Partly Wintery with a Chance of Apprehension

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday I was back on my brumby! I went over to Bill's early so I could spend the afternoon with Brandon. By 10am I was tacking up my brumby and heading out on the trail. It was a hunting day, so I had to deck Lilly out in such a way that it was obvious she was not a deer. So she ended up looking like she was going to a birthday party....

I was riding on posted land, but really, you never know. A hunter could show up on land without knowing he has left unposted land. Plus, I was alone so there would be no conversation noise to alert hunters we were coming. I had my jingle bells however, and was talking to Lilly constantly. We made our way at a very slow pace; I was stopping every once in a while to set some pink trail markers.

Putting markers on trees is a fine way to get Lilly better at sidepassing. But when she saw a gaggle of turkeys in the distance and suddenly got as straight and tall as a thoroughbred, the trailmarking was not nearly as productive. She was so worried about those turkeys (who did not care thing one about us) that I resorted to singing Ode To Joy to let her know the Christmas spirit was far more intriguing than some harmless, very prehistoric looking birds.

You might not be able to tell that there is a very thin layer of ice on this swampy, pondlike area on the trail. It was not real ice though so after giving it the hairy eyeball, Lilly broke through it.

Here is where we come out of the woods and onto the road for a tiny bit. Lilly loves to run out of the trail and on to the road. This is unacceptable. Even if there are hardly any cars on this unpaved road, what if some crazy person were driving by? We simply cannot come running willy nilly out of the woods. Even if it does feel kind of fun.

I told Bill I would be out on the trail for 1.5 hours. He was worried about me going at all because of the hunting. He came out to make sure we were OK just as we were almost back on the road by the barn. Now you don't see Bill posing very often like this. I think this picture is quite fun. Marlboro man!

Today I was back at the barn, again before noon. I had some afternoon things to get done, and the weather is so much better in the AM. Did I tell you that I pulled the puffy pants out of storage? I could not be riding without them. It has gotten too cold and cruel outside. That is Bill on Ruby ahead of me in the [unoccupied] Winter Pasture. All the horses not at the house are currently in the Big Pasture.

Bill needed to check the fence line in the Big Pasture so we rode in there to survey the scene. Now this is one thing that makes me uncomfortable--being on a horse in a pasture full of horses. Particularly horses that Lilly has not been with in a while. My fear-o-meter was starting to tick into gear. However, sometimes it is not such a bad thing to stick your neck out and take a risk. Even if it is stressful. You see in the beginning I was even snapping photos.

And the Jodie decided she was going to pick on Lilly. Do you know that movie Jaws when the people are just frolicking around in the water and all the sudden there is a giant shark fin swimming speedily toward some poor hapless soul? Well, that is what it was like today. Jodie would peer around, see Lilly, flatten her ears and charge at us! Lilly would run a few steps, or whip her hind end around in preparation for a kick. This happened repeatedly. Everytime I saw Jodie pick up speed I would think: Ooooh no, HERE SHE COMES AGAIN!! At that point I was quite sure the fences were just fine! Time to get out of here! But if you know Bill, you know that he does not panic, and he never misses a training opportunity. So he got to check his fences (a tree had in fact fallen on one of them) and I got to venture out of my comfort zone.

If you would like to watch a video of us in the pasture, with a small hint of what Jodie was doing, you can click right here.

Sunday night already? Rats.


Anonymous said...

That Jodie's a meanie! Glad you survived the hunters and the loose horses!

Frizzle said...

Lilly looks quite festive in her neon decorations -- and those bright colors take me back to the early 90's, how FUN!!
I love how the horses in the pasture are all wearing yellow tape around their necks (is that crime scene tape -- ??!!). Hilarious!
Down here, our horses don't get to wear fun stuff like jingly-bells or neon "don't-shoot-me" gear, as we have no hunters (thank goodness!!).

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

The Hunters are actually annoying to me!!! I hear gun shots ALL THE TIME by our barn....I just think "How should I be comfortable with a stranger shooting and knowing to NOT shoot in our direction!?" Ugh..hence Laz's BRIGHT orange wind breaker turnout sheet.
Lilly looks so festive! Maybe Jodi was jealous of her dazzling colors ;) I too DO NOT like riding in a pasture of horses..Laz would get crazy and chargy. Eek. Good job for you though.

SprinklerBandit said...

Lily is such a good girl--I'm always impressed by her. You guys just troop out into woods full of hunters and the only thing she worries about are some errant turkeys. Lucky you!

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