Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Catching up, and a chance to meet with firefighters!

Some days I feellike life is hurdling at me so fast I can't catch my breath. This is one of those weeks. Everyone has them. You look at an impossible "to do" list and think if the day was 30 hours long, and you didn't sleep, there would be a slight chance of getting it all done! Who knew that first grade would be so demanding! Book reports, patron saint report, etc. Plus all of the general homework and "stuff" that has to be done each day!

The cool teaser days of autumn make great riding weather. I confess that I did wait until temperatures were in the 50's before I rode on Saturday! Nikki had a lovely warm up, loose and forward. When I picked her up to collect her she was nicely on her hind end and moving into my hands. This time I incorporated a bit of serpentine work at the trot with walk transitions as we crossed the center line. The transitions became smoother as we progressed through the exercise. When I moved to the canter I asked for a transition to the trot as we crossed the center line. The first few times were a bit ragged, but again improved. I did shallow serpentines at the canter to add a little counter canter to the work. Nikki was pretty relaxed throughout and I was pleased with the progress.

With a bit of extra time I decided to also lunge Suki and give her a bit to think about. She was watching me work Nikki from the gate, so I figured she was ready to work! I recycled Nikki's purple polos (because I am very sadly behind in my horse laundry!)and bridle. Lunge line attached Suki marched out to the arena with a purpose. There is definitely some jealousy because of my attention to Nikki. I love that both girls nicker to me when I walk into the barn. It fills my heart and I just want to hug them! Suki was very forward and attentive during her session...well, she was attentive after I scolded her when she called to Nikki who was back out in her pasture! It always makes me laugh when I growl at her for a disobedience....she lowers her head and kind of grumbles in defiance, but gets right back to work!

I didn't anticipate being able to ride on Sunday because the day was supposed to be chilly and rainy. The weather held out and I snuck in a ride. Temperatures were to dip into the 30's so mid weight sheets were necessary. I put the first sheet on Nikki and the upper chest buckle was a bit tight. The bottom one would not meet! I was not surprised. The Rhino sheet had not been purchased for Nikki....it had been Jenny's, so I knew that she would outgrow it. A year of work has broadened her chest and hind end. Baby girl is growing up! The Rambo sheet fit, thankfully, but it was dirty. Oh well, it would do the job and Nikki would not be cold! Following Suki's spa treatment I debated the appropriate clothing. The fly sheet has the foam padding to protect the graft but would not be warm enough. A sheet over top would be too warm.....I went with the mid weight sheet and hoped for the best. When I turned Suki back out I gave her explicit instructions to not do a BIG roll!

On Sunday the local fire station hosted an open house for the start of fire prevention week. Michael took Isaiah to it. As I drove past the station on my way home from the barn (the open house was over) I thought about how I should have asked Michael to find out if any of those firefighters had been at the Pink Star Fire. As I was voicing this sentiment to him when I got home, Michael held up a business card....he had spoken to the fire chief, who had been at the fire. Chief X remembered Suki exiting the barn "burning". Those memories came flooding back in an instant, and I could feel that panic setting in again. Three years later that raw emotion still bubbles to the surface. The Chief said he would be happy to speak with me about that night and would gather a few other firefighters who had also been present. Michael told him that I will probably get emotional; Chief X said that he probably will too. Apparently they all had difficulty that night. I am hoping that I will finally learn the actual events from that night instead of all the heresay. That section of my book is light, because I don't have anything concrete. As difficult as it will be, I need to know what happened. Having initiated contact with the chief, we are going to reconnect next week after fire prevention week has ended.....

Monday, October 8, 2012
I met with Jenn to look through the calendar photos (they are beautiful, and it will be hard to select 12!)then went to the barn.
The girls were already in for the night when I got to the barn and there was a bit more drizzle. I groomed and fussed over Nikki putting her back in her sheet for over night. She enjoyed her ear massage and horse gummies!
As I removed Suki's sheet I held my breath. The sparkkly clean sheet from the day before bore some mud on the sides, but I was hopeful. Everything looked great! I am cautiously optimistic because I don't think that Suki did one of her aggressive rolls. With that in mind I made sure that her back was well moisturized with the hope of discouraging rolling due to itchiness! On the way back to her stall she pulled toward Nikki's stall where the two exchanged quiet nickers.....WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT! : )

As I turned off the lights and closed the barn door, the only sound I could hear was that of content horses munching on their hay....

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