Friday, February 22, 2008

rain, reading, minuet in three

We've had a cold rainy day here, with horses confined to stalls and paddocks, and the geldings with access to the arena for some frolic.

I've alternated between keeping stalls mucked out, hay supplied, waters cleaned, and reading. (toss in some fixing of lunches and tea and laundry) The Ice Soldier, by Paul Watkins, is an engaging novel about a WWII soldier who comes to terms, years after the fact, with his participation in the war. Elizabeth George's Write Away is an interesting book on writing written by a novelist who shares both her journal entries and her process.

The postwoman brought the last of an enticing selection of books I'd ordered for novel research, and I've got them on the coffee table in a nice stack where they're lying in wait for my greedy eyes.

An hour or so ago, the rain broke long enough to let Salina and Rafer wander the barnyard and barn aisle while I played with Cody and Keil Bay in the arena. The pony opted to watch, his loss, since I was doling out butterscotch horse treats!

Keil Bay and Cody danced with me, not quite the minuet but I like the way that sounds. To my surprise, even though they knew I had the butterscotch treats in my pocket, they were willing to walk, trot, twirl in circles, and back in unison along with me. We lowered heads together and then raised them high, crossed forelegs and stepped under behind, and trotted the arena in single file. My favorite part was having them trot on either side of me, each one keeping the proper space and not crowding in, one of those moments of grace I might not be able to reproduce if I tried. But on this cold, wet afternoon, with fog rolling in, it was perfect.

Tonight we have new episodes of Angel, A Passage to India, and Jane Savoie's "Happy Horse" DVDs to choose from while we keep the woodstove going.

And the promise of sunshine and mid-60s tomorrow!


Victoria Cummings said...

I want to be there with you - it sounds perfect! We're shoveling out from a big snow. Nobody's dancing here. Those books are very intriguing. I'll have to check them out.f

billie said...

Oh dear - that snow sounds both lovely and labor-intensive!

I'm beginning to understand why so many high-level horse competitors have farms down south where they train in winter - we have it easy this time of year but then get hit midsummer with the high temps and need for fans, electrolytes, fly spray, etc.

Stay warm and hold out for spring!

The Zoo Keeper said...

I'm ready for a little sun, too. It doesn't look like that will happen today, but maybe by evening or possibly on Sunday. That would be nice. I want to take the camera out soon. :-)

billie said...

I hope you get some sunshine today - we have awakened to fairly heavy fog, but no rain, and supposedly, the sun IS going to come out today.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I love books, and the ones you've chosen sound interesting. The next time you waltz with the horses, why don't you take a video and put it up on the post. This also sounds interesting and a lot of fun.

billie said...

One day soon I'll have to post the titles in my reading pile - I got a little crazy in the fall when my pile got low and went on a book spree, and now there's a list of at least 6 more I'm wanting "in the pile."

It's a comfort to me to have books I really want to read waiting right at my fingertips. :)

We don't have a video camera! My camera does short videos but I doubt the quality would be good enough to suit my tastes. We've looked at replacing our very old one that finally kicked the bucket - but the cost is high enough and our desire low enough that it never quite happens.

I need a very obscure camera-man who would set up in the trees behind the arena and stay there long enough that both the horses and I forgot he was there.

Wenda said...

Sounds so perfect to me! One of these days, I'm going to bring some horses back into my life and me into theirs. Not that I have any expertise, yet, but I love those beasts.

billie said...

Wenda, it's so good to see you again - thanks for coming by and commenting. I have just taken a trip to your blogs, and what serendipity that you posted here today - your Daring To Write blog post has my favorite quote of all times right there at the top, and when I clicked over to your Loving What Is blog, I couldn't believe it - it should absolutely be a book. I love it.

I skimmed back in Daring To Write - I've been absent far too long, and I think I'll be checking in over there off and on all day as inspiration while I settle in with my ms pages. Thank you!