Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer days

Often when I write on the weekend I sit at my son's craft table in the family room.  It faces a large window which looks out to the bird feeders and bird bath.  Early mornings I get to see quite a bit of wildlife pass through so it is peaceful and relaxing.  Michael and Isaiah are usually still sleeping and Ripley goes back upstairs.  The cats like to lounge near me after they have breakfast, adding to the mood.  If I am writing in the evening I sit in the same place, or outside on the deck adding a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc to the scene.  Still peaceful, but the potential to be interrupted increases.

As I have said on many occasions, the Oley Valley is a beautiful place to live.  We are surrounded by beautiful mountains and although my home is in a small subdivision, less than a minute from my house I am surrounded by dairy farms, corn fields and horses.  While sometimes I mutter under my breath when I find myself stuck behind slow moving farm equipment on a narrow country road, I secretly smile, happy that I live somewhere that such an event is a possibility!  My favorite part is the covered bridge on my way to Oley Valley Feed, where I am a frequent patron.  In fact, after the fire the feed store took a collection for Pink Star Equestrian (and its owner), but the owner decided to give it to me to help with Suki's medical bills instead.  MUCH APPRECIATED!!!
The Oley Bridge

Isaiah always asks me to put the top down on my car so that we can look up at the rafters when we go over it!  I must admit, it does look cool!

I think it was a new blog reader from Egypt who made me think again about my surroundings.  When L rides out she passes pyramids and desert.  So different from what I see.  But I started to think about all of my readers/friends all over the world.  We ride.  Our horses are different, our disciplines may be different and our surroundings.  Yet we share this common bond....horses!  Yes we are different, but are we really??  I love to hear about other people's horses, and what they do with them.  We love our horses regardless of their breed or training, because they are ours.  They are a part of who we are. One of the barns I boarded Suki at was a multi -discipline barn.  There were a few of other dressage riders.  I was riding one day with a woman on an adorable paint horse.  She told me that she was so jealous because Suki was so beautiful and all she had was this little paint horse.  I remember telling her how cute he was, and that breeding doesn't matter as long as you love your horse!  She liked to trail ride.  I think that a 17+ hand Oldenburg would be quite inappropriate for that!  We, as horseman can disagree on training methods, best breeds, best discipline, etc.  But the one thing we CAN agree on is that we love our horses.

August 17, 2013
Early morning ride.  Probably not one of the best rides that I have had on Nikki but we did have some highlights.  She seemed a bit unfocused so I did a lot of in and out bend on 20 meter circles, then 15m. There were some improvements, so after a few serpentines I called it a day.  I had promised to take my mom out to Lancaster County to her favorite shops and the Amish grocery store in Honeybrook, so it worked out well.  For Suki that meant some in hand exercises and a spa treatment. My goal with some of the in hand exercises is simply to sharpen her responses.  Attending the Andreas Hausberger clinic made me aware of how sometimes I allowed little misdemeanors for response.

August 18, 2013
Much better ride on Nikki.  She seemed a bit more relaxed so I did a bit more canter work spiraling in and out.  I am not heavy handed anyway, but I did feel like I had a bit more softening.  What would AH think of my riding??
Suki's skin seemed a bit drier today, so I brought out a new exfoliation mitt.  Rite Aid doesn't always have them and it is their own brand!  Suki seemed a bit tired after our lunging session and let me hold her head in my arms.  Nikki always lets me do this, and in fact, expects it, but Suki can be somewhat tentative, so it was a nice moment.

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