Saturday, December 31, 2016

the story 2016

Again I have no summary of 2016. And no definitive plans for 2017. I have read and admire everyone else's though! I felt like a slacker, and even more guilt as my mileage tracker app sent me daily email reminders that the year was ending. 

Fine, I give in. I took a look at the tally for 2016: 605 miles, 62,365 feet elevation climb, 128 hours in the saddle. There are even more stats provided, but it's a bit much: number of rides and when, average distance, etc. 

But those numbers don't tell the story for me. There is no account of all the time tacking up, untacking and taking care of Major. Of feed and shoveling and trailering. Of grooming and hanging out, hiking and grazing walks. 

And the ears tell the rest of story. 

So I finished the year as I started: looking through those two black-tipped brown ears, and all the attitude between them, through some of my favorite views.

Miles. Time. Carrots. However you measure, it's the ears that count. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

conversation with major: gift

Hey, you're here! But it's dinnertime? And already dark?!
I know, sorry I'm so late.
I ate my mash.
I see that.
Now I have hay!
You always have hay in your net.
This is NEW hay. It's better.
Ok. But do you want to leave dinner and go for a walk? (hold up halter, jingle of halter tags)
Yeah, lets go!

I had a very long day at work Major.
I played bite face with my neighbor Drummer.
Well, I had to meet with the company president and a big committee.
Then I ate more hay, and took a nap in the mud.
I see that.
My stuff was more fun.
I agree.

Dark grass is extra good.
Dark grass?
It's dark. I'm eating grass. Dark grass.
 I can only see your blaze and one white foot.
I can see for both of us.
Not sure if I trust you on that one.
Is that why you have the sharp bright?
The what?…Oh, my flashlight?
Too bright!
Ok, no flashlight. The clouds are covering the moon, but it is enough.
Over here. More grass.

So, what do you want for a holiday present Major?
What holiday?
Solstice, Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah…whatever you celebrate.
More than dark grass? And mash? And new hay? And mud naps?
Well yeah, I could buy you a present.
More than that?
Well, yes.
Do you have a carrot in your pocket?
Then I'm good. Grass mash hay naps carrot. I don't need anything.
You're right Major. You're right.

Happy Solstice everyone. May your days be lighter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

dark, rain…stars

On the days when it hasn't been too dark after work, it's been raining. I fit in one short weekend ride, where Major got to see his un-friend Tux, before more rain came. We need the rain, the lake is rising. But the trails are super slick. I could maneuver about a mile of snot-slick trail down to the sandy lake trail, if it would stop raining long enough!

I'm trying to ignore that guy Tux… (photo by H.S.)

Major is enjoying his evening walks in the swiftly fading light. A little too much. Anxiously bouncing on the end of his lead rope…even last week when recovering from injury (three-legged lame to recovered in four days=abscess/bruise?). Limp...trot! Limp...trot! Ridiculous.

really, soaking is dumb, I'm good Mom, let's go!

meadow in creeping darkness

And I'm almost as anxious as Major is. We do a bit of hiking, four horse feet and two human feet walking are more stable on the slippery trails (if Major could keep from prancing along behind me). It's almost winter, the downtime is good resting time, right? Major and I both need the reminder to slow down sometimes.


sunset over Major

Because it's good too. A quickly setting sun over the back of my grazing horse. Lovely sky on an evening walk. Today the meadow began filling with ground fog and the moon rose on our way back to pasture and waiting dinner.

Major watching the fog roll in

ground fog rising, 4:45pm

The stars come out. A cold, crisp night before more rain is forecast. Warm mash. Extra hay. Breathe. Repeat.

moonrise over Major