Thursday, May 30, 2013

Testing, Testing..........

Down the roads through water, mud and over rocks. Yup, the New hoof boots arrived, and in a rare moment of rain reprieve, we set off to try them out.

Easy boot "GLOVE" in new WIDE

Sleepy horsey!

Though sleepyily standing for the photo here, Wa mare perked up pretty quickly, once we got going. After she tried to avoid the normally traveled areas of rocks and hard grounds; Wa mare was walking, trotting and even cantering upon the roads that ere now, made her wince!

This road is a nice one, with round river rocks

The roads with crushed gravel rocks make her dive for the much softer/safer shoulders. But this day, though she actually tried once or twice to go for the sides from pain memory,   she began to snort and relax.  
All in all the first ride went rather smoothly!!! 
Let us see IF*** we can get another in this week..............

Second ride try- a window of dry, though a very stormy day in May

So, yesterday, we got to go out once again later in the day. I was standing around waiting for the torrents of windy rain to subside as they have seemed to, later in the days. It just kept coming, and the moisture from the skies seeped into the barn doorways. When I stepped into the turnout, the rains  had flooded Wa's turnout field too. The 2 weeks of 80's we had in the beginning of May were apparently to keep our spirits up from the memory. NOW, we have gotten 4-5 inches of rain in a hurry apparently, marking an 1800's date for the record rainfall!

 I prepared to go still, hoping....getting the rain gear out...for her: quarter sheet, synthetic bridle and breast collar, saddle cover. For me: Rain duster that covers my legs and rear!
YEA!! a small window of blue between the grey and  blackened skies!

I was riding and thinking of KATE'S LESSON.... with Mark Rashid. I knew she could be riding right then too!
 I have enjoyed identifying with her over "core to core" work. Since I have started riding again after my accident, my safety has been to secure my hands with a light contact to the mare , while holding a rope from around the mare's neck. The results have been to use my "Thoughts only"- that are the core body movements between my mare and me. It is subtle and gently asks your horse to respond to the least amount of movement. With the way the mare has been marking time with her snorting, I know she has felt less pressure and more freedom.

Off we went...into the water logged lands. With the front "Gloves" on. The mare soon realized, nothing hurt her toes! She strode out nicely. We went up and down and all around the roads for an hour that wizzed by! We had been trotting and cantering, me riding without my rope ballast now, having the saddle and stirrups. I tested out my sitting trot, as I watched our shadow selves below on the ground, riding along with us. The mare stretched into my fingers and I was able feel her swingy body, as she highblew, and marked the time.

 I think these Hoof boots are going to make riding out on different surfaces pleasurable again, for the both us!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Under Cover

About the only wise choice I did make...was to wear tall boots for the drenching ride ahead.

The moist onslaught was in reprieve, with the dark clouds having blown over someone else's domain for the time being. I groomed quickly, making decisions to skip the quarter rain sheet for the mare and also, the rain duster favorite of mine for remaining dry, on days like this day. It was muggy and I dislike greatly, to overheat.
Maybe not very thoughtful.

Making small talk and listening with stablemates was hard without being obvious- I was so out of there, as soon as the velcro, buckles , clips and some odd snaps were in place!

Down the slick trail I hand walked, mounting at the bottom. We then strode quickly up the road, brushing the bright yellow scrub bushes aside. They left  sticky, rain battled petals on my legs and boots. It made me smile when I looked down and spied them.The yellow will soon give way to other colors this spring.

 Our first stop.....

 Under the dry cover of the Evergreen Fir trees. The heavy laden clouds had caught up to us, and were relieving themselves. 

I dismounted for a time...the mare being pensive. We overheard  campers nearby. They had loud engines and hearty laughter, not usually heard in these parts. The Memorial weekend has brought them forth, pleasure seeking from the wood, like us.

Two views of the same mare. My phone's camera, while leaving much to be desired...makes beautiful mistakes sometimes. Loved the purple hue of the overexposed mane.

Looking down now, there was the prettiest little wild  Iris. She was all alone in the grassy undergrowth. Somehow she existed on this trail, between the hooves and tires that oft times stroll the pathway.

 We soon embarked upon the glistening grasses again, briskly trotting for a favorite destination. 
Grass, grass, oh the blades were delighting in this day, beckoning my mare to partake.

 "Soon my mare", I said aloud.
 I'm sure we'll have time for you to munch at the next resting place; making it undercover, for I see another tantrum coming from the clouds!

We both were having fun, though wet we were by now, it was NOT cold. I was ready to mount up again and head on home but I spied another wild thing that ADORES this kind of day................................

If you put both of your hands together, go ahead, knuckles up..................................................

so that your hands touch and your fingernails slightly curve down and out sight...............................

THAT my friends, is how BIG this feller was!!!

I cautiously took his photo, with mare in hand. When these big un's jump into the water, they sound like "Cat Frogs", making a "meowing noise" then- SPLASH!

Just another Oregon day, in the rain soaked hills and valleys!
I do so love the Evergreen trees for the brief reprieves they provide...from rain and soon I pray, Shine.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ride between the raindrops

Down the trail on a grey, but somewhat dry day in Oregon

We have returned to the normally scheduled forecast for this time of year in the PNW...cold with grey skies, VERY wet and windy. The blankets are back on the horses again, since the winds have made the 50 degree days seem like 20 degrees cooler! And, with no hair to comfort them since they are all shed out nicely, this seems like a dirty trick! 

Really wanting to get us fit for spring. . .  and while I have done tons of walking with the mare, I wish to ride longer, and TROT!  Slick conditions make that near impossible.Truly, I NOT taking many risks these days..though my therapist told me today, " you have healed up in the quickest scenario.6 weeks. Usually with something like this, it can be up to 6 months!" Woo hoo....!!!

My mare's normal  sole "Tenderness" has come on. after the 2 glorious weeks of 80 degrees. She was getting pretty good at rock walking. Now, with conditions ripe for soft soles ....Grass, and mud softened hooves from moist grounds. Wa does have very good hooves for a TB, but the sharper, broken gravel used on properties and roads for loggers to use, make her wince and groan about having to travel on them. 
So getting "FIT" means getting a "FITTING" done too. My barefoot specialist told me that she could fit my mare for hoof boots from "Easy care". I told her, "nothing from Easy Care will fit her, all the Easy Boots in the line have specific measurements for a narrower hoof. My mare's hooves are round".  She then apprised me of the new "WIDE, Easy Boot Glove".
I am all in for trying this "GLOVE" by Easy Care, since my sister has used them on Pantz mare for years, they are super easy to apply!

Easy Boot "Glove" isn't this nice!

 I free lunged her for a spell, to see how they would hold onto her hoof. They will have gators on them when I use them, but this would be an interesting test. I knew that free lunging would come with outbursts of breaking the circle, but that is why I did that. She held it together for a few rounds and gait changes. I asked her to canter...yup-whoosh, off she galloped...and that boot stayed on her!
I am sold! 
Though...I should have done the "TRADE UP" plan through "Easy Care"; turning in my old "Cavallo" hoof boots for a 50% discount!!!   Next time. And if these work out the way I think they will, there WILL BE a next time!

Nearing almost 2 weeks of terribly cold and damp times here...the weatherman actually forecasted "a" single 75 degree day, and all sunny ! RIGHT ON! AMAZING~He was right!

A wonderfully warm and bright day!

I found the mare -out flat- laying in the field! She knew how to really take in the weather change. I saw her tail a flipping though, and as soon as I had finished my customary feed packet/supps bags for the week and came back out, she was up. When she spotted me, walked to the gate!

Flat out resting!

Riding ensued...into the Yellow blooms of May.

When we returned,  my mare was in head HIGH mode at a clanging bell noise. Now, we hear this bell noise all the time, since it is on a cow next door. But this time, probably because of the scenery changes of clear cutting going on by the stables, she took a special spooky mare stance. Me, not taking ANY off and we went in further towards the noise, to conquer it for ourselves, since she has never spooked with cattle before.
I started to moo a bit ( yea, it is laugh worthy)and that darned -HUGE- cow came a-running over to the fence to greet us!
All I can say is- I AM SO GLAD I GOT OFF!!
She tried to bolt left, then right...all at the end of the rope reins I was holding...but never did she pull on me! I told her, "They have to come through me first, to get to you..."
She finally settled....

Ear Left..............Ear right..........

And this is what we eventually could see...a big doe eyed cow!

She was so friendly..and very noisy dingle-lingling!

So now we wait...on some nice to us spring to happen again.Not that no-so-nice will stop us from getting into the forest riding, but with hoof boots, I am not chancing loosing them in mud!

 My poor garden...I didn't know to cover the plants and some of them look" over " trying to grow. Back to the farmer's market for some more starts!

Ah, fickle springtime!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fine days in May

 MAY sunshine, for my second ride, in 5 weeks!

May, has been the sweetest surprise gifts to us in the PNW.  She has looked much like the season to follow her that we  all **LOVE! People in shorts and tank tops. The "Summerlike" 80's have really perked us all up. A "Sprummer, blending of seasons, it has been!
I saw a man riding his bike -shirtless- the other day too, that made me smile , and ponder... It is still May, right?

While it is becoming a "normal cooler May" now, half way through it,  we've enjoyed the soothing, tempting days of warmth and dry.

AND~ we have started our FIRST EVER garden!  We've had Raspberries for several years now, here seen with the fruit beginnings 
Now we've added Herbs and some veggies.  I plan on planting Blueberries and try my hand at "Espalier" as well, with Apples and Pears.
And what horse lover's garden would not have plenty of "KERRITS" know what those are...they come with the favorite riding apparel!
 I have saved  the small packets for some time, and finally get to grow some!

While the past five weeks have been a healing time, that does not mean I have been away from the mare. We have gone on plenty of "Mare Walks"...30 miles to be exact. She has been super, usually greeting me with a nicker or whinny, when she sees me coming! One time she totally thrilled my heart by running to me from the grassy field she had to herself! 

 I am getting back to myself, whew! Each day has it's own change and lately, normalcy yesterday at work; I shifted the leg bar ( puts feet up) for my client, on the shampoo bowl- myself! Yea, a small task for many, but I have not been able to do that for 5 weeks. 
 Little by little the " Zinger" I sustained (yea, it's a real sports injury term!) and the "Stinger" nerve damage in my arm, have subsided with all the therapy, ice and rest. I have been SUPER CAREFUL!

About to GET BACK ON THE HORSE..... my fist ride back to myself!

Getting back on the horse is not normally something that causes fear in me, as I have gotten back on, so many times before...this is different.  I have a healthy fear, because my body tells me to!
 I have only ridden a handful of times, cautiously ... what I have done to soothe my nerves (literally so) is take a cross with my reins, in light but constant contact, and hold onto my lead rope around the mare's neck. 
If you have ever been lunged upon your horse or any horse, it is much like that. lightly pulling yourself into the movement, keeping yourself fluid and supple. This has allowed my mare to feel the rope as a wall rein and much less movements from me with my hands. Though I have contact with her, I am using my seat/legs and  weight for aides only. It has been such a "back to basics" awesome tool!  Wa mare has been  light, responsive and I think by her high blowing snort, enjoying it all!

 My man told me recently, that I am going to be the recipient of a "RIDING VEST". YEA! I will be happy to wear that out riding.
 My dentist said, after completing the first reconstructive service for the first broken tooth, " maybe I should wear some mouth guards too"...Oh MY!
 I think adding One piece of riding armor at a time -will do!


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