Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Update and 2013 in Review

2013 was a great year.  In 2011, Pie and I had our Very Bad Accident (three broken bones, a severe concussion, a multi-month recovery and serious loss of confidence in my case), and we also entered into a period of dealing with EPM (all three horses) and Lyme (Pie).  2012 was a year of big changes - new barn (with an indoor and where I didn't have to clean stalls or do daily turnout) and where I really rededicated myself to becoming the better horse person I needed to be for my horses.  Red and Pie went to stay with Heather, and they and I trained with her - for about 45 days in Pie's case and 90 days in Red's case.  Pie and Red and I rode in the Mark Rashid clinic that spring.  Substantial progress was made by all concerned, but particularly by me in terms of my body position and mechanics.  In 2013, I was able to ride consistently all year, with all three horses, and we made great progress in terms of connection and softness, and I continued my exploration of how to ride better so I could stay out of my horses' way.  Here are our rides for 2013: total rides: 673; Dawn: 200, Pie: 223, Red: 250.  Some of those rides were short, or only at the walk, but we showed up and we did it together. In June, I also had the wonderful opportunity to take a private lesson with Mark Rashid, and I've been working on his "less is more" assignment to me ever since.

My horses continue to be my best teachers, and every time I ride, they help me ride better - we've been working a lot on my body position lately and on freeing up their movement.

Updates: Red's corneal abrasion healed up without incident, in less than a week - whew!  And I've purchased a new saddle for him - an About the Horse #2 tree light trail saddle, 16" seat - very much like the one I've already got, but a #2 instead of a #1 tree, and black instead of brown.  I dealt with a very nice lady in Minnesota, and the saddle was shipped last Monday and should be here soon.  This is my second purchase of a used saddle over the internet - in both cases through the used saddle section of the About the Horse web site, which makes a big difference I think - and my experiences with the sellers have been excellent. I have 7 days to try it out once it gets here, so I'm keeping fingers crossed - Red will let me know if it fits, but Heather has a #2 tree saddle that fit both Red and Pie well, so I think it'll be fine.  If it's good, Red will need a new, black, bridle . . . I don't get to shop a lot for new horse stuff as I have so much already, but there are exceptions . . . Here are some pictures of the new saddle:

The saddle looks to be very well cared for and in very good condition.  I think Red will look very good in black, don't you?

My goals for 2014 are more of the same - more riding - every chance I get - and more improvement in my position and softness so my horses can offer me more freedom of movement, connection and softness.  I feel a very strong bond with all three, very individual, horses, and I'm looking forward to spending as much time as possible with them in the New Year.

I think there may be some posts coming on my answer to a boarder's question to me last week: "why are your horses so calm?" . . .

A very happy New Year to you and your equine companions!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blog Pause

As we get closer to the holidays, this blog is going to go on a bit of a pause - less frequent posting and perhaps few if any posts until after the first of the year.  Happy holidays to all of you and your special people and equines!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

On Springs

All three horses were on springs today - don't know what about the weather got everyone going.  All three horses were very, very good, despite their excess energy.  Dawn was very forward and not particularly relaxed, Red was extra forward and very distractible and felt like a bundle of nerves, and Pie was unusually forward (for him) which made our ride very easy for me - I just had to direct his energy.  Both Dawn and Red held things together for me, but we didn't get a whole lot of softness going.  Maybe it was the snow that fell all day, or the much colder weather that we've got coming tomorrow, or that I was a bit tired - who knows?  I'm just glad they all were such excellent horses.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Riding Again, and Red Sees the Vet

When I was taking care of horses yesterday afternoon, I noticed that Red's right eye seemed a little irritated, it wasn't open quite as wide as the other eye, and the eyelid was a bit puffy.  But no squinting or tears, which was good.  I put in some eye antibiotic (without steroids - very important in the case of a corneal injury to avoid steroids) - he was very cooperative which meant he agreed medication was a good idea - he's very smart about this.

After I rode Dawn this morning, I walked out into the pasture to say hello to the boys and check on Red's eye.  It didn't really look any better, although not worse either.  In the bright light, I could see a fairly sizable abrasion on the surface of his cornea over the iris.  The margins looked clean and there was no cloudiness, which means it probably isn't infected.  He was very cooperative for me to put in medication.

I called the vet to get them to come today - I generally do for eye issues if I can see anything on the surface of the eye, or if the horse is squinting or tearing, or if a minor irritation isn't showing substantial improvement within 12 hours of starting treatment with antibiotic ointment.  Red's squint was minor, and there was no tearing, which meant he wasn't in much pain, but he met the other two criteria so I called the vet.  Eye injuries are nothing to mess with, and my supply of eye medication is also a bit low.  Red had a corneal injury to the other eye back in 2011 that took almost three months to resolve, with medication required several times a day, because he developed an abscess that really didn't want to heal - what's called, in veterinary terms, an "indolent ulcer".  I'm hoping to avoid that this time.

The vet came, stained his eye and confirmed that there was an abrasion.  The good news is that it's very shallow, so it should heal quickly - probably within a week - and without complications.  I have a new supply of triple antibiotic for his eye, and will be putting it in at least three times a day.  Red was a very cooperative patient - he's smart and knows when someone is helping him, and he also knows our vet, who has an excellent way with the horses.

And, finally, some riding again!  I rode all three horses - Dawn in the morning, Red while waiting for the vet to arrive, and Pie before and then again after the vet visit.  All three horses couldn't have been better, despite having had three days off (Dawn) and an entire week off (Red and Pie).  I just got on and rode and they rode just the way they always do - what a delight!

I'm hoping for three rides again tomorrow . . .

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wild Horses

All the horses stayed in until about 10 this morning due to the extreme cold - wind chills of at least -20F.  By 10, wind chills were still below zero, although the sun was bright and glinting off the snow on the ground.  I was at the barn, so I turned my three horses out.  They were clearly excited to get out - they're used to being out from early in the morning on - and Dawn had been in since mid-morning the day before.

But all three were very well behaved despite their pent-up energy.  I took Pie and Red out together, which meant that Pie had to wait while I sent Red ahead through the narrow door into the arena - he rotated nicely once inside to face us.  We led through - Red was excited and wanted to forge ahead but listened well to me - and got to the pasture gate.  I led them through, rotated them around and closed the gate, and then let Pie, then Red, go.  They stopped briefly to take a big drink from the water tank - I suspect this is a regular part of their morning ritual - and then galloped off together - down the hill, then up the other side to where the hay bales are set out.

I turned Dawn out next - she was very much on her toes - other mares were out and running and cavorting in the pasture that she could see through the arena door.  I elected to undo her halter by unbuckling the crown piece, and she half-reared and sprang into a gallop as she went to the pasture.  She then cavorted and ran a bit with the other mares before they settled to the hay.

Both Dawn and Pie seemed satisfied with their turnout today.  Red was still very antsy - he nickered loudly to me when I got there in the afternoon, and was somewhat alert and nervous, although very well-behaved, on the cross ties.  I think he was worried about having to stay in tomorrow - they only got a little more than 3 hours of turnout today - the good news is that things are warming up (slightly) tomorrow, so all the horses should be turned out all day and perhaps we'll be able to get back to riding . . .

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More of the Same, and a Note on Lyme

As I write, at about 5 p.m., it's 5F with a wind chill of -6F.  Tonight's the coldest night yet - here's the forecast:
Tonight - A slight chance of flurries after 3am. Increasing clouds, with a low around -6. Wind chill values as low as -23. West wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. 
Thursday - Partly sunny, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as -14. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
It looks like Friday may be a bit better, and we might even get to ride - I can't wait as I'm in withdrawal after no riding since last Friday . . .

On the topic of Lyme, I was talking to one of the boarders about her horse.  She's had him for 7 years, and he's been on and off unsound ever since - he's been looked at by numerous vets, had joint injections, been on joint supplements, and nothing worked - he was never quite right and often had issues as well with his back.  Recently, she had him tested for Lyme, and guess what, he came up strongly positive for a long-term infection.  Due to the fact that he'd been infected for a long time - probably the whole time she'd had him - she opted to treat him with IV tetracycline - the vet came to the barn for a number of days to do the infusions.  He's now 100% sound and starting back to work - he moves great and looks like a much happier horse.  She's excited - she's finally got the horse he's supposed to be.  I expect there are a lot of horses out there being treated for all sorts of things who really have Lyme - now that the new Cornell test is available you'd hope more vets would recommend testing, if only to rule that out.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not Much Riding Coming Up

It was about 6F with a wind chill of -18F when I went to the barn this morning - it did warm up a bit in the afternoon but not that much.

Doesn't look like there's going to be much riding over the next few days - here's our forecast:
Tonight - Snow after 1am. Temperature rising to around 16 by 4am. Wind chill values as low as -6. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of around an inch possible. 
Wednesday - Snow, mainly before 1pm. Temperature rising to near 17 by 9am, then falling to around 5 during the remainder of the day. Wind chill values as low as -14. Blustery, with a northwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible. 
Wednesday Night - Partly cloudy, with a low around -5. Wind chill values as low as -20. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. 
Thursday - Mostly sunny, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -20. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. 
Thursday Night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. Southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.
The good news is that the horses should be able to go out for a few hours tomorrow morning, but Thursday doesn't look promising.  Dawn only managed a couple of hours today and was happy to be brought in - the boys stayed out all day and seemed fine.

But we're having some nice, relaxed grooming sessions, and since I love grooming and all my horses enjoy it too, life isn't too bad.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nothing to Prove

Today was cold - low 20s with some sun.  Dawn and I managed to have a very fine ride in the morning - it's great that I can just get on her and ride after two days off, even though it was only about 25F in the indoor.  She was wonderful, very forward and engaged but also nicely soft.  We didn't work long, as that temperature is a bit cold for her without a blanket.

This afternoon the temperature started to drop and the wind picked up.  It was 18F when I left for the barn about 2:30 p.m., and by the time I was on my way home at around 4:30, it was only 11F, and the only (polite) word for what the wind was doing is "howling".  I change from my "people" coat, gloves and headband into my "horse" coat, gloves and headband while standing by my truck - I don't keep my outer horse clothes at home, they live in my truck.  It was mighty unpleasant switching gear this afternoon.

I was hoping to get in rides on Red and Pie since it's going to be even colder, with a lot of wind, over the next several days and it's unlikely we'll be able to do much riding.  Mondays are also one of my favorite days to ride as there is rarely anyone else there and we have the arena to ourselves. It's going to be cold enough tomorrow that I'm even having Dawn kept in her stall tomorrow morning - the wind chill is supposed to be below -10F and she would be cold for sure.  The boys will probably be fine, but I'll be there early to walk Dawn while her stall is being cleaned and can check on them.  Dawn should be able to go out for a couple of hours once the temperature rises a little.

Red and I attempted a ride, after a good grooming.  When it's windy, the outside arena doors rattle and bang and the roof buzzes - we're all used to that.  Today as Red and I started our ride, the wind was howling around the corners and the doors weren't just rattling, they were slamming.  It was darn cold in there, too - barely 20F. We rode for a bit, but then the wind picked up even more and the roof started groaning and there were gusts of wind where snow and dirt were being sandblasted against the sides of the barn.  Red was trying his heart out for me, but would flinch slightly every time there was a particularly loud noise.  Neither of us were enjoying the ride very much, and I decided we should just stop - I didn't need to put him through that even though he would have done it for me.   We've got nothing to prove to ourselves or anyone else.

I jumped off and we went back to the stalls, I told Red what a fine, brave horse he was and he went back to his hay and I enjoyed a nice long grooming session with Pie.  It was a very good day with horses in any event.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bombs Away!

Today was a day off from riding for all of us.  I went to the barn in the morning to do a few chores, and - you guessed it - found another "present" from Dawn in one of her water buckets.  So her buckets got cleaned again . . .

Her aim seems too good - she makes a direct hit on the bucket every time - for it to be accidental.  She seems to like to stand with her tail in the bucket - I know this because it sometimes is matted with frozen water  (and even some manure - yuck!) when she comes back in.  So with her tail in the bucket, she knows that her aim will be good . . .

I'm not sure what she's trying to say - maybe she likes her buckets cleaned every day . . .

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Too Cold

The boys were getting a day off today, as I had a friend's 90th birthday party to attend this afternoon - and a more active, alert, intelligent woman - 90 or any other age - she is.

But I usually ride Dawn on Saturday mornings - my days, 5 days a week, start with a ride on Dawn - a great way to start the day.

But not today - it was 6F (that would be -14C) when I got to the barn, and the windchill was -10F (or -23C).  The horses were out, and the boys were fine in their blankets, chowing down on the hay.  Dawn, however, was cold, and huddled at the gate, despite her heavy weight Rambo blanket with a full neck.  The pastures have no shelter or windbreaks, but Dawn is always the first to get cold.

So I brought her into her stall to warm up - the barn is heated to about 45F.  It was only 20F inside the indoor, and considering that she was cold already, that was too cold for us to ride.  So I did some chores, including cleaning water buckets, and went home for a while, leaving Dawn to eat her hay - she didn't object to being in although she was the only horse in there.

I came back at 11:00, and by then the windchill was above zero, so I put her back out for the remaining turnout time, cleaned up her stall and washed (again) the water bucket she'd left me a present in.

Tomorrow is another non-riding day, and we're supposed to get a bit of snow, but at least the temperatures are supposed to be a bit warmer.

Friday, December 6, 2013

By Jove! I Believe She's Got It!

That's what my horses have to say, I'm happy to report.  About 10 days ago, my horses started working with me intensively on my position - particularly on my right bend and the posture of my head, neck, shoulder and hip.  We started at the walk, and recently have been working on the same thing at trot.

They say that I've made a lot of progress.  I'd agree - the turning/not tipping of my head, and the slight drawing back (instead of dropping) of my inside shoulder, as well as the opening of my hip on the inside - are much more automatic now, after all the practice we've done.  The right isn't entirely automatic yet, but my consistency is much higher.

My consistency is directly reflected by the consistency my horses are giving me - this is always how it is, I think.   Just in the past two days, this has really shone through.  I had one of the best rides I've ever had on Red yesterday (although some of his animation and engagement might have been due to the presence of two mares in the ring - he's quite the ladies' man and likes to show off for them), and my ride today (despite the fact it was in the mid-20s in the arena) on Pie was simply outstanding and the best ride we've ever had - we even tried some canter and it was just as excellent as the trot.

Corners are deep, circles are circles and not eggs, inside hind legs are engaged and stepping under, forward is automatic, hindquarters are engaged and front ends are lifting.  No aids, no pushing, no pulling, just correct posture and focus, and providing openings for them to move into.  Connection and flow, effortless (except for the effort of paying attention). Nothing could be finer.

It's great having three such dedicated and honest teachers - they tell it like it is.  Every improvement in my riding is almost entirely due to Dawn, Red and Pie, and the way to improvement is for me to continue to listen to them.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Alternatives to the Half Halt?

My recent posts about reducing/eliminating blocks and braces, and creating mental and physical openings for the horse to move into, has got me thinking . . . always dangerous . . .

I've been thinking about the half halt - many of you will know how we were trained to use this to ask the horse to "rebalance", as a signal that something else (another cue) was coming up shortly, or to ask for more collection or a slower cadence.  So in that sense, the half halt is used as a cue like any other.  Half halts can be done with either the hand or the seat.

But here's what the half halt really is - no matter how small or softly it's applied - it's a brace.  It's deliberately designed to interrupt, if only for a second, the forward movement of the horse. I think this is why I've had a problem with the whole concept of the half halt for a long time.  If you want your horse to be soft from nose to tail, and to move without braces or blocking, why would you want to reintroduce a brace, particularly one that is used so often?

Now like most cues, in the hands of a skilled rider, who is sensitive to the horse (and not yanking, cranking or engaging in practices like rollkur - and no "logical" justification, or popularity in certain circles, can make rollkur anything but barbaric and a form of torture for the horse, not to mention that it results in incorrect (but frequently rewarded in competition) movement), the half halt can be almost invisible and work very well once the horse understands what it means - it's not wrong at all.

But it's still a brace . . .  And braces, even small ones, do lots of things I don't want in my riding - they interrupt energy, flow and softness.  But are there alternatives to the half halt that serve the same purpose?

I think, for alternatives to the half halt, you have to be trying to ride in/as the horse, not on the horse.  Bear with me for a moment . . .

Let's look at the sorts of things the half halt is used for - you may have others you can come up with.

Rebalancing - this to me is the one use of the half halt that may need replacement, not by a substitute for the half halt itself, but by riding that addresses the underlying problem leading to the need for rebalancing.  Rebalancing implies that the horse is out of balance - on the forehand, leaning on the bit, rushing without rhythm, or leaning in or out.  Introducing a brace to this mix in the interests of balance seems unlikely to result in much more than . . . a brace.  The horse may respond because it's learned to - slow down, say - but the causes of the lack of softness, and resulting lack of balance, aren't really addressed.  One example - say the horse is rushing.  Rather than attempting to interrupt the energy and forward movement with a half halt, teach the horse to carry itself with relaxation and without rushing.  Small circles and figures are very helpful for this - no bracing required - with the horse traveling straight when the desired pace and rhythm are achieved.

Alert that something is coming - this is one where a pre-cue is desired.  An example of this would be if you were about to ask for a chance in gait.  Here's one where my horses and I have an alternative to offer.  Instead of a half-halt (brace), pre-cue with a thought - of rhythm (say the 1-2 of trot to the 1-2-3 of canter) - and then, instead of cuing for the change of gait with a leg or seat aid (often a brace itself) cue with an exhale - the opposite of a brace, instead something that frees motion and softness.

Collection and more engagement of the hindquarters - this is one my horses and I are still working on.  Dawn has been working with me on this one in particular - the only way I can describe what she and I do is to say that we lift and draw ourselves up together into a more collected posture with elevation of the forequarters and engagement of the hindquarters.  No half halts, no rein aids and no blocking the flow or energy.  Dawn and the boys and I haven't figured this one out completely yet, but we're getting there.

Now that's a lot of words about something that's really about feel and connection, which really aren't verbal things at all.  I'd describe it in words, as best I can, as breathing, focus, energy and opening so you direct the horse through the horse - through your connection and mutual feel.  So it comes from inside the horse, or you and the horse as a unit, not something you apply to the horse from outside. And I'm no master of any of this, I'm just on the road . . . together with my fine horses.  But we are on the road, and that's the important part. To close, here's a quote from Mark Rashid:
Regardless of the amount of knowledge or experience an instructor has, they can only impart a fraction of what it takes to be really good with horses. It is through our own devotion to practice and learning that the gifts of these great creatures can be received by us, and even more practice and learning before they become part of us.
Enough words . . . it's time to ride.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Music Day

Not much horse today - it's music day - fun and challenging in its own way.  More horse tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Counterintuitive? On the Wings of the Wind . . .

So many of the things my horses are teaching me seem counterintuitive.  But they're really only counterintuitive in terms of the ways to ride many of us were taught.

One example: many of us were taught that we needed to "support" the horse with our rein or leg.  Think about it for a minute - a horse weighs 1,000 pounds or more, and we weigh maybe 150.  Horses are much stronger than we are.  So, how, precisely are we to "support" the horse?  What my horses are teaching me is that the idea of "support" is pretty much an illusion - when there's more than the very slightest amount of pressure in your hand or against your leg, what you've got isn't support, it's a brace, which blocks or inhibits the horse's motion and flow of energy.

My horses are teaching me that hands, legs, seat, balance and breathing are to be used for connection and communication, and that this communication can occur with a whisper, or even with a thought.  Creating openings - mental and physical - for your horse to move into - is a powerful concept my horses are working with me on.

One example from my work with Dawn, Red and Pie on my corners.  Now say you have a horse that's tending to fall in around the corners, and maybe even bending to the outside while doing so.  The natural inclination - the way many of us were taught - would be to use the inside leg to "support" the horse and ask the horse to bend to the inside and step to the outside, often with a "supporting" outside rein.  This is the classic "inside leg to outside hand".

Now I'm not saying that doesn't work, after a fashion, or that it's necessarily wrong - I've done it myself.  But Dawn, Red and Pie say I should think about all the braces that are being created - leg against inside, hand against outside.  Any time there's a brace, there's a likelihood of loss of true forward and impulsion, and a locking up of free motion and energy.

My horses have been teaching me that there's another way to deal with the falling in issue - and in fact it's not really dealing with the horse's falling in issue, it's dealing with my falling in issue.  If I ride correctly, and allow (note: not cause, allow) the horse to move correctly, there isn't any falling in or any issue.

Pie in particular is a good teacher on this, and Dawn was also helping me out this morning.  Pie says: "you want a brace, here's a brace right back at you".  And Dawn says: "get out of my way".  So, here's the counterintuitive part.  No messing with the head or the reins - my contact was consistent in both reins - just the weight of the reins and a feather of contact.  And I don't change anything except to follow the bend of the head and neck with my hand to maintain the feather of contact - I don't bend the head and neck, I bend with the head and neck.

As we start to enter the turn, I open my inside hip just a bit - but no leg pressure.  This creates an opening for our hind legs to move up and under the horse's body and to the outside.  I also keep my focus and chin up - not tilting my head to the inside or looking down - and very slightly open my inside shoulder - but again, this is really bending with the horse and not creating it.

Pie approved last night, and Dawn as well this morning.  Dawn did the best corners to the right she's ever done - or Dawn would say I did the best corners I'd ever done, which allowed us to do the best corners we'd ever done together. It wasn't a matter of me doing something, and then the horse responding.  It was us doing it together at the same time - just direct, simultaneous connection and communication.  And there was wonderful, beautiful, delicious forward and impulsion.

Like riding on the wings of the wind . . .

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pie Approves

At this point, my horses are usually teaching me, not the other way round.  My ride with Pie today was a good case in point.  It's no longer me training Pie to bend deep into the corners and engage his inside hind leg, it's Pie training me to ride so that it's easy for him to bend deep into the corners and engage his hind leg.  Puts a different spin on things, doesn't it?

Today, the indoor arena footing, while still a little deep, was at least safe to do some trot work.  So, after our day off, Pie and I worked some more on what we'd already spent two days of walk work on. See this post if you want all the details of what we were doing, and how my posture and body mechanics were interfering with his ability to bend and step under with the inside hind.

We started with a review of our work at the walk, including lots of small circles and changes of direction.  I still find that, unlike turns to the left where my body mechanics are now automatic - no fussing with the horse's head at all, turn my head, keeping my eyes and chin up, slightly bring my inside shoulder back and slightly open my inside hip - turns to the right are still hard work and I have to concentrate to ride them correctly.  But I did it, and Pie's response at the walk was approval, and a lovely, cadenced, lifting, forward walk.

So we moved up to trot.  Voila! Perfect corners and turns, including on the transitions from long diagonals into the corners, which have been a particular issue for us.  Pie is strict - the moment my concentration lapsed and I wasn't riding forward and up and out, he would lose his straightness.  Any time I tilted my head instead of turning it, or even worse, did that while looking down, he fell in through his shoulder.  And any time I failed to open my inside hip, he didn't step under with the inside hind.

But when I did ride correctly, Pie gave me beautiful releases - lovely, forward, cadenced, lifting trot, with lovely bend in the corners and circles and an engaged inside hind.  It was wonderful.  His releases reward my behavior and motivate me to do more of the same.  I'd say he's a better trainer than I am - his attention and response to what I am doing is more consistent, and the timing of his releases is just about perfect.  This means I can really learn and progress.

I must say, he seems mighty pleased with himself, and his relationship to me is changing.  Pie has always been somewhat reserved, even standoffish, and would even pin his ears at me if I were interrupting an important Pie activity like eating or napping.

But lately - just this week since we've been working hard together on my position - this is the face I'm likely to see, alert, interested and friendly:

This is true even in his stall, where he's always tended to be a bit grumpy.  Now, he often notices my arrival in the barn, and comes to his door to greet me - which means leaving his hay, which for Pie is a big deal as he's very food-oriented.  I think he's coming to approve of me - I'm responding to his teaching, and he now thinks I may just be worth bothering with . . .

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day of Rest, with Pie and Red Spam

Today, we all have a day off from riding.  I hiked out to the pasture after doing a few chores, and got a few pictures of the boys.  Pie was rubbing his face, but then had to show how curious and friendly he is - I love seeing that sweet Pie face:

Red was eating, but also left what he was doing to come visit me - love how he keeps an ear on things:

Horse spam - can't live without it!