dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First Dance of 2016

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance ~Japanese Proverb

I finally began to feel better on New Years Eve. Which was good because Ed and I had plans and I was NOT going to change them. Our friends Cynthia and Andrew came down for a visit and we went out to dinner. It was a very nice 5 course dinner (with one exception but the restaurant made it right in the end so that was good). After we even managed to stay up past midnight to welcome 2016.

The first day of 2016 dawned clear and cool. But not freezing. Cynthia made her famous home made biscuits (okay they might not be famous but they should be so it's almost the same thing). There's nothing like fresh baked biscuits and homemade jam to start the day.

We then put on our riding clothes and headed out to the barn. The horses, of course were at the top of the hill and watched me walk all the way up to them.
Me: you could have walked down to meet me
Irish: I figured you needed to warm up

I love riding in the snow. It's not always possible here because our weather often turns it to ice and it's not safe. But today was a good day. Carmen was cute lunging in the snow. It was about 3 inches deep and she was really lifting herself trotting through it, snorting and looking at it. She wasn't so sure that she actually wanted to walk. But when she seemed settled I took her over to the mounting block and got on. She now is perfectly behaved at the mounting block and will not move until I tell her to. This time she moved off with some enthusiasm and decided that we needed to follow Irish.

Nope I said. She began to fuss a bit about this and I could feel her tensing and I could feel myself getting light in the seat as my thighs tensed up. What are you doing? I said to myself. This is not what she needs.  With that I loosened my legs, put my butt in the saddle and engaged my core. Ah. There she was- she came back to me immediately. And so I rode. I realized that that I had to make sure that her attention was on me 100% of the time. As soon as I felt/saw her get distracted I brought her back to me by asking for a bend, a turn, a transition.

As always, our first few trots were balky. Carrying me while navigating the snow was just.too.hard. But I kept asking and we finally figured it out. The trot felt very different as she was really using her hind end. Irish was full of himself as well. I looked over and he was having a ball. He was really using his hind end as well. As a result he was not quite as 'fast' as usual but he was far more correct. Cynthia took off her sweater and it fell on the ground. Of course Missy noticed right away and thought that it might be evil. But I insisted that her attention needed to be with me and not on the thing. I was pleased to see that she listened.

Then Andrew came up to watch the entertainment. Of course she saw him coming right away but I kept us working while I chatted with him and she settled back. Irish meanwhile was all OHMYGOD, WHAT IS THAT? There's life in the old guy yet.

It's pretty bad when Carmen and I are the calm ones.

We finished up with our floaty trot that is like riding the edge of a wave- you're not sure if it's going to crash or carry you further. I love it. And I'm starting to figure it out a bit. Carmen was quite pleased with herself and very happy to have my attention back. I'm realizing that she needs my attention. with my illness and Christmas she was not happy being neglected. So even though she was challenging me at first, she liked that we were working.

I was so disappointed that I couldn't ride on Christmas day. But having this ride on New Years Day made all that disappointment go away.

After we put the horses away, we came to the house where the guys had made brunch. After a ride out in the fresh air bacon is a welcome treat. We even made Mimosas to go with it. It felt very decadent.

At supper time when I brought the horses in I puttered happily in the barn listening to them munch their supper. Before I headed in to the house I leaned over Carmen's door watching her happily chewing on her hay. She left her hay and came over to the barn. We stood there together for a few minutes. She blew gently on my cheek and then returned to her hay.

I headed into the house and Ed and I left go see Star Wars. I have to say I enjoyed it (I was a bit apprehensive after the travesty of I, II, III). There were some things that were disappointing -like the villain looking like the lovechild of Gollum and Voldemort (however no spoilers!) You know you are geeks when you and your husband are discussing it passionately on the way home.

It was nice to start the year with such a lovely day.

first portrait of 2016


  1. I'm impressed that you ride in winter, that motivates me to go out today. Happy New Year!

  2. That sounds like a really perfect start to 2016!

  3. It does sound like a lovely day. We've had a few days without rain or snow, but it is bitter cold and the ground is very icy. Sigh. Carmen and Lucy are very similar in temperament, I think. Lucy still demands my attention and she'll always be sensitive, but at almost 14 she doesn't spook at much anymore.

  4. Sounds like a great start to the new year! I'm envious that you're still able to ride in the snow!

  5. Great start to 2016! :) :) :)

    I'm hoping I can avoid star wars... my husband wants to see it pretty badly.


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