It almost defied belief that the bright, sunshiny morning was going to morph into anything having to do with wet, cold stuff, and I was determined that if the next few days were going to be bitterly cold, Keil Bay and I could get one more ride in before it hit.
I rode in a cotton turtleneck and no coat, no gloves, in halter and clip-on reins and his saddle. This was our third day in a row riding without his bridle. The first day I noticed that he was moving very well in 20m circle work, the second day I noticed that he was in near perfect bend through the very deep corners he was actively choosing to move into, and yesterday I realized that the funky little hind leg step he had been doing fairly reliably in warm-up was completely gone.
Now, it could be that riding three days in a row and doing some lovely trot work each of those days worked out a kink. It could be that chiropractically his pelvis was slightly rotated and now it's not. It could also be something to do with the bit. It could be the spine-stretching work-out I did fixed a kink in ME and that has helped fix it in Keil Bay. But I was really happy to have that funky step worked out of our riding routine.
We had a great ride. At some point during our time, the sun disappeared and dark stormy clouds begin to move in. Black vultures were playing up in the sky, circling and spinning, and some cold rain fell. We finished our ride and I planned to help daughter get stalls set up for the horses and donkeys to come in. Then, just as quickly, the clouds moved on and the sun came back out. So the herd went out to pastures to clean up all the remaining scraps of hay.
Daughter and I left mid-afternoon to run into town. We came back with a load of shavings and just as dark fell and the real precipation started, I got stalls set up with fresh new shavings, husband arrived and helped with water buckets and trough topping off, and we got hay into the barn for munching.
The herd was infinitely patient as all this was done, but as soon as he saw his stall was ready, Keil Bay started banging on his back door with a hoof - he is not a horse that likes to be out in the rain or the snow. He wants in.
We got a dusting of snow which was mostly gone by sunrise. Today we won't get above freezing, so the offering of warm drinking water has begun and will continue on through the day and at least until our bedtime tonight. Looks like several nights of teen temps, then we move back up to the 20s.
I won't ride today, but maybe tomorrow.
Meanwhile, on the book front, I created a playlist for music for my new novel, claire-voyant. Once I get a playlist going you can be sure I'm getting pretty deep into the world of the new book, so this is a milestone. Ever since watching the final episode of Breaking Bad, I've been obsessed with the old Badfinger song Baby Blue - yesterday it was the first song in the new playlist and I've been playing it over and over again. Not WHILE I write, but almost as a conveyor belt into the story.
Just FYI for any writers reading here - I have a book of essays on the writing process called Don't Miss the Magic. It's available here: