|Older pictures. Please note grass was lovely green on last night's ride. I regretted not taking a camera along.|
It's Lily Time 2013.
My 8-year-old buddy now has her first set of shoes for the year, thanks to John Fuller's visit yesterday.
I had not planned a ride, but could not resist when Bill went off fishing, and I had the lawn and dandelions somewhat under control.
Bill walked in, just as I was pulling on my second Western boot. The boots had lived in the closet since October, so I dusted them off a bit, changed to some skinny socks and slipped them on.
The horses were still digesting their afternoon's worth of green grass. Yesterday marked their first trip to the pasture.
I had taken them to the round pen for a green-grass teaser Saturday. Lily hadn't shut up since. Once a horse tastes its first bite of spring grass, the relentless reminders begin.
For Lily, it's her not-so-subtle and longing look from her barnyard position toward the pasture and her distinctive whinny every time any sign of human movement comes from the house.
I told her to shut up a few times Sunday because she was rivaling Bullet up the road, who barks all the time in hopes Gary will release him from his tether.
She kept it up yesterday morning, too, but when John came, she got distracted for a while. Later, I led both Lily and Lefty to the second pasture.
Amos and Trevor are replacing the shelter in the first pasture, so it's off limits for horses right now.
The two horse buddies enjoyed an afternoon of munching, and later, I got to enjoy an evening of riding Lily.
My spotted pal has mellowed so much over the past six years. She took the grooming and saddling time in her stride, never showing any resistance to the sudden shock of that big roping saddle landing on her back.
You see that big roping saddle is pretty darned heavy, and I have to launch it and hope my aim is good when I send it on its way. Lily is a tall horse so the perfect landing can be challenging.
She never seems to mind when it lands off kilter or slides down her side into my hands cuz I haven't heaved it enough. I appreciate her patience.
And, I really appreciated it last night when I stepped up to the top tier of the mounting block, stuck my foot in the stirrup to climb on and the stirrup fell off the saddle.
For some unknown reason, the strap was loose and the metal heads which can be changed for leg length slipped right out of their holes.
Rude awakening for me, I'll say.
So, I had to do some adjustments. Lily just stood there for ten minutes without my having to hold on to the reins while I worked to get the stirrup in order.
Gotta love this mare for that kind of patience.
The only thing I don't love about Lily is that she still decides her walking speed, which ranges from turtle time to a good brisk walk.
She has favorite stretches of road where inching along with Mom kicking at her rubber belly is just fine with her. Other stretches, however, provide me the treat of just sittin' in the saddle and enjoying the ride.
Last night I took Lily to the gate leading into Jack Filipowski's Hereford herd. I wanted her to meet some cows over the gate in preparation for "sorting" next month.
The cows came up and stared as Lily quietly stared back. Then, we went on our way.
We rode almost three miles until the mosquitoes began their nightly attack. Then, it was time to turn around. I spent the rest of the ride batting at bugs, and Lily just plodded along.
I told Bill when I came home that Lily is the perfect horse for me. She takes care of me, and she's getting better at it all the time.
So, I'm looking forward to lots of Lily times ahead and hoping Lefty with another rider aboard can join us from time to time.
I haven't heard Lily yet this morning cuz I bribed her with a flake of alfalfa, but I'm betting the distinctive "time-to-go-to-pasture" whinny will begin as soon as I walk outside.