A girlfriend pointed out to me on the weekend that I was "riding double" on Moon. It was the most sweetest thought. Already, long before our first child has taken their first breath of air, they've already sat atop my sweet pony and ridden through the wilds of Manitoba. That's special.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about being pregnant and still riding. At first it was an easy no-brainer, the simple adjustment of wearing a saddle and making sure I use a bridle to make it "safer" for the husband's sake. I mean, he wasn't giving me issue with riding, the least I could do was be as safe as possible.
Somehow there was a moment around 14 or 15 weeks when I "popped" and suddenly it wasn't all bloat and morning sickness. Yes, it's still a lot of that, but there's this tiny lump that appears each night, and these fluttering kicks that roll along with it. Our first child. It hits you.
I found myself...nervous. Partly worried about doing something to hurt this tiny life, partly wanting to protect it from all the dangers of the outside world. Sitting at home I worried if I was being an irresponsible mom. I read stories, I worried, I questioned myself. I saw forum after forum of people being attacked for riding after finding out they were pregnant. Heck, quadding, ice skating and snowmobiling were also on the "stupid" list. And I had done all of them knowingly.
I think one huge thing for me is my OB/GYN. "You're a healthy woman with no pregnancy concerns at this point," she said to me, "Stopping being active is the last thing you should do. If you've been doing these things for years, you're doing them safely, then don't stop. They'll help."
Now part of me didn't understand how they'd help, except I can already tell you that my core muscles are stronger then ever because I'm still riding. And my body feels awesome because it's active. I've gained 9 lbs after 16 weeks and I feel great. It doesn't feel like pointless donut fluff, it feels like healthy baby growth with a side of baby fat. Stuff I'm excited about.
When I get on Moon, those nerves fade away. I sometimes still get frustrated when the group goes too fast, or the footing isn't perfect, or I'm worried about something spooking us out of the blue, but I know these are things that exist in everyday life. I've loved having the chance in the last couple of months to teach Moon to listen to ME, not the group. He can still be a bit of a goof about it, and he's definitely more athletic then he's ever been.
Somehow I just feel at home on him. Like he's a little extension of my body. I just melt away, and it's we.
So Saturday we went out with S2 and H, and we cantered down mile roads, crossed two bridges and trotted plenty. It was a hoot. Think we did 7 miles total. Ponies were sweaty when they got home, but it was a wonderful workout for us all. I can honestly say, I'm just as in love with Moon as I've ever been.
The snow has finally melted away (storm expected tonight, but I vote the snow doesn't stay around), and I can finally see my hydro poles for the horse run-in. I started marking them, and Garett and I are going to cut them to size this weekend and move them to the field. Then we'll put the backhoe back on the tractor and start digging!! I have about 6 weeks to get that shelter built. And cross fence. And build the fencing around it. And add gates. Gees it's gonna be busy!!
I'm so excited though. I almost can't put it into words.
When I was a kid, I fell in love with horses at a really young age. And then I remember in first grade going to the school library for the first time to pick out books, and finding this book on horseback riding. It was pictures, with everything labeled on the pictures. The parts of the tack and horse body parts and such. I LOVED it. I swear I took that book out a hundred times over the next 7 years. I loved it so much that I found it at a book sale years later and bought it.
I would ride the bus home and pretend I had a horse. I named him Victory Gallop. Vic for short. He was a buckskin. He'd run alongside the bus in my imagination and jump the driveways we passed. I'd get off the bus and put his imaginary halter on, and then lead him up the driveway to put him away in our mower shed. Sometimes after supper I'd go out to play, and I'd take him out again, and we'd jump fences, or I'd brush him.
I knew I'd never really have a horse in the mower shed, but every christmas I asked for a pony. I fell in love with the horse on the drive to the city who wore the baker sheet, and got one for my birthday a couple years back. When I got Moon, I knew I needed to get him home. In my own backyard, so that childhood dream was reality. To have him out back, wearing his baker sheet, and to walk out to him and groom him whenever I wanted.
I *love* the place where I board, but I can't describe to you what my imagination creates for what it's like to have your horse at home. It takes me about 40 minutes to drive to the barn and back. If I forget anything, I forgot it. I can't stop and grab a bite to eat over lunch. I can't squeeze in a quick gallop after work. I can't even really just go for a snuggle, because driving 40 minutes for 10 minutes of horse hugging just seems silly. It's just different. My mind tells me it's different. It floods with this overwhelming joy at the thought of it all. I've waited THIRTY ONE YEARS to get here. Okay, consciously, something like 25 years. But that's a LONG time to want something. I wanna put that Baker sheet on him and sit in the pasture as the sun goes down, knowing it's a five minute walk back to the house. I wanna wake up and stroll to the paddock with a cup of tea to watch him eat the dewy morning grass as the sun comes up. I wanna be gardening, look over at him laying in the sunshine, and sneak over to snuggle against his warm body. I don't want just pieces of his life anymore, I want his whole life.
We're building a little attached feed/tack room on the run-in shelter. I'm already picturing his stall plaque hanging over his saddle, the little row of his ribbons proudly displayed below a picture of him at his first summer showing. I'm seeing his slew of blankets hanging off the wall, each for me to choose from. Maybe he's just gonna wear a sheet because every day I can put it on and off?? Maybe I'll put his tail up in a bag? Hang all his bridles off little hooks?
Needless to say, I'm super excited about this next chapter. With a baby on the way, it seems even more poignant. As the days get longer and I get more tired, to be just steps away from my pony face is utter bliss. I know that we'll probably be down to just walking rides by the end, but I can't think of a better way to spend my summer then with my boy in my backyard.
6 more weeks <3