It was my birthday on October 18th. I turned 40. I called it doomsday…tongue in cheek, of course, but it was the first birthday I actually dreaded. Oh, my husband surprised me with a wonderful spa day and dinner, but I still felt a little sad.

I’m in another age category. Those mountain bike climbs are getting harder. And the greys are coming in faster.

Now, before I turn this into a whinge-fest, the subject of this post is I had this crazy notion to get on Jasper for the first time in order to celebrate the dreaded b-day.
I’ve been getting him comfortable with the saddle for a couple of months now. I walk him all over the ranch, longe him with it, and stand on the mounting block beside him and lean my weight on it. He’s been wonderful about it. It’s been soooooo tempting.
But as I’ve become more attuned to Jasper, I feel the tightness in his neck, the slight wariness in his eyes. He looks relaxed…but…he is still a little worried about what’s going on back there. If I were to try getting on him too soon, it could backfire. Knowing Jasper and how sensitive he is, it would take awhile to get him back on track.

Although it would have made that day a whole lot better, he just wasn’t ready. Why would I waste months of training to push him into something so that I could feel good?

So I didn’t get on Jasper on my birthday. I’m not sure when I am going to get on Jasper. He doesn’t have a schedule and neither do I. But I will know when he is ready.

And I feel a whole lot better knowing that.