Sunday, March 11, 2012

proud and lovely

This horse is changing me. Waking me up. I didn't realize how languid I had gotten in my own heart, how much stress had put on pounds, thinned my hair, and made sleeping through the night hard. Acquiring Merlin, and dedicating my time and money into conditioning, training, and grooming him has done the same for myself. I want to heal with him, lose the pounds, thicken my coat, feel sweat and sun. I made a promise to him that every day we worked him, I would work too. So today I rode him for a half hour and I came home and jogged two miles.

It's not easy to do for me, not yet. In about ten pounds and two weeks it'll be easier, but today was a dogged little jaunt of curses. But I see Merlin trot in the mirror, blowing and sweating under his brown saddle pad and just when I am about to quit I think about my boy with a metal bit in his mouth and 180 pounds on his back and he doesn't quit. I can do this if he can. Together we will keep jogging. He is in my heart up every single hill.

Junk food has lost its appeal. I want to eat food that makes me want to jump on his back and ride. This is what a bag of carrots and some yogurt makes you feel, not Chinese Take Out and Diet Coke. My fridge is healthier, my water intake (while no where near his) is up. Every day my heart races. Watch on this blog, and see the change take place.

And not just working out, either. I was told to buy a product called Cowboy Magic for his long mane and tail, a detangler and tamer for keeping him clean and burdocks less willing to cling. I thought to myself, "Well, if I am going to buy him hair product I am going to buy myself a cucumber face mask!" So I did! A little extra pampering for the Farm Girl. I'm proud of him when he is looking his best, and feeling proud of myself, too. Tim took photos today and I felt a little more together than when Jon took his. That has nothing to do with the photographer, I just mean I had a hot shower and combed my hair instead of showing up in a head scarf and lumpy sweater! I may not be a size 6, but I am down to a size ten instead of a twelve and I wasn't scared to wear breeches and a more formal riding top that didn't hide all my flaws like the fishing sweater does. I'm proud of what my body, however imperfect, can accomplish. I'm prouder still of what's ahead.

He makes me feel proud and lovely.
Something I have not truly felt in a long time.

photo by tim bronson, 468photography.com

43 Comments:

Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

I too have gotten to that place where you just aren't taking proper care of yourself and one day something prompts you to do so. I am so grateful Merlin has awakened this in you. You deserve good things and good feelings. Sending you positive vibes from here.

March 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

I am very proud of you Jenna.

March 11, 2012 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I hear you, you go girl!

March 11, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

Ah, the joys of horse-owning. That feel-good factor. That being-alive feeling. Enjoy every minute and realize that you are worth pampering every bit as much as Merlin is! Have fun.

March 11, 2012 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

thanks for the encouragement! I need it!

That top photo of Merlin and me is a new favorite! Tim (and Jon) take amazing photos of my boy.

March 11, 2012 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Way to go Jenna! You are one awesome, inspiring person! :D *Thumbs up*

March 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

You will see those pounds fall off and you will feel so much better when the garden keeps you busy and you reap the benefits of your hard work. Fresh veggies will help to keep those pounds off & give you energy. I have faith in you, Jenna and I am so proud of your determination to be healthy and happy. Best Wishes!!

March 11, 2012 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Jenna, you look beautiful just as you are. But taking care of yourself (and spoiling yourself a little) is a good thing too! Will we see a webinar soon?

March 11, 2012 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Deltaville Jamie said...

I was up on my mare Chessie the other week for the first time in little over a year. I only rode long enough to make sure she was going to behave before my daughter got on and boy was I feeling it! The next week I got a membership to the gym. If "Chunky Chessie" has to get in shape so does Chunky Jamie. And a little tip from my show riding days: yoga does wonders to limber up your muscles for riding! Love the new pics!

March 11, 2012 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Melina said...

Gosh these photos are so beautiful. The beauty of hard work and dedication. Go girl go. I believe you will grow stronger together.

March 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

You made me tear up. You are an amazing woman.

March 11, 2012 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Imagine you will fly... said...

I agree with Carrie, you look beautiful the way you are ... but if you want to pamper yourself I thought you might enjoy this link: http://www.crunchybetty.com/best-of-crunchy-betty
it is full of home made beauty products ...
I don't know to find the right words to tell you, how much you are inspiring, uplifting and on top of it interesting to read... !

March 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger TwoBlueHeelers said...

Jenna, it seems like Merlin is a catalyst for good things as well as your dream pony! The Merlin of Arthurian legend was a wizard. This Merlin of today is a healer. "Proud and Lovely" befits you and him both. You go, girl!
Lynn in Missouri

March 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

"put on pounds, thinned my hair, and made sleeping through the night hard"

Maybe not so much stress, but a thyroid problem. You should have yours checked. Although, I agree the soda and take-out do not make anyone healthy. Ride on.

March 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

Good on ya, Jenna!

March 11, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Infinite Possibilities said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 11, 2012 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I have had my thyroid tested! It came out clean, but I really do think it is stress and can be healed through diet, exercise, love and attention. I'm grateful to be as healthy as I am and soon as I let those bad habbits and more calm come in, I'll feel so much better.

March 11, 2012 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Good job, Jenna. You and Merlin look beautiful together. I am so happy for you.

March 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Good for you! And after that facial. Paint your toenails some wicked color -- purple, a magic Merlin color. (no worries, toe polish doesn't chip like finger does)

I purchased a new pair of running shoes and the crockpot oatmeal for fast breakfasts (and less temptation) is ready to plug in. I'll give two miles a go tomorrow.

But a goal, hmm. Maybe
http://thebanjohut.com/mastercraft_banjo_classic_maple.htm

or something else I fancy.

March 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there before you know it. You, and I mean you in particular - not you everyone, are capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to and I believe you have done so with getting healthier and losing weight.

My daughter's hair will thin when she is stressed. Stress is a silent killer. You missed the rocks, don't let something else sneak up on you.

I'm proud of you too!

March 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Rock on Jenna! You are amazing!

March 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger hayes8705 said...

You go girl! Wish I lived closer so we could be running buddies...

March 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Indio said...

It's great to hear the impact he has had on your life. That will make it worth everything you went through to get him.

March 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I know how you feel, Jenna. Having a new baby makes you forget all about taking care of yourself, but I am ready to start again, too. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability- it makes your blog a true inspiration. Instead of feeling like we will never be able to measure up to you, we feel like we're all running along side you together, cheering you on and ourselves, too.

March 11, 2012 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Oh, you are both most certainly proud and lovely! Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others (be they humans or animals), that we forget to take care of ourselves. Good for you for recognizing the need to nurture yourself a bit, too. :)
-Jaime

March 11, 2012 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

How awesome Jenna! I too am trying to lose weight & moving my life in more inspiring directions :-)

Yep I have struggled with stress, weight gain and thinner hair or hair falling out. Side effects of the lovely hormone cortisol, produced when we stress out.

Thank you for sharing as it helps me keep motivated too!

March 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

How awesome Jenna! I too am trying to lose weight & moving my life in more inspiring directions :-)

Yep I have struggled with stress, weight gain and thinner hair or hair falling out. Side effects of the lovely hormone cortisol, produced when we stress out.

Thank you for sharing as it helps me keep motivated too!

March 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Maery Rose said...

Awesome! This is the magic of horses. I have been pulled through many a rough patch by their steady rhythm and their trust in me.

March 12, 2012 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

Oh Jenna--
your candor is truly awe-inspiring,
thank you.

March 12, 2012 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

I never said anything before because I didn't want to add to it, but I felt you had some self-doubt going on when the Merlin thing was happening. You were still taking steps to get there, so I kept my mouth shut. I'm very glad to see that you've passed that and are taking big strides now, both with Merlin and with your goals and wants. :)

March 12, 2012 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

That is so great to hear! Horses have such a way of healing us inside without our know its happening. When I needed to condition myself and my horse, I would take him for a jog with me, either out in the arena, or on the trails. Jog out, ride back!

March 12, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

Proud of you, Jenna! You are a lovely person, and Merlin is blessed to have you looking after him.

March 12, 2012 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Jenna some years back I weighed 193lbs, I am 5ft 3" which aint that tall.....when pregnant with my twins I piled it on and then a miserable marriage added more. I decided I rather wanted knees that worked when I was 50 than another slice of cake so I started on my bicycle, first up I thought it was going to kill me, seriously I was that unfit. I stayed with it like a dog with a bone, and eventually I could cycle the four mile round the lane here(its a big circle basically) When cycling became *easy* I decided to start running, the most hilarious thing I thought for me to do. Once I started I couldnt stop and now I weigh 150lbs. My job is very physical and thank heck I had shrunk before starting it as theres no way I would have been able to do whats needed of me here the size I was.

I am not poster perfect, who is?! I am tempted to add who wants to be lol! But I am fit and healthy and I feel like a new woman. I run now as much as time allows,now the shoot season is over I am back to doing 2 miles x3 sometimes x4 a week.I need to stretch myself but there isnt time to run further before I have to get back and up the school, I run after work.

I didn't diet, I believe they are all a pile of crock. I simply ate less. I avoided nothing. I upped my water intake(alot of perceived hunger is down to thirst I believe)I moved around more, I sat down less. Its not rocket science and once one starts to love ones self and ones body you grasp LIFE with both hands.

For the record I have always had painted toenails lol!!!! They have never been bare,not since I was about 15 lol! When I am covered in mud and animal muck, when I am tired from doing it all, all the time, sometimes just knowing my toes are painted dark red puts the smile back where it should be :o)

Keep on keeping on gal because this lady over the pond is cheering you on from here.
GTM x x x x x

March 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

Hey Jenna -

Looks like you've got a lot of folks who would like to participate in a group, support, weight-loss / get back on track program right here on your blog (I know I would). Maybe we could find a way to do it together - tracking our progress once a week or something. It doesn't have to be weight loss, maybe it's just I painted my toes, bought a new shirt or did something else just for me. What do you think?

March 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

Hey Jenna -

Looks like you've got a lot of folks who would like to participate in a group, support, weight-loss / get back on track program right here on your blog (I know I would). Maybe we could find a way to do it together - tracking our progress once a week or something. It doesn't have to be weight loss, maybe it's just I painted my toes, bought a new shirt or did something else just for me. What do you think?

March 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger acupuncturepxie said...

As a fellow female farmer, 5 horses, 15 cows, 11 chickens, 1 rooster and a budding herb and food garden on 80 acres. ive been reading your blog for a while now. I love it. love your honesty and your passion.your blog is my farmspiration:)Im also in my last year of Chinese medicine school (acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, massage) I know you didn't ask for advice... but two of my favorite books for nutrition inspiration are sally fallons nourishing traditions and mark sissions primal blueprint (not diets). Both based on ancient nutrition.Ive seen amazing results with them especially when sally fallons preparation methods are applied to the primal blueprint structure. If it resonates awesome. If not, keep doin your thang!
Kamela

March 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

This is so great to read. Very inspiring. Keep it up!

http://thedoggerel.wordpress.com

March 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Good for you Jenna! I worked with 2horses yesterday at a friends barn and I came home feeling relaxed & reborn...I too want to be healthier and fit - let's do it!

March 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Good for you Jenna! I worked with 2horses yesterday at a friends barn and I came home feeling relaxed & reborn...I too want to be healthier and fit - let's do it!

March 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

FYI-Cowboy Magic is magic in human hair too-just use sparingly :)

March 12, 2012 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I think I like grooming a horse almost better than riding. So very therapeutic! Good for you for the self pampering.

Just a side note: I found that regarding beauty products for shiny manes and tails my best bet was the African American hair care products at the convenience store. They worked wonders and cost a LOT less then products bought at the tack shop. I especially found natural hair oils to be amazing for horse tails and keeping them clean and tangle free. I also used a Spanish braid on horses with mane's like Merlin's to keep them manageable and tangle free.

http://equestrianhow2.com/2009/12/09/how-to-braid-a-horses-mane-with-a-spanish-braid/

Sorry if this is repeat or unwelcome advice. :) I didn't have a chance to read all the comments. Ride on! :)

March 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Glad you’re pampering yourself a little and that Merlin has worked so many wonders so far. Wonderful pictures.

March 13, 2012 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Fanie.ca said...

Go you, Jenna! :-)
There are so many great comments here that I don't really know what to add, except that I'm with you on this journey.
It's funny how theses things happens, how we suddenly realize we need to take care of our body and mind. Theses are always great decisions in a lifetime. Can't go wrong with that. :-)

March 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home