Archive for March 2012
At one point in yesterday’s drive, Kody and I went — cautiously — through the double tunnels and met Billy and his pickup coming the other way. He pulled over and stopped well short of the tunnel mouth, though, and we trotted by without incident.
Later that evening, I asked him, “How far from the tunnel were you before you saw us coming?”
After that, the conversation went like this.
Billy: Oh, I didn’t see you at all. My pickup did.
Billy: Yeah, you spooked it pretty bad. I couldn’t get it any closer.
Billy: I figure it’s going to take weeks to get it back into that tunnel. You know, it may never get over the scare. I just might have to have a new pickup . . . Ford’s having a sale!
Me: Well, that pickup may never be the same; but I’d scare a new one just as bad!
Andrew just called. He had Xena for the weekend, at a sheepherding clinic. He says she was just outstanding; in fact, one lady offered him fifteen hundred dollars for her. He told her she’s not for sale at any price, though. They’ll be back tomorrow, and I’ll congratulate her then. Maybe I can find some extra special doggy treats.
It was quite by accident. Kody and I were trotting merrily around the place when I suddenly noticed something in the road — too late to avoid it. Kody trotted right over it without hesitating. I caught a glimpse of a black glittering eye under his hooves, before the wheel of the cart went right over a big gopher snake.
He must have been four feet long. Even though he wasn’t stretched out, there wasn’t room enough to go around him, even if I’d spotted him in time. And I would have gone around; we value those big gopher snakes, because they’re large enough to take an adult ground squirrel. And, though I think they’re kind of cute, we are definitely oversupplied with the cheeky little dickens.
I was a little surprised that when we went back around, he was gone. I hope we just ran over his tail, so to speak, and he might survive the experience. If so, I bet he learned to move if he hears (or feels) a trotting pony coming! And it just goes to show that horses really aren’t that terrified of snakes, though I’m not sure Kody ever realized it wasn’t a branch.
No snake pictures, because he left, but here’s a rather pretty shot of a Cecile Brunner peeking out from among the leaves. I do love those pretty little roses.
I’m not doing either one.
The hunter was an egret. I was out with my camera when I heard a commotion behind me. I turned to see a rider on an obviously very young, very green grey horse trying to get past — the egret. It was totally ignoring the dithering horse a few feet away. When the rider finally convinced it that egrets didn’t eat horses and went on by, I snuck up and took this picture.
If you look very closely, you can see why the egret was so intent. He was catching a lizard, and wasn’t about to let any pesky horse scare him off. He gulped it down, though, and was off before I could get any closer.
The fishing was across the river. We get a few fishermen, not as many as you might think. This stretch of the river has mostly carp, which are pretty bony, and catfish. But people who fish are always hopeful.
I don’t know if the river being so low helps the fishermen or not. I would think that the smart fish have migrated upstream, but then fish aren’t known for their smarts.
Kody and I had a nice drive this afternoon, and I’m covered in pony hair. I’m thinking we must trot along in a little storm of shed hair wherever we go. It’s satisfying, though, to see the summer coat emerging under the pale winter coat. Shedding time doesn’t last long.
Marion sent me some more Trail Trials pictures a couple of days ago. Here are my favorites.
Last year, the river would have been up over the bushes, and we would have been sitting in the water. Or floating downstream.
We both liked these sycamores — and their reflection.
Even our shadows are best friends . . . the horses came down the little trail in the background.
No, all of the horses were not decorated. This is the drag rider; the guy who came along last. His job was to let the judges know that the last rider had come through (though there turned out to be a couple more) and to gather up the ribbons that marked the trail. They were attached to clothespins, making them easy to gather without damaging the bushes, reusable . . . and great for decoration!
Andrew is just about moved out now. He and his buddy Jordan wrestled the leather sewing machine — which must weigh three hundred pounds, and is tippy — into the trailer yesterday, the last of the leather shop.
Today they loaded up the horses and dogs and pulled out. They’ll be back to do a little clean-up, but they’re pretty much finished. Sigh. Well, I’ll still have some cowboys to wave at — like boarder Justin.
On the cheerful side, spring is bringing changes, too. The old Cecile Brunner climbing rose has its first blooms.
And the orioles, in a glory of gold and orange, are back to raiding the hummingbird feeder. Once more I’ll be trying to get a good picture of one of the males. Maybe I’ll have better luck this year!
We got a good rain yesterday; the news says it was .3, but judging by the puddles and mud, it was more than that here. It was very welcome, except . . .
Whenever I see a grey horse (or a paint) happily reclining in the mud, I’m glad that they’re not mine and I don’t have to try to get them clean.
This horse was so beautifully clean before the mud. And he’s very large, too. That’s a lot of cleaning.
Of course, there’s palomino Kody, but at least he’s a pony!
Speaking of white, Xena and I spotted this little egret in the river this morning. He stood still long enough to get his picture taken.
We have big egrets and little ones. I think this little guy should properly be called a snowy egret. He certainly is snowy white.
The trail trials really got lucky with the weather. It was perfectly beautiful Saturday morning, and the event was pretty much over by noon. The wind came up in the afternoon, and today it’s rained gently most of the day.
Marion and I were judging the “Party”. The horses were supposed to pass quietly by a table decorated for a party, with balloons and such. In the hectic preparations, though, we ended up with just one lonely balloon. At least it was metallic, and a few horses looked worriedly at it as it bobbed around. Mostly they and their riders had a “Where’s the obstacle?” look on their faces.
We did have a beautiful spot for it . . . even if the river was very low.
The sycamores are just leafing out.
And here’s our “party” . . . nicely in the shade. You can see it was a pretty tame party.
I wish I’d been able to get pictures of the horses and riders, but once they started coming, we were pretty busy. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate the judge taking pictures of them instead of judging. But here’s one of the riders on her big Percheron crossing the river afterward.
It was interesting to observe the different reactions of horses and riders. Some of the horses were old-timers at Trials; they just sauntered on through with a “ho-hum” attitude. Others had obviously not had much experience; many of them were much more worried about the water so close than our party. There were a couple of young horses; both Marion and I were much taken with a Palomino who was obviously worried, but obedient. That’s potential!
We judged twenty-nine horses and riders, but a few didn’t get all of the way to the end of the course. It’s a little worrying when down by the river, you can hear crashes and cries of “Whoa! Whoa!” from above. Or from just around the bend.
But no one was really hurt, and it was an excellent learning experience — for horses, riders, and judges!