Sunday, April 10, 2011

Snowblowers and Ladders and Beach Balls, Oh My!

It got up to the low 80sF today - this is far above normal for us this time of year.  Big thunderstorms are coming in tonight and then temperatures will be back to more normal 50s and 60s.  It was cold and raw as recently as yesterday morning, so the change is pretty dramatic. It's windy, too, but that doesn't feel so bad with the warmth.  I considered giving the horses baths - they're all pretty grimy from the winter - but decided not to as they're not finished shedding out yet.

Pie and I had another good long ride this morning before things got too warm - it was already in the upper 60s when we left the barn.  We were out for about an hour and a half, and did lots of trotting.  We encountered a number of interesting trail obstacles - who needs to build any? - we found plenty on our ride.  First there was the snowblower that someone had parked in their driveway right next to the trail.  Not so bad so far - Pie doesn't usually care much about equipment.  But this snowblower was running wide open - I guess they were using up the gas to put it away for the summer - and it was incredibly loud.  Earplugs would have been nice.  Pie was somewhat alarmed - we were heading towards the barn at this point and he wanted to turn around and head away from the barn to get away from the noise.  I dismounted and led him by this - he was clearly nervous but was well-behaved.  I remounted a ways down the trail and we continued on.

Then there was the tall aluminum ladder leaning against a tree next to the trail.  But wait, there was more - a child swinging in a tire swing.  And yet more - there was a man in the tree, lying on a high limb working (I think) on hanging another swing from the tree branch.  As we passed by, he was asking his children if they knew how to call 911 in the event he fell out of the tree (!).  Pie coped well with this.

And then there was Drifter screaming - he was out in the pasture and clearly unhappy about being so far from the other horses.  He screamed, Pie screamed back, the other horses screamed, you get the idea.  We kept right on going, although Pie would call from time to time.

And then there was the lady playing in her back yard with her wildly barking dog - she was throwing a purple beach ball for the dog to chase.  She kindly held the ball while we walked by, which had the additional benefit that the dog stopped barking.

Maybe there should be a suburban version of a trail class?  Pie and I could do that.

* * * * * *
Later in the afternoon, Drifter and I had a short work session, mostly doing a bit of lungeing - he was very nervous and spooky due to the high wind so I opted not to ride today; and Dawn's in raging heat so she's on a break for a few days - some mares are easier to cope with when they're in heat than others.


  1. I second a suburban trail class. Ozzy would rock that.

  2. I'd say it's good you got a trail ride in early but the noise made it anything but peaceful. Still with all the goings on it was good experience for Pie. What a good boy he is.

    I'm not a big fan of riding in the wind. Glad you and Drifter had a good training session on the ground.

  3. Those would be some great obstacles for a trail class. Pie certainly coped well with most of them. Don't blame him much about the snowblower, though.

    Easy work for Drifter sounds like a good idea.

  4. Amazing what they can find to goggle and boggle at - when I first started riding out here, I worried about tractors and giant farm machinery being scary. Not so! For these horses, that stuff means dinner :)

    But the first time I took Dodge to town and he saw a child running around he was a bit freaked. It had just never occurred to me that he'd only ever seen grown-ups. He didn't know people came in size x-small and shrieking. And then there was the first time we encountered the neighbor's peacocks....

  5. SunnySD - when I first got Pie, he was quite scared of children and bicycles - guess they don't have those on ranches in Montana. He's now OK with bicycles - in fact likes to go up and sniff them - and is quite the fan of children, particularly if they'll pet him and feed him treats.


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