Wednesday, March 18, 2009

back to the good days

We had beautiful fog, the sun came out, I worked on my book, and I let the blahs go and got back on the Big Bay.

This was one of those rides when I wish I had a gate that led to about a thousand acres of trail. Keil Bay was in the back field caked with mud, anew from the mud he was caked in yesterday, because all THAT mud got groomed off, and I called to him as I fed Salina her lunch tub to come on up and get ready for a ride. It took a few minutes, but he came in, and I spent what seemed like a long time getting him clean.

My daughter had Cody all ready and she did things like play with donkeys and go inside to use the bathroom and finally came and just handed me Keil Bay's saddle because it was one of those endless grooming sessions that threatens never to end.

I decided to forget the bridle and just use the halter and clip-on reins, and off we went.

We had decided ahead of time to split the arena in half for the first portion of the ride, and so Keil and I warmed up in our end at the walk, did a little bit of shoulder-in, and then he went into his big beautiful trot right off the bat. For whatever reason, after these wet rainy days of not riding, we just clicked instantly when he trotted. He was in a lovely frame, moving well, and I was balanced. It felt perfect. We did more trotting, we changed directions, we did a little bit of leg yielding, we did some walking around the entire arena, we did a little cantering. And it was all fine.

But that initial trot work was so perfect, the really right thing to have done was to head out the back gate and go on a long, relaxing trail ride. Mostly I love where we live and rarely want to leave, but today, I wished, for the Big Bay as much as for myself, that I could reward such a beautiful bit of harmony with a little adventure.

In any case, we finished our ride and his reward was being in the barnyard with Salina and the donkey boys, sun shining, green grass shimmering, round bale tipped over and split open in the most inviting way -- I suspect he liked that almost as much as the thousand acre adventure.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a wonderful ride and even if you didn't get your adventure today, I'm sure you will sometime in the future. In the meantime I'm sure the big bay was just as happy with his hay.

Nachodonkey said...

Wonderful pics of the beasties in the fog especially of the two horses. Your donkeys are so cute! Nice shelter for them to run in. Is that actually grass they are eating?

Poor Nacho has a very sore foot. We think it may be an abcess. Even though they are so painful, it will go away. We will try to soak the affected limb in hot water and sea salt tonight but I really don't have much hope for success. He is very skeptical still of people touching his feet.

The ice is finally almost melted on the trails in the woods. It would be nice to have an arena to ride in and do some schooling but I wouldn't trade it for our forest with acres and acres of trails. I am really looking forward to riding again.

billie said...

Nacho, I love how the run-in shelter is attached to the back of our barn, so that they can come in out of the sun if they choose, and on rainy days it really helps to have a little covered space to give them some room to move around without getting wet.

I keep thinking I'll put on the other side of the barn too, which would really work well for Salina and the donkeys.

Yes, we have spring grass coming in and I suspect after the rain and with the nice sun right now we'll see rapid growth. The front field gets greener by the day, and is officially on rest status until the beginning of April. I'd love to leave it until May but we'll have to see how the back field holds up.

I am so sorry to hear about Nacho's sore foot. I have seen Epsom salt poultice that you can pack and wrap, but that might be even harder than soaking! Sending good thoughts for a speedy recovery.

You're lucky to have the forested trails. It must be wonderful to be able to venture out during the nice weather. Keil Bay adores riding out, and maybe one day we'll be able to.

ponymaid said...

Billie, pray tell what are these wonderous-sounding round bales? The paltry flakes we are offered pale by comparison. I couldn't agree more with Rafer - fog is to be avoided at all costs. He is very wise for one so young.

billie said...

Sheaffer, you would love the round bale, which is a gigantic roll of hay, about 1000 lbs.

We started buying them this year because our hay supplier decided not to do the small square bales, and we love his hay so much we opted to stick with it even though it's a bit messier. We actually use a pitchfork to flake it off into the hay barrow, and then serve it in the field, the mangers, and the hay nets.

But... all the horses consider getting to go in the barnyard and eat it straight from the source a big treat, and Rafer climbs through the flexible fencing and helps himself on a daily basis. He's still enclosed, and can climb back through if he wants to - but later this spring we'll be replacing the flexible fencing in that one spot with wood, so he'll have to await his hay like everyone else!

billie said...

Arlene, I think he enjoyed his barnyard time too. He wanted more yesterday, but it was Cody's turn!