Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Beautiful Day, Without a Cloud

Some mornings are just born lovely, like Tuesday. There was a crisp luminosity to everything I could see from my kitchen window. The angle of the sun, still low from its winter zenith in the eastern sky lit the trees sharply on one side and made hard dark blue shadows on the back of the trunks and branches, so that all the lines I could see were vertical and dramatic. The sky was robin egg blue with no sign of a cloud and there was a pleasant coolness to the air with promise of a nice warming later in the day.
There are so many things that can happen on a day like this. When the weather is lovely like this, all the potential chores that need to be done outside can be done with the joy of not having to fight the elements, and it becomes more a matter of which to do first. I felt an optimism and an urgency to get outside and do as much as I possibly could to take advantage of such sublime weather before it changed back to some version of the previous rainy, moody, and challenging conditions. The difficulty was in deciding which of the endless things that I wanted to get done, or needed to do, or both. The decision being almost impossible, of course I chose to ride my horses.
And so I spent the majority of my hours on Tuesday working all three of the ones in training, Kitty, Sunset, and Atlas. Long time having been irregular in my riding schedule it was so nice to be able to immerse myself again in the process. The warmth of the low sun gave a bit of sleepiness to the animals and I did have to wake Kitty up from a stupor a time or two while I was working her. In fact all were a bit lazy and inattentive but it was just so nice being back aboard. I spent a bit of time working with them in the arena and then took each in turn down the driveway to the pond dam where the fescue grass remains a lush green and let them gorge.
There are few things I can think of that are more soothing to me than sitting on a grazing horse on a beautiful day while it enjoys a bit of this green grass especially when all else is dormant and brown. There is a gentle swaying as the horse reaches from side to side for the choicest bit of tender blades, the sound of tearing grass and then the contented chewing and blissful gazing around before going for the next bite. The horse is in a zone of total contentment and it is contagious.
It was another pretty day yesterday so I rode all three again and was reminded again of how important consistency is. Having two or more days in row to work a horse is like night and day in terms of the closer communication, and perhaps some looser muscles and joints, on both the horses' part and mine. The horses all went so well, relaxed and paying close attention to my aids.

Atlas is making the transition from being a green broke to becoming a solid citizen, as my dear friend and former instructor, Col. Howard Morris would say of a young horse. This boy has some fancy gaits but what a fabulous canter. It always is special to watch any type of really good athlete or dancer preform. They move with a cat like grace, with a power and balance that sets them apart from the group of their peers. Gravity doesn't seem to influence them the way it does everything else and your eye is drawn involuntarily to them. So it is with Atlas. I just enjoy watching this colt move, but getting to ride him is amazing.

Today is a soggy leftover from a flooding rain last night. The ground is a saturated sponge and there is nowhere dry enough to ride so I am aiming now to get stuff done on this computer. That is stuff that doesn't have anything to do with thinking about horses and writing blogs about horses. Boring, but must be dealt with. I just hope that tomorrow will be pretty again and the ground will be dried off enough to get the ponies back out and ride.

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