And Found Again
I decided to ride a little this afternoon. It was chilly, but not miserable and the sun was out. I dressed for the cold with long underwear and my vest under my bright orange jacket and headed out to the barn.
Tucker was first to be captured and seems quite interested in doing something. I was going to take a risk and ride him out on the trail after lunging him to get rid of a little energy. Then I looked down and, sure enough, he was missing a shoe. This was doubly bad because it was a snow pad and a shoe with borium on it....expensive.
Off I went on a lost shoe hunt, doing a search grid through the front paddocks. No luck. I headed out to the pasture and walked a search grid out there, up and down the hills. Still no luck. Then, I headed into the riding arena. There, by the gate, not far from where I had started the search of the paddocks, I found the lost shoe! Amazing.
I can't complain too much. Hiking up and down the pasture filled in part of my exercise program for the day. I figure I'd walked for nearly 40 minutes on the shoe quest all told, so that took the place of a walk around the tree farm.
When Toby walked away from the halter, instead of playing his game, I simply caught Chance and brought him in instead. By then it was already 3 PM and I didn't have lots of time to spare before it started to get dark. I saddled him up and out we went.
To keep Toby and Tucker from bothering us as we navigated the gate, I used two piles of lovely hay by the barn. They were quite enamored of the extra food and completely ignored Chance and me as we headed out into the woods. Since the fencing around the riding arena is once again in disrepair, distracting the two older Boys was a lot safer than trying to mount up and ride out with them pestering us since there was no way to keep them out of the arena and away from the gate to the trails.
Chance and I had a nice ride. We trotted a bit on the drier section of the road along the field, but had to walk most of the rest of the way. The sun had thawed the top of the dirt in several places, and thawed even deeper in other places making the footing slippery. Sticking to the cut cornfield helped a lot, but I still didn't think it was safe enough to do much more than walk out there.
We rode along the power lines, looped back along the edge of the field behind the farm we preserved and then headed into the woods to take that trail home. The footing was pretty good in the woods, but the darn fallen trees make it hard to get going there too. While Chance trotted up a couple short hills, we kept the walk again.
We were out for around 40 minutes and had a good time. He did spook once when a wind devil blew up a hefty spiral of dried leaves in the cornfield. That was a bit scary as he tried to bolt, but he's pretty easy to control and settled down once he realized it was just the wind and nothing more.
By the time we got back, it was the equine dinner hour, so I fed.
Leaving all three Boys happily munching their food, I dragged one of the orange sheets into the house to repair it. Somehow, Tucker had broken one of the front straps on his sheet and he needed a change. I have several other sheets in various stages of disrepair--like the fence--so I figured I could fix one up and put it on him later.
Of course, the one I started working on needed a long tear stitched up and then, only after doing all that work did I discover it was the one with the missing surcingle. I finally managed to cut a surcingle off one of the hopelessly ripped sheets and sewed it on the repaired one. It wasn't the best job I've ever done but we'll see if it holds up. Meantime, I may simply stitch up the front of the sheet Tucker's wearing instead of trying to fix the strap. Or, I may figure out some other way of fastening the sheet in front. Tuck puts a lot of pressure on those front straps as it is. Maybe some sort of elastic closure might make a difference.
Somehow the day slipped by, but at least I got something done. Maybe that's all I really needed on a Sunday afternoon.