Monday, September 22, 2014

autumn equinox 2014

This morning I rode Keil Bay in the newly-cleared arena. My husband cut and moved all the pokeberry bushes that I had elected to let grow along the arena fence this year, and after that he took the chainsaw and trimmed the oak and pine branches that were hanging low.

Today my ride was completely clear - no ducking and no finding fuchsia stains on my legs after the ride. Keil and I rode with donkeys in tow. We stopped and chatted with Salina, who I feel is always with us out there. We trotted the entire arena today. I am loving being back in the saddle, feeling the breeze, enjoying the lack of sweat.

There was one horse fly out there but it was easily deterred. Somehow once it starts to get cooler they lose their intensity.

I came in and did a few chores and then glanced out at my garden. My summer lunches have been built around whatever was growing. Today I picked the next-to-last watermelon, which turned out to be slightly overripe, so I cut it into quarters and Bear went out and chewed the melon from the rind while I picked a bowl of tiny cherry tomatoes. These are smaller than the ones you buy in the grocery store and they have an intense and lovely flavor. They're perfect for mixing in with chickpeas and feta and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just the right size for eating without slicing.

The corn is done and the melons are done and the okra is finally slowing down some. We're still getting peppers of all kinds and basil and parsley and the tomatoes. This weekend I'll be clearing out some beds and planting some fall things: lettuces and spinach and chard and brussel sprouts and collards.

I'm waiting on the figs now.

It's been a wonderfully abundant growing season and now we're on to the next.

Pumpkins! And the lovely fall mums. I love this season. Happy equinox to all!

Friday, September 19, 2014

eagerly awaiting the first day of fall

It's been crazy here the past few weeks. A logging truck hit my parked truck (thankfully I was not in it!) and the next day two of our cats were diagnosed with cytauxzoonosis, which is a tick-borne disease that originates in the bobcat. Thankfully the protozoa don't infect other animals or humans, but the survival rate for the disease is less than 60% and the only treatment that works is done by our local vet school ICU, so off Pixie and Mystic went for 7 and 5 days each.

We visited daily and when they got well enough to finish their 10 days of treatment at home, we gratefully took over the every 8 hour medication schedule including heparin injections. 

They are finished now and doing really well. The whole cat and Corgi crew are now wearing Seresto collars in spite of my concern over the chemicals. Cytauxzoonosis is truly scary - very quick onset and it goes downhill very very fast. Just so you know, if you have bobcats around, the first symptoms are lethargy and loss of appetite, very sudden high fever, and jaundice, which tends to be a later symptom. 

We are so relieved our two sweet cats did so well with their treatments, and grateful our local vet worked us in on a busy Saturday morning and nailed the diagnosis so very quickly. 

Today was the first day in two weeks that I didn't have a long list of things to do. So I marched out to the barn and tacked up Keil Bay and we got back to our riding, which has been off the schedule for several months now, mostly because of heat and biting insects. But our days are cooler, the horse flies are getting sluggish, and it was time.

We walked and walked and the donkeys tagged along behind us. We finished up with a very little bit of trotting to make sure everything was working well, and it was, so we'll build things back slowly and hopefully by first frost we'll be fully back in gear. 

I do not know what to make of the fact that Keil Bay is 25 years old, still. He had his chiropractor here a couple of weeks ago and she said he was almost totally clear. He enjoyed what she did, but it wasn't much! I felt so happy to swing my leg over his back this morning and settle into the saddle. We rode in his bitless bridle and the wind blew his long mane and all the years we share between us melted away. I could be 15 and he could be 5. 

But we're both glad we're not, I think. :)

I hope everyone is happy and healthy and ready for a new season! 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

just say no to Clinton Anderson's aggressive training methods

What people do to animals says more about them than anything else. 

If you have a horse you can't handle, for the sake of all that is holy, find someone who understands horses and their behavior. Find someone who embraces enlightened horsemanship and progressive methods.

CA is not that. CA doesn't know HOW to be that.

If you can't find someone who utilizes respect and kindness, humane methods and a calm demeanor, get in touch. I'll do my best to help you find someone.

Don't let anyone who views horses as the enemy near your horse. You both deserve better.