Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Magic of Ordinary Days

As the temperatures continue to dip (they will rally into a warmer day tomorrow) I savor the early autumn weather. Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, and I love when it is finally cool enough to wear a turtleneck and cotton sweater for riding. The trees are sporting colorful attire and pumpkins have been making appearance on porches all around.

With the cooler temperatures the girls have moved on to mid-weight sheets and are snugged up in the barn now at night. This morning it was only 28 degrees when I woke up, so my plan was to go to the barn in the middle of the day, after Isaiah's riding lesson. He had a good ride today, and while on the lunge performed a posting trot without reins. I was impressed by his balance. In a few more weeks he will be doing a posting trot without reins or stirrups....I wonder what he will think of that!

Suki's graft site continues to be fine just under a sheet without any extra padding for protection. Yesterday I noticed some dirt on the sheet smack in the middle of her back so I know that Suki has had at least one roll right on top of the graft. I have not even observed any bruising....

When I arrived at the barn in the early afternoon the temperature was in the low fifties with a slight breeze and a bit of a crispness to the air. Perfect riding weather. Suki came to the gate nickering as I got out of my car so I walked over and gave her a treat. I wanted to ride first while I still had the arena to myself.

Nikki and Chester were at the top of their pasture and not particularly interested in coming down to the gate. Who could blame them?? I finally coaxed Chester down and usually Nikki is not far behind. Today she continued to graze. I was just walking Chester into his stall when I felt the earth move. Miss Nicolette must have just discovered that she was alone and galloped to the gate!

Nikki was in quite a pleasant mood and was enjoying her grooming in preparation for our ride. She was absoluteley delightful under saddle, willingly executing a full session of some very nice lateral work. The pterodactyl (blue heron) was not really to Nikki's liking when it took flight, but a couple of snorts and she was good to go. While they are quite beautiful, the act of taking flight is rather distracting!

Suki was pulling on a bush near the stream when I went out to get her. I saw Banker on the other side but Suki had not joined him. She crossed a few weeks ago then did not want to come back. J had to coax her back across and she nearly trampled him when she decided to jump it instead of getting her precious feet wet! Yes, indeed, my girl is a diva!

I walked to the gate and called Suki. She turned to look at me then went back to grazing. I believe she was giving me the "cold shoulder" for working with Nikki first! Suddenly Suki wheeled around and came galloping to the gate. I swear she knows that it terrifies me when she does that! As usual, just when I am certain that she will never be able to stop in time and is about to run into the fence she stops, piaffes, then halts. It warms my heart to see her play, though, and everything about her exudes good health and happiness. I still hold me breath a bit when I remove the sheet, but the graft looked great so our progress continues!

Groomed and legs wrapped I led Suki out the arena for a lunge session. She squealed a couple of times so I knew she was still full of herself! Once out on the circle Suki added a few tosses of her head. TRying to keep her focused I asked for a succession of transitions which relaxes her after a few minutes. Not today, though. Next tactic: keep her moving forward. Suki started to stretch her neck so I thought she was relaxing....Then there was a squeal, a leap and a capriole! Those Lipizzaners have nothing on my girl! As spectacular as it looks, the airs above the ground were a disobedience, so I needed to correct Suki and get her to listen. That was the last disobedience, although she did try a small squeal that I cut off by growling at her!

Because yesterday's spa treatment was abbreviated I wanted to be very thorough today. There were a few small scratches where the scarred skin sometimes erupt, but the older ones have healed. I think this is just something that I will always be dealing with so it is important to check Suki's skin thoroughly and apply topical antibacterial wound ointment as necessary. As I massaged her withers, Suki started to rock back and forth and her eyes closed slightly. She LOVES to have her withers scratched! For Nikki it is having her ears massaged.

Suki was happy to go out, and as I latched the gate I said "See you tomorrow my beautiful girl". I remembered saying the very same thing to her 8 hours before the fire started. A simple statement packed with so much meaning. When I said it to her in the late afternoon on July 9, 2009 it almost didn't happen. With the injuries Suki incurred that night I very possibly would have never seen her again. Everything really can change in an instant. While I know that I still take much of life for granted, every now and then I am struck with a memory from that time I try to regroup and count my blessings.


  1. I just love looking at your girls, as they are so amazing. I love to see you when your riding Nikki and she how much the Diva thinks that mom should be working with her. Keep posting, I love hearing about your beautiful girls. Its fun always hearing about what they did from day to day! Mitzi

    1. Thanks Mitzi! So glad that you are enjoying the blog! Have a good night.