Here is our "little" friend, Zoe, who stays with us when her family is away. She is a Bernese Mountain Dog. Bern, Switzerland, is a cold place to be from, apparently, because Miss Zoe always prefers the great outdoors to our snuggly cottage. I took this photo of her this morning as she rolled around in the snow. Our kitty, Noodlebug, loves when Zoe comes to stay. Noodle steals Zoe's food. Zoe is a gentle giant and puts up with so much from Noodle. Over Thanksgiving, I found Noodle in Zoe's bed more than once. Zoe has a huge heart and is very good at sharing.
Another gentle giant is one silly Pie-Pie. He is very big and very full of himself now that the temperatures have dropped. Yesterday was too windy to do much of anything, but somehow our "I'm just going to mess around with Pie a little" evolved into a long ride around the property! I am not sure how this happened, but it worked out wonderfully. Our weather has been snowy/rainy followed by cold, howling winds. The snowy days were too wet and muddy for good footing and the windy days have been too wild to keep Pie and Sovey's feet on the ground. I snuck in a ride on Sovey on the 7th, but Pie was only grazed and groomed and walked on a lead. He was starting to become a big imp. I knew that he needed some more attention. I stuck the boys out yesterday morning and went for a run. The wind wasn't too bad at that point even though it was 28 degrees. I groomed and grazed Pie and practiced his leading. He was good, but antsy. I tacked him up anyway - just in case! The wind started whipping and I decided that I would get on and just walk in the ring near the barn. He was so good so we walked a little farther. Then, more, and before I knew it we were out through the fields. I had a ride like this last fall on Ellie, a QH. She was young, but pretty good. I often reflect on that ride as being so windy that I couldn't believe that I made it through. It seems like the wind can just start at any time and then you are out there...stuck! Never, ever, did I think I would live to tell of another windy ride like that - especially on Pie! He is wound a little tighter than Sovey and that wind was treacherous. His good behaviour was rewarded - we found FOUR apples on the barstool yesterday and my mom provided yummy carrots as we passed her house! Oh, Piggy Pie was in heaven! Every time we faced west, the wind was coming so fast and furious I worried that he would just bolt and dump me and take off. It was crazy like that - it made me want to run and jump. He held it together, though. I think it was so windy that he could only feel me. It was like we were in our own little wind tunnel world. The wind shuts out any other sound. He had to listen to me because it seemed like I was all he had. After our ride, Pie was calm and relaxed. He really needed that exercise. Later, I felt a little guilty for taking him out in that and asking him to be so good. I guess the test of a great horse is when their "person" does something stupid and they are able to hold it together anyway. I am so lucky to ride two nice boys like Pie and Sovey.
Last evening, when the boys were tucked away safe and sound in the warm bank barn, Maizie, Brian, Zoe, Noodlebug and I all settled down to a nostalgic (for me) viewing of Bing Crosby's Christmas Specials. With big bowls of popcorn and the wind howling outside, I felt very content. My favorite part is Bing's duet with David Bowie. Sigh.