Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Cheer

What a lovely weekend!  Northern CA was supposed to get this crazy stormy with about two solid weeks of rain. Instead I woke up Thursday to blue skies. What an amazing early Christmas present. Even though I had an insanely busy day planned (it was my mom’s birthday and some how I volunteered to make pork carnitas for dinner) I couldn’t resist the urge to head over to the barn.

I had remembered to take a bridle home so I jumped on December bareback and rode her over to my neighbor’s barn. She almost looks normal again. Still a little thin but I gotta tell ya she’s already less boney than Tax. I really enjoy trail riding her. She seems very relaxed right now and like Grace she plunges down the trails at a quick walk curious about everything around her. She’s always got her little ears pricked forward and loves to look around at all the scenery but never spooked at anything including an entire flock of pheasants we scared out of the bushes a few feet away. I’ve never seen more than two at a time but I swear there were like ten. Every few steps she took more kept bursting out of the bushes and flying off with this weird honking sound they make. I’m pretty sure the geldings would have had a heart attack. A couple of times going around blind corners where she couldn’t see over the blackberries she was slow and cautious but when I pressured her to go forward she did without much of a fight. What a good girl!

When I got to the barn I actually put a saddle on her and I managed to ride both her and Tax in the arena before I had to take off and finish my shopping and dinner preparations. December is out of shape and wants to lean in through her inside shoulder which was always a weakness but with a little support was trying to move straight. She’s high headed and I didn’t ask her to try to collect much but I got her to relax and got some decent trotting work from her. We cantered just a little and she feels as good as ever…so smooth and comfortable. Tax felt awesome on Thursday too. He feels so connected through every part of his body right now.

Friday I managed to sneak in a little trail ride on December bareback again, and I lunged Charlie. That was about it before the lure of wrapping my kids presents called.

We got some rain on Christmas. I was stuck feeding and cleaning stalls in it (boo) and I didn’t get to ride again until Sunday. Sunday I rode all three horses in the arena and December on the trails to and from the other barn. Charlie wanted to misbehave and every time I’d ask him to move forward at more than a trot he’d kick out his back right leg. I started spanking his butt on that side with my hand when he does it and he finally stopped and we jogged, trotted and loped. My favorite part is that I’m not nearly as afraid as I would have been of him a year ago. I made the mistake of riding Tax without spurs which was kind of a bust. He didn’t feel so connected without them and wanted to lean in and get strung out on me. December was a real sweetheart and the other ladies at the barn were impressed with how much better she looks. We worked on relaxing deep into the trot again and cantered a bit more this time. We even trotted a couple of ground poles and she hopped right over them. She was happy and perky through it all. No tail swishing evil bitch mare. I noticed she didn’t even flinch at the girth this time…hmm. I think grazing all day has been very good for her tummy.

I didn’t get Christmas pictures of the horses and I should have. They are all hairy, muddy disgusting beasts!

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