Friday, July 29, 2011

Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry

The whirlwind summer continues (see last post) but I am able to ride most mornings.  Hooray!  The horses have been wonderful. Pie and Sovey go bareback and on the buckle happily.  Foggy is still excited to go out as far as he can go, and he is now dropping his head and relaxing on our rides.

Brian and I ran the Harrisburg Mile on July 20. During the run, I kept thinking of Foggy racing down the homestretch with the announcer saying, "Found in the Fog - 40 to 1 - Hello!"  I was very happy with my 7:08 time (my over 40 PR) and Brian broke the tape again and won his age group.  Maizie qualified for sectionals in her Junior Team Tennis so we will be heading off to Princeton for her to play there in a week. I will miss the boys terribly. 

Grooming them in the barn in the hot afternoons has brought me such peace with all the scurrying around we do. Horses are the very best way to unwind and stay balanced. 

Last night it rained buckets after a few hot, dusty weeks.  I can't wait to see the three mud pies waiting for me this morning!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Radiant Zappa Summer

A few days ago, Brian and I were reflecting on how perfect this summer has been.  We are in the middle of a humid heat wave right now, but all in all, we, as a family, have had a glorious summer. I thought it might be interesting to document a typical day for posterity so yesterday, July 7, 2011, I took a photo every hour or so from the time I woke up.

6:40 am  - Wake up and make iced coffees for Maizie and me. Notice the condensation on the outside of glasses - very humid!  

Yummy recipe:  2 TBSP Cinnamon Spice Dunkin Donut Coffee combined with 1 Cup boiling water in french press. Press and divide equally in 2 tall glasses. Add 1 TBSP cream to each glass and fill with ice. Only 50 calories of early morning yumminess and the real cream (read label - make sure it has only one ingredient listed - cream) holds you till lunch!  No sugar or fake sugar to make you hungry. 

7:40 am - Walk our summer lodger, sweet Zoe. 

Historically, Bernese Mountain Dogs pulled small cheese carts to market each morning by holding the tow rope in their mouths. Zoe likes to hold her leash in her mouth.  Who did we find on our walk lurking near the high grasses?  Of course...the adorable Noodlebug!

8:10 am - Drive to barn.  Boy, my windshield is dirty!

8:20 am - All three horses making their way out to the far pastures.

I don't want them to see me driving in right now. I have to refill water buckets with fresh water in their stalls before I bring them inside. They are pests if they spy me. If they see me before I am ready for them, they will come to the gate and paw, and get bit up by the flies and bite each other.  So, I am grateful they are heading out to graze. 

8:40 am - Here they come trotting down to me when I call - please don't run me over!

9:00 am - Grooming the big boy, Pie.

9:30 am - Perfect ride on the Pie.  In the woods...

...a few minutes later...trotting through the field...

...and a stroll through the neighborhood.

10:20 am - Post-ride grazing to dry off.

11:00 am - Back out in the field - this time on Foggy boy.

And, through the woods, too.  

Foggy was a funny one this day.  He was so nervous in the barn while I attempted to groom him. I hadn't ridden him in four days because he had been slightly off on his right front. I noticed when I brought him in, though, that he was sound so I planned to hop on a little. I don't know if he knew this, but he was very up. He would not stand for grooming. He wanted to go out of the barn. He didn't want to graze. He was looking at something off in the distance. He didn't want to be back in the barn with his friends. He wanted to GO.  I got the bridle and hopped on bareback. He headed out way too quickly toward the auto-auction. I jumped off. What is the deal? I brought him back to the barn and re-mounted and relaxed my seat and asked him to go out again, this time at my pace and my direction. He listened, but was still driving forward toward some unknown muse. About 1/4 mile from the barn it became apparent what the excitement was all about. I had ridden Pie out a gate that is rarely opened. The farmer had cut part of our hay field and left the gate open. That is how Pie and I got out to the neighborhood earlier. Foggy must have seen this and he wanted to go too. I allowed him to walk out a tiny bit, but I am not super confident about riding him out there yet - especially bareback. Still, I am unbelievably grateful for his enthusiasm!

Noon - Heading back home for lunch.

Maizie and Brian started without me. (I had to edit Brian out - chewing - understandably asked that I cut that!)

Noodlebug and Zoe. Noodlebug could care less who sees her chewing.

My Very Berry Iced Tea Zinger - cool and perfect!

And luscious Amy's Lentil Vegetable Soup topped with sour cream and curry powder. Too bad this photo looks like it is a bowl full of yucky gruel.

12:30 pm - Noodle curls up for post-luncheon napping.

12: 52 pm - Back to the barn to meet the farrier. Just a few minutes for manure pick up - fun!

1:30 pm - Farrier Mike is working on the best boy, Foggy. He stands quietly even though off to his left...

...Sovey is swinging the cross-tie in crazy circles!  I took a video, but it is too dark.  This photo is too, so I had to try to find the image in photoshop.  Sovey is very naughty and smart. He throws the cross-tie and then catches it on its way back by and then he swings it like a lasso and then does the whole bit again. Oh, that horse.  Of course he was the perfect gentleman for his trimming. 

2:15 pm - Pie's turn.  "Julwee, pweez don't let him hurt me."

3:15 pm - Horses back out and enjoying a much needed downpour.

3:45 pm - Grocery stop - apples and carrots topping the list!

4:00 pm - Quick salad snack with Brian

5:00 pm - Maizie and best friend Sophie playing doubles on wet courts.

Yesterday was Maizie's last practice with this team and they had a pizza party at the courts.  This was a great group of kids and Maizie was sad to see it end.  They played from 5pm - 7:30 pm and I think they would have played all night if we would have let them.

Sad puppy.  So glad she met these great friends!

8:00 pm - Super spruce bathroom cleanup with my new favorite products...

Mrs. Meyers!!!

Who cares if it is 8 o'clock at night?  My new best friend, Mrs. Meyers, makes me want to clean!  Maizie and Brian say I've gone round the twist, but this stuff smells soooo good.  

And, that is a typical day for me this summer. Tomorrow will be atypical. Maizie won our district meet in the Standing Long Jump so we are driving up to Penn State so she can compete in the state meet tomorrow morning. No horsey rides for me, but that is ok.  I have had so many great horse days this summer. I hope your summer is shaping up to be grand and horse-filled!


UPDATE!!!!!!! - July 9, 2011 - 5:12 pm EST - Just got back from Maizie's state meet. She won with a jump of 7'8.75".  We are soooo happy!