Having missed the arctic blast, I arrived home to a chilly, but fair, 22 degrees. The only casualty from this last weather assault was the death of our rooster. Since he made it through the winter of hell (2010), I can only surmise that he meet his demise by hoof, not climate – most likely that of Butter, who I saw go after him on more than one occasion. I can’t say I blame Butter, if she was truly the perp, as he was a mean rooster. He had become a somewhat infamous barnyard icon around here making his mark on more than one of my kids’, their friends’ or cousins’ legs. He will be missed, for no other reason than we were so used to walking softly around him to avoid an unprovoked attack.
And for those who wonder if perhaps Bo finally got his rooster? He’s got an alibi. It happened overnight when Bo was tucked warmly in the house.
Ritz has become such a pest when I am grooming or saddling the horses, his impatience showing by circling my work area, trying to herd me along. So yesterday, when I tied Windy up to saddle, I also put a lead rope on Ritz and tied him to a post. I ignored his crying while I took no more than 5 minutes to quickly brush the grime off Windy and toss on her saddle. When I turned my attention back to Ritz, I noticed him wrapped in the lead rope with it in his mouth. “Cute,” I thought, as I pulled out my Blackberry to snap a picture of him. Before I could put the camera away, Ritz had gnawed through that lead rope and was free. I guess he showed me. Ah-ha! We’ll see how well he works a chain next time! Brat dog!
It was nearing 45 degrees and the big thaw was on. I picked out some dry spots in the pasture, driveway and arena to ride, but quickly bored of the mud and the muck and a somewhat feisty mare. When I came in to grab a bite to eat, I had an email from a friend, Mary, who was riding at her place not far from me and asked if I wanted to join her. She didn’t have to ask twice. I hooked up my trailer, loaded my horse and drove the short 20 miles to meet her at her home.
Mary’s rides and drives Morgan horses and has a good eye for horse flesh. She had her gelding, Duke, tied to the hitching post when we arrived. He is coming off an injury from last season and she is slowly trying to get more time on him now that he is sound. I saddled and we headed over the the CRP land across the road, blasting through some pretty deep snow drifts. When we got back onto the road, I noticed Duke had a cut on his foot, so we took him back and she quickly saddled her mare, Sarah, and we rode off once again.
This time we rode through the cornfields, the dirt (muddy) roads and up an old railroad bed. The wind was getting stronger, but the sun felt good on both our backs and for our disposition. My mare had settled down and I got the good ride I was looking for. We looped our way back through her nearly unincorporated home town, riding down its main street. We rode just shy of two hours, beating the sunset by only a half an hour or so.
I have decided I am going to send Windy over to my trainer, Brenda Messick, for a few weeks this spring. There are some things I would like fine tuned with her that I know Brenda can help with. It’s always fun to have someone else work with your horse, especially when they come back better as a result of such training.