Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Mt. Pilchuck~
It was truly a stellar day!  My last day on the road & first day home yesterday - with the dark gray skies & pouring rain...  I was beginning to wonder if I had imagined how much I love this state?  But today - Washington redeemed itself!
Here we are :-)
New goals for a brand new year.  I had plenty of time driving across a few of our big, wide, western states to mull over where I want to go & what I want to do with my mare.  I think I've mentioned before, it's time to take a few steps back - both physically & mentally.  We've done a lot & there's a lot more I want to do.
The beautiful woods~
What we're going to work on is calmness.  I've been a type A for so long - always, it seems, on the run & I know Farah has picked up on this.  She on the other hand, is a type A mare :-)  Both of us have the issue & I hope to change the dynamic.  Maybe my upcoming birthday has something to do with this too - but most of the riders I know, put safety first when riding.  As I started breaking safety down into components - it seemed to me that calmness should be the first thing that could contribute greatly to safe riding.
Young buck?
We'd just gotten up onto the power lines when we spotted this beautiful young guy.  Pretty sure he's a he - because he was very gutsy!  The doe was long gone, but he stuck around & seemed fascinated by us.
Ice on the Wetland
I've been told that it was bitter cold while I was gone & the remaining ice layer proved that.  Every time Farah's energy escalated, we'd stop - stand - then move on.  Several times, both of us took a deep breath.  Once when she tried to burst up the hill & buck - I really put some grab on the hackamore.  Worked Great!  We walked most of the ride.
Heading back~
Going home, is usually one of her issues.  If we turn onto a different trail, that's fine - but if we're on the way home, she gets excited & used to chomp her bit.  Now that the bit is gone - the energy is still there.  I never like it - especially when we're on the paving & a steep downhill ahead of us.
Before I dismounted~
I dismounted, we've been practicing backing up three steps then dropping her head, leaving it there then moving forward.  She will usually try to drag me along if I'm on foot.  That's going to stop.  Today - the minute she moved ahead I stopped her, backed her & asked her to drop her head.  I think we probably did that about ten times on our way to Pat's.  Through Pat's yard & both gates, more of the same.  By the time we were heading up our hill, she was walking like a lady.
Three Fingers~
The days are already so much longer!  We were home just after 4 p.m. & there was still plenty of daylight left.  I finished chores & looked up to see the glow on the big mountain.  I walked up behind the barn & took the photo above.  Almost a new year rite of passage!  Oh so good to be home & So good to be back in the saddle!  A saddle that works at that!

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