Saturday, September 21, 2013

Beautiful riding days!

 Sunday, September 15, 2013
Another beautiful morning to ride!  This is my favorite time of year.  Suki decided to stop halfway down the field but moved forward again with minimal urging.  I did a few exercises with her on the way to the gate to make her more responsive.  She likes the leading exercises and her reactions are sharp.  Of course she then nudged me for a sugar cube at the gate!  Nikki followed and stepped back while I took Suki so I felt like we were all on track for a good day!

My original plan was to just lunge Nikki because I had a bit of a time constraint.  Instead I decided to lunge briefly to warm her up and ride for 30 minutes.  In spite of the chilly air Nikki was wonderful.  I kept things simple, choosing to focus on transitions and large figures.

Suki enjoyed her spa treatment and I have now added Olay for sensitive skin to her facial routine.  It has sunscreen in it as well as moisturizing so I think it is a good choice.  The petroleum jelly based moisturizer tht I used on the covered parts of Suki body is not good for her face when the sun is out.  But I am finding that the sunscreen is not keeping her face well moisturized.  The Olay seems to be working well so far.  Is Suki the new "Olay woman"?  : )
I am also worried that my favorite exfoliation mitt is not going to be available much longer.  It s very difficult to find...this particular one is a soft, Rite-Aid brand model and I love it!  But lately it seems that they are in short supply.  For my use they last 5-6 months.

On the way home from the barn (and on a mission to return my mom home to the Poconos) I got a flat tire.  I thought I could limp home (it is only a 5 minute drive after all) but I had to pull over and into The Stonersville Inn parking lot (it is closed Sun-Wed).  Now, I consider myself an independent woman.  And my father (rest his soul) taught me how to change a tire, etc. But ya know, I just really don't remember the jack part (yes, I am horribly embarrassed!).  The husband was away with the child for the weekend, so I called J, the owner of the barn where I board, and whom I had just seen.  No answer.  Called the husband at the beach to have him contact our neighbor.  He said to try J again, who I finally reached.  He and R came to my rescue.  Universal spare donut did not fit (I guess it is universal for AMERICAN cars, not Swedish : (  ) . Had to wait for the husband to return with his Volvo spare tire.  Buying J and R case of beer this weekend, though I am sure I will never live it down!

Monday, September 16, 2013
40 degrees F and breezy at 7:45 AM.  Like those horse show days that start off quite chilly but warm up nicely.  The crispness felt wonderful, but again I wondered about the silliness of the girls in the cold morning air!  Fortunately they came in willingly.  Once again the temperatures hovered near 40 (F) and the stiff breeze made it feel even cooler.  But there is something about the cool air that feels healthy, for some reason.  My breath formed puffs of steam in the air, as did Nikki's but we set to work warming muscles.  In spite of the rustling leaves which are now beginning to change color, ever so slightly Nikki worked well and focused.  I have always loved the sound that some horses make through their noses as they canter along.  Nikki was doing that this morning making it easy to maintain the rhythm of the canter.  A number of years ago I had a little thoroughbred gelding who enjoyed working in the orchard behind the arena at the barn where I was boarding. One snowy morning (he was wearing snow pads on his shoes) I rode him through the orchards.  The muffled footfall and the sound of his breath were all that could be heard.  It was so peaceful.  I remember breathing in the cold air, and the feeling of it being just me and my horse, cantering through the snow at dawn.

Suki worked well on the lunge, again focusing on the sharpness of transitions, her Teddy Bear ears twitching as she listened for her next command.  I thought she seemed slightly stiff at the start but  after a bit of forward canter that seemed to resolve.  I forget sometimes that Suki is 13 and stiffness is a part of life.  It's good that she gets out a lot to move around.  It's possible that I may have to add Adequan injections if she shows any signs of discomfort as we start using side reins and add collection.

The chilly air has prompted other changes as well.  I noticed that the grapes on the rolling hills of a local winery were shrouded in protection from the low temperatures, dew on the clinging fabric shimmering in the morning sunlight.

Temperatures are expected to climb again later in the week, likely summer's last hurrah.  We typically see a brief Indian summer in October but the chill of autumn returns each night.

Friday, September 20, 2013
After a slight midweek warm up it was chilly once again.  Fog covered the Oley Valley and I was met with an interesting surprise when I drove down the driveway to the barn.  Intricate spider webs EVERYWHERE!  It was so amazing!

Suki and Nikki grazed peacefully in the early morning light.

Suki trotted eagerly to the gate, and by the time I had her in her stall Nikki had arrived there as well!
I only worked Nikki because Isaiah had early dismissal and I had a million things to do before he came home.  But Isaiah was very excited because his teacher had seen the article in the Reading Eagle and had posted it on the board in the classroom.

Saturday, September 21, 2013
Beautiful morning to ride!  I had to walk out into the field to retrieve Suki, but Nikki was once again at the gate by the time I had put Suki in her stall.  While walking the girls into the barn, I thought about the sounds of their footfall. As horseman we deveop an ear for certain sounds.  Uneven footfall indicates a possible lameness.  The clinking of a shoe on the paved aisle usually  means a loose shoe.  Thank you again, Rema, my first instructor, for teaching me to run my hands over my horse's legs every day to recognize changes!
Nikki was a bit on edge in the arena because the two horses in the field that parallels the arena were running back and forth.  Their regular field is being rested.  The running is clearly a game for them, as they stop as soon as you go back to the barn!  It took Nikki awhile to relax, but eventually it was fine.  Tomorrow morning I will lock them in their paddock!


  1. Have just discovered this blog today, the descriptions are so well written that I can feel the change in temperatures, breath in the fresh air , hear hoof sounds, it is a very peaceful and comforting blog.

    Sorry about the flat tire, but even if Dad's wanted us to be independent there are times when a little help is needed..

    Please continue and enjoy every bit of life has to offer.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! And yes, you are right....sometimes help is needed. I hope that you continue to enjoy the blog.