Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ridin' with Lefty

 Just an old lady riding a pretty little Arab named Lefty and enjoying every minute, including a moment for Lefty to stop and smell the roses, which he later tried to eat.  

That would sum up a very pleasant portion of a mostly pleasant and productive first day of summer.  In retrospect, I truly made the most of the longest day of the year.

The facts:  

  • Washed sheets and other bedding. 
  • Increased Free Liam time as he accompanied me through almost an hour of watering.
  • Grocery shopping. 
  • Gained a new friend at the Wal-Mart check stand---Candace from Naples. 
  • New driver's license with a really ugly mug shot for the next four years.
  • Rode Lefty for an hour around the Lovestead. 
  • Yakked with longtime, treasured teaching friends Betsy, Pam and Marian.  No nose tape.
  • Visited Immediate Care for eye irritation; it's a fairly painful stye inside the right eyelid. Dr. sez to apply heat packs.
  • Yelled my heart out when aggressive doe and Foster had stand-off at the flower bed near the edge of the woods. 
  •      Side note:  if you have dogs anywhere near Mama Does these days, keep an eye out.  Does and dogs don't mix during fawn time. 
  • Watched the Mariners lose in extra innings. 

Yeah, I would say the first day of summer 2016 can go down as action-packed, fun and pretty darned positive. 

Slowly but surely over the past two or three years, I have adjusted my horseback riding experiences to situations I know I can handle. 

Nothing bad has happened, but my goal is to ensure that nothing bad happens and that if it does, I'm close to civilization.  

It's a necessary learning curve where we horse lovers have to make gradual adjustments as we grow older and the ground seems that much harder and farther away from atop a horse. 

So, these days, when I saddle up home alone, I stay pretty close to the house and barn, always carrying a cell phone with me on the horse.

It's better to ride with others, but that luxury doesn't always present itself too often for me, and my riding times usually come only when all other work is done.  Hard to predict sometimes when that's gonna happen. 

I generally have to just seize the moment and make the best of it. 

So, yesterday, with Bill gone to the Coeur d'Alene River on a fishing trip with Willie, I limited my horseback ride with Lefty to up and down the road, right next to our farm and on mowed trails around the woods near the house. 

The entire experience was delightful, with just one moment of concern.  First, I rode Lefty in the barnyard to get a sense of his mood for the day.  He was content to maintain a relaxing walk, which put me at ease. 

So, we headed out the driveway.  Anyone who's owned horses will agree that if something---anything---is out of place from the last time the horse walked through that area, the rider needs to be ready for a change in attitude, which can include recoiling, refusing and other goofy reactions. 

Well, yesterday, the new green lid to our water meter at the end of the driveway did set Lefty off.  After all, it was not there two weeks ago.  Horses have incredible photographic memories. 

Needless to say, he backed off, showing his total aversion to that pesky lid that showed up out of nowhere in Lefty's mind. 

It took a minute and several passes past the lid, but Lefty finally accepted the fact that it wasn't gonna jump out of the ground and eat him. 

The rest of the ride was true bliss, even the visit to the dog run where Mr. Liam was barking at full volume.  Soon, Liam decided Lefty was okay.  We visited the dogs a few more times and Liam's barking stopped. 

I loved moseying through the yard admiring the garden and the flowers, all at a slow pace and with no stressful goals in mind other than just enjoying my sweet little horse and the beauty all around me. 

I think Lefty enjoyed himself too. 

Today, we're having a rain storm, which I guess I did not expect, but if the trend we've seen all spring continues, it will stop.  I won't have to do any watering, and the landscape will remain clean and pleasing to the eye. 

The only problem we have to face today and for several more days ahead is to watch our dogs like a hawk.  

We have no idea when that very aggressive doe will show up in the yard ready to take on that little yap, yap Aussie who thinks he's a great big, fearless mutt. 

Not fun.

On the Spanish front, Annie encountered some mutts of the Border Collie nature on today's 28th day of her Camino walk.  She also has some phenomenal photos in what appears to be "cow country." 

Annie is nearing the end with plans to walk into Santiago and visit the Cathedral of St. James, the Apostle on Sunday. 

I have a feeling that a bunch of us who have been enjoying the journey vicariously will experience a little withdrawal when her daily posts and fabulous photos come to an end. 

Maybe she'll keep the blog going through her trip to Madrid, later London and finally home to Seattle in early July. 

In the meantime, she's still posting every day at www.adventuregirlannie.com  

From the looks of the rain, I think the second second longest day of the year may not be quite so productive or summerlike. 

Happy Tuesday. 

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