Here is the funny face of one Pie Pie with hay strewn about. Sorry about the quality - cellphone camera. The grass looks so green and pretty, but don't be deceived - like the Everglades, it isn't solid ground. You can tell in this picture that Pie is an imp of the first order, but I am happy to post that he is a calmer imp than he was a few days ago. On Tuesday I had hoped to steal a ride on both boys. However, as I groomed Pie it became obvious that Mr. Wiggle-Worm wasn't too interested in standing still for the curry. I knew mounting would be an event. I tacked him up anyway. "You aren't actually going to ride, are you?" my mom chirped from the tack room. "Probably not," I answered, but I knew that Pie needed exercise. Although he and Sovereign had been turned out all day every day for the entire time I was away, they had not been ridden. Together they came up with the plan to pretend that they were wild horses on the plains and that humans were around only to serve them. I walked Pie out to the ring and began our exercise. I was on the ground beside him and together we walked many different routes and circles and figure eights. The wind was whipping and Pie was wound tight. He was nervously chomping on the bit he didn't have (bitless bridle) and head-butting me hard to explain that he had reached the limit of his attention span. I tried to move and use the reins like I would if I were up top. It is no secret that I am much better on a horse's back than on the ground. Pie was so crazy nervous, though, and it seemed foolish to die on my 43rd birthday so I stayed on the ground and kept calmly changing direction and walking. Slowly, I could sense that he calmed too. He lowered his head and gave his tell-tale relaxed sneeze/snort. He stopped grinding his teeth and stopped pushing me with his big head. I allowed the reins to go long and although the wind was still pounding us, Pie was content. I untacked him and grazed him. Well done, Pie-Pie.
Next, it was Sovey's turn. He is the wonderful boy that does everything right. I tacked him up without any problem and rode him in the wind without a flutter or jump. Thank you sweet Sovey for a lovely birthday ride! Most important, though, my mom saw how quiet and good the Sovey Boy was, which set the stage for today!
This morning started out calm and sunny. It was cold, but with little wind so I convinced mom to ride with me. The boys had been trimmed yesterday and both stood well for the farrier. I knew Pie might throw a few bucks my way, but I sensed that he was no longer confused or nervous. We started out around the forsythia bushes and 6 or 7 Eastern Bluebirds flew around us! I adore Bluebirds! They are so vivid blue and orange and they fly so playfully, I think. Pie watched them like he really understood their magic. Next, we headed out through the fields. Pie was intently watching the woods to our left, and mom said that Sovey was too. Just that quick, 3 VERY LARGE deer jumped up from their naps and took off in huge leaps over the brush. Pie and Sovey also took off in huge leaps!!!! I really couldn't think about my mom because it all happened so fast. Pie was wheeling around this way and that. Mom said that Sovey sprung forward and took off but stopped like the good boy that he is when she gathered her reins. Both horses were antsy for a few minutes, but a happy barstool filled with apples came into view just in time to change the subject. After that snack, we ran into another neighbor and talked for a few minutes. Pie pawed the ground to show his frustration about stopping and Sovey stood until he had had enough talking. He turned abruptly and walked away. Neighborly conversations probably are better during the summer months! The clouds started to roll in and a wind picked up as we walked north. We headed toward the woods which would give us a windbreak, but might be harboring some homeless deer. Fortunately, we didn't see our deer friends again. Pie and I got into a tangle with an unruly rose bush, but we made it home with cold feet and warm, happy smiles! Oh hooray for Pie and Sovey and my mom's last ride before she heads to Florida for a much needed vacation.