Sunday, September 24, 2017

Riding with Cindee

My friend Cindee is finally riding with me! Yay! Her Morgan mare, Trixie, is amazing. She hasn't had a lot of life experience, never had been hauled anywhere to ride, never had been to the woods at all (she lives in farm country about 30 miles away), and had never seen wildlife or cows.

We've been on three rides now and she's pretty impressive. One spook and attempted bolt (at a log of all things) and a big heart pounding fear when the cows were in the brush but she couldn't see them. But when she could see them they were no big deal. She goes through brush no problem, up and down steep terrain, nothing much seems to bother her.

Cindee is having a blast. And I absolutely love having someone to ride with who has the free time to get out and go, especially now that the weather is cooler. We even rode for three or four hours in the rain one day. Granted, the forecast said it was going to clear up or we probably wouldn't have gone. But we're die-hard riders now. :) If you've got rain gear you might as well use it, right?

Scout has been having fun too. He cracks me up. When we go to turn back he suggests that we keep going or take a different branch in the trail and head back out into the mountains. He says there's plenty of grass out there, no need to go home at all. I don't think he realizes how much gear he'd have to carry for me to live out there without starving or freezing.

We took Liam on his first trail ride. He looks good on Ruger.
He wasn't feeling well that day so he didn't have much fun, but he was out riding the next day so I guess it didn't scar him for life. He sure does like Ruger. My dad got a darn good horse.

We'll be out riding again tomorrow. Can't wait!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Clear Skies and Fall Weather

John and I stole my dad's horse again and went for a nice ride yesterday. We really need to have another rideable horse here. It's so much fun to just take off together and enjoy some quiet time!

Scout was pretty nervous for the first half of the ride. Poor dude just doesn't get enough riding. He was a good boy, just in a hurry and soaked in sweat. He stumbled once and spooked at a log in the middle of his recovery. I admit we made fun of him a bit for that.

We saw some deer and heard two somethings bigger/noisier and darker colored, but didn't get a good look at them. We saw a lot of paper wasp nests too. I hate those things! The bushes are so dry that they're already dropping leaves, so as long as you keep your eyes open and stay out of the thick brush, you can spot them before you run into them.

By the end of the ride Scout was himself again. I didn't want to be done. But boy was my butt sore. I had this thought that maybe riding in an ultra foam padded seat allows too much chafing movement. I never had that problem in my hard/slick seat saddle. Thoughts?

We really, really need to ride more. I got a headache after this ride, as usual, but it went away by morning, so that's good. The best riding weather of the year is here! I love it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Feline Sex Change

The funniest thing happened at work today.

It isn't uncommon for people to be mistaken about the sex of their cat. They're told when the cat is a kitten that it's a girl, and so they believe it's a girl despite the large testicles that eventually develop. Because who really spends a lot of time staring at their cat's butt? (Despite the fact that all cats show off their butts quite shamelessly.)

So we check them when they come in for a spay or neuter. Because that's an embarrassing mistake for a vet or their staff to make.

Today a very nice cat, we'll call her Mina, came in to be spayed. And when I found that she had a nice big pair of testicles I left a message for her owner letting her know that Mina was definitely a boy and she'd have a refund waiting since a neuter surgery doesn't cost as much.

When she came to pick Mina up, she had her two adorable daughters with her and she told me she hadn't told them the news I'd left on the message because she wanted to record their reactions. This is how it went.

Girls (worried): What about Mina?

Me: Well, it turns out Mina is actually a boy.

Girls: No! (Total Disbelief) She can't be a boy.  ...  No way. ...  How do you know?

Me: Well... she has boy parts.

Younger girl: You mean she has a penis now?

Me: Actually she always did, you just couldn't see it.

And then we had to figure out an awesome new name.

And that's why my husband is now going to tell everyone I work in a clinic where we do feline sex changes.

Smoke & fire

The fire is still burning. It's burned roughly a thousand acres. It's hard to get reliable info but it doesn't look like it has burned any of the trails I ride and it isn't very near my favorite place in the whole world, so that's good. Also, my friend hasn't had to evacuate. It's staying well clear of her place, and I am very thankful for that.

I wish we'd get a good soaking rain all over the states that are on fire. We're losing too much! And it's hard to breathe.

Juniper's baby is a subtle wiggler. No big forceful kicks or poking out into the flank where you can tell there's a leg or a head right there. She's certainly not as communicative as Scout was in the womb. Just bumps and wobbles like distant rolls of silent belly thunder. I wonder if that's because she's not a horse, or because she's just a wee baby yet. Still no signs of imminent foaling. Juniper was a little cranky last night, but I would be too if I had to live in a hot, dusty, fly ridden smoky world.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Fire, birds, weather, no baby

My happy mountain getaway caught on fire yesterday. I don't know the exact location, it's just reports and pictures from locals on Facebook so far, but I'm bummed. It's SO dry right now. I hope they were able to get it put out quickly but it smelled like fire here all night. I haven't seen any official news yet.

On the bird front, it's going to take some time to transfer them to my care. For now I will just be listed as a helper. The ravens are magnificent creatures! I love their voices. They are stressed right now because of all the change in their lives, but I hope they'll come to be more comfortable with me.

The heat and my headaches have been keeping me from riding, and I guess that's OK. I just am not going to make it into a chore that I have to do. We ride when we can. I think the weather is supposed to get more bearable in about a week. Hopefully the smoke will clear some. Then, as long as my headaches will behave we will ride!

Still no sign of a donkey baby. I do see that her belly is bigger on the right side, but if it weren't for that I would think she was just slightly portly. Maybe I felt some baby movement yesterday, but as usual, Juniper was just wiggly enough to make me wonder if it was her fidgeting. No bag at all yet. On one of my donkey groups online, a donkey recently had her foal at 14 months and 1 day gestation. That's just redonkulous. Why do they have to be so variable?