Here is Pie pawing for his treats - naughty boy! This was taken on our ride today. It was 22 degrees when I got to the barn (it was 7 degrees when Maizie got on the bus this morning!) but I think it warmed up to around 30 or so when I finally headed out for a ride. The sun was gorgeous, glimmering off the snow.
Here we are in shadow.
Pie and I are following my mom down a snowy trail. She should have ridden her Sovey boy today. He was so sleepy in the sunshine when I arrived. I know he would have been a good boy for her.
Here we are at the "barstool apple station". If you are new to my blog you might not know the story of the barstool apples. Our kind neighbors used to put apples out on the fence post for our horses. Here is a cute post about our "sweet apple friend". The horses didn't like getting near the fence (they think it is electric - it isn't out there) so I would dismount and feed the boys by hand. If I was riding bareback, I couldn't find a place to get back on so the neighbors kindly put a barstool out for us. Now, they leave the apples on the barstool and Pie and Sovey gobble them up. Foggy has wonderful treats waiting for him when he starts to go on rides too!
I love that after a snow you can see all the footprints from wild animals. We have deer, foxes, coyote, rabbits, skunks, squirrels, birds, and who knows what else. It is amazing how intricate the "highway" of little footprints is out there in our field. I think our horses have a lot to watch at night. Last week, I saw an entire herd of deer and one fox at the same time making their way across the field.
This is a photo of Pie reaching back for a treat from me. I like the shadow of the tree in front of us. Pie is good at arching his neck around for treats. Because of our new clicker training, he has been very eager to touch or "target" things out on the trail. He loves to approach previously scary items and touch them. I didn't know what he was doing because I wasn't asking him to touch things, but he has been touching scary pipeline markers and brightly colored bags. Today, he walked right up to a bluebird house that used to frighten him. He touched it and "wrestled" it so intently that I was afraid he might break it! He cracks me up.
We rode for 50 minutes and I think Pie was a sleepy boy when I turned him back out with his friends. We only walked, but the exercise is really good for my Pie. He has some nice winter "insulation" we need to reduce.
Here are the three friends sharing the sun and pasture after my ride. I put out 8 flakes with 20' - 30' feet between. Pie pushes Sovey forward to the next pile and Sovey pushes Foggy. Pie sometimes allows Foggy to share a pile. Sovey is allowing Foggy to drink out of the bucket. Everyone is working into their positions, and so far, no cuts or injuries of any sort. I pray we continue to be so lucky. I am sure we will have the normal gelding play, complete with a few cuts and bruises, but no one has gotten really nasty. I think Pie and Sovey actually are grateful for the new member. Sovey, especially, can nap a little better since Pie isn't always the most reliable sentinel.