"Are we galloping back home?" she asks excitedly, bouncing around expectantly. She knows I am about to unleash her.
"No, we don't gallop back home," I say to her, swinging her around in the opposite direction. "We're galloping this way."
She waits expectantly, rocking her weight onto her hind legs with no cue from me.
All it takes is one cluck and we surge forward together. This time it is not a dream, it is real, and of course Carlos is there to document it with photos.
Afterwards Lily prances proudly back to the barn.
Why? Because it was fun. We did 5 miles in an hour and a half, with equal parts trotting and meandering while just talking and catching up, with a couple of canters/gallops thrown in.
And so this has been life lately. We have been riding, but not very frequently. There was one long ride at North Tract that I wanted to write about, but time went by and I didn't get around to it.
|I think we did 12 miles this day?|
|Pretty sure we did 10 miles on this day.|
I don't care how long we went. Because we had fun.
There was the Fire in Ice Festival in downtown Frederick that Carlos and I went to with Dom & Mike, Shanna, Jess, and Meggan. Dom wrote about it here, and I'm going to let hers be the only version of the story on the internet. She did a great write-up. Though after seeing the comments on her post, I want to clarify: Frederick is not a big city! It might be 50 miles from DC but it is considered a country town. Locals are called "Frednecks" for a reason. It gets packed all of once a year: for Fire in Ice! The population is all of 68,000 residents for the "city" area, as of this year. By comparison, my family's country-ish hometown of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, has 97,000. Hence why I laugh when people call Frederick a "big city." Oh man, it is not. DC has a population of 560,000. :)
|Ice queens. That's Dom in the blue jacket, Jess in the purple argyle hat, Meggan with the fuschia scarf, and yours truly in the dark jacket with the fuzzy hood.|
Meggan OWNED that throne! Hers was my favorite photo of this series!
|People always make assumptions about two girls that always hang out together, so let's just play along with those assumptions because why not.|
|I TOTALLY photobombed this one with Jess and Meggan.|
|Too much fun in the bathroom at Starbucks.|
Don't ask. Lol
|Carlos and I kissing over the Lady & the Tramp ice sculpture later that night.|
We are both US citizens: I was born here on the mainland. (Thank you Dad for being an Army Colonel, which is how we came to be stationed in Oklahoma at the time of my birth. And thank you Juan Torrech for leaving Spain for the New World when Sir Francis Drake commissioned you in the late 1500s to come design and build that bridge in Puerto Rico...My mother's family has lived in the Americas for five centuries.)
Despite Carlos being born in PR, neither him nor I are immigrants. We are as immigrant as Hawaiians moving to the mainland. Which is Not Immigrant, by the way. Now tell that to the average American that assumes all Hispanics share the same traditions with Mexicans. (No, Puerto Ricans don't celebrate Cinco de Mayo...neither do Guatemalans, Argentineans, Brazilians, Colombians, Venezuelans, Cubans, Dominicans...I can go on.) Having been lumped in with Hispanic immigrant groups time and time again, and having had to prove my citizenship before thanks to my last name and an initial work history that took place in Puerto Rico, my fears over racial profiling under the new administration are actually very valid. Because it's already happened in the past, under Dubya, who was nowhere near as...special...as 45. Back we go to pretending we aren't Hispanic, to speaking only English in public.
Do you know what that feels like? Especially when you were born here...It makes me furiously, rabidly angry that last year I finally felt like I could be outwardly as Latina as I wanted to be, and now here we are again, back to hiding it as desperately as possible so as not to stand out. Do you know what it feels like to be hated by an establishment because you are singled out as an "other" because of your cultural heritage, despite being from here?
So right now we are surviving. The gym has taken priority over riding because it's something I can do every day, rain or shine. The transformation continues and that is motivating in and of itself.
|Sissy squats with a 45 lb plate|
|This..."mierda cabrona" as I call it in Spanish...is Jacob's Ladder. It is a piece of torture with whom I have a love/hate relationship. If you can do 4 minutes on this thing, you're doing fantastic, and I really do mean that.|
|On this day I was aiming for 12 minutes. Carlos gets a huge kick out of watching me struggle at the gym, hence the snarl. Sidenote: 12 minutes accomplished.|
|Flipping tires with Carlos during a session with Tony.|
|Yup, try not to die..|
|Leg day; working on deadlifts.|
|Dressagey ride on Lily. Yes I have piano hands. Whatever.|
|From a day that was warm enough to ride both girls. In a tank top.|
|I love this photo. Bareback ride on Gracie in the barn parking lot. Taken by Carlos, of course.|
|Bareback ride at sunset before heading out to one of our favorite bars.|
|Shanna goofing around with Gracie: she was trying to channel the mare's inner diva. Hence the hand on the hip! |
I hadn't laughed this hard in a while.
|I adore this dork. He is my dork and there is no other like him.|
|This is how I get woken up in the mornings. With a back massage, face rubs, chirps, and requests for pets.|
|My living plushie|
|He was quite literally grooming my hair.|
The song is Ed Sheeran's "The Shape of You."
We had a lot of fun rehearsing this one in advance for once.
|From a day I was able to run outside in a tank top.|
|We love this town so much. |
We wanted to set roots here so very badly, and now we're slowly ripping those roots back out one by one.
We are so tired of being nomads.