Wednesday, October 21, 2009

back on retreat

After a nice visit at home, and a great ride on the Big Bay, I'm back on retreat.

I found a wonderful set of curb reins that match my bridle, and although I'm not using them for a double bridle, they're perfect for my small hands/fingers. While home I put them on Keil's bridle and he and I had a nice ride on a gorgeous autumn day.

Interestingly, he went into his power trot mode almost immediately. I seemed to have more contact with these reins, but it was a finer contact, if that makes sense, and his response was to go to the bit and really use his body. It was nice.

The other really sweet thing was Rafer Johnson, who joined us in the barn aisle for grooming and tacking up, went with us into the arena, came back out when we were done, and stood with Keil Bay while I got his handful of oats. Who could resist? Rafer got a few too.

Then the two of them sauntered out to the barnyard for some relaxation with the round bale.

Today was productive. Although I did discover that my very ancient iBook has finally lost its ability to get online, at least wirelessly. My friend and writing colleague Dawn has come to the rescue with her "netbook" - so I'm out on the upstairs veranda, accompanied by some night creatures and their songs, typing away. This little netbook has the best reception of anything I've seen.

I couldn't resist typing a blog post with it.


ponymaid said...

Billie, I'm pleased to hear Rafer was able to help with your ride and that he was adequately rewarded afterwards. I'm sure you find it's a great comfort to have him watching over you. Probably just as well Redford was elsewhere as he has a more "hoofs on" approach...

Michelle said...

Oh Billie, it sounds wonderful. And thanks for the info on the retreat, I might just end up doing one. I'm not a writer, but I have always been interested in it and I generally feel like my creativity has been stifled by my science over the recent years! Might be just what the doctor ordered. How do I found out about them?

Grey Horse Matters said...

Your ride on the big bay sounds like it went really well. I'm so happy to hear that you had company too. Rafer is such a cute little guy, guess he knew about the reward afterward and figured he should look like he was working too, for a reward.

Have a nice time back at the retreat.

billie said...

Sheaffer, Redford was not far away, guarding the lovely Salina. I suspect Redford would be one of those riding instructor types we have all known and feared!

Rafer is much more lenient and has a sort of laissez-faire philosophy, which meshes well with the both me and the Big Bay. :)

billie said...

Michelle, most states have some sort of writing retreats (or artist retreats) - I would try googling it with the name of any states you're particularly interested in.

The one I'm at has a criteria that the writers who apply must live in our state to qualify.

But there are big ones, like Yaddo and Ragdale and others that are well-known nationwide and much more competitive -but worth trying for. There are also many residencies available through the national park service. I have my eye on several of those - great for going to the location of a book or project and immersing into the environment while writing.

Keep me posted - I'd love to hear if/when you go on one and how it works for you!

billie said...

Arlene, I was really happy with the ride. I've been searching for a used pair of reins in havana brown for a long while - and these are so tiny they seem to give me a whole new feel. My fingers aren't spread unnaturally apart.

I'm not sure if that was what Keil was responding to, or if it was the autumn day, but he was very alert, very responsive, and I don't recall him going into his power mode quite so quickly. We generally do a long warm-up but this ride went straight to the real deal. Maybe he just knew I needed a boost. Or maybe my creative time carried over into the ride. I love how it all connects and merges.