Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Work and Play

I don't know if it's true, but I once heard that the Russian word for work and play are the same word.  I find sometimes that I enjoy work more than some of the things people consider play.  We went to Seattle to pick up a friend's kid for spring break and did some work/play on the way there.  It was WAY more fun than the touristy stuff we did on the way back.

If you click on this picture to enlarge you might see the huge herd of elk scattered along the bottom of the hills here.

Not long after we saw the elk, we saw a bunch of female bighorn sheep.

I wish the leaping sheep hadn't ended up so blurry in this one.  So cool!  They're scruffy in spring, shedding their winter coats.

A friend's cabin burned down last fall, and the forest service marked some trees that needed to come down, so my friend cut them down and I helped with cleanup.  Orion helped with comic relief.  This tree fell where the cabin had been.  It's a big pile of junk now, only the chimney is standing.

Orion balanced well on this rolling log, I think maybe he could have his own circus act.

These were big, heavy rounds.  I couldn't lift a lot of them, just had to roll them off the access road.

These will be moved later.

I got some video of the big trees falling, hoping it would capture the powerful sound of it, but you can't hear it.  Maybe we hear it through our feet when they hit the ground.  It's pretty intense.

Today we went hiking hear home and followed game trails in an area where there are tons of elk and deer, but we didn't find any antlers.  About usual for me.  I enjoy it anyway.  The dogs had a blast.

I found this super cool silvery gnarled stump.  I wish you could see as well as I could how cool the silver sheen of it was.

When I got home I took Scout and Buster to the round pen.  I was thinking having a more mobile horse in with him, who usually pushes him around, might get Buster moving nicely, but Scout would stop in front of him and Buster wouldn't push Scout and then he'd get stressed when I pushed Scout.  I did get a bit of a trot out of him a couple times, and a nice turn, so then he got to stand tied outside while I worked with Scout.

Scout was really quite responsive even though it was a cold, windy day with lots of gunfire nearby.  He walked and trotted slow and extended, turned nicely, stopped, yielded front and hindquarters, and even led by each front foot better than he has before.  He struggles with that, so once he had it I kept that lesson short.  He was wanting to get distracted by the gunfire.  I got his attention back, got it good, and quit.  Then I wrapped a lariat around his butt and under his tail and worked him in both directions while pulling on it to simulate having a rope caught under his tail while leading another animal.  He didn't mind, but he thought it was a pressure he was supposed to give to, so we had to push through that.

Scout's tail is paralyzed so I don't know how much he feels around his tail head - it broke just above his tail.  I worry a bit that he might have weird nerve sensations but after today I'd say it's not a problem.  I've thought about using a crupper or britchen on him but I've been hesitant.  I think if we do this some more it'll be fine, and I can start working on ponying the donkeys without worrying about them getting the rope caught in weird places.

Afterwards I brought Bella and Juniper in to help mow the grass.  They're having a grand time.  

It's funny how quickly happiness, or even mere comfortableness (if that's a word) comes and goes.  It seems to be closely tied to my energy level and how much physical pain I'm in. I'm tired.  A lot, but today has been especially tiring.  That hike was surprisingly painful too, in my hips, legs, and back.  The nerve damage in my back affects my legs a bit but I'm also terribly out of shape and I wonder how much of it might be due to my clogged arteries and heart issues.  I probably worry too much.  I do know though, that the more I do it the better off I'll be.  I need to get out riding more too.  But I don't trust Scout to go out without a partner, at least a hiker, and now that Buster has hurt me I'm not sure about him either.  I do have a Garmin device to call for help but I don't want to get hurt like I did last year.  Breaking my back was nothing compared to ripping my elbow apart.  I could at least mount up and ride back to camp with my broken transverse processes.  I couldn't even lead my donkey with my elbow dislocated.  I need to get health insurance again.  I'm going to put that on my to-do list for tomorrow.

Right now I'm sitting next to a crackling fire out front.  It's cold and breezy but the birds are singing and it's fairly bright out and I have company.  I don't have anything to complain about.  :)


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