Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bright Eyes, and Dealing With Dread

Dawn continues to improve - this morning she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed - eagerly eating breakfast and marching with energy to turnout (not draggy and dull like she's been) and then galloping off when I let her go.  And her skin is improving in areas - pictures later in this post.

Yesterday, although it was a beautiful day, I didn't ride, although I did take care of Dawn and give all three horses a quick grooming.  It was very windy and cool, and the horses were frisky, and that was the excuse I had for not hopping on, then on Sunday there was Dawn's vet visit, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday it was too hot . . . you get the idea.  A horse and carriage came by (who knows what that was about?), and all the horses started bolting around their paddocks, and I was mentally pretty spooky too.  I almost forced myself to saddle up Pie and get on, and I might have felt better if I did, but then I said to myself, wait a minute.  All three of my horses have their basic training pretty much down, and some days off aren't going to hurt them - and they're all on all-day turnout so they're not going to be building up excess energy.  I spent a good part of my life being forced, or forcing myself, to do lots of things I didn't want to do, was scared to do or wasn't well-suited to do.  Sometimes that was necessary or a good idea - I'm fairly cautious and shy by disposition (which often results in my appearing strong or even aggressive on the outside - that's the forcing at work).  But sometimes it was just forcing.  Grimly saddling up and riding isn't my idea of fun.  I want my riding to be a joy, not just a duty - although I do feel that I have a duty to my horses to keep them working and in shape and learning.

I decided yesterday that since I was dreading riding so much, I wouldn't be able to provide my horse with confident leadership and so riding was a bad idea.  I'm not sure what I'm dreading - I'm a pretty competent rider (but as we know even competent riders can come off), and once I'm on and riding I'm almost always able to cope pretty well with what comes up.  It's the free-floated dread that's hard to deal with, and it's true that I'm pretty spooked about riding on the trail - that trail surface looks pretty darned hard - in fact I know it's like concrete.  I just chalked it up to a bad day and left it at that, and tried not to be disappointed in myself - to cut myself some slack.

I think I'll be able to ride today - it's a bit warmer and the wind's not as sharp as yesterday so that'll help.

This morning I spent some time taking pictures of the horses - I haven't done a lot of this lately and really enjoy it.

Drift was telling me that the mares were too far away:

The angle of the sun made his coat gleam - although he's pretty dusty:

I liked how the mares were back-lit and how each one's shadow stood out:

Here's Dawn's neck in close-up - the swelling is pretty much gone and some areas of skin are starting to look more normal - the white glop is medicine:

The pleating of the skin is also much reduced - the worst remaining area is by her shoulder:

But she's pretty darn shiny - except for dirt from rolling:

Pie was his usual handsome self - the next several photos are of him:

Gotta love that butt and full tail:

I liked the way his muscles stood out as he walked:

And his sturdy hind legs:

His mane's deep color stood out, and if you look closely at his shoulder, you'll see "bed marks" - he must have just gotten up from a nap in the grass - he often takes a nap a couple of hours after he's turned out:

Charisma was out sunning in her paddock, and her coat was gleaming too:

I hope everyone has a good day with horses!

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