1. Rain! We finally got measurable rain. We had gentle rainfall Wednesday night and Thursday; a total of half an inch. The horses all promptly rolled and, Jackson especially, are filthy. We sat in the house Thursday evening listening and smiling; the oak leaves were wet and fragrant underfoot when we did the chores, and the chickens scratched like mad in their yard.
2. Rain meant that construction stopped for a day on the new siding. Remember when we had to remodel the master bathroom due to the shower leaking through the ceiling? During that constructions, we discovered that water was also leaking and running down the inside of the exterior wall. When the drywall was cut out to move plumbing around, there was daylight shining through gaps and bulges in the warped siding. We are animal lovers, yes, but the idea of wasps and rodents taking up residence in the walls was not a happy thought. The backside of the house has no overhang and it takes a beating from the weather. The entire backside of the house is getting new, fire resistant (concrete) siding.
3. Do you see the back door "porch" and steps? Very small and rickety. We are replacing them as well. The wrap-around porch will continue it's wrap from the side of house (closest to the camera but not in the picture), turn the corner and go to the back door. Steps will lead from the edge of the porch to the driveway. You can't see it in this photo but the current porch/landing is actually pulling away from the house. It has never felt safe/sturdy and it will be a huge relief to see it go.
4. Thanks to everyone for their supportive comments about Lucy and I. We share an amazing bond; stronger and different from that I've ever had with a horse. We are friends (is that weird?), we understand each other, we love to be together -- even if it is just hanging out in the pasture. She trusts me completely and I'm careful to always be fair when I ride her. She's a great teacher -- I've never sat straighter or been quieter with the aids in my life. I have learned to be a more tactful rider and she has learned to be relaxed and accepting/trusting of the contact. When we first started working together, asking for canter was an act of faith. She always went -- but I never knew if it was going to be a high headed race or relaxed. Now, it is relaxed 95% of the time. Soft shoulders and soft elbows have been key; she's a bit claustrophobic so my relaxed, heavy arms give her space in the contact. I can't thank Sandy enough for teaching me how to ride this "ambitious" horse.
5. Brett and I plan to ride tomorrow. The arena sand should be perfect after the rain. We have a possibility of more rain, beginning Saturday night, so Sunday is a question mark. Brett and Pistol will be going down to the Mark Rashid clinic in a few weeks and I want to cement everything I learned at Sandy's workshop in my brain and my body.