Monday, September 10, 2012

the Big Bay's many colored days

Last week Keil Bay had a rare bad day, and as it was happening I kept thinking about Dr. Seuss' book called My Many Colored Days. There's a page that reads like this:

On Bright Red Days how good it feels
to be a horse and kick my heels!

It was hot, Keil Bay had a yeasty frog, and I made the big mistake of taking him out for a bath but choosing to do a hoof scrub first. It is true. Horseflies were dive-bombing, Keil Bay was sweaty and itchy, and I had the hose and the bucket of soapy water all set up. But I picked up his feet and did a hoof scrub first. He handled the first one, but by the second hoof, right hind, he was not amused. He allowed me to finish that hind hoof, and when I let go, he slammed it down, lifted the other hind, and kicked out in anger. How like Keil Bay to express his anger but in a way that clearly did not endanger me. Nevertheless, I smacked his rump with the flat of my hand.

We finished up with no more outbursts, not from me, not from Keil Bay.

We're both ready for cooler weather, clearly.

Today we got it, and I did a quick grooming, fed him half his breakfast tub, tacked up, and we had the first ride we've had in about 6 weeks. It was glorious. Everything felt perfect. We walked, did a little shoulder-in, turns on forehand and haunches, and a little backing. I had the same feeling I had last winter when it felt like we had made a leap forward. The aids were quiet and soft and so was the ride.

As we got started, the doe and her twin fawns showed up in the forest near A. Keil let me know they were there, and we tracked them as we rode and they made their way down the fence line to the back field. We stopped and watched the fawns scampering, and then continued on our ride.

When we were done, Keil licked and chewed, happy to get the other half of his breakfast. I had a good ride and did not break a sweat! I am SO happy to be entering this time of year. The horses are happy too, with nights in the 50s and at least the promise of the demise of the dive-bombing horseflies. Salina cantered up the front field hill a few days ago, and even though it was probably to escape a horsefly, I am relieved she is feeling so good.

This afternoon I went back to the barn and took a little bottle of bubbles with me. I blew and blew and the donkeys and Keil Bay and Cody were all completely enchanted with the fact that suddenly the woman was shooting magical disappearing balls out of her mouth. Keil leaned his head over the stall door and put his nose out to me, wanting the bubbles to land on him. Eyes wide with curiosity. For a few minutes I turned into some kind of fairy princess and he was completely absorbed. It was easy to see the yearling Keil Bay in his eyes.

In our many colored days, this one had a brilliant blue sky, dark purple muscadines, and the brightest red bay in the big wide world, all here on November Hill.


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

The B-52s have been ridiculous here lately. Val has bites regularly when I return home in the afternoon. One even lit on my leg and bit me today.

I know how red day K. bay was feeling - I really do.

Glad to hear Salina is feeling fit. And that you renewed the equines faith in your magical skills. Keeps them on their toes!

billie said...

It's the worst year we've had here for these huge horseflies - I too had one chase me, land on my shirt, and try to bite through it!

I'm seeing the bites on the horses - Keil Bay and Salina are pretty much refusing to go out during the late afternoon/early evening, which is when they are the worst.

I just realized I'm not seeing many dragonflies this year, and I think they hunt the horseflies - so maybe that's partly why we have so many.

But at least the cooler weather is feeling good - Keil Bay is visibly happier since we hit 50. :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad to hear you had a nice ride on the big bay. It's about time the weather started cooperating. Even with the cooler temps the flies are horrendous here and the horses are stomping and swishing all day.

I was happy to see that Salina is feeling up to cantering. The Fall weather makes everyone feel better. And what could be more fun than having your very own magical woman who blows bubbles out of her mouth.

Matthew C. said...

I'm just imagining you out there with the bubble wand and Keil Bay reaching out with his nose trying to catch the bubbles. How delightful!

Jessica Keener said...

Love love love!

billie said...

Arlene, I'm sorry to hear you're also having lots of pesky insects this season. Hope we all make it through to fall and some relief!

billie said...

Matthew, there is a little bit left over if you would like to be the fairy prince for a few minutes. :)

billie said...

Jessica, some day I hope you can visit and meet this crew for yourself. :)

Máire said...

Great description. What a different summer you have had to ours. We have had nothing but rain until this month. I always love September! I love the image of you blowing bubbles.

billie said...

Maire, it is blissfully cooler now - earlier today I sat out in a chair by the arena at the woods' edge and just reveled in the season. Keil Bay and I are riding every morning and building up our bodies so we can hit full autumn in good shape. :)