about that. Spring is just around the corner, and I am definitely going to take advantage of the warmer days, that soon will turn into hot days. Introducing new things to a relaxed horse by the end of a hot day, is something completely different, compared to introducing something new to a fresh horse, on a cold, windy day. If you’re not a horse person, I apologize for all this talk about horses. Can you tell that it’s something that I am passionate about? When I learned to read I read everything there was to read about horses, at the three libraries closest to where I lived (I was 5 years old,) and I mean everything. Growing up, and later having horses of my own, I still enjoy learning more about these fantastic animals. In the end it’s definitely the horses themselves that teach me the most.

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Tell me more about your week! Are you planning to have a garden this year? If so, please tell me about it! I’m not sure about my garden yet. It’s a complicate thing. I have access to 3 acres, that I can do anything I want with. I used to live close by, but I don’t anymore. I’m not sure what I am going to do about that. I love gardening, and I really do want to have a garden. In the heat we have here you need to water it twice a day, early in the morning, and late in the evening. The rest of the day is scorching hot. I would have to drag my daughter out of bed at 4am every morning. I just can’t do that. When you don’t live nearby it’s just not practical. On the other hand, there’s so much that you can do with 3 acres of excellent soil. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week.

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Today we went on a great hike up at Mt. Shasta. The photos in today’s post are from that hike. This post is a part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you for having coffee with me! I really enjoyed your company! Please come back soon.

Love,

Ms Zen

Sweet 2

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After getting some inspiration from some fabulous entries in the weekly photo challenge; Sweet, I decided that I needed to post another entry. Just because..few things are sweeter than puppies and babies 🙂

Happy Friday!

Love,

Ms Zen

Sweet

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I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body, and soul. For our family it means that we are making an effort to eat healthy every day. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice. 99% of everything we eat is Organic (some things are really tricky to find Organic.) I love growing our own food, that isn’t always possible, but we try to support local farmers as much as we can. Eating seasonal is also something I’m aiming for, (my wallet like that.) I cook our food from scratch, making sure that I know what we eat. Eating good is a priority. We like good food, that also makes us feel good. We live an active lifestyle.

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My daughter is not used to eating a lot of sugar. Before the age of two she hadn’t even tasted candy, cookies, or pastries. I believe that sugar is an acquired taste. I have not encouraged sodas, or candy. I’m trying to be balanced about it. I don’t say no when she’s offered a treat now (at age 5,) from someone trying to be kind, but I rarely buy her sweets. When she was younger I did say no. On the other hand, my daughter can have any fruit or berries, fresh and dried that she wants when we go grocery shopping. She eats lots of strawberries and blueberries every day.

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On special holidays she’s allowed to have anything she’s offered, while we’re visiting friends and family, and we often bring something sweet with us as well. There is no guilt associated with eating sugar (candy, sodas,pastries and desserts,) but she knows that if she’d eat it every day, she wouldn’t have enough energy to do all the fun things we like to do. For Valentine’s Day, I let her choose something that she wanted to bake. She thought about it for a couple days, before choosing heart shaped vanilla cookies, with strawberry topping. We found a recipe together, before going to the grocery store.

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I encourage her to be as independent as possible. To think for herself. It makes me so proud when she has an idea, and make it happen by herself, from idea to finished product. From choosing the kind of cookies she wanted to make for Valentines Day, to finding the ingredients at the store, measuring the ingredients, mix the ingredients, roll out the dough, and decorate the cookies. I did help her read some words that she didn’t recognize in the recipe, the rest she did all by herself, and she was so proud of herself… and I am so proud of her! We bake together every week, but it’s usually bread. I love the fact that time in the kitchen together can include both math, chemistry, and reading. Sometimes even history, and geography, when we read about a place, or an historic event associated with a certain dish, that we try to make ourselves after reading about it. Making learning fun for my daughter is high on my priority list, and I’m constantly trying to become better at it.

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This post is part of the weekly photo challenge Sweet. I’d love to see your take on the challenge! Feel free to leave a link to your post in a comment. I’m trying to look at all the entries, but just in case. I don’t want to miss yours!

 

Love,

Ms Zen