Sunday, December 14, 2008

back in the saddle

I've had a few weeks without riding, one of those terrible cycles I get in periodically, and when today dawned with sunshine and the promise of temps above 50, I decided it was past time and a perfect day to hop back on the handsome Bay.

He seemed happy to be groomed in the big barnyard. His feet are looking great, and I was thrilled to see his heels spreading a bit in front and the frogs getting wider. His fur is soft and glossy, and although he has a little dandruff in his mane and tail, the hair is thick and shiny, and feels silky when I brush it out.

I had a brief thought of giving him his sport cut today, but then decided that might get me in trouble time-wise, and the goal was to RIDE, not play salon.

Keil Bay always takes the bit. I mean, he literally places his mouth onto it while I hold the bridle up. Maybe three times he has not offered that courtesy, and today was one. I know the times he hasn't taken the bit coincided with my using a peppermint flavored bit wipe, so that might explain it, but my tendency is to listen to the Bay when he gives me a message, because he knows his body and he is never naughty just to be naughty. It always means something.

When I put the bridle away and came back with his halter and clip-on reins, he stuck his nose right in. We had a nice ride, and he moved off my leg well. I was forced to work on aids from the seat and legs, which was good for me.

As is usual, he was relaxed and ready to head out to the field when we were done. The Big Bay loves having his work done early in the day. He has a definite sense of pride when he walks down the hill.

My daughter warmed Cody up and then rode the Training 1 dressage test. He was not as good in the trot, but the canter looked lovely. I suspect his recent chiro adjustment straightened some things out and he's sorting it all out under saddle.

The pony had a ground work session with my daughter, who had him walking, trotting, and sidepassing today. He's beginning to do a fair amount of work with her almost directly behind him, as if she's long-lining. I am thinking this bodes well for driving training.

We also had to do some donkey-proofing today. Redford discovered he is still small enough to walk through the stile! And Rafer craftily discovered that a certain piece of Horseguard tape was not 'on' - and climbed through it. The stile is now barricaded until young Redford grows a bit, and the tape has been turned on, so here's hoping Team R and R, as Sheaffer calls them, will stay put. They have been in very high spirits this week, and I think it's safe to say we've moved past convalescence and are now in "back to normal" mode. I had forgotten that normal for donkeys (and sometimes ponies) includes all sorts of shenanigans. They keep us on our toes. :)

This evening we had the annual Pony Club Christmas party. Along with lots of good food there was a truly lovely slide show on the big screen TV with perfectly matched music - all of the girls (and one boy) with their mounts doing various activities throughout the past year. My daughter got four pairs of socks from the gift exchange (and I secretly cheered because now maybe she will stay out of mine!) and also an award - the Stick With It award - for her willingness to work with Cody on his crossing water issue, and being committed to teaching him how to be a great Pony Club mount.

It was a lot of fun.

We have a chance of rain tomorrow but I am hoping I can make time in the a.m. to ride. Afternoon is dressage lesson and picking up the Mystical Kit from his neutering. Sigh. He's already old enough to be neutered! And he is on the kitchen island right now, trying to nibble the gingerbread house.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It's always a good day when you can get a ride in and work the horses a little.
R & R sounds like they are having a good time, even if they are getting into trouble.
Congratulations to your daughter for her award, way to Stick With It.
Poor Mystical Kit, hope he does fine with his procedure.

billie said...

Mystic is on his way to the vet, and I'm hoping for no rain, as we are still drying out from last week.

We need a stretch of dry days so we can get leaves mulched on fields and barnyards and yard. The back field is done! And the front yard.

Janet Roper said...

Hi billie,
I so enjoy reading your posts! You have a knack for finding and offering to others the beauty in the ordinary. Thanks for doing that.

Team R&R sounds like it's ready for it's own TV show!

billie said...

Thank you, Janet. Mystic is home and already attacking our feet (his favorite play), I had another nice ride on the Big Bay, and although Redford mysteriously escaped again (how in the world?) the donkeys stayed close this afternoon and evening, and everyone is out munching happily in the 55 degree weather.

Rising Rainbow said...

Temps above 50°, now where do you live again.......and can I move in next door???? It is unusually cold here with temps overnight expected to be in the single digits. Way too cold for this old body of mine.

I hope you keep up with the riding........and still find some time to play days can be fun too!

billie said...

Hopefully we won't get rain today, and I can fit it more riding.

Stay warm, MiKael!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How wonderful Billie! I'm glad you were able to enjoy a great ride with the Big Bay. He seemed to enjoy it, too.
I hope you get to enjoy more riding this winter.

I couldn't ride this weekend because a storm front has moved in bringing bitter cold winds and lots of snow.


New Mexico

billie said...

So far so good, Lisa, although today might be tough since I have a daughter on the sofa with a sore throat and will be doing all the barn chores myself.

I need to get out there right now!

AnnL said...

I'm glad you got a nice ride in. I still haven't managed to get one in, but we're getting 10-12" of snow today so I'm hopeful I can get on tomorrow! :-)

billie said...

Ann, I hope you can get a ride in soon - I LOVE reading about you and Jeeves. It always inspires me.

AnnL said...

Thanks Billie, though I'm not so sure we qualify as inspirational. I just plug along and try to have enjoy things. You do so much more and inspire me to try harder.

billie said...

That last lesson you wrote about had me going for weeks!

AnnL said...

Well, it's going to be a long time before I have another lesson to post about. We're in deep winter here. Someday, I'll have the energy to keep up riidng and actually truck him to an indoor to ride during the winter. Someday...

billie said...

Hang in there, Ann. I know you're having a real weather mess right now. And I know what you mean about someday hauling in for lessons! I hope that might be a possibility for me and the Big Bay one of these days.