Friday, February 11, 2011

ups and downs on Friday

While the horses were finishing their feed tubs this morning, I invited the pony to join me in the arena. He looked interested until I started trotting down center line, and he decided to leave the open gate just in case I got more serious about him joining me. A little bit of a down.

But Rafer Johnson came in and stopped by the mounting block, waiting, just like he might if he were tacked up and I was getting ready to mount.  I walked over and sat down on the block, and told him I'm sorry I'm too big to ride him, because I bet it would be a very nice ride.

Instead, we had one of Rafer's "love bug" sessions, where he lays his head in my lap, on my shoulder, and in my hand, and puts his very quiet eye by mine so we can gaze as he gets his neck and ear and face scratches.

That was definitely an up. I moved on after a little while to let Keil Bay out. Keil rubbed his nose across my hand and headed out to the water trough, and as I put his feed tub out to be licked and then rinsed, I noticed my hand was covered (well, not totally) with bright red blood!

I followed Keil Bay out to the back field, where I quickly realized he had blood inside his nostril. It wasn't dripping out - it was up in the curved area - but each time I wiped, blood came back. I walked up to the barn, mostly to give myself time to think. When something isn't right with Keil Bay, I get more upset than when something is off with the other horses. Which, if you know how upset I get about *them* means I'm pretty upset when Keil Bay has any problem at all.

I decided to check out his stall, in the manger where he'd eaten breakfast, and look at the feed tub to see if I could find any blood. There wasn't any, but I realized when looking at his tub (it's one of those meant to be put into the corner of a stall) that as much as he tends to bang it around when done eating, inside the manger, that edge might have poked up into his nostril and scratched him.

So I went back out to the field and sure enough, when I wiped his nostril out again, a clotted string of blood came out and when I angled him toward the sunshine I could see the white scratch. Whew!

Fortunately I did not take the time to come inside and start googling nosebleeds in horses - there is no telling where a little information and my imagination might have taken me.

That was a down and then a very sharp up.

I had some business chores that needed to be done today and although they weren't truly terrible it was a down to have to do them on such a beautiful day. So, a mild dip down again.

This afternoon was mostly up. I took a look at the full muck barrow, decided to HELL with chores, and proceeded to groom and ride Keil Bay. We had a very nice ride, with him very much in front of my leg, and although we mostly did walk and "big walk," the little bit of trotting we did was truly lovely. We did some shoulder-in, turns on forehands and haunches, and broke all that up with very big, stretchy walks across the diagonals.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I love Keil Bay. He is absolutely and without question the horse for me. And that is the biggest up of all.


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

To h-e-double hockey sticks with chores indeed!! Good choice billie :)

I'm a nervous wreck with much less provocation than a bloody nose when it comes to Val. Glad you remained calm until you could find the source.

Tonight both the boys wouldn't come in for supper... standing in the pouring rain getting soaked at the end of the paddocks. Turns out there was a nutria the size of a Volkswagon meandering around in the lake that is the back of my property lately... "see - we told you there were monsters!!"

billie said...

Oh my gosh! Real monsters!

I tend to remain calm outwardly - it's my crazy mind that goes berserk when I think something is off with the animals.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad it was just a scratch. We've had some dripping nose bleeds that weren't, very scary.

So happy to hear you had a beautiful day weather wise and said to hell with the chores and got a nice ride in. Good for both of you.

Considering all the good ups the downs weren't so bad I'd say.

billie said...

Agreed - the downs weren't so bad when averaged with the ups. :)

How is the weather up there right now? Are you having any melting?

Matthew said...

So glad it was only a scratch. And that you and the Big Bay had a lovely ride on a lovely day. . .

Grey Horse Matters said...

Some of our icicles are crashing down and making a racket when they hit the ground. The snow melted on the indoor arena and it all came off in one giant sheet and took out the fence. Luckily none of the horses has escaped yet because the snow bank is too high for them to get over. It's been cold but this week should see some 30's and 40's. We're getting there. Can't wait for the mud to begin. Hope you have another good ride soon.

billie said...

Thanks, Matthew - this time I worked it out BEFORE calling you. :)

billie said...

Arlene, wow about the giant sheet taking out the fence! :/

I can't imagine having things like that going on in the middle of a hard winter. As you know from my whining I get undone by the repeated snow/mud/rain/mud/sun cycle which seems to be what we've had here for the past 3 months. It's like we have little mini-winters and springs over and over again.

Still... none of the extremes that come with deep, sustained snow and cold. I hope you all have the most beautiful spring ever to make up for this winter!

ponymaid said...

Billie, I was considerably chuffed on a cold, windy day to read of you and Rafer communing in the beautiful weather. Then I read about Keil Bay's bloody nose and I nearly had to lie down. Like yourself, my mind leapt to many drastic conclusions, some of which involved him being sent to hospital. A scratch sounds just fine by comparison. And it ended with you having a wonderful ride together. Balance is restored.

billie said...

Sheaffer, you must pack your bags right away and head south. Although down to 24 tonight (Fahrenheit) we have 62 tomorrow! Rafer and Redford are about ready to throw a huge spring fever party, and Salina has started SHEDDING! She always sheds first, and as messy as this dropping of hair is, I am perfectly happy to be covered in it if it means spring is on the way.

Máire said...

So glad it was only a scratch. I know you love Keil Bay - it shines out of all your writing. It is so wonderful to have that feeling about a horse.

I like how you gave pony a choice, even if it left you with a down.

billie said...

Maire, they are all special to me, but there is just something about Keil Bay that was pure connection right from the very first time I saw his photograph. It strikes me in hindsight that although I was not in any way looking for a horse for myself at that time, there was something that quite literally pulled me each step of the process to the point of meeting and riding him. And when I got off and he put his head on my shoulder, there was just absolutely NO doubt in my mind that I was going to do whatever I had to to bring him home with me.

It was a huge thing at that point, but I didn't even need to think about it, consider it, or in any way sleep on it. It was just: YES. There are so many things in life that have pros and cons, ups and downs, and need consideration and more consideration. But there was none of that about Keil Bay. I guess that's part of what makes him so special. It was RIGHT and we both knew it.