Sunday, December 28, 2008

balmy at year's end (with a nice ride)

We have sunshine today and temps approaching 70, although it looks like rain may be returning this afternoon and evening. This morning, though, it is oddly spring-like, with green in the dirt paddock and big barnyard, and even more in the back field where we mulched and dragged.

As I was scrubbing one of the water troughs, a bee showed up, and we interacted for a few minutes. I never got a real good look, but I *think* it was a honey bee.

The horses and donkeys are out front, enjoying the breeze and munching hay. The horses all need grooming again, as they have all rolled in the mud. The donkeys are wisely waiting for it to dry out a little bit, and are in the thicket investigating various stumps and fallen branches.

Inside, I'm typing in edits and watching the pile of ms pages on my left grow smaller while the pile on the right grows taller. It's a nice way to mark progress, and satisfying, much like mucking stalls, where there's a finite sense of being done.

And, adding to this at day's end, the Big Bay tried out his new bit and we had a nice ride. By the time he was tacked up, dark clouds were rolling in, and the wind picked up, but it never rained. We started out slow but about mid-way, he clicked into high gear and suddenly I was putting my legs on like butterflies and getting very forward responses. The weather got a bit funky and the Big Bay's ears were up and alert, but he did a great job listening to me and we channeled the spook potential into some nice 10m circles.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Your weather sounds delightful for this time of year. We've been socked in with fog for days. The snow is melting though and it's close to 60 today.

Your ms sounds to be almost finished as that pile on the left gets smaller. The day will come when there is nothing left, unlike the stalls which will replenish themselves each day!

billie said...

Arlene, I have mss coming out my ears, so the pile on the left will be replenished pretty much as quickly as I can print out the next one!

I'm glad you're getting some warm weather - I'm guessing it's nice to have a thaw and hopefully things can dry out before the next snow?

I can't imagine living where there is constant snow from winter through 'til spring!

Janet Roper said...

Sounds like a very peaceful and productive time. Interesting that the bee came along as your busy working on mss. Ah, those animals are so wise, aren't they?

Wishing everyone the best of New Years!
Janet & Shiloh

billie said...

Janet, I was thinking of honey bees and hives in relation to writing too - it is lovely how the animals, birds, and insects so often reflect exactly what we need and what is going on.

jme said...

glad you had such a lovely and productive day, and a good ride to top it off :-) there really is something to the sense of accomplishment you get from observable, concrete progress isn't there? whether it's a stack of papers, a full wheelbarrow, stacked hay, a mowed field, or a good ride, i always feel i DID SOMETHING, whereas when i do my non-farm work, all electronically on a computer, it seems so remote and abstract... i miss those tangible results sometimes!

billie said...

you're right - when there is evidence of progress, and a sense of completion, for some reason it just feels really good.

the interesting thing is when animals seem to have it too - as Keil Bay does. I haven't ridden that many horses in my life, all told, but I don't think I've ever ridden one who seemed so satisfied at the end of his rides. and is noticeably lacking that sense of satisfaction when he doesn't get ridden.

all of which makes my rides with him that much more satisfying. it's just really nice being with him at the end of the ride, no matter what else happened.

AnnL said...

Sounds like you had a nice, productive, but relaxing day. Nothing stressful. I like those where I can keep busy and feel that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day but without the exhaustion of being stressed out.

Did I miss you saying what the new bit is? Keil does sound more and more like Jeeves, as Jeeves also seems to really enjoy being ridden and misses it when I don't ride.

billie said...

It's a copper mouth loose ring double-jointed snaffle. He'd always been in a regular eggbutt snaffle until last year I decided to put everyone here in double-jointed. He has done well in that one - but I wanted to try the copper mouth, so he got one in his stocking. :)

Keil Bay is one of those horses who loves his routine. When I got him, his previous owner wrote me a lovely letter telling me some things about him - and the one line I remember absolutely was this:

"Keil loves his food - he would roll over for a cookie, and he loves his stable and his cat."

He loves having a set mealtime, he loves having a regular riding time, and he loves, I think more than anything, being allowed to be free in the barn aisle/barnyard while I do chores. He will graze or munch hay and every few minutes he strolls in to say hello.

He will come in from the field to stand and wait for me to tack him up.

I still don't know how I got so lucky and found him.