Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting it All Done

Brett and I were up early so we could get morning chores out of the way in time for me to ride Winston before work.  We're heading back into another warm week with highs in the 90s by the weekend.  It was nice to be up before the sun came over the ridge, mucking while it was still in the 50s. 

Brett was up and out the door a few minutes before me so he found the dead chicken.  She was laying by the entrance to the hen house, with no visible trauma or indication of why she died.  She was one of our new chickens, a cuckoo maran - the ones that lay dark chocolate brown eggs.  We lose a chicken or two every year, chickens being chickens - they just up and die on you.  I think its pretty rude myself.  Usually we lose an older chicken and they start acting a bit off before they die.  But not always.  This one was only six months old and had been running around, scratching, pecking and acting like a normal chicken youngster. 

I have been riding Winston with a fleece riser pad after the saddle was adjusted to fit him back in March.  He was very narrow and lanky then, going through a growth spurt.  The saddle fitter left room for him to grow into the saddle so she wouldn't have to come back out and do another adjustment in six months.  Since then, he has grown taller and wider so I decided to see how the saddle fit without the pad.  It fit like a glove so I don't need to fuss with the fleece anymore.

Winston's trot work was dreamy this morning.  He was soft in my hands, forward and floaty.

His canter was... interesting.  The canter itself was nicely forward with a good amount of energy and jump but he just wasn't in the mood to canter.  At least, he wasn't in the mood to make transitions.  It was a disappointing step backwards and we ended up doing a lot of canter work this morning as a result.  Transitions, transitions, transitions.
I love this picture of us -- happy and in harmony.

I need to look up -- and Winston has his signature goofy expression going.
 I ran through the test a few times; forgot the stretchy trot again.  I'm going to try running through the test in my mind before I fall asleep - as someone suggested in the comments.  I've drawn the test and written out the steps so I think I just need to ride it in my mind (correctly) some more. 

We finished on a good note.  Even with the canter transition issues, he was very good overall.  If he is just like today at the show, I'll be happy.  I'm not expecting him to be perfect; I just want him to be honest, to trust me, and to have fun.  We had all of that today.

I stripped his tack, gave him a quick massage and turned him out into the pasture where the others were eating breakfast.  He'd already had his bucket and a flake of alfalfa before we rode.
Flash is moving around pretty well.  Brett hand walked him this morning.

Yes, I know his tail is filthy.  His bucket had the new meds mixed in this morning and he ate it all.  Good boy.

Then it was off to work.  I put in a very long day.  We are struggling, as most hospitals are in Southern California, and despite huge efforts to improve productivity and control cost we are looking at a difficult year ahead.  As a result, we are implementing another reduction in staff.  Needed, necessary, but difficult.  We are asking for voluntary separations to start and hoping that we will eliminate most of the positions that way.  Other issues cropped up in the late afternoon and it was late by the time I headed out to the parking lot and pointed my car towards home. 

I noticed some orange smoke in the sky as I was driving home.  The local station reported a fire in Orange County, on the ocean side of our mountain.  It isn't close enough to us to be worrisome to our community and they are aggressively fighting it.  It did make for a spectacular sunset as I drove across the ridge.  The orange is from smoke, not from the sun.

Is it bedtime yet??



  1. You and Mr. Winston are going to do fabulous and the key there is F.U.N. for both of you. I'm sorry to hear things suck at work....somehow I totally know the feeling. These next few years in the health industry aren't going to be all that fun.

  2. Winston looks awesome! You are going to have so much fun with him at the show. Everyone will love his spots!

  3. I hear you about the long days!

    glad to hear my suggestion is helpful.
    Good luck at the show!!!


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.