Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Winter Riding

It is now officially the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest; the monsoon moved in 2 days ago and has been nonstop. We expect a break by June or maybe July. Add the rain to the shorter daylight hours and this becomes the time of year when I wonder why I live here. I don't stop riding in the winter; neither Grace nor I do well with time off. In the past I've toughed it out in the rain or hauled out to an indoor arena. Last year my neighbor rebuilt their entire barn. It was a major undertaking and the finished product is to die for! It is a very private facility and I am incredibly fortunate to be able to ride there.

I met the owner on the weekend to sign the usual waiver, write the check for the ring fees and get the ground rules. The place is absolutely breathtaking, almost too beautiful to have a horse in. The new footing is a dust free synthetic mix of fancy stuff. It cannot handle any organic material or water. Hooves must be picked out before entering, as for horse poop - I'm just really glad that Grace rarely poops under saddle.

I've ridden in the arena for the last two nights. Grace was silly last night as I completely changed her routine by bringing her up there. I went the extra step with her hooves and wiped them dry with a towel before entering the arena. The first night I even took her tail bag out so as to not drip any water into the footing. We had a great ride tonight, Grace was much more focused and centered. I am in love with the mirrors in the arena, what a wonderful tool! I have a much better idea what what Sarah means by straight now. I plan to ride there two nights a week, outside on the weekends and if I get in some groundwork two other nights we are still at 6 days a week. Not bad for Winter.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Craigslist Find

At least twice a week I pull up Craigslist for our local area and search for "Horse". I have no idea why I torture myself by browsing the ads.  I'm not looking to buy another horse and by the time I've clicked on a few of the "must sale now" type ads I've lost all faith in humanity. I get rather tired of looking at skinny 20-something horses looking for their next home or the countless bottom of the gene pool at stud ads.
Today I stumbled across something I just had to have. A limited edition Hobby Horse show shirt in a beautiful shade of green. The colors on this shirt are so me! I wear a lot of greens, browns and other earth tones outside of the showring. It looks like I could pair it with either brown or black chaps. Can't wait to try it out next Spring.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Be Gentle - please

Since there are only 5 of you reading this blog I thought I would share a piece that I am working on.
Hopefully by putting it out there I will get to courage to just write the damn book already! Be gentle.

The small sedan passed through the gated entrance where the pavement came to an end. As the rental car’s suspension creaked and whined on the bumpy gravel road, it occurred to her that if she had been thinking clearly when the plane landed she would have gone with a Jeep. Thinking clearly was something she hadn’t done in weeks. A vast fence line sprawled out on either side of the long driveway holding behind it rolling hills of lush green grass. She began to breath deeper as she took in the countryside, a new long lost peacefulness washed over her. Separate pastures lined by white rail fences started to emerge as the long driveway continued to unfold. A small twinge of anticipation started in her stomach, “he” was here. In the distance stood a small herd of horses, their coats all the same bright red color, similar to that of the first changing leaves of fall. This was the spot on the property where most visitors would stop and stare. The horses red coats stood out against the green grass, each one groomed to perfection prior to being turned out. Long flowing manes and tails, gleaming copper dapples, each of them exceptionally conformed. To any horse person this would be a sight to see. She hardly noticed them; she took a deep breath to settle the butterflies that had begun to rise up. The dirt driveway started to smooth out as it climbed higher, she was getting closer.

The fence line started to change, painted wood post and rails were replace by more expensive white vinyl boards. Behind them was a vast single pasture, as least one acre in size. Another agonizing wave of anticipation washed over her, this had to be it, this was where he would live, separate from everyone else. The car skidded to a haul, the loose gravel giving way as she slammed on the brakes. He was there; she almost burst into tears at the sight of him. He had his back to her, but she knew it was him, she would recognize that hind end anywhere. Even after so many years she knew his body better than the back of her own hand. She remembered the rope scar on his left gaskin which he received when he was only 2, an injury she didn’t like to think about. There was the small indent on his neck under his long black hair often referred to as a prophet’s thumb. She began to recall every bump and mark as she drove further up the road, closer to him. She imagined the feel of his warm muscles under her hands, her fingers longed for the feel for the feel of his coat. Too long had her fingernails been clean, she was dying to destroy her manicure and any other part of her that remained in the corporate world. This was where she belonged, dirty in a field, under the vast blue sky with him.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cow Sorting - with video!

Another week, another opportunity to get Grace on cows. This time I remembered to tilt the camera down.