I am in the process of restarting/refreshing my computer to its former glory…its factory settings. Several months ago it started freaking out and couldn’t function correctly any longer. Completely refreshing it has worked so far (about one hour in). I haven’t written too much in here due to the frustration of using the internet while the computer was on the fritz. Now that it’s back, it’s telling me that it needs to update to Windows 10, so I figured while it’s doing that and I can use my computer, I will go ahead and do a quick blog post. I don’t know how Windows 10 will work out and if it turns out to make it even wonkier, at least I will have recently checked in here.

So, here goes. I’ve been trying to find new hobbies lately and two things have bubbled up. First, I’ve started writing crossword puzzles. I like doing crossword puzzles, but had never tried writing one of my own. I find it pretty fun. It’s nice because you can choose any topic you want, make the grid as large or as small as you like, and make the clues as easy or as obscure as you please. I like the idea of making crosswords for friends and family and special occasions. I think people would enjoy working on a crossword that someone made especially for them.

The other thing is I’ve begun horseback riding lessons! I wanted to take up the hobby but it’s a little on the pricey side around here. I hadn’t been on a horse in a long time and wasn’t sure how much practice I was going to need to feel comfortable again or if I could even join a group class at this point or needed to wait for a session to officially begin. But, as it turned out, my tax refund was bigger than expected and there is a stable in town that had no problem with me joining an adult class on short notice. So, I started yesterday and there was really not much re-introduction at all. It was basically greeting and sending me on my way to get my assigned horse from her stall, grooming and tacking her, and then walking her to the arena to ride her around. It was a little intimidating, but good. I was given a very calm and patient horse by the name of Sparkle. She was sweet, although she doesn’t like other horses (she’s cool with people), and she was impatient when I was trying to figure out how to put her equipment on her. She kept looking at me and pawing the ground like, “What’s the problem here? Let’s get this show on the road, lady.” The owner of the stable asked me what style of riding I had done in the past and I seriously had no idea. I think I was expecting a bit more of an academic lesson than I got. Maybe I will get more of a ‘teaching’ lesson when I return next weekend. Sparkle and I were really really awesome at Stop and Go. The teacher would ask everyone to trot and we’d get moving fast (and I don’t know how to sit in the saddle when the horse starts going quickly, so I was totally bouncing alllll over the place and that sucked, so I’m googling how to handle that better for next time) and then Sparkle would just stop moving all together. I know I must have been pulling on her or squeezing her sides with my legs to make her stop because it’s certainly human error, but it was making me giggle a bit, too. All in all, I am not going to be any sort of equestrian professional in the future. I’m hoping to just take a few more lessons and feel like I can at least be comfortable riding a horse now and then. It’s been well over a decade since I rode a horse and almost a decade since I was even around them at all, so just getting back in the saddle was a fun and new experience. I’m sure my shoulders, arms and back will return to normal in a few days in time to get jolted again on another horse next weekend!

It’s really nice when you can do adulting (filing your taxes) and get money so you can do something you’ve liked doing since childhood (horseback riding)!