Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kash Questions

Outside my French doors, it is perfect riding weather. Cool, but not too cool, sunny and no wind. I decided Fold the Kash and I would take a spin around the farm. It was time to ride out of sight of the barn, the pasture mates, and off into the deep woods that surround our property. I put on my safety vest in case HE decided this wasn't such a good idea.
With a young horse, every new question you ask can produce any number of answers like, No way, let's spin, I'm not taking another step, let's back into the trees, bucking is more fun, and maybe a combination of all. Or, if you're really lucky, the young horse might say, "sure, let's go."
I admit I was nervous. When at home, we haven't gone very far before, as he's better with a buddy and I can't ride two horses at one time. I've played it safe and stayed within his comfort zone, short forays only as far as he'd go without me sensing he was getting nervous.
This doesn't mean he hasn't been asked things and proven he can do them. We've done our away from home work. He now goes well in a group or with just one other horse. Creeks are no problem and steep inclines and drops a piece of cake. Logs are stepped over carefully, ditches, stepped into and out of one foot at a time. He'll jump a small course in a ring. No hidden monsters in the forest for this guy. He takes everything in stride, WHEN he's got a buddy, or knows they are near by.
Today, was the perfect weather for seeking new ground when all alone. I mounted up and off we went. Down the drive and into the woods, back up a trail and past the barn. So far, so good, but soon we'd be at the spot where he has always exhibited a bit of nerves and we'd turn around. Why? Because this horse simply wasn't ready before now. He needed to learn to trust himself and me. It's taken time and now and then, I found myself feeling impatient, but it takes two ready to move forward to make a good horse. Don't ask the question, unless you and he are ready for the answer, has always been my motto.
The question asking spot was coming up fast. I felt butterflies awakening in my stomach and started chattering to Kash, more for me than for him as we moved on. Talking would force me to breathe.
One step, two steps, ten steps, more. We reached "the spot". Eleven steps, twelve. We were past the turn-around point. I asked him to take the left trail and walk down a steep hill.
Head down and a buck and I'd be a goner.
Hmm. Not a flicker of ear, not a quickened step. I asked him to move out.
Kash answered, "Sure, let's go." Onward we went.
This little guy is ready to broaden his horizons, at a nice leisurely pace and with a new sense of self-confidence. It was worth taking the time, like most good things are worth taking the time. I said in the beginning, perfect riding weather. Dang, it's great to be right
Wishing all a Fold the Kash and go kind of afternoon.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Go get 'em Pope Francis

This little bit is for the all encompassing thinkers amongst my friends.
You know, I'm not a catholic, not even very 'organized religion' oriented, but I do believe in a love bigger than our worldly capabilities are able to comprehend. Therefore, I've found the new Pope Francis, a refreshingly brave soul. He isn't afraid to speak of bigger truths/less dogma. Below is a small quote from a recent pi
ece he wrote. All I can say is, "Go, Pope. God is with you."

"This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity."

POPE FRANCIS, in an interview in which he said the Roman Catholic Church had become "obsessed" with gay people, abortion and contraception.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Live Life

Up on the mountain at Donathin, the sky is overcast, but the sun is pushing up to brighten the day. The view makes me think of how big life is, endless memories clouded by feelings, good and bad, and bright possibilities on the horizon encouraging me to dream of the future. It is very apparent that I'm a mere particle in this thing called life.
I sit here, in the moment, my moment, in the middle of living. My heart swells with simply being. Have a "life is huge" kind of day.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Two short Hunt Reports that don’t do the adrenaline pumping runs justice. To say, “I ride with Green Creek Hounds” has a whole new meaning after today. We love our members.

2013 Labor Day Hunt
Brilliant run on a red fox. This run began along the creek below the Coxe Rd meet. Hounds struck on a line, raced up and across Solem Williams Rd near Nina’s Hunt Box. The huntsman and all three flights followed up from the bottom to the road and then moved down Solem Williams toward Peg’s place listening to the hounds roar in the valley behind Nina’s. The voices indicated the pack was moving toward White Oak Creek.
As they listened and watched, sitting at the corner of Peg’s, a red fox popped out of the far edge of the front field.
All viewers were so entranced by the fox as he ran across the large meadow, that not one person thought to take a picture! The hounds’ voices rolled from the woods and the pack flew into view soon after the fox crossed into the trees on the far side of Solem Williams Road. The pack was dead on the line. The entire field of first, second and third flight, around 30 riders, had a front row seat. No pictures, but plenty of excitement!
Off all went after the pack, back down toward the creek and back across Solem Williams and to ground behind Nina’s. Tot blew Gone to Ground and called it a day. Tally Ho times thirty, as that’s about how many field members viewed!

September 5, 2013,  Hunt at East Green Creek
Today, our Second Flight moved themselves up a notch and earned a new moniker, Second-First Flight. This was on an adventuresome run after a coyote. Charlie Erthal viewed first, not ten minutes into the hunt. Tot brought the hounds to the view and cast them. Off they went, voices strong into the deep woods. They circled about with all three flights in pursuit. The strong chase led up to the high point of that fixture.

There, Ron Piccari viewed the coyote crossing the forbidden field with the pack only about fifteen seconds behind. First and Second Flights were right there in the chase. At this time, third flight decided to call it a day and headed back toward the trailers.

The other two flights crossed a difficult creek, took a four-foot bank, and a very steep hillside, all in short order, to stay right with the Huntsman. Riders grabbed mane as the horses lunged up the slope and raced on. The run ended in the cattle field near our old East Green Creek II fixture.

Once they stopped, MFH, Kem Ketcham looked around and grinned. He was as excited about all the riders making it through the tough terrain as he was about the wonderful hound work.

The participants had a heart galloping good time and both flights will be talking about their awesome riding for years. It will be one of those, “Remember the Day” hunts, and they will smile just thinking about it. Both First and Second-First earned bragging rights.

Tally Ho and away we go!
See you Sunday at the Vineyard.
The Masters
Note: Because of throwing a shoe, most of the report from Sept 5, was told to this reporter after the hunt at the Stanley Circle. Listening to the hounds, and then so many excited voices, each telling the same great story, was like being along for the ride.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

US Postal

Outside my French doors, danger lurks. Therefore, I'm off to the mountain for some writing and unwinding time after almost getting hit by a mail delivery lady on my own driveway.

She's been warned before, many times, to go slow on the blind curves because of horses and kids, but refuses to slow down to a speed that let's one see around the curves and still be able to stop at a safe distance. She was delivering to a lady who has a right of way off our drive. We don't mind the mail being delivered to the woman, she has trouble getting the mail at the end of the drive by the road, but, we do mind the postal driver treating our drive like a regular roadway.

Luckily, my horse didn't shy as she slammed to a halt less than 2 feet from my horse's, nose.  She actually yelled at me for being on our own drive. Went a bit postal, spouting she had a right to drive at the speed she wanted, and my horse shouldn't have been there. And, then jumped on me again on her way out the drive after delivery.

I complained at the local post office. Hope they do something, because it's just a matter of time before she hits another car, a horse, or a person. I doubt the US Postal Service wants to deal with the consequences of that. Have a safe afternoon all.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Weather or Not

At 6AM, outside my French doors, the moon smiled, a tight-lipped sliver in the darkness. By 6:30 dawn showed the blush of a newborn day. At 7AM, bright white on the Eastern horizon announced the sun was here to stay and I prepared for an outside day.

No wait, it is  now 7:40 and rain dashes about as grey skies advance from the North. Mother Nature sure likes to keep our attention on her. Good thing, horses are in, feeding is done. I will sit back with a cup of tea and watch her show in hopes that will appease her. At 10:30, I have to take my Mother's cat to the vet for a rabies shot. 

The little cat excursion will create a storm of its own without added attractions. I can see it now,  Mother Nature tossing in lightning bolts, and rumbling, Me, Me, Me, to get my attention. I hope I'm wrong.

Have a great, unpredictable day, all.