I've been working my way through the orchard, pruning all the fruit trees. This really should be finished by now but between the rain and my work schedule, I haven't had many days to work out there. I started, a few weeks ago, with the trees that are my favorites and that bloom early. The peach had blossoms that were plump and ready to burst; the tree bears huge sweet peaches; it went first. Next I took care of the apple and pear trees. They are small-ish or espaliered and didn't require aggressive pruning. The apricot is a hairy beast but it has never given us more than one or two apricots each year. It will go last. This morning after breakfast, I tackled the Santa Rosa plum. It looked like this before I started (this is the French prune plum - it will be next).
When I finished, it looked much more respectable. The dumpster was full so Brett forbade me from pruning anymore until after trash day. That's okay. I'm too tired to tackle another one.
When we finished, the horses were done with their morning hay so we took them on what was supposed to be an easy ride around the ranch roads. We figured the horses would be tired from our lessons yesterday so a low key, no stress, amble around the ranch would be a nice break for all of us. Winston started out mellow, but that didn't last long. There were kids throwing a football around in the tennis court and he was sure that the football was coming for him. He thought about bucking. I told him that I was in charge, that he was going to be fine, and to knock it off. He didn't buck but he didn't completely settle for the rest of the ride. Pretty much anything caused him to go on high alert -- dogs, goats, other horses, dogs, dogs. I had numerous opportunities to tell Winston that he isn't in charge and doesn't need to worry about everything. It was good for us, but also exhausting. Half halt, release (a tad), strong half halt, stronger half halt, leg yield, half halt... We made it back alive; following behind Brett and Mufasa who just trucked along in a quiet purposeful way.
I took off Winston's tack and let him graze on the green grass that is popping up after our two months of rain.
I set his lead rope down on the bridge and sat there rolling up polo wraps. Then I stretched out on the bridge and almost fell asleep.
Brett finished untacking Mufasa and brought him down to join Winston. They were very good boys, quietly grazing and not pushing each other around.
Brett's getting ready to watch the superbowl. I'm not a football fan so I'll fold laundry, read blogs, and no doubt fall asleep on the couch.