Thursday, October 08, 2015
A little more Keil Bay. And a nice note on my leg. I spoke with my ND today and it turns out she used to be a burn nurse. She reviewed my treatment protocol for the burn and said I did exactly the right things. She did say the skin will be particularly vulnerable for about a year and that adding extra protection while riding is advisable so that I don't risk damaging the skin.
I'm thinking boot-cut riding tights will help, and I'll wear a leg wrap under my sock.
Meanwhile, enjoying the photos and assembling what I'll need to get back to riding!
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Daughter pulled some photos of me and the Big Bay from our archives for inspiration. The sun came out this morning, my leg is healing, and I think if I wear a leg wrap for protection it will be okay to start riding, especially since Keil and I both need lots of walking to get back in shape.
It's Wendell Berry season here: wild geese, gorgeous horses, no flies, chilly nights, changing leaves, and forward motion. ... quiet in heart and in eye clear. What we need is here.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
My burned leg is healing steadily but I'm still wary of putting pressure on the skin until it's further along, so no riding has happened. We've had a lot of rain since last Thursday - very much needed - so at least I'm not missing perfect riding weather!
We needed to do some liming and reseeding of pastures this year so I stocked up on the fast-action pelleted lime along with winter rye and perennial fescue before the rain set in. We plotted how to work it in with the weather coming through. Dear husband did it all and for the most part the rain was just right - we had one good rain before putting out the lime, so the dry fields and the dust were nice and damp. The pelleted lime dissolved almost instantly and the seed went down the next day. We had very light drizzle along with that, so the seed got moist but not washed out, and then we had a break in the rain for a day, then more rain last night and today to water it down.
I'm glad that's done!
The horses and donkeys are being stoic about being shut out of the entire front field and grass paddock, and about the rain itself. I think they've enjoyed rolling in the mud - it's been awhile!
Today I spent some time grooming Keil Bay. He's shedding his summer coat and followed me around asking for more brushing. I hope in another week the rain will let up, my healing will be complete, and he and I can get ourselves in shape for fall and winter work together.
Next on the farm chore list: getting an estimate for a new barn roof. We're thinking metal with insulation. Any thoughts from anyone on preferences?
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Some of you have read the first two books in my middle grade Magical Pony School series. It's no secret where I got the idea for those books! I have my own magical pony school and one very special pony.
We play together in the dressage arena, the little man at liberty. He's a trickster in the beginning but as we keep going, the lines begin to blur. We connect.
What happens is liminal space.
In writing, in riding, in playing with magical ponies. In psychotherapy that utilizes the notion of depth psychology.
Liminal space is where big change happens.
Thanks to the little man and to my husband for capturing a little of this magic on his camera!
From Wikipedia's liminality page:
Sunday, September 13, 2015
This morning someone in a Facebook group posted a photo of her horse's gorgeous mane, thick and lovely, falling on both sides of his neck. She wondered if she should try to train it to one side and got many responses, some saying train it to the right. others train it to the left, pull it, thin it, some saying leave it alone.
I'm not a horse show person, really, so my focus when it comes to manes has to do with health and practicality. I've never pulled a mane or a tail and although I've braided for fun, it doesn't last more than a few minutes because I'm not willing to pull the braids tight enough to hold. I remember all too well the times in childhood when someone pulled my hair into a ponytail that was too tight and how crazy it made me. Ouch!
My habit with the November Hill herd is to give them what I call a "sport cut" once a year, generally in the fall once the flies have died out. I don't use electric clippers. I use a pair of scissors and I trim so the mane stands straight up, as evenly as I can get it. This gets the mane out of the way for the return to regular riding as the heat of summer leaves us, and allows me to see their muscling more easily. They all look very fancy and happy - I'm sure this has more to do with the change in weather than my trimming the manes - but it's easy to conflate it all into that one fall chore.
By the next summer the mane has grown out and gives them protection against flies.
The reasons given for training the mane to one side were interesting. Some said training to the right is a habit left from horses being used in warfare and the need to keep swords from tangling when mounting from the left.
Some quoted more contemporary "rules" - to the off side for shows, to the right for this discipline or to the left for that one.
One person said the mane grows the way it wants to grow and why would anyone feel a need to change that? I lean toward this notion myself.
Keil Bay's mane tends to fall both ways and I love it that way.
I've read that if the mane goes one way and then the other along the neck, the place where it changes is a place where the neck is "out."
Today I read that the mane falls to the weaker shoulder and so if it's even on both sides that is evidence of a balanced horse.
Others said it falls to the dominant shoulder.
When I go to tack shops I marvel at the section devoted to manes and tails. All kinds of combs and thinning blades, rubber bands, thread, special devices to hold the mane so one person can braid it without a helper, sprays and shampoos and conditioners to make the mane shiny or soft or even to dye it the color someone wants it to be.
I have a good stiff brush, a special hair brush, and a small comb. Period. I discovered from years of grooming Salina, spending hours with her because she was retired from riding, so the grooming was my way of spending time with her, that a tail goes from average looking to stunning if you take about half an hour to thoroughly brush it from dock to ends, gently working out any tangles, and then brushing and brushing and brushing to pull the natural oils from the dock down into the longer hair. It takes a lot of effort and it takes a long time, but the result is the most wonderful, rich tail you've ever seen.
The same goes for the mane. The conditioner is at the roots - you just have to take the time to brush that down to the ends. And the best part is they LOVE it. It's like our scalp massage.
This morning it's so cool outside, with a rolling breeze bringing in more cool air. It really does feel like fall. It's not time for manes to be trimmed back, not until the horse flies of August are gone, but it's getting closer. Until then, the manes fall where they will.