Saturday, January 27, 2007

Two Under Saddle

Finally a Thaw--Again

I guess I shouldn't complain. This winter has still been incredibly mild. It's just that now when the cold hits, it's harder to put up with because I am not acclimated.

I'd gone out to do some errands in the morning and it took me all day to warm up again, even though it was much warmer outside--well above freezing.

It was nearing 4 PM when I went out to ride Tucker. He was, again, quite angelic for the most part. He is not quite as supple as he needs to be and I do have to keep reminding him to be soft to the reins, but he was forward and really gave me no problems about staying forward through all his exercises. We had a bit of head up on the left canter depart, but even that was an easy fix.

I schooled for about 20-25 minutes and then went out on a shot hack along his "comfort trail." He hasn't been out in at least two weeks but he just dropped his head and walked happily along.

When I got back, it was still light enough so I saddled up Toby and took him out back to see how the flooding looked. The engineers the Township hired to study the area are coming out on Tuesday morning, so I needed to have a look in advance to make sure there is something to show them.

To make a long story short, I have been working for well over two years to correct a stormwater flooding problem into the State Park from the warehouses across the Turnpike. Now, a new warehouse they built has a huge water basin to hold its stormwater and most of the flooding has been stopped. However, the whole area has been severely affected by the past flooding and the runoff from the Turnpike is still causing problems.

I got one of the warehouse developers to put up $100,000 to do a study of the problem. They were supposed to start back in July. I have no idea what they've been doing since then, but my question at a Township Council meeting at the beginning of the month spurred a flurry of activity and they are finally coming out to look things over.

Since Tuesday is the Patrice Edwards clinic, I had already taken the day off from school. So, in the morning I will have time to meet with the engineers and try to set them on the right track about the study.

My clinic ride is not until 5 PM, so I will have lots of time to watch some of the earlier lessons to get an idea of what to expect. My friend, Stacie, will be riding once with Patrice tomorrow and again on Tuesday two rides before mine. I'll get lots of feedback from her too.

My only concern is how Tucker will behave in a new indoor. He has never been to this farm before, so it will be a test of his new-found maturity to see how well he takes it all in. I certainly hope we will be able to do some work and not spend the whole lesson trying to convince him nothing in the ring is going to eat him.

And I have captured Mommycat so I can get her spayed before she has another litter of kittens. Poor little lady is presently in a cage in my sunroom and absolutely terrified. She is very easy to handle, so I suspect at one time she may have been a domestic cat, but at least a year of being a stray has left its mark. I feel terrible about locking her up, but the last thing this world needs is litters and litters of stray kittens. Getting her spayed will give her a far better life.

That leaves trying to catch Poppycat. He is a cream orange tom with no interest at being handled. Have to wonder if I can lure him into the trap. He's been showing up morning and night for a nice meal, so we do have some rapport.

It's so sad knowing these cats are strays. I'm glad I can try to make their lives a little nicer.

1 comment:

  1. our now older cat, blackie, was a very wild, very suspicious stray ... took ages of ignoring him sneaking in for food, and then after i moved out of my house but still had the keys we left a box and some food and partner put the time in to talk to him.. couple of days later, lid on box, round to new house ... and he settled in like he'd been there forever. his favourite place now is on partner (lap or head, depending on where partner is at that point in time)

    he still eats like every meal is his last meal though...

    think he had been a domesticated cat in the past, so if these two have been they should eventually settle