Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

After a Fun Morning...

Beautiful day. Clear skies and cool enough for a jacket.

After church a friend and I went to the farm of the guy who grows the corn around here and often sells me my hay to walk through his corn maze. I've never done this before and wanted to try at least once before my bad knees make such activities too painful. The maze was not too complex, but it was really fun. All along the way they had posted signs and stories about local town names. And there were all kinds of Halloween inspired displays throughout the 8 acre field of very tall corn. We never really did feel as if we were lost, but it was fun to explore all the little paths to see where they led.

I had a nice chat with the farmer, who told me the vivid story of how his very large tractor had sunk into the saturated ground near where the flooding is in back of the Park. This was over a hundred feet into the field itself--not in the flooded area itself--where he has been farming for over seven years. I have to see the pictures of this, because the tractor is huge and had sunk in so deep he was able to stand next to it and lean his elbows on the fender. It took some heavy equipment to actually lift the tractor and his harrow out of the bog. Pretty scary and pretty strong evidence of how much those warehouse stormwaters have damaged the natural ecology of the area.

Back home, I headed out with Toby to check on the flood status since was have had several days of rain. The monitoring stake we'd put in the tree line showed that there was 1 1/2 feet of water collected there. This does not bode well for the winter. As the ground, which had dried out over the last months of summer, gets wetter and wetter, the water table will rise and that depth of water will easily double. At least now we have a way of measuring it.

Toby is getting so naughty about snatching at the greenery along the way or trying to stop to graze. As I usually allow him to graze at portions of the ride--and indulgence his retirement permits--he has decided to try to take advantage at every opportunity. Fortunately is is a pretty good sport about being corrected and going on but I keep thinking of fat ponies like Thelwell's pulling their little riders out of the saddle to eat when I ride him. *G*

Chance felt bouncy sound and make it abundantly clear that the ring was not for him today. So, Since I had promised him that as soon as he was better we would go out for a woods ride, we did. He was so happy to be out that he bounced and jigged for at least the first 10 minutes of our short 20 minute ride. He was looking at everything and trying to head off into any opening that looked like it might offer passge for a horse. He was truly looking for an adventure, but I didn't want to push things as he hasn't been ridden in weeks. I do love his enthusiasm.

I decided since it was cool and windy to stick to the ring with Tucker. We had a lovely school, and tried a flying change or two with moderate success, so I didn't push it at all and let him change leads through the trot. I also did some half pass work at trot and canter, although he isn't quite clear on the principles. Had I done some more shoulder in I'm sure it would have helped, but since the weather put a cramp in our training this week, I tried to make most of it play rather than hard work. His attitude is a plus nearly every stride, with just one little uncertainty when I picked up the rein again after a walk break. For a horse that two months or so ago was throwing mini-temper tantrums when being asked to half-halt, his progress is amazing.

I have a clinic with a high profile judge, Axel Steiner, (O level judge who has judged at the Olympics.) on Saturday, November 3, so I need to get some quality riding time in between now and then. Hopefully, I now have a horse up to the task.


  1. Nice to hear about Chance being himself again. I bet he was a very happy bunny to go for a hack ;-)

    Bogs are scary. My uncle went to clean a bridleway, he must weight around 90kg. He had no problem standing in a muddy patch ... He did not think too much. The day after while hacking his friend's horse just SANK into that muddy patch ... very scary ... His friend' horse did not panic and exited it.

    But what seemed to be harmless pudlle, was a muddy booby trap ..erck!!!

  2. In this case, there SHOULD NOT have been a bog there. Excess stormwater from the warehouses built nearby has made a mess of the area and really caused problems. The farmer had been able to drive safely through that area for years before this. ds

  3. what are the town council saying about it all now? you are of course continuing to take photos?