Saddletime, The Sequel


Lucky enough to have a horse.


Staring into the depths, wondering where the time goes.

We have decided that it is okay to ride our horses quietly in the backyard. Other people have made different decisions.


Just because I have decided to ride doesn’t mean I get to ride.

Let’s go to the tape.

A few days of riding [Why Is This Hard For You, I Mean, Yay Progress].

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

L’affair du feet. Milton [Behind Bars, Alternate Explanation, Shoeing at a Social Distance]. Rodney [To Ride Or Not To Ride, The Question Is Irrelevant]

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

We are now halfway through the month.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

A chance to ride. Callooh! Callay!” Milton lunges. Rodney walks. Practices a few super soft walk-trot transitions to instill the idea that one can trot repeatedly without stress [Libations]. Trots two or three circles at a mild shuffle.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

A day of storms. Milton thinks some of the bangs are a little too close. He is not wrong.

Next day, everyone exhausted. Milton visibly tired. Rodney does not look as worn out but didn’t get any sleep either. I crash so hard during a nap that husband wakes me up for status check when I haven’t moved in 45 minutes.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

A chance to ride! Callooh! Tack up. Ca – what? You’re feeling awfully good today, Rodney. Perhaps we have found the limit to feeding green hay [Recap Hay Snacks]? Crisp spring day. Light rain. Truck delivering hay to cow field next door. Uh-oh. This counts as breaking news on Cow TV [Diet Secret]. Rodney is riveted. Once he gets hooked on cows, his brain leaves the building [Holiday Rides].

Riding slides further down the probablity scale. Let’s do our walking first. Hand walk to corner of field [Progress]. Give him a chance to settle. Or not. Walk. Stop. Stare at cows. Walk. Spook. Stare at cows.

Come back to ring. Milton lunging. And stopping to stare at cows. And then lunging. Rain increases. We stand next to ring. Rodney paces circles around me. Ground crew finally realizes he is outvoted 3-to-1 and gives up any hope of working today.

Tired of dealing with this nonsense, I untack Rodney. Let him go. Carry his tack back to barn. Rodney ping-pongs around the field. Strafes us as we walk back. Milton is unpleased at being strafed. Get to barn. Untack Milton. Cue wild horse rodeo routine!

Well, at least they are pretty to look at.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

Rain. Epic, even biblical, amounts of rain. Horses remain dry in run-in shed. Footing impossible.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

Mildy rainy day, with lighting just often enough to keep us bottled up in the house.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

A simple, quiet walk around the pasture. That would be good, yes? To maximize success, we walk around the field once in hand. Rodney spooks at the sound of Milton lunging. As we get back around to the ring, the truck drives into the cow field. Really?! Not for weeks and now two rides in a row?

Decide to get on. See how it goes. We walk a few hundred yards, nagging every stride to keep his attention on me. Reach the corner. Get off. This is not fun.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

Warmer weather. Always good for Rodney. Heat his back. No cows. We achieve walk poles and – be still my heart – a line of two trot poles.

Have a chat with the lad about increasing his level of sangfroid. Yes, we are doing something that might, maybe, someday, eventually, grow up to be consider jump schooling. That is no reason we need to behave as if we are entering the ring for a jump-off at the Garden.

It is pointed out to me that I need to be the chill one. I need to convince him to relax. People who know me IRL are shaking their heads at their screens right now.

We trot. I talk. Really, actually talk out loud to him. It helps. “Be cool, dude. When you get to the endzone, act like you’ve been there before.”

This works! We do the four exercises in a row at a calm trot. Yah!

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

Off. Or off-ish. Not even unsound, just careful about how he places that right front foot. From being barefoot? From stomping flies? From being composed of spun sugar and sensitivity? Who knows.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

The bucket. The foot. The soaking.

~~~ flipping of calendar pages ~~~

There goes April.

Update. Rodney ended the month by pulling his LEFT front shoe.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

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