Friday, December 15, 2023

almost solstice

Almost solstice. And what have we been doing since I last updated back in (mumble, sorry) August?

how cute am I?
First the bad: everyone in my stable (that had it's issues but was pretty damn good) was given 30 days notice. No options. Now the owners had done this before, saying (fill in the blank) insurance, cost of hay, maintenance, etc. We boarders asked if we could pay more, etc. Nope, get out. Now a nice facility with turnout and direct trail access sits empty. Probably to be sold to someone who’ll turn the pastures into an ego vineyard or some such. Sigh. 

Miles waiting for me in his new pasture

hanging with new buddy Copy
I desperately called up my friend S, who lives close to the old stable, hoping to have her place be a stopgap measure. But it’s worked out! I was worried about mixing friendship and boarding, but we’re both quite reasonable people (sometimes unusual in the horse world!) and things are good. 
eating snack with new friend Guinness

Except the move really stressed Miles out. Who acted colicky one morning (except ok on gut sound and EDPP) so what was going on? Ulcers. A month of treatment made him much better (though not my pocketbook).

when your mom tries to take a nice picture…
Oh, and that saddle I got from the saddle fitter? Big fat white-mark on shoulders nope. Damn. I’m back in the Freeform for now, Miles likes it and I’m used to it now, though still keeping my options open. 

the usual no hands view

hanging with some bay boys before a ride (he's in the middle)

learning the Ikea bag is full of yummy
But the good! So we’ve been riding hither and yon. Lots of riding from the stable, short and long, to work on his anxiety and learn to deal with life!
Our local Folsom Lake beach trail is gorgeous, even with the water low now, fall in the foothills means the grass has gone green, which Miles is all about!  

blue sky days at the lake
We did have a fun, short trip camping at Skillman horse camp in Nevada County. Another camping trip in Pt. Reyes (where it was fun but Miles felt crummy and we went home early, that was the ulcers showing up). Really would like to do more camping next year, already penciling in some new places to check out.

Skillman trails

Skillman camping (pens are nice!)

S and Rocky in Skillman pines
Point Reyes fog

Point Reyes Ridge trail

messy camp at Point Reyes
But on our rides Miles is being pretty damn good! We have some triggers we’re working on (horses cantering off). But we can even trot towards home on a loose rein (some days! There are others that are E ticket rides!). He is slowly getting better at the extended trot, but prefers to canter. Which I let him IF he is listening. Big IF there. Now to figure out a big walk, which he'll sometimes do, other times it's tiny mincing stupid steps until he figures we're not getting anywhere. It's a process.

Evening shade along the lake

Empire Mine in the fall

The bridges of Hidden Falls

S and Beau on No Hands with it's stupid new, huge, non-historic railings WTF?

someone lined the trail with pine cones
We do “boring” walking rides that aren’t his favorite but he can deal with his oh-so-difficult life. Sometimes we go out with barn buddy Rocky, who is unfazed by everything and such a very good boy. (Even when Miles tried to nip him in the butt which he would NEVER do at home since Rocky is in charge in the pasture). Because then we have fun faster rides alone, or sometimes with old barn buddy Beau. (A slower ride with Beau completely annoyed them both, to which we said good, deal with it!)

lake drink, good boy!

learning to tail

a cloudy walk after work

low lake and "my" balancing rock

ears say "dinner is in one hour we should go home now."
Of course I have all next week off to ride, and it’s supposed to rain all week. So much for a Solstice ride! An expected El NiƱo winter calls for more rain than usual…sigh. But we had a fall with no major fires in my part of Nor Cal, so I’ll take it and let the forest recover some moisture from the long drought. 

low sun and lake on my ride Wednesday
After December 21 an added minute of daylight doesn’t seem much, but every day it will add up quickly. I hope you can ride or at least enjoy the Solstice in warmth and comfort. 

Wesley says Hi

Wesley in his uniform for Halloween