Thursday, February 14, 2019

love is

Taking a long lunch break to eat gourmet meal feed your horse a warm mash and have a pedicure  soak his abscessed foot.

Preparing to hook up the trailer to take miserable horse to the vet in the rain.

Taking horse, now with burst abscess feeling a bit better, for a walk in the pouring rain to eat grass.

only acceptable time to wear a blanket: to eat grass in the rain
Being super happy that your best wardrobe purchase lately is waterproof pants.

Cleaning out his shelter in the sideways rain while he munches alfalfa next to you.

Buying an expensive gortex rain jacket that is now coated in mud, and you don't really care (though it was so pretty and blue for awhile!)

Brushing your horse who is so dirty your entire face becomes coated in a layer which you have to wash off before work and you later find mud underneath your watch.

Planning to do it all again. And not minding at all.

Friday, February 8, 2019


10 days of rain.

Poop in Major's salt pan.

nice aim dude.

Grazing in the mud.
Really? Is that the best stuff?

The one day of sunshine and I got off work late, only enough for a walk.
Major: But dinner is being served back home!

Major is weird.
Voluntarily in the puddle with a mouthful of watery grass.

Spring is trying to arrive.
ok, I admit they are cute

Uusally the morning sun streaming in the house only highlights the dust.
love this little planter

The polar vortex in Auburn, CA was 28 degrees and frost. I barely have enough warm clothes.
Nope. But I'll take it before snow!

Did I mention 10 more days of rain?

Winter is coming still here. Time for tea and crafts I think. Warm mashes for Major. Anything you do to stay sane?
spring buds and ominous clouds

Monday, February 4, 2019

monday moment: ears

OMG, my friend is ALL THE WAY over there! I can't possibly deal with this! I am listening to you making me stand here, but arghhhh!'

Never mind, all is fine, let's go. What?

Friday, February 1, 2019

calm before the storm

We're in the calm before the storm: a couple weeks of glorious warm, spring-like weather before downpours and wind hits tomorrow. The mud dried up and the trails were perfect…the horse was a challenge.
lurking orange cone

We first explored (after work, enough daylight, barely, but, yeah!) out to Avery pond. I hadn't been in awhile, and the trailside ferns were exploding green. Major took offense to the orange cone lurking behind the rock…all four times we passed it! (Yes, four times, not twice out and back. Why was that? Because we went back and worked on not being ridiculous on the twisty rock trail.)

otter paying out there!

And Major had to suffer while I let other horses leave before us (they were not with us, but suddenly it was a race) and also while I watched a river otter playing in the pond! I've never seen an otter here, and it was very cool (though I'm sure the fishermen aren't very pleased). Going home was not particularly fun, as Major was being a racehorse and I was trying to deal with it nicely. Not entirely successful, I after yet another circle I did get off to walk the road, because silly behavior and asphalt and cars to do not mix. And he was still trying to jig next to me, so back home he got cleaned up and got to stand for awhile and be patient, no fun turnout with friends right away. Life is hard for the naughty Major!

Cronan is great for winter riding

Then on to our next challenge ride, out with Beau. Beau is Major's neighbor at the ranch. They have a love-hate thing going on. But Beau is still learning to behave himself, especially behind other horses. So we had a great ride, with lots of hills to make the horses engage their bodies and minds! At one point Beau took off slippy/bucking/stupid, and I swear Major just watched like "Wow, I'm not that dumb any more, am I?"

Major dealing with it

It did make me see that while Major has his moments, he is inherently good. Just wanting to go fast is the problem! That was our longest ride in a long time, 14 miles with 1900 feet of elevation gain. It wasn't fast, but a good workout. Major was certainly not tired. How long and much can they keep in condition?!

Major's preferred view does not include Beau

This week I was able to fit in a ride after work. I was not rushing, but since Major had to contain himself on the last ride, I did think it would be nice to do a little canter/trot while the trails are dry.

That idea did not last very long. One nice canter, then a whole lot of jigging. Sigh. I just decided we would be doing no more trotting, and I would not be getting off. Major could walk us home, the key word being walk. Ever time he jigged more work had to be done: circling, backing, sidepassing, etc. If he walked nicely he got rein release and wither skritches and good boy.

winter evening

We got home in the dark. But it was still a success, because it felt like towards the end he finally settled, I won't say he "got" it because this is an ongoing project. With Major it seems like hot horse + cool weather + getting fitter = can't contain the naughty. But I liked that it wasn't a fight, it was just here are the options, what are you choosing, ok, I'll deal with that. Fellow blogger roamingrider recently posted an analogy about horse and rider energy adding up to 10. I think I've usually practiced this, but I like being able to put it in words! So Major at 8 means my level is 2, and it changes throughout the ride. Love that idea!

Now the rain is coming, (which is fine, we need it and we're not in a polar vortex misery, sorry folks dealing with that!) and there are mashes to make and grass to eat and football to watch (go Rams!). When will my next ride be? I don't know. How will it be? A 10.

moon and venus in the morning sky