Saturday, July 27, 2013

Green grass and high tides forever

Wednesday was the beginning of the good stuff. August and September are the very best months for riding. I can feel them coming. I was riding Foggy out through our fields on Wednesday afternoon with the wind rippling the high grass like tides at the beach. Afternoon. Riding in the afternoon! That is a novel concept. All of July had been so horrid and humid and hot and Wednesday I was able to ride Pie first and then Foggy and it was cool and breezy and out there in the fields I promised myself to remember each minute and drink it all in. June was perfect with low humidity and fabulous rides and it seems like this might be the beginning of more of that...

Tuesday was the farrier - all good - here are two little Foggy feet.

Free pizza one day thanks to Tim Lincecum's no hitter. Thanks Timmy!

Three bleached, but happy boys.

Thursday's ride was Sovey and Friday was back on Foggy-Little, above. Pie said no for a ride Friday. He was a sleepy one for some reason.

Iced coffee with Brian most afternoons...

...and post-ride wild berry tea on way home from Foggy ride yesterday (in retro Exxon/Esso glass)! Oh, I hope to burn these memories in my brain. I never want to forget this.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The summer had inhaled, and held its breath too long

Pie was amazing on this morning's bareback ride. All the horses have been troupers through this miserably hot July. 

Last time I posted, Colleen from Bay State Brumby was visiting (and melting) on a horridly hot ride around our farm. We were scheduled to travel north the next week to meet her sweet Brumby, Lilly, and Bill and see our Sage in Vermont, but it wasn't to be. Brian, who never gets sick, was bit by some icky insect/spider/tick (?) and became ill for a week with a fever and body aches and general malaise. When a three inch red bullseye appeared on his leg (I have pictures but will spare you even though I texted them to Colleen and Sage - sorry guys!) we cancelled the trip and he started antibiotics. He is doing perfectly fine now, but our visit to Bear River and Bennington was not to be. Darn!

Our temperatures and humidity the last few weeks, like most of the country, have been the worst. I basically tried to keep the horses in the barn and comfortable when I wasn't at a tennis match. Maizie's tennis schedule was in full swing during this crazy heat wave, putting her out on the court in blistering sun and me courtside far away from my horses. Therefore, my mom kindly stayed behind to hose the boys in the pastures and scrub and refill water buckets that were periodically dumped by our imp Sovereign. 

Here our little swimmer is nibbling for a treat on a bareback halter ride. 

Maizie on the court on a 100 degree day. 
Her team won so we are all heading to Princeton again this year!

And in the kitchen before her first date!!!! 
Eeekkk! Oh, she is growing up too fast!

My friend, Barb, (above on Pie) traveled from Florida to visit us again this year. I met Barb at the Florida barn in 2011 and we've had fun trail rides together for two winters. Last May she came up to Pennsylvania to ride with me and this past weekend Barb rode both Pie and Sovereign. Saturday was icky hot so she rode Pie and I walked along on the ground because I didn't want to leave one horse back at the barn alone in the heat. On Sunday, though, we had some cooler temperatures so Pie stayed back and Barb rode Sovereign and I rode Foggy. We had a great time through the woods and fields. Barb has really come along as a rider, and Sovey tested her a few times. She passed with flying colors! Way to go Barb!

Barb stayed on the farm all weekend and regularly spoiled my boys with crunchy apples from the refrigerator crisper drawer. I've been lucky to find a grocery store who gives me apple seconds for my horses. Only in America would these beauties be called "seconds" - Foggy nickers and Sovey wiggles his nose like a bunny in anticipation. Big boy Pie nods approvingly as the juicy treats head his direction!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bay State Brumby Comes to Honeysuckle Faire!

Yes, it is true!!!!! On Friday a very special thing happened at Honeysuckle Faire - the adorable blogger Colleen from Bay State Brumby and her family came to visit us!!!!! Here the lovely Colleen leads Pie-Pie out to the pasture.

And guess what? Colleen rode our Sovereign all around the farm - how great is that?!?!

Way back in February of 2009 I received the kindest email from Colleen telling me she enjoyed my blog. She didn't have a blog yet, but she told me about her sweet Lilly. This was our first communication and I could tell immediately that Colleen was my kind of person. 

She started her own blog soon after and the rest is history - everyone adores Bay State Brumby and the adventures of Lilly and Colleen, Brandon, Kestrel, Bill and all the furry friends at Bear River!

There is a funny story about Colleen's first email. In January of 2009, Maizie and Brian felt sorry for me because no one had commented on my blog up to that point, so Maizie composed an email from a pretend "reader" to encourage me. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker and ran through the house whooping that I had a reader. Poor Maizie then had to tell me that she made the whole thing up to keep me inspired.

In February of 2009 when a real live person named Colleen wrote to tell me she liked the blog, I again ran around the house squealing that I had a reader (I just can't be kept down). Maizie was standing behind a closet door and silently mouthed the question to Brian, "Did you write that one?"

The whole thing was hilarious, but it was the start of a true blogging friendship. I hoped for a long time that I would someday meet Colleen. Friday that dream finally came true!

If you follow her blog, you know Colleen is a character! Here she is cracking me up!

Brian took this shot of Brandon, Kestrel, Colleen, me and Maizie in front of our house. They visited with us there before we headed over to the barn. It was extremely hot and humid so the plan was to stay cool in the house as long as possible before going to see the horses. 

Action shot of us grooming up Pie.

Here I'm talking about horsey things while Mom and Colleen (and Pie!) listen. I probably was trying to figure out how we could ride together in that awful heat! It was finally decided that Colleen would ride Sovey and I would walk along on the ground. When I ride with someone else, there is always one horse left behind. That horse is usually a little fussed up because he is left alone and it was just too hot to have a horse all worked up so I left two back at the barn and walked along on foot with Colleen.

Here I am showing Colleen that she actually does have a "stop" in the bitless bridle. Sovereign is backing up for her too.

The sky was blue and the grass was green, but don't be fooled. This was a hellishly hot day! Ugh - the temperature was horrid! But our sweet Sovereign is the best horse in the world and kindly walked Colleen all around anyway. He is my go-to-boy for unfavorable weather conditions - a one in a million horse.  

Maizie only took photos of the first half of the ride. Both families and my mom walked along on foot behind and I think they all were melted by the end. I hope the Bay Staters visit us again in cooler weather when Colleen and I can ride together!

And!!!!!!!!! We are heading up to see our sweet Sage in Vermont in a few days so maybe I will get to visit Colleen and family and meet Bill and the lovely Lilly Brumby very soon!!!!!!