1. Brett and I rode after I got home from work both Wednesday and Thursday. The evenings have been cooling off -- its just lovely. This morning when I left for work it was 46F! Like I said -- LOVELY! Lucy and I are working on our fitness so we don't fall apart in the Sandy Savage workshop later this month. Brett and Pistol are working on her fitness as well. We have to take a lot of walk breaks to let the dust settle, but temperatures have been in the mid-70s when we ride. Just perfect.
2. Pistol is looking great. She meets Brett at the pasture gate when we ride; pushing in front of Lucy and shoving her head into the halter. She huffs and puffs at trot a bit but she's coming along. And she looks gorgeous -- her white looks white and her mane and tail are brushed and silky. I love her quiet, solid energy. I love how happy Brett is when he rides her. And I love how relaxed Lucy is when we ride together.
3. Since my lesson last weekend with Sandy, I've been concentrating on me when I ride. I'm trying to keep my upper calf against Lucy -- which helps turn my airplane-wing-toes back in where they belong. I'm riding with relaxed shoulders and heavy arms. I'm getting the timing down with my aids. And, most importantly for Lucy, I'm giving her space. When she gets fussy and tosses her head, I relax my shoulders and drive her forward with my legs. I figure if Teresa can relax through Carmen's young horse antics, then I can relax through Lucy's worry and anticipation.
4. Brett gives the horses part of their hay before I get home from work. After we ride, we muck out the pastures and then they get the rest of their dinner hay. This past week, Lucy has been following me around the pasture, while I muck, like a dog. I've had to reinforce my space with her -- or she'd stand right on top of me. It's kind of cute but it takes me twice as long to muck since I have to keep kissing her on her soft muzzle everytime I stop by a pile of poop. 50 lbs of poop per horse, per day. That's a lot of piles of poop when you have five horses and two donkeys.
5. Before we go to bed at night, Brett takes Kersey out to pee. He waits on the front porch while she goes down the stairs to the front lawn area and does her business. About a week ago he told me that there were a pair of orange eyes watching him from down by the boys pasture, close to a drainage pipe. Then, a few evenings later, while sitting on the front porch with a glass of wine,we saw two shapes moving in the same area. They were far too large to be squirrels -- more in the racoon or skunk range -- but the dusk was too deep to make out more than moving shadows. Kersey was dozing at our feet so we quietly woke her and went inside. If they were skunks, we weren't interested in her getting sprayed... again. Then a few days ago, after riding in the evening, we settled under one of the large oaks that frame the house with, yes, a glass of wine. Kersey rested at our feet, hoping for crumbs of cheese. The critters emerged in the same spot -- three of them -- and from the way they softly jumped around we were pretty sure they were skunks. Kersey lifted her head, looked, and started in their direction. I called her back and - amazingly - she listened and returned. We went in the house before she could change her mind. Good dog, Kersey. Good dog.