Ride 34: Trip to Tack Store + Evening Ride

Today’s tack haul included two saddle pads, 1 pair of riding tights, Coat Defense for Rags’ itchy spots he rubs raw, a new belt to replace the one I knew wasn’t *really* lost but that would not declare itself until I replaced it (even as I took out the new one to show R-, and glanced around the kitchen….there was the flowery-looking one.  Ha.  Now I have two.   A Tiger’s Tongue grooming tool (Rags likes it; Tigger has declared it hideous), and two new hay nets (one green, one purple.  Next winter we can make up four at once, and this will help during the spells of really cold weather.  Two go up, and then two more can go up as soon as they’re empty, without the time it takes to refill them then.

The trip into the city and out included, of course, highway construction zones full of large noisy machinery, busy trucks carrying dirt and/or gravel, and put great amounts of tension in my neck and shoulders.  But I got there and back and did not stop to eat anywhere.  Yay, me.

I got back just before 3, gave them hay about 3:30, then pellets at 4, and was tacking up at 5:30.  We were at work by 5:50 and done by 6:15.  Why the hurry?  Clouds moving in.  It was pleasant–Rags sweated a bit under the saddle but not much.  We went back to the wide mowed area on the south fenceline west of the old ditch outlet and zigged and zagged (alternating with short stretches of straight ahead.  Bluebonnets are starting to bloom in this area.  We took the alternate trail from Cloud Pavilion up to Center Walk, Diagonal down to the north fence area and came back by the Creek Woods trail, back to Center Walk, where we turned, went into the Entrance Meadow, and did a couple of circles (one larger, one smaller) in there.  Then the south part of the Creek Woods trail, coming out near Cloud, went past it on the south side (not Rags’ favorite side, as he has to go between a line brace of the former fence and the pavilion itself, turned back into the wider way home, and did periodic circles on the way.  Not yet linking them into serpentines or chains of figure-8s, but that will come soon.

Rags had a moment’s scare as we came back to the ditch’s “grass crossing at the west end of the Near Meadow: two big turkey vultures, perched somewhere in there, took off with loud flaps.  Rags threw up his head, planted his feet, and said “MOM!  What’s THAT?”   I told him they were turkey vultures, not harmful at all, and explained earnestly, while his ears flicked back and forth from me to the birds now headed for the cellphone tower, that birds liked to be in the air just like horses liked to be on the ground.  “OK, then,” Rags said in body language, and we went through the dip and up the Near Meadow to the gate we’d come out of.

I could have done more training on this trip, but I was trying to get my own body, stiff and sore from driving to and then from the city (about 2 hours total), to be the relaxed and supple body you want when riding.  It’s going to take longer, just like any renovation.  The horses got flakes of hay a little later, and I’ve now had supper and wonder as always why it’s so tiring to go into the city and at the same time so much fun.  Well, one enormous fun thing happened as I turned out of the parking lot (with my tack haul in a sack in back) ….the classical music station had been playing music from an opera I thought I should know, and had finally recognized as Aida…and far from missing the grand triumphal march, it was at the END of that recording.  Just as the tired hit the street, there it was; if you don’t know if look it up on You Tube.  Bom BOM…da-di-da BOM BOM BOM, da-ti-dah DA-dah-dat….etc.   So I started singing (there aren’t words at that point, but it’s fun to sing the notes.)   When it came to the trumpet solo and then duet, which is spine-tingling and goose-flesh-making sheer joy gave me back my “lost” upper register and I was singing with the lower of the two.  A good way to start the trip, though later they were playing something I couldn’t listen to.

I have an ordered pair of summer-weight riding tights that should arrive in the next few days.  Different brand.  The ones I got today were Kerrits, the same as my winter fleece-lined ones I like so much, but fleeceless.  Oddly, the large was a bit baggy, but the medium fit.  Yay for that.  The summer-weight ones are stretchier, I think.

Today all the red oaks are blooming, the cedar elms are blooming and leafing out, the pear tree is in full bloom, the rusty blackhaw viburnums at the house are a mass of white puffball flower clusters, the scarlet buckeye is covered in vibrant green palmate leaves, and as the song said, “Spring is bustin’ out all over” even if it is dryer than normal.  Did I remember to say that there are blooming bluebonnets in the west grass as well today?  Some of these mounds are a bit bigger than the ones I saw in the east grass yesterday, but the soil is deeper, some of it a heavy clay that holds moisture well.

6 thoughts on “Ride 34: Trip to Tack Store + Evening Ride

    1. Vultures have such big wingspans and they make noise moving around or ejecting themselves from trees. R had been watching them (from where he sat in the Near Meadow) and saw them flap-flop their way out of trees…that’s the first Rags and I saw, two BIG black birds noisily getting airborne. I’m proud of Rags for not bolting away or charging into the ditch.

  1. Good Rags trusting you about the turkey vultures!

    Spring is doing it’s things here too, though we are forecast rain tomorrow and then cold, down to 0C, at night for a few nights. The variation isn’t unusual here, our maritime climate does give us a lot of variation, and our native plants can usually cope with the variation. If we do get significant rain tomorrow my neighbours cream camelias which are in full bloom will turn brown, they seem to be more susceptible than their pink camelias which will remain pink unless we have hail – not forecast. But the primroses will go on flowering regardless.

  2. I’m really appreciating your descriptions of working with Rags. I’d given no thought before to horse training, neither the physical aspects of pole work so that he picks up his feet, nor developing rapport. It’s clearly good for both of you!

    Spring is in full swing here in Oregon. Crocus have come and gone as have plum blossoms, daffodils are wilting, cherry blossoms are just past their prime, lavender in full bloom, grape hyacinths and tulips coming on, I saw my first blooming trillium last week, and the first leaf buds as showing color on the oak and Japanese maple outside my window.

  3. Hi – I am reading several of your posts as I was not near my computer – recovering from pneumonia. I was wondering how the prior year’s burn area was doing?

    Jonathan in still rather cool New Hampshire

    1. There are lots of green bits, some from seed I spread and some things that root-sprouted back. The trees did suffer damage we’ll need to cut out next winter (because of the spread of oak diseases here, we trim oaks in winter and paint with that black gooey stuff immediately after each cut.) We need to buy some more marker tape, and put tape around branches where we think they need to be cut. I’m waiting for the bluebonnets to hit peak bloom, to show the recovery.

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