Friday, March 13, 2015

good rides and a gray day

The Big Bay and I have had a couple more nice rides this week. After February's crazy weather and very little time in the arena we are both coming back to work slowly. The first five minutes are not pretty, but we're ending on much better notes. 

I noticed last week that Keil was tracking out slightly with his left hind and am now seeing that is no longer true, so I think our decision to do a lot of walking and a little trotting was the right one.

This week we added the big forward trot work back in, a bit more each ride, and yesterday it felt so good Keil decided he wanted to do more than I asked for. It's always nice when he tells me it's not time to stop. :) 

I'm happy to report that whatever scary things were in the woods the last 5 or so rides we had prior to the snow and ice have departed. I think I've written here that there is a huge amount of logging being done on the other side of the 102-acre wood and many deer have migrated our way. Most days when I'm out I'm seeing large herds traveling on both sides of November Hill and at night they're often right up near the house. The horses and donkeys aren't afraid of them when they're close, but I think hearing them run but not quite seeing them move is unnerving. Or at least it is some of the time. We tend to have a lot of selective spooking around here, meaning sometimes I suspect it's just fun to make something out of ... not very much. 

But last week and this the alertness to the back forest has disappeared and it's making the rides a lot more relaxed than they were. Yesterday Keil's big swinging walk massaged my back and by the end of the ride and then by the end of the day, it felt like I had a lot of good endorphins going. 

Today some rain is moving through so we'll have a break. Right now it's gray outside and through the back window from my seat here on the living room sofa I see a red-headed woodpecker and a cardinal  in the hickory tree, a little morning gift while I write. The bold red against the gray barn makes me think how lovely it would be to have a red door on the house.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Your rides sound wonderful. I always like to start back slowly too. It's nice that the Big Bay wanted to let you know he was okay with doing more.

I have cardinals and a red-headed woodpecker here too. They are so pretty I like their coloring. They brighten up a dreary landscape.

Anonymous said...

Good that you two are getting in some nice rides again - spring has finally sprung (I hope)!

billie said...

Kate, the daffodils bloomed today! I'm so happy to be back in riding mode. I don't know how you do it with much much colder temps and 4 horses to ride. :)

billie said...

Arlene, as he gets close to 26 years of age (in April) I get more and more protective of his soundness. The whole "first do no harm" thing comes to mind. I will not push him at this point. He knows his body and he is always willing to work, so if we do a lot of walking and then I say "big walk, Bay!" and he offers trot I know he's ready to move on.

The red does brighten up a gray day, doesn't it? As do the yellow and purple flowers in the front bed. I do love glancing out and seeing the burst of color, such a surprise still b/c it still looks so wintery outside even though 50s today.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

I've noticed when it gets really cold - like this winter (and last) - especially around hunting season, that Val has been particularly vigilant about the back of the property.

It finally dawned on me that maybe deer families have "camped out" in the relative safety of the woods, just out of sight. Sounds similar to your situation - horses know best and all.

Glad to hear about good rides. We've had some too, finally. :D

billie said...

C, I'm sure you're right. I guess the intense alertness was to be ready in case they suddenly ran as a group, but it's hard to imagine that being scary when I go out and find my herd completely blended in the field with the November Hill deer herd! :)

On the other hand, I'm glad to know they keep me posted when things are "out there."

So happy to hear you and Val are having good rides too. February was such a bust here in terms of riding, I'm hoping we have a long and lovely spring and a short summer.