Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beautiful Day With Three Horses, and Huge Wings

Yesterday was really nice, particularly in contrast to the cold, very windy and rainy weather we've been having.  Temperatures crept into the 50sF and there was only a little wind, so I managed to ride all three horses.  It was a day when I kept things simple and mostly just enjoyed the rides.

Drifter was up first.  We worked a lot on his trot, and getting him to really start to stretch down without falling on the forehand.  He was able to concentrate pretty well, so he really offered up some good work.  The slight unevenness behind was still there when we started trotting - mostly on the diagonal tracking left, which confirmed my suspicion that it was the left hind that was the issue - but he worked out of it well so I didn't worry about working him.

Then Pie and I had a good arena session, including quite a bit of trotting.  We're still working on straightness when tracking left - he tends to want to bulge to the outside.  We did some softening work but I was mainly wanting him to move out nicely and stretch a bit, which he did.  We've only restarted our trot work recently, so we didn't work for too long.  And he did fine - no digestive problems - both Thursday and yesterday - mainly I think due to my not overfeeding him with hay.

Dawn and I got in a ride after feeding time.  The sun was getting ready to go down and the shadows were getting long and there was a chill in the air.  She was moderately distracted - looking at lots of things in the distance - there were perked ears a lot of the time.  She was as usual very forward, but was very soft in the bridle.  We continued our search for relaxation at the trot, and we got a few nice moments when she was relaxing while pushing from behind and stretching down a bit.  We did a lot of figure and shortening/lengthening work to help her channel her energies, and did a bit of leg yield at the walk, although if my cue was more than a whisper I got side pass instead.  I didn't do any lateral work at the trot as she was just a bit too reactive after a number of days off.  But riding her today was great fun - she stayed soft and was really carrying herself well from behind - she's a blast (one hopes the good sort of blast instead of the other type!) to ride but you really have to be on your toes.

I feel that I really have to take advantage of these last nice fall days, and we've got more coming up, so I bet there'll be more riding coming up . . .

* * * * * *
And, last night as I was driving to the barn in the dark to check on Pie and give him his bedtime hay, I got to see something wonderful.  A huge pair of wings flew just over my car, barely illuminated by the headlights - it was a Great Horned Owl on the hunt!  We have several breeding pairs in the area, and one of the winter delights - particularly in February when they're breeding - is to hear them in the night calling softly to one another - they like to sit on the roof peaks when they're hunting.  The beauty and delight in the world is truly amazing.


  1. Good post. I agree about the owls. There's something special when you hear and almost feel that whoosh as they fly over.


  2. Sounds like a really good day with the horses and that must have been very cool seeing the owl.

  3. Owls are awesome. Glad to hear Pie is doing well...I imagine it probably feels good to him to move. Before I had gallbladder surgery, one of the only things that helped me feel better was moving around--sometimes I'd even go out and jump on our trampoline, as the bouncing motion seemed to really help!

  4. an owl woke me up this morning with some very different vocalizations, and then the trilling normal one at the end of the song. i have no idea what type of owl it is, and i've never seen one.

  5. sounds like a great day! we finally have the perfect riding weather - i'm glad you're getting to take advantage of it :-)

    and the owls sound amazing... walking down to the hay barn the other night, something huge glided overhead and landed by the pond. i've been watching for a few days and it seems we have a great blue heron that has taken up residence! so gorgeous....

  6. We have lots of ravens and they "whoosh," too. They aren't nearly as romantic as Great HOrned Owls--and I don't think they KNOW the meaning of "calling softly"--but they are wonderful parents and they built their nests with sticks and branches.

    I rode this morning, too, starting a long road back to fitness for the horse and for myself. He will "fit up" faster than I, but we had a terrific ride around the neighborhood and he only spooked once--when a diesel pickup "swung wide" to turn and the idiot did not slow down. People around here figure if you're riding out, you're on your own. They don't "get" livestock having the right of way.

    Another good post, Kate.

  7. How cool about the owls!

    How nice to get in three good rides. Everyone seems to be progressing nicely. Soft and happy is almost perfect!

  8. Sounds like some awesome rides :) Great work!
    Dawn sounds like a challenge, but a nice one.

  9. Sounds like you had a lovely time with the horses, then saw an owl to top it off! Great day!

  10. Owls are very cool. As J. mentioned we have a resident blue heron by the pond occasionally.

    It sounds like you've had some really nice rides on all three horses. Love this weather and hope it continues.


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