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December 15, 2014: Up and Down

The words up and down, both literally and figuratively, well describe this day. Went for a ride, early, early being 10 a.m. The sun’s now coming up at 9:15 a.m. We went for a ride early because Pete was wanting to go to Anchorage and get the elusive snow blower part, that is the thingy that turns the PTO (power takeoff unit) shaft in the opposite direction. The part wasn’t in early on, so he hoped it would be later on, when we got back. Turns out he is now going to get it tomorrow.

So we went for a ride, early. I’d recently gotten into the very good habit of doing yoga mid-morning, then riding, but because of the change in plans, I instead blew off doing yoga. This was a huge

mistake. As I say, live and learn. It’s been said that we learn in making mistakes. What I learned was this was an instance in which I had a qualitative basis for comparison. I now know for sure that the ride will go better if I first stretch out.

Beautiful day for an outing. Warm and sunny. Nevertheless, I must not have been fully relaxed for Raudi repeatedly rushed down, and then up hills. But I must have been partially relaxed, for I had some degree of control. I also maintained a far better seat than previously, this as opposed to what I call doing the C-slouch, the central characteristics being slumped shoulders, legs forward, and head down.

Raudi also repeatedly veered off-trail, maybe because I was laterally off-balance. One leg did feel longer than the other. Dunno. Just know that I don’t have these things to write about when all goes well. Perhaps someday I will have a dispatch that’s a blank page. This will indicate that it’s been a really good day.

Came home, worked with the goats – am clicker training the goats to give me their feet. I used a feather and stroked their legs. This went well. I bet Pete that in a week we’ll be able to handle the feet without them pulling away. If I pull this off, this will be a major accomplishment.

Came inside, got to work. I have been working on the body awareness chapter in Lessons Twice Learned. For some odd reason it was very slow going today – the words just weren’t forthcoming. It’s ironic – I had a hard time riding because I didn’t do yoga – and I had a hard time writing about yoga, perhaps because I didn’t do yoga. (I just thought of that.)

When one revises, they dig deep, plumb the depths in hopes of bringing significant ideas to the surface. Today, the problem was that while I knew these ideas were there, I just could not access them. Even writing the first draft of this dispatch was difficult. There is visible evidence -- there are more cross-outs than usual.

After I finished (for the day) the yoga chapter, I took a look at the next chapter of Lessons Twice Learned, which is entitled “Moving Forward.” I could, in reading it, envision what I might do, which is begin by providing a riding-related definition of moving forward, then note that central to this definition is the internalization of all that I’ve relearned in relation to mind/body awareness. There will then be a twist; this is going to be that I come to realization that in order to be a confident rider, I now need to let go of all I’ve learned, and --- just ride. This is going to be the perfect stylistic set up for the final two chapters in that I won’t have to write any more about the mind/body relationship.

Yep, today was what I’d call a conceptually difficult day. I guess I couldn’t quite figure out what end was up.

Next: 335. 12/16/14: Book Review: (Part 1) Animals Make us Human, Temple Grandin