Friday, August 06, 2010

Flat tires and sweet horses

Ya know if we still rode horses everywhere, we wouldn't be concerned with flat tires. There's an auto farrier out there this morning fixing my motorized mount's right front tire.  And, he'll probably do a little temporary work on the right rear one too.

The front tire was flatter than a pancake this morning, and the right rear has been dealing with a slow leak lately. I had scheduled Les Schwab as one of my stops today, but Bill figured that flat tire needed some immediate care so he changed it and put on the spare. 

As a leisurely alternative to driving the Jimmy, my young horse Heather is coming along nicely.  Roxane, her trainer, says Heather's feet could use some new shoes pretty soon, so we'll be tending to that in the next couple of weeks.  Heather seems to like all the attention she's getting, and what's really great is that she pays attention to business.

She's a nosy gal, though.  I told Roxane she's our guard horse.  She doesn't miss a thing going on at our place, and she's usually the first to alert me to anything strange that might be going through the pastures or coming in the driveway. 

I witnessed that same vigilance yesterday as she walked, trotted and cantered around the training pen.  Distractions were occurring all  around her, and she kept track while remaining focused on  Roxane's instructions.  Roxane climbed aboard Heather and showed me how she has progressed with a rider and saddle atop. 

What was once a really skiddish horse was yawning yesterday at the end of her workout.  I can remember the first day when Bill and I went to haul her home from Spokane two years ago.  She raced around the boxstall to get away from me like one of those mice scampering on a cage wheel. 

She's still a bit ticklish about some stuff, but that behavior is pretty short-lived.  After all, when a horse deals with up to four Australian Shepherds running all around yapping or plastic jugs blowing in the wind on the pasture fence, it  gets used to distractions.  

I was really pleased to see Heather's progress.  She'll be coming home in about a week, and I'll probably take up where Roxane has left off.  In the meantime, I've been saddling and working Lefty every day, and maybe I can convince my sister to get on him for the first time. 

My biggest challenge in the future is to ride my three horses, but there will be visitors to the Lovestead who might want to go for a spin.  So, that should work out.  Not a bad problem to have.  Plus, the horses love having a purpose where there's always a treat at the end.

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