Thursday, February 07, 2013

kittens and rain play

Thinking back yesterday and today about the three little kittens who lost their mittens... no, wait... the three little kittens who came to live on November Hill in 2005. I was thinking about them because yesterday Pixie ended up on the ROOF and I was remembering the day Dickens (left in photo, next to Keats, then Osage) climbed to the very tip top of the 40-foot tree in our back yard.

Today, Dickens the all-grown-up tuxedo cat trotted in from the back field with a mouse in his teeth and now, even as it rains outside, he has demanded to go out because he is such a devoted cowboy. Keats left us in 2012 quite suddenly and unexpectedly, and Osage, mostly known these days as Muffine Eloise, is snuggled on the sofa by the woodstove.

And now we're doing kittenhood again with two new cuties, Pixie and Pippin.

This morning, while Pixie was trying to figure out how to access the roof from the back deck (as opposed to front porch, which she already figured out), I was at the barn trying to manage 6 frisky equines. Yesterday was balmy, today the cold came back, and all the horses and donkeys' energy levels skyrocketed.

At one point all 6 were passaging and cantering in a very small circle in the corner of the front field. In their way was a gate, a cement block, a tree, and a water trough. All I could think about was the possibility that with 5000+ pounds of equine in such close quarters, something was bound to go wrong.

I opened the gate and asked the pony to come through, which remarkably he did, at a trot, and that took one of the troublemakers out of the mix.

Cody, surprisingly, was the other troublemaker, tossing his head and getting Salina going as he floated in a 10m circle around her. I headed to the barn to get a lead rope, and before I could even get there, Salina shot off into a huge canter, through the other gate and all the way down the paddock, followed by her trusty donkeys. I ran down and closed the gate before Keil Bay and Cody could follow her.

It was crazy!

I had to run an errand mid-day and got home just in time to muck, set up stalls for the rain tonight, and play with the pony and Keil Bay in the arena. Apache Moon was amazing today. He circled me for about 20 minutes doing huge, floating trot and bold, beautiful canter with many flying changes. He was so forward at first I had to put whip and lead rope down and just focus on relaxing my entire body to slow him. But soon he was trotting with just one trot step from me and cantering with one canter step. For a few minutes he was changing leads when I would "canter" with the opposite leg from his. Really fun time with him.

Cody declined his invitation to come in, but Keil came - not as in sync as we were last time, but Keil Bay was really wanting to get into his stall with some hay, so we played just a little while (huge huge trot and fairly out of control cantering/bucking) and then I opened the gate and he trotted through the paddock and into his stall.

Salina (!) came to the gate and wanted to come in and play - I wouldn't let her because I was truly worried she would get in there and go wild. I'm not sure what's going on with her right now but she is moving really really well and is wanting to go go go.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a very exciting day on November Hill. Glad to hear Salina is feeling so good.

billie said...

A, it was a wild kind of day, and I'm also really glad that Salina is enjoying herself so much right now.

Máire said...

High jinks. Really glad that Salina is feeling so good. Love the cute cat photos.

billie said...

Thank you, Maire - it's fun seeing them so full of spirit, even Salina. I just have to close my eyes and hold my breath for part of it!