Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2019 >Daily Dispatch #22

January 22, 2019: The Writing Life/The Horse Life/Focus

Having a high degree of focus is the only way to get things done, but it does not come without a price. The price is less time to socialize. For me, this is a very small price. The payback in so many ways makes up my decision, in the words of long distance runner Alberto Salazar, to stay the course.

Today I worked on my Centered Riding proposal for approximately four hours, without taking a break. Then I went outside and worked with the horses. After, I cleaned the pen then came back inside. This was my day. Pete took Tinni for a walk this morning (without me) and then went to school to get some work done there. Then he went to strength training. He was

Alys after cleaning the goat pen
Alys after cleaning the goat pen

going to go to a meeting tonight about area wood smoke issues, but he just called and said he was going to bag the meeting and come home.

I didn’t interact with a single person all day. The phone rang a few times and I didn’t answer it. I figured if it was important those who called would leave a message. I just checked. One of the calls was from the Blood Bank of Alaska. They want Pete’s very rare blood. They call on an average once a week. The other call was from a friend who wanted to know what kind of boots we put on our horses. Neither message was urgent.

No, I didn’t answer the phone; rather I just kept working on my proposal when I was inside. I’m happy with it. I feel like I have covered all my rhetorical bases. New ideas kept surfacing this morning, and much to my relief, I was easily able to incorporate them into my draft. For example, I figured out that the audience for The Gift of a Good Ride is returning riders, which are individuals, like me, who once abandoned the horse interest and then took it up again in our later years. This, I knew, is a huge piece of the proposal puzzle. Actually, I don’t like puzzles at all. I don’t do Crossword Puzzles or Sudoku or, anymore, even Solitaire. I don’t have the time or the interest. But using writing to problem-solve, I’m on it.

I made enough progress so that tonight I’ll print up a draft and revise it. This means I’m nearing completion. It’s a good feeling, to have after many years of hard work, written a proposal that an editor will pay attention to.

I pulled myself away from my draft and then went outside and spent time with the ponies. It was a day in which I realized that in relation to my horsey endeavors, my years of focus and persistence paid off. I took Raudi for a ride – it was a short ride, but one of the best rides ever. For example, we came to the turn on Jim’s Trail where she’s to go left but always insists on going straight ahead. Today she did as I asked, and turned left. It was a smooth, easy turn. This happened because I was centered.

I also did agility with Raudi, Hrimmi, and Tyra. I made progress on my part – I finally realized that there are some obstacles we can’t do. Rather than push the issue, my focus is now on having fun. For instance, how do you teach a horse to stand in front of a streamer curtain, turn around, and back through it, with yourself on the other side of the barrier? I don’t know. Actually, Hrimmi knows, and she does this on her own.

Lastly, I took Tyra for a walk in the woods – she raced around with considerable abandon, but each time I called to her or stuck out my hand, she came to me.

Focus, it’s all about focus. Of this, I am sure. Tomorrow is a town day – strength training and yoga.

Next: 23. 1/23/19: Flexibility

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles