Wednesday, December 04, 2013

floating in December with the Big Bay

Keil had his chiro last week and got 3 full days off, then Thanksgiving arrived and I got busy with cooking and eating and going to see movies and helping husband do hoof trims and did not get in a ride until yesterday.

It was cool and cloudy, with a very little bit of a breeze blowing off and on. Keil was a bit feisty when I went to put his halter on - he had been eating hay and when I walked toward him with the halter he headed out of the barn to the water trough for a long drink. I stood with him, expecting him to put his head in the halter when he was finished. He didn't - he headed back to the barn, and as I went after him, he picked up some speed. I chased him through the barn aisle and he lifted his tail and trotted a few steps. By the time I got to him he was at the hay tent, getting another snack. And at that point he cooperated with haltering. :)

He licked and chewed his way through grooming and tacking up, and did big releasing yawns before I put his bridle on, then shook his head and did a long soft snort. I think he was having a flashback to his chiro adjustment - which was a good thing. He was very relaxed and interested in having a ride. I stuck the bridle out and he put his mouth onto the bit.

When I got on he was calm and we set off at a nice easy walk.

About 15 seconds later he shed 20 years and suddenly I was riding his 5-year old self. He seemed extremely interested in one section of woods beside and behind our back field, but the fun thing was that he was up not only in his attention to the woods, his entire body went into a lovely up and round frame. He lifted his head, neck, back, and hooves - it was like we were floating on air. I got such a clear sense of how he must have been as a very young horse - it was wonderful. If only I could have shed enough years to get back to my adolescent self!

Suddenly it became clear to me why upper level riders often have hot horses. You don't have to do anything except keep them focused enough to stay with you.  (okay, I'm oversimplifying - but you know what I mean) Keil was forward, fluid, and lovely. It was a very nice ride.

Daughter had been planning to hop on him for a bit, so when I dismounted I took him for a walk through the back field and let him stand and look more closely at the area he'd seemed so interested in. There was nothing there that I could see or hear, but the neighbors have created what looks like a compost pile between their two sheds with a piece of white plastic on top and two pieces of fencing that create almost a checkerboard effect - he took a good look at that. While we were there, his entire herd came in from the front field to back him up. We actually have the back field closed off right now so none of them have been back there for over a week - the donkeys climbed through the fence and came to Keil Bay's side - here we are! we'll protect you!! - it was hilarious.

A few minutes later daughter hopped on, I stood in the center of the arena, Rafer and Redford joined me, and Rafer held the dressage whip while Cody clamored at the gate to come in and Little Man stuck his head through the fence and watched.

He had relaxed totally by this time - I'd say maybe 10 of the 20 years returned. Did he summon them all? Did they pick up on his intensity about the new compost pile and what might have been in the forest? I don't know. Daughter rode the pony and Cody on through the day and the intensity was not repeated.

This morning I looked out my window and Keil Bay was walking up the long fence line to the barn, doing shoulder-in the entire way. Cody was right behind him, copying the movement. Who knows what will happen under saddle today?

We're in another wild and crazy weather swing here - it's getting really warm today and tomorrow with a little rain and a lot of cloudy sky and then on the weekend a sudden and huge drop in the temperature. I really dislike these crazy swings - but we'll try to ride through them and keep up our routine.


Kate said...

Glad you got in a nice ride. That feeling when they shed the years is magical.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Glad you're enjoying saddle time with K.B. and the peanut gallery. :D

This roller coaster weather is disconcerting for sure. Don't think the polar air is getting all the way here thank goodness.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Kiel Bay is very special. Glad you had such a magical ride.