Friday, November 27, 2009

Quiet Friday

It was a beautiful frosty morning as I left for the barn - 28 degrees, clear and not too much wind. I love the quiet mornings during holidays - there is little traffic noise, nobody is out and around and things are very peaceful. The horses were as they always are, happy to see me and expectant for breakfast. Today was the first day in a while that the sun was shining and they could go out without their rain sheets, which both they and I appreciated! We aren't getting more round bales until Monday, and the mares were out of hay, so I schlepped two bales out to their holder - the mud was partly frozen which helped - and left a note for the couple who clean our stalls to take out several more. Our mares are big eaters, but with some luck that should hold them until Monday. As I was making up feed, I heard Sandhill Cranes passing by - their loud, clattering call is unmistakeable - but couldn't see them when I went outside to look.

My younger daughter is home from college for the weekend, and will be tending to Dawn - I don't know if she'll have time to ride as she's running around trying to see friends - so I rode Maisie in the afternoon on the trail - the arena is still a bit soupy. The temperatures had only made it to the upper 30s, and were falling, so I bundled up and was comfortable, except for my feet - it's time to bring out the insulated paddock boots. We were out for about a half-hour and took several trail loops as the sun was starting to set. She was relaxed - she startled once at some dogs that ran out barking but calmed right down when I sat quietly and didn't touch the reins - and very soft and responsive - she would turn down another trail in response to my simply turning my head. We saw great flights of Canada Geese streaming across the sky in all directions, and as we were coming by the pond near the barn on the way back, we were privileged to see a Muskrat swimming. There was little wind, and the almost still surface of the pond was reflecting the sky. The Muskrat was swimming across the pond towards us, leaving a perfect V wake. When it saw us, it dove. We waited for it to resurface, which took a while. When it popped back up, Maisie noticed it and we watched it together for several moments. It swam towards us a bit, then stopped again and stayed still and flat in the water. When it decided we were no threat, it started swimming again and it was close enough, and the water still enough, that I could actually see the turbulence stirred up as it kicked with its back feet.

As we approached the barn, the sun was down and sky was becoming an incredible purply-pink all across the Western horizon. Truly a wonderful day with horses!


  1. I was quite content to be out feeding on Thanksgiving morning myself. Like you said, it was very quiet with no traffic, and everything just felt right in the world. I've never seen a Muskrat in person before, that is great that you got to watch one! All in all it sounds like you had one of those perfect kind of days!

  2. It seems you had one of those days that are memorable with a horse you love.

  3. I, too, have enjoyed the sleepy quiet of the Thanksgiving holiday. I used to joke that I could run right down the middle of the road on Thanksgiving morning because the world was asleep! You and Maisie are having such wonderful rides! I love the image of her watching the muskrat with you.

  4. What a beautiful ride. I felt I was right there with you with your wonderful descriptions!!!!

  5. I used to keep a log of my Animal Encounters and need to get back to that.

    The Canadian Geese, honking, overhead - It's a sound that stirs something in me - the need to travel but also of homecoming.

  6. I had a quiet and beautiful ride on Friday also. Saw 2 young does that were so furry and gorgeous. Pepper saw them first and stopped.
    We all watched eachother for awhile and then went our way.
    Yummy goodness!

  7. It's nice that you have a safe place to go on a trail ride. With hunting season upon us I don't dare to go out back. It's fairly muddy here and the temperature has dropped...on went the sheets this morning. Enjoy the time you have with your's nice that she is into horses too.

  8. That's a day I dream of... Thank you for sharing.


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