While I was mucking the pasture, I came across conclusive evidence that deer are still hanging out in the oak pasture. There were deer in that pasture when we first moved into the house but I haven't seen any there lately. I thought maybe they weren't keen on being with the horses. Apparently, they have no issue with cohabitation -- heck, they even share the bathroom.
Now that I've grossed all of you out... just think of it as recycled grass.
Somebody asked me how much land we have. Oak Creek Ranch is a tad over eight acres. It's a lot to mow but it is just gorgeous. Every day we pinch ourselves and wonder if we are really living here in the Sierra Nevada mountains, on a small ranch, surrounded by wineries.
Next Wednesday marks the big day. Five weeks since I had my gallbladder removed and the green light date for getting back on Winston. This morning I started him back to school. He was thrilled. We had a long grooming session at the trailer and then I took him out to the dressage court. I worked him on the lunge line with the goal of getting two things: obedience and prompt forward movement. He was obedient from the minute I slipped the halter on his face. It took him a few minutes to loosen up and move well -- reaching under with his hind legs, pushing forward with energy and getting the start of swing in his back. Then we called it quits and spent some time just hanging out.
Brett walked Mufasa and Flash around a bit as well. Flash is doing better after being on bute all week. Our goal is to keep him comfortable and we are, knock on wood, having success. Flash has been struggling with joint issues for two years now. We've had him tested six ways to Sunday, including a complete work up at Alamo Pintada vet hospital -- one of the top equine hospitals in the country. He has some arthritis and his joints, in his hocks and back, are shot. We think he was worked hard in his youth -- and not well managed. He's always had trouble with his joints and he's reached the point now where he can't comfortably work anymore. That's okay. His job is to manage the herd. He takes it seriously and he does it well. Brett purchased Mufasa - almost a year ago - to be his new riding partner. But Flash remains important to the herd and to Brett.
Winston has been watching me like a hawk today. He loves being worked and I know he's hoping that I take him back out again soon. Tomorrow, Winston. I promise we'll work together again tomorrow.