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February 21, 2013: February 21, 2013

There are a few days in the year that I consider to be significant. One of them is February 21. I know by this particular day that there will be enough light for me to deal with. It’s the same amount of light that is apparent on October 21. I can, on this day, if I wish, write in the morning and still have more than enough time to exercise and clean up after the horses and goats. This is also the first day of the year in which I can, when I look sunward, feel the sun on my face.

This day did not disappoint. All of the above proved to be true, on what was a brilliantly sunny day. It began early, before the sun was even up. I went to yoga. It was an interesting class. We did a good number of hip openers. One pose involved sitting with your legs crossed, and then rolling back onto your seat bones. My hips are so tight that I find this near-impossible to do. But I decided to give it a go, and spent considerable time

getting into position. I most likely had a look of intense concentration on my face because the instructor, who was looking directly at me, began telling me how good I was doing, to which I retorted that I felt like I was now ready to be admitted to the Pioneer Home. (This is where long time Alaskan residents end up.)

As hard as this pose was, it was a turning point for me because for the first time ever, I slowed myself down and set myself up. I later realized that the goal isn’t to strike the perfect pose, but rather, to attempt to strike the perfect pose. It was also a lesson in patience that I referred back to throughout the day.

Horses – even the best (and mine are the absolute best), will every so often test your patience. And today they all did test my patience. It’s as if they knew that because I was in a good mood that it was safe to do this.

The first go round involved the tag team duo of Tinni and Siggi. I had planned to ride Siggi and pony Tinni, but they had other ideas. I walked down the road and got on Siggi. The two then began jerking my chain – one would go and the other would stop – repeatedly. I quickly came up with an alternative plan. I got off Siggi and then hopped on Tinni, using a snow berm because I hadn’t put a saddle on him. We then all continued on down-road – finally, everyone was happy. Then, at about the three-quarter point, I got off Tinni and got on Siggi. This went very well. Towards the end Siggi was getting rushy so I again got off, and we walked the rest of the way home.

The second go-around involved Signy and Raudi. I would not call them a tag team, because they don’t seem to have any ulterior motive. They like being with me, with one another, and getting out. There was just one tense moment. We were on our way back home when a Prius came up behind us. (These vehicles have very quiet engines.) Both horses used this as an excuse to speed up. Raudi raced ahead – I reeled her in like a fish.

The third go around involved Signy and Hrimmi. These two are a tag team in the making. I rode Signy and ponied Hrimmi. One or the other would stop, with Hrimmi being the least cooperative. I finally let Hrimmi off lead, and off we all went, at a canter, around the loop, Hrimmi in the lead.

Lastly (always lastly) I, at the conclusion of the day’s rides, left Signy by the hitching post, untethered, figuring that the hay on the ground would keep her occupied. She decided otherwise, and decided to do a property walkabout and take her darling little girl with her. I followed – all of us plunged through waist-deep snow. We all did the circuit, with Signy finally electing to finish her jaunt at the gate.

All of the above were instances in which I could easily have blown my cool. But each and every time, I remained calm and collected. And furthermore, I found some reason to praise each horse. I know that they were appreciative because each and every one snorted when I said “good job.”

So the morning yoga class yielded an important life-lesson, which was to remain patient. I just hope that I can apply this to other aspects of my life.

Next: 53. 2/22/13: Still More about Being Responsible