I finally found some time to ride over the weekend. Val was super mellow during grooming and tacking up. (maybe too mellow) And once the ride started, he didn't want to move - at all. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle of the legs led to tap, tap, tap of the crop. Some pony club kicks. Still a snail's pace. (Just a few months ago I thought we were on to straight, having handled calm and forward...)
Now admittedly Val has a lazy streak. I have my suspicions that this quality is what derailed his racing career. The horse knows how to conserve energy. Favorite gait - whoa. Favorite activity besides eating - sleeping. What complicates matters is that due to the ongoing drought, our arena footing is (at least) 8" deep sand. I can barely push the muck cart through it, and I'm no shrinking violet. When I get this severe lack of forward, part of me thinks - well, I wouldn't want to work in here either.
So I said what the heck, we'll work out in the back of the property - usually a muddy marsh, now an open grassy field. No fence, no gate, no boundaries... and the source of scores of horse eating monsters. I led him out, mounted and we got down to business. Val picked up the pace nicely. We warmed up and achieved a decent marching walk. There were some hiccups with steering, but I picked my battles - forward - and used circles to change direction. Keeping him moving was my main objective. We picked up a trot and did some nice work - round circles, serpentines and figure eights. Overall, I was very pleased. Especially that we both focused on working and not scary stuff :) A good session.
Afterwords we headed back to the paddock. Cowboy, who had watched us quietly the whole time we worked, suddenly decided to flip out. He has had very little exercise lately. This, coupled with excess feed, and he has been ready to explode. Running the fence line maniacally bucking. At one point he acted like he was going to jump the electric fence, right beside us as we walked by. Val - who had apparently saved all of the day's athleticism for this moment - did a reining horse worthy 360° spin. Seriously exciting. After the shock wore off, I dismounted and cussed Cowboy out while we returned to our space. It seemed like my tirade made Val feel as good as it made me feel. :)
Other than that eventful ride, we've been doing a lot of hand grazing. Also some impromptu liberty work - Val following me while I pushed the
tasty hay snack delivery
I mean muck cart... walk, trot, halt + yielding the hindquarters. Unorthodox but it worked. I hope things settle down soon so we get more rides in :)
My trainer, when I relayed the story of our ride during my recent "tele-lesson", cautioned me that my reservations about the footing could be the source of Val's reluctance. Beware the lack of leadership - our horses are always ready to step in and provide the agenda...
Now - on to news of the farmette. I GOT THE TRAILER!
|my new front door|
|the "slide outs" - bedroom and dining room extenders|
Dad and I gave it the thorough inspection on Friday. While I hope there's enough bleach in the whole world to (eventually) make me feel like it's clean, (no interior pictures as they are a bummer), the important things appear to be in order. No leaks - though I'll be resealing all the seams just the same. It's 36.5' long and 11' wide with the slide outs. (trailer lingo) The appliances can run on gas or electric - handy when the power goes out during hurricanes. Lots of light, and more storage than I would have expected. (look how optimistic I sound)
With any luck, I'll have it moved to my property this week. I spent yesterday going over all of the possibilities for where to locate the trailer, my storage building and the future house eventually. All things that I want to move only once. It was a quite a puzzle. And a bit draining. I believe I got it worked out.
My plans are to be moved in by October. That allows plenty of time to clean, clean, clean... get the water / electric / septic hooked up and build a little deck for some outside space. (The girls will be getting a fenced in yard! ) And also have the mother of all yard sales + pack up everything I'm keeping. And to find a storage space for my furniture - goodbye interesting eclectic furniture - hello mundane tacky blue grey upholstery. (don't even get me started on the carpet!)
I mentioned a few posts back that I'm calling my produce selling venture "Pie in the Sky" produce company. A few folks commented that they liked that as a name for the farmette. "Pie in the Sky" came up because several years ago someone suggested I should buy my property and I replied "Well, that's a pretty pie in the sky idea!"
I have been cooking up a few other choices. I'd love some feedback + suggestions - thanks :)
Willow Marsh Farm
Willow Ridge Farm
Marsh Ridge Farm
Pie in the Sky Farm
Higher Ground Farm
Dream Weaver Farm
End of the Road Farm
Sandy Lane Farm
Sea Horse Farm
|today's harvest - a peck o'peppers + one sad tomato|