Saturday, December 4, 2010

48 Hours of Awesome

(This, my friends, is the life)

So this seems a bit old now, but I feel like I simply must give a little update about Thanksgiving back on the farm because it was so. much. fun. I love a lot of things about California, but in the end nothing even comes close to comparing with the homeland.

(The little barn looking pretty as a picture on my first night back)

Papa and I rolled in on Thanksgiving night with a safe and happy (phew!) Kiki in tow, and I got to spend 48 hours back on the farm, stuffing my face with as much savory bread pudding as possible (and, it turns out, "as much as possible" is a staggeringly large amount), scooping homemade cranberry sauce right out of the jar to eat straight, playing with the seemingly ever-growing dog pack my mom is collecting, and enjoying every second of being back out on the farm with the horses.

(My mom currently owns the #1 Cairn Terrier in the US, which has piqued her interest in trying her own hand at breeding; here's one of our newest additions to the Cairn pack)

(Eloise and Maddy, the two new Cairn puppies, with my brother's girlfriend Gallagher)

(NOM NOM NOM NOM - and lest you think this isn't a huge amount, consider that this was my first helping... of three)

(Me trying to corral Maddy, who is a giant for a Cairn and shockingly heavy for her size)

Thanks to the generally very mild fall they've had at home, the farm was looking more beautiful in late November than I can remember for a long time: green grass still out in the fields, not too much mud, and very little of the iron-grey bleakness I often associate with this late autumn but still pre-winter time of the year. The horses are all looking great, Dually especially so--fuzzy, fat, and sassy-- awesome!

(Pa and Dually sharing a moment at night check; Pa let me ride Dually twice over the weekend, and I even got to jump an X on him... so much fun!!!)

Of course, the horse I was most looking forward to seeing was Ringo. It's hard to believe that in a few days, it will have been a full five months since his diagnosis, a full five months since the last time I got to ride him. He's looking incredibly fuzzy, has been feeling super electric as the weather has gotten colder, and in general is in as high spirits as I could hope for after five months of continuous stall rest. He was so sweet and started nickering to me the second I got down into the barnyard to see him the first night; I miss him so badly, and it seemed for a moment like maybe he misses me too.

Kiki has been turned out in her own big field and is the happiest I've seen in a long time. When I first turned her out she grabbed a bite of hay and then found the muddiest patch of her field, got down, and rolled... and rolled, and rolled, and rolled! Then, satisfied, she proceeded to firmly attach her face to as much grass as she could get her lips on and I think I only saw her out of that position a handful of times for the rest of the weekend. She's definitely missed turnout! She's been very calm (barring one minor meltdown the first night when both her neighbors got taken in, leaving her stranded and VERY VERY UNHAPPY) and relaxed, and every day when I went out to check on her she would pick her head up at my call and come jogging over in a lovely, even, swinging trot. Keep it up, Wahine!

(Kiki her first night back, not yet covered in New England dirt... by this time the next night, she'd turned brown!)

The most fun adventure of the break took place on Sunday morning, right before I had to fly back to school for exams (blehhhhh). Pa and I loaded up Dually and Ky, one of our recently returned homebred Connemaras (who is usually ridden by an awesome high school kid who was nice enough to lend him to me for the weekend), and struck out for Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA. We go every year when the beach opens for horses and have always had a blast galloping along the surf, and this year was no exception! Ky was SUPER, and it was SUCH a thrill to be riding him for the first time since he was a baby (he's 12 now and back on the farm after the girl we sold him to started vet school... I haven't ridden him since he was probably 5 or 6!). Goodness, he's a fancy and lovely pony =)

(Ky = seriously cute little squirtlet)

(His little ears... soooo adorable)

He was pretty out of shape so we didn't do too much fast stuff, but still got a nice little gallop in on the way back - it sure felt nice, after a semester of either galloping and checking up in polo or sitting deep in dressage, to get up out of the tack and just go! As much as I love the adrenaline and sense of accomplishment that I get in cross country, there is something so indescribably lovely about just breezing along without worrying about setting up for the next fence, feeling your horse's body working beneath you and just thinking about how wonderful it is to be alive. Ky, for a 13.3hh pony, has a beautiful big open horse gallop that made for wonderful riding. If his girl ever gets sick of him, I'd be happy to take him off her hands!!

(Ky and his buddy Dually revel post-gallop)


We finished up, seriously windswept and chilly (25ºF and a 15 mph wind!) but too happy for words. This has just got to be one of the more fun things you can do with a horse. And, as you can see from the (seriously crappy disposable camera) photos, the experience wasn't too hard on the eyes, either ;)

(Yay!!! So much fun!!)

I'm currently busy wrapping up for finals, trying not to become too much of a lard in my currently horseless state. I got to play some polo today, which was super fun (!!), but I'm definitely missing riding every day. Something I should get used to, I guess. . .

But in good news: 7 days until I'm home for winter break!! One paper and three finals stand between me and FREEDOM. So. Pumped.

(Some of my pictures from the GMHA T3D got published in Eventing Magazine, which arrived at our house over break - super super cool!!)


Veronica Lodge said...

I love your barn, my guy has the same blanket as Dually :) Great beach pics :)

Dressager said...

Seriously LOVE that barn.And I seriously wish the nearest beach wasn't a four hour drive haha. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving :))

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