Wednesday, November 25, 2015

giving thanks 2015

I am grateful for:

- a big forward walking ride on the 26-year old Keil Bay today

- the return of Mystic the cat who didn't show up for dinner last night (his front claws are worn to nubs from trying to escape some place he obviously got shut up in but otherwise he is fine)

- a husband who will jump in and figure out how to create a safe backyard habitat for a curiosity of unruly cats (will photo and post when done!)

- two amazing children (now young adults)

- a loving family including my mom who shared a wonderful meal last night (appetizers included spicy crab dip, warm Brie, and calamari, dinner a hefty salad and shrimp puttanesca with goat cheese, a glass of Malbec, and coffee with limoncello cheesecake) 

- two exuberant Corgis (and one is 16 years old and still chasing things in the backyard)

- our farm, newly refinanced with a good locked-in for the duration interest rate

- the creative life and process, which keeps me happy

- amazing friends (which includes many of you reading this)

May this thanksgiving day be full of good company, good food, and the opportunity to count our blessings!

Friday, November 20, 2015

the all you can eat hay buffet

On Wednesday night we had over 2 inches of rain, so the horses were in that night and most of yesterday as it began to - well, dry out is not accurate - seep in enough that they could march around without going fetlock deep in mud.

I did manage to ride Keil Bay as the arena had drained well. After the ride, Cody got a little groundwork with daughter and I opened both arena gates so they could go to the back field without having to tramp through the muddiest areas.

They were out last night with the arena still open, got their after-breakfast hay out this morning, and when I looked out the window at 9:30 or so they were all huddled in the arena near the hay tent (which backs up to the 4-strand HorseGuard tape fencing. I got the sense something just wasn't quite right, so out I went. Some helpful beast had managed to pull up the hay tent flap, reach in, grab an entire bale of hay, pull it through the HorseGuard tape, and served it up to the entire herd. 

I got the bale and put it away, then made about 12 piles of hay in the barnyard so they could come in there and soak up some sun. At 11:30 I glanced back out the window and there they were in the arena again. Another hay bale had been served up for all to enjoy!

I think it might be time to test the charge on that fence tape!

Keil has had 4 rides this week and although I was planning to ride him today, he seemed sleepy and very content in the stall as he ate his midday tub. It's possible he bamboozled me but I gave him today off, grooming and massaging and then letting him back into the barnyard.

Cody got his second ride of the week. I'm going very slowly with him as he has been out of work as long as Keil has but it's been over a year since I last rode him. And he has been galloping around the farm tossing his head and acting generally like a 4-year old. Dear daughter has patiently helped me get him back under saddle, and of course he's been fine. Just walking so far, though he tried to trot several times today. I'm guessing he is ready for more work.

Daughter also had to talk me through a moment of panic about dismounting straight to the ground. Keil and I have been using the elevated block for awhile now but Cody thought that was just too weird. (and honestly, it was awkward for me when I attempted it because he's not really tall enough to warrant it) Leave it to our horses to push us through our fears - I've dismounted to the ground both rides and had no problem at all. 

I'm keeping an eye on the abscessed hoof. So far so good. He's tracking up at the walk and there's no sign of swelling in that fetlock so we'll keep going. Hopefully we'll be trotting soon!

They all need it given the all you can eat hay buffet they've set up for themselves!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

booking it

Finished Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See and so loved the book. He creates vivid and clear images and a story that flows beautifully. I'm looking at his other work now and am eager to read more.

I read and enjoyed Andrea Barrett's Voyage of the Narwhal years back and am just now getting around to reading her book of stories, Ship Fever. Two stories in and two thumbs up.


Keil Bay and I had a lovely ride yesterday. I had meant to ride Cody too but didn't time things well. He needs the work and I'm going to have to figure out how to make it happen. Or maybe I should use the word "allow" - I want it to be a flow and not a checking things off a list kind of ride with him. He deserves it.

Mostly my days are geared around writing, riding, and keeping up with house and barn chores. Some days I have clients, other days there are errands to run in town or appointments to keep. Putting two rides in the day will change things, but there has to be a way to do it gracefully so that I bring my best self to both horses.

Any advice is welcome!!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gioia Timpanelli and stories

Last night and today I'm listening and working with Gioia Timpanelli (author, storyteller, speaker) on myths, archetypes, and stories. She speaks in English but slides in and out of Sicilian as she goes, and what is miraculous is that with her body language and gestures everyone suddenly understands Sicilian.

It reminds me of horses and the archetypal language they use.

I'll write more about this later but wanted to say this, now: go find a story today, or tell one. Stories hold us all together.