Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Intentions...

If anyone is wondering where I went this summer and what happened to my big plans for more competitive rides...

I was riding on Willow, with Jill and Debbie and Jill's two guests from Switzerland. All of us were on Gotlands, it was quite fun! Jill borrowed Belle, Camelia's daughter that lives with Kit.

Willow decided to be a knob, and spook at a duck that flew up out of the grass under her nose. I mean, really, was that necessary? Actually, I think it startled me more than her! But she spooked down into the ditch, then spun and lunged back up it. I got tangled in one stirrup as I went to kick loose. There was nothing to hold onto on a Torsion, so I just slid off her butt. SPLAT!!! With my legs out in front of me.

Of course, I got back on the horse and rode for another 6 miles. This may be been the root of my problem. Or maybe it was the ride I snuck in a week later...

I visited the doc at the insistance of my hubby and friends. She said I didn't break anything. So I can go riding right?, I say. She says NO! you need to take 4-6 weeks off for the muscles and ligaments to heal (I buggered up ligaments and they can take longer to heal). I am going to do this right and not risk future pain by returning to riding too soon. My back is bad enough already!

So I have been good and not riding. I am pretty cranky. This week is week 4. I might last to the end of the week.

Willow is maintaining condition pretty good. I'll just start riding her slow again and work up her wind again and we should be ready for the fall ride in Bel Air! Woohoo!

Not as many rides as I might have wished, but we did pretty good this year. And I am deterimined to do my first 20 mile CT at Bel Air this year!

They're Here! They're here!

Well, it's been a long wait. But the horses are finally here!

I did all the fencing myself, so it took much longer than if I had hired someone! And there was that never-ending wait for the fencer to come in! I finished up the fencing on Friday morning, but didn't have the electric fence tester and I was too busy to finish after work (up to 1am baking for the Saturday Farmer's Market). On Saturday it poured all day. I don't know that much about electrical, but it seemed unsafe to play with it in the pouring rain. We also didn't have the riding mower to do one last trim before the horses move in. There is WAAY too much grass for Willow in here.

So early Sunday morning Mark and I woke up, I sent him the 1+ hour drive up to pick up the mower (friend fixing it for free). While I went over next door and loaded all my horse stuff that had accumulated into the quad and trailer (and borrowed Bill?s fence tester!). Wow, you sure accumulate fast! I filled my trailer! It began to rain? for the third day! I didn't care; they were coming home today, no matter what. I brought the stuff back to my place, and cleaned out an area in my gardening shed. I began moving things in. I built shelves, carried buckets of sand in to level the floor, made a saddle rack, hung hooks. I have a nice little area now. This small blue shed has two doors, one beside a big window that acts as my greenhouse and faces the middle yard (no horses) and the back door that leads out into the Paddock Paradise setup for the horses.

As I was finishing up, I heard Mark return home. It seemed like he had been gone forever! We unloaded the riding mower from the back of the van (yes, we did just drive it up inside the van! It was an awesome van - it kicked the bucket on that drive home - RIP). Mark didn't care that it was still raining, he started the mower up and mowed the grass on the tracks in the rain. Then he pestered me unmercifully until I put down what I was trying to finish, and we went over to get the horses. The rain stopped as we walked over, and the beginning of a beautiful evening appeared.

Pat came out to meet us as we brought the horses in and put the halters on them. My two were the only ones who willingly left the pasture to come stand by the gate to be haltered. The rest knew they weren't included on this trip. Mark took Willow while I led Narra, Pat followed along behind. Narra led nicely for once and we went down the road in a direction she had never been before. We passed our front yard with no event, as we had locked the dogs I the house. Then we were leading the horses into their new yard. We took them the whole circuit of their new tracks to see all the fencing.

Along the west edge near the pond.

In the Trees.

Then we put the grazing muzzle on Willow and turned them loose to explore.

Narra walking over the two jumps I put in the tracks for interest.

I took them over to the loose salt and mineral feeder I had built them, to make sure they knew where it was.

I took the muzzle off Willow so she could graze and relax for a while. The evening was perfect. Mark and I sat there, with a cooler in hand and just watched the horses on that perfect evening.

The next day dawned wet and dreary, but that was OK. I woke up at 6:30, just to go out and look at the horses. I took the muzzle off again to let Willow have her breakfast. 30 minutes later when I put it back on, she was actually enthusiastic about wearing it (may have been the special cookies I had in there...)

Later that day, just before Mark left for work, we took it off again for her to graze and this time we brought Enten in to see them.

Everyone is adjusting fine, and seems pretty happy. There are tracks already worn into the muddy ground and they are using ALL the trails we made. Awesome!

As I write this, the girls are out under the big oak tree. Narra lying down and Willow standing over her, both relaxing in the brief morning sun. Will it never stop raining?