Monday, April 30, 2012

"Please Ride Toward The Horse Eating His Door"

I know that updates have been sporadic this month, but my real job has been on overdrive since the first of April. Since that is what affords me time with my horses, Penny, AraBella, and Vince; it behooves me to be attentive when the need arises. So I will try to condense an entire month into two posts. It might take three, but let's see how it goes.

Since we last were together, BSRA has attended the Atlanta Steeplechase, bush hogged the back unfenced pasture and this past weekend, hosted a clinic with Robert Gage and Judge My Ride for Equitation. Wow, something every weekend, plus my normal routine and a demanded injured goofy gelding - no wonder I am exhausted!

The Super 6 have been thriving. BIG NEWS: Dolce is now sharing a pasture with Maple and Sparky. Last Friday night, with the trailers arriving and new horses coming in upset our newest residents. It never occurred to us this special event might trigger memories, but all weekend Dyna stood in front of the gate barring any one's way. None of her herd was going to be loaded on a trailer without a fight. Once we realized their agitation, we spoke to each of them quietly, assuring all that these were going away without any additional trauma for them. As soon as they saw the visitors leaving, the anxiety level dropped, but not before Dynamo and Dolce had a nasty confrontation on who is boss mare. I'm not sure in horse language who won, but Dolce is now living with the other two.

Everyone is still gaining weight, which is good news. Sparky's hair continues to come out in clumps, so he will be bald very soon. But there is visible difference in his barrel, the ribs are not as pronounced as when he arrived. Dolce's bite marks have healed and under her fly sheet a  beautiful butterfly is maturing. Maple's coat is improving, no more lice, and she is so sweet, I love rubbing her head and watching her liquid eyes, so much kindness and peace growing there.

Dozer is still Dozer, man of the pasture, defender of Daisy at all times. She hates to leave his side, especially if Dyna is in a mood. On a positive note, the dentist said it looks like Daisy never had any front teeth, not that they were knocked out. She has not been ridden again, we don't want any further upset, but she is still the shy retiring flower. Dyna is deeply in love with my goofy gelding. Every time he is allowed out for his quiet pasture time, she stands and stares longingly at him.

The Judge My Ride clinic was amazing. All the girls learned so many things, and they took his critiques without any grief. Saturday morning started early - I was at the barn before 7am. Oh the hectic pace in the barn when there is a show or clinic or other opportunity to clean up our horses (and ourselves!). By 9am when the first section started I was already looking for nap time!  I did manage to find some personal time to work on Vince's dreadlocks and to massage hair growth creme into his thin spots. As the clinic was going on and I'm in Vince's stall I suddenly hear Mr. Gage instruct one of the students, "Just ride the line toward the horse eating his door!" Oops, that was us.

Lunch and Dinner were provided by Doug's Restaurant in Emerson, GA. Great food, awesome people and friendly atmosphere, if you are in the area I heartily endorse dropping in, especially for breakfast! Everything was awesome and the conversation covered many areas, from natural farriering to marrying rich. By the time all the animals were bedded down and fed, the arena dragged and the trash carried out, it was after 8pm and I was bone weary. I headed home, knowing all too soon I would be back in the barn for round two of the clinic. As I was leaving down the driveway, Stella Blue the donkey serenaded me with a long and happy bray. In spite of it all I smiled. I really enjoy our little slice of heaven in our own Blue Skies.

TO BE CONTINUED: "Are you riding the pony, or is she riding you?" Day Two of the JMR clinic.

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