“Check Engine Light!”

You know when that scary little light goes on when you’re driving, and you have two choices?

Choice one: Pull into the nearest shop and have a diagnostic made asap…and if you picked the right shop and caught it (whichever one of thousands of doodads under the hood “it” might be) in time before something really serious happens…yay! Count your blessings! And the money you most likely saved.

Choice Two: Live dangerously! Ignore the light, wish it away, or tell yourself that you’ll get to it later. You already know how that usually works out. Often…expensive, and perhaps with long term…inconvenient or even dangerous repercussions.

Sigh…horses don’t have check engine lights, but if you know your horse well, then you can and should pick up what he or she is telling you. Stop…Check!

The AQHA Princess Belle went really well Tuesday during our lesson. She was even, er…pleasant.

But, she hadn’t been ridden at all in a week due to schedule conflicts. That’s ok.

Today (Thursday) was the second lesson and ride for this week as we work our way back to fitness.

The weather has been freakishly hot and humid with VERY scary, severe pop-up thunderstorms.

Earlier this morning before my lesson I decided, since things were going well, to contact the best saddle fitter and bodyworker around, Miss Sherry! I asked if she could double check Belle’s saddle as she was now getting back in shape. “Yes!” was the quick reply, she could even stop by later today. Whoop! Surging ahead!!!

Except….during the beginning of the riding lesson today…the Check Engine light came on!

Belle…”I don’t want to turn left mom!…And, I mean it.

Me…”Um, hey princess…no pulling the union card on me!!! You need to turn left, because we’re over that bratty stuff…remember?”

Belle…”No!!! I am NOT and if you try to make me we’re skipping union negotiations and going straight to ugly boycott!” (Which means I refuse to move any part anywhere at all!)

I looked over at Karen, who was about to make a very strong suggestion…and I told her Belle was letting me know in no uncertain terms that she was hurting.

Not just The Princess and the Pea hurting, but genuine pain.

Providentially, Sherry pulled up just then! (Only God can work these timing things out.)

I had already dismounted, so the three of us had a chat about what was happening, and Sherry readjusted the saddle and pad and asked me to mount up again so she could see what was happening. I’m sure you could have read Belle’s mind as clearly as I was…

….even as far as Cincinnati!

Belle…”What??? Are you nuts??? You jusssst got OFF!!!”

She graciously allowed me to hop up, she even allowed me to walk her past the two gals, and then she stopped dead in her tracks, dropped her head, clapped her mouth and teeth, and refused to move.

Folks….please listen to your horses!

The diagnostic…

Sherry pulled off Belle’s saddle and basically got really inside it. Yes, it needed serious adjusting with wool in a couple of panel spots. She has a great eye for detail, and an analytical mind.

The saddle (not me) went back on Belle and clearly fit her much better! Yay!

Then, Belle got a great full bodywork once over and was definitely sore in several places. With plans to double up on her joint supplements and therapeutic walk, trot riding only after a couple of days off…we’ll see how it goes.

Proceed…because the Check Engine Light is off, for now.

A great support team includes not only your trainer, your vet, and the right farrier….but also your saddle fitter, bodyworker and chiropractor.

So, again….an opportunity to pause, Breathe…and remember that this road to fitness is a journey, not a deadline.

What a relief!

So what do you do in between the ups, downs and surprises?

Try to be consistent.

Here is a screenshot of Sunday…what it looked like from the fitness tracker’s point of view.

Ok…seriously boring chart. I didn’t ride Winston, didn’t do anything physically strenuous. But I did enjoy driving up to the big mall with my hubby, window shopping, and having a nice lunch out. Long drive back, clean stalls….yada yada…

Now Monday…with an excellent ride on Winston in the evening.

Here is Tuesday…lesson in am and riding Winston in the evening!

So you see….big difference when I ride!


Are you taking the time to listen to what your horse is telling you? Are you listening to your body…giving it what it needs?

It’s pretty simple….healthy fuel, healthy relationships, fitness that’s fun….and Faith.

Annnnd….maybe even a little weirdness! I turned the table! A diagonal! All my Concrete Sequential, highly ordered straight line, square corner friends will go crazy!!!

Try something different (I may even leave the table there!)..and enjoy…even if it’s an experiment! Who knows, you may love it!

Like I LOVE having a horse named Winston in the living room!

So, go ride, or rearrange something, or play! It’s good for the soul.

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