Monday, May 21, 2012

Just a normal horse

Sunday: May 20, 2012
What a beautiful morning for a ride! Nikki was in a happy mood, and was even snuggly during pre-ride preparations. Most of th time she is slightly grumpy during that part of our day, especially when her breakfast is sitting outside of her stall! The few handfuls of grain and a couple of treats seemed to satisfy her. She does drive me crazy when I wrap her legs. If she isn't snuffling my hair (I am okay with that part), she likes to pick up whatever leg I am in the process of wrapping. Not stomping, or anything, just demonstrating some rudeness....That is improving, as we continually address her "patience", or lack of patience while getting ready. Other than a little stickiness off of my right leg during a leg yield, she was very cooperative, responding nicely to all commands. Nicely forward, I achieved some pretty correct shoulder-in, which I finished with a 10 meter circle, followed by a canter transition upon return to the track. Nikki enjoys bits of change in her lateral work and it is fun to shake things up a bit. One of the other boarders who has never actually seen me ride Nikki because of the timing of our arrivals was surprised that I was actually still riding when she arrived at the barn. It's funny how amazed L was that I don't look really small on Nikki. Since I am 5'4", and Nikki is 17.1, I look rather short standing next to her. But because my legs are long for my height, we fit perfectly! People always said that about me and Suki also. My big girls! Gotta love them!

After my ride I was in such a giddy mood that the beautiful day inspired me to put the top down on my car. This takes quite a bit of maneuvering on my part. Because I have a lot of stuff in my car (horse clothes, several different weights of jackets, books, supplies....) I have to make sure everything is secured. I have a hard top convertible so the roof goes into the trunk, complicating matters further! Even with the top down there is quite a bit of room in the trunk, but it all must fit in a certain area. Logistics resolved, off I went into the late morning sunshine and my cruise through the beautiful Oley Valley! Soaking in every bit of the scenery, I greeted the cows as I drove by and cranked up Mozart on my radio. The mountains are beginning to turn a deep broccoli green pushed up against the bright blue sky. Newly planted fields are beginning to spring to life, with the promise of fresh local produce not so far away.

Isaiah had a riding lesson at 5, so I detoured to Suki's barn instead of going directly home. Suki didn't hear me when I first walked into the barn. When I got to her stall she was standing, dozin with her eyes closed, startling when I called her name, and embarrassed to be caught sleeping! In during the day because of the high temperatures anticipated, I was able to perform a thorough spa treatment. I am a big fan of the Aquafor petroleum based moisturizer which seems to be keeping the dryness at bay. With the sun still shining when the horses go out for the night Suki wears sunscreen on her face now instead of the Aquafor. We finished with a wrapping of the hind legs, because a bit of humidity was also expected and I wanted to prevent swelling. Several other horses were also in the barn so Suki was content with standing quietly on cross ties while being groomed. I was even able to brush the inside of her ears and apply sunscreen to the tips, without bribery! I planned to return on my way to take Isaiah for his lesson to put the full fly sheet on over the shell and unwrap Suki's legs before nightly turnout. That timing worked well. Some days just require a bit more finesse in scheduling! Isaiah enjoyed his lesson and even walked the tree line afterwards. I sat on the hill beside the dressage arena where there was a beautiful breeze! The mountains were the back drop for the barn and silo and I felt a moment of peacefullness as the busy weekend came to a close. The highlight for Isaiah was removing a lovely brown chicken egg from its nest, which Miss L allowed him to take home. He was delighted to have it for dinner that night.

Monday, May 21, 2012
This morning I woke to rain hitting the skylights, thinking about my soggy horse. Under normal circumstances a wet horse is fine, but the shell and fly sheet would be soaked, and I would have to change them. Wisely I dressed in barn clothes, anticipating a soggy retrieval of Suki and Banker from the pasture. The rain stopped as I arrived and I called to Suki. Much to my surprise she had been in the run in part of the bank barn which has an entrance from her field. And she was completely dry! Usually she prefers to stand in the rain. I was relieved to be able to bring the two horses in and wrap Suki's legs. The rain is expected to continue for the next day or so. Of course if I had been dressed in clothes for work it would have been raining, and Suki would have been soaking wet!

It is so wonderful to see that Suki is just a "normal" horse now. She will always have special needs that require extra care, but these needs are no longer so daunting and it is nice to be able to skip a day of grooming occassionally when pressed for time. Unless I am away I physically see her each day, but once a week it is just to give her treats and hugs.....

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