Thursday, December 8, 2011


Inspiration comes in many forms.  In this case, my inspiration has come from a trip to the Florida Keys. 

We just returned from a week long stay in a beautiful island paradise.  The temperature was a perfect 80 degrees with no humidity and refreshing breezes.  And now I am back in New Jersey, where it is 40 degrees, wet and muddy, and I could not be happier.  Obviously, there is something wrong with me.

The Keys are lovely, don't get me wrong, and vacations are always nice, but I never feel right when I am away from my horse.  It's as though a 1200 pound hole suddenly appeared in me.  I enjoy traveling, but vacations just don't seem "complete" to me.  There is always that nagging feeling that something is missing. 

As we hiked through mangrove forests, I couldn't help but think that the soil was far too poor for growing good pasture, which led me to wonder how much it would cost to haul in hay.  Of course, since the soil is mainly crushed coral, I did deduce that it would make a fine base for an arena.  You would have to haul in the correct type of sand for the footing, though.  We dined in a lovely restaurant that was completely outdoors, there was just a roof made of palm fronds and timber.  It would have made a lovely "indoor" arena.  We passed a veterinary clinic, and I wondered whether or not they treated horses.  Yup, there is definitely something wrong with me.

I returned from my vacation aching to ride my horse.  And so, I very happily put on my coat, hat and gloves to go out today.  I brushed all the sticky mud off of Spider and saddled up.  We only rode for a short time, and we only did baby stuff.  He has been off for a week, and so have I.  (Actually, my week off was probably more detrimental than his... at my age, a week of margaritas, nonstop eating and lounging on the beach can put a hurting on you!)

So, we had thirty minutes of big circles and straight lines.  We didn't do many transitions between gaits, but we did a lot of changes of direction.  I rode him just until my abs started to burn, then called it a day. 

It felt better than a week-long vacation in the Keys.


  1. I do hear horror stories about the prices of hay in some of those places.

    But what lovely footing for a ride, especially along the water.

    Give Spider an extra hug from me. *S*

  2. Oh Shannon, I woudl love to go to the beach... it has been 9 years boohh...
    But horses rock, I will always go to horse holiday instead of a beach holiday ^-^
    It is good for the moral!

  3. I can confirm that hay becomes outrageously priced when you live at the beach. I have to drive seven hours round trip, buy a tank + of gas in addition to purchasing the hay... but it's still worth it :)

    Glad you got out of town for a bit - sounds heavenly.

  4. Sounds like you had a nice trip.
    I always feel lost when I'm not around my horses for longer than one day.

  5. You've got that right! But that photograph is very inviting. Hay is very expensive in Forida and I can't imagine what it would be in the keys. In California a friend pays $18 for a big square bale. We pay $3.25 a string bale delivered and stacked. Happy Riding.

  6. Ugh! I can totally relate! I'm visiting my husband's family right now and I'm missing my boy so much (my dogs too!!). It's torture. I keep sitting here just wishing Thursday would get here lol. I'm trying to relax and enjoy myself, but it is hard. I'm glad you had fun (place sounds like heaven, I miss 80 degrees) and a good ride upon returning. :D


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