Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Saturday I made my way over to the barn in a snow squall. I parked my car and didn't see Lilly anywhere in the field. She was up in the barn getting a pedicure!

She got a little wiggly (much to Bill-the-Farrier's chagrin) when she saw me, probably because I always have carrots with me and she thought she might get one. Or ten. As I was standing next to her head, I could not help but notice she smelled very fruity, like she had just eaten a basket of strawberries! It turned out to be this worming medicine that Bill had just given to her.

Even though it was snowing quite a bit, Bill and I decided to go out for a ride. For a change, we headed to the left down the road, rather than to the right and the usual circuit of trails. There's Bill ahead of me as we cross a hayfield toward a cornfield. I am not sure if it was because of the wet and slippery snow, or the fact that she was not on her usual trail, but Lilly was unusually anxious.

She vacillated between wanting to stop altogether, and moving too fast, in a prancey and uncomfortable gait. I started to feel like a dressage rider. Which would have been great if I were trying to be a dressage rider.

Just past the red barn in the last photo, you turn right into a hayfield. Or maybe it is a cornfield. In any case, right away you see this sign. It's for snowmobilers. We started across the field, following the snowmobile trail. I really thought Lilly might start tearing across this field. I had to keep asking her to calm down.

I kept hunkering down like a sack of potatoes in the saddle to relax. When I get nervous I sit too forward. I definitely did not want to do that! I'd release all my air and glue my back pockets (as they say) to the saddle. I gave Lilly a loose rein to see what she'd do. She did not take off, but she'd slowly increase her speed and then we'd be dressage trotting again. Ummm, no. So I'd become a sack of potatoes and start exhaling all over again. I confess I did sing a little Delta Dawn to relax her. I sounded pretty good. Not riddled with anxiety at all.

We finished the ride with no incidents. It was not the relaxed and lazy ride that I usually get! But significant and remarkable in its own way.

Back at the barn I got Glitter out to groom her. I am not great at getting pictures of her yet because she's not the best at ground tying. She's a big redheaded wiggle worm. In the barn she wants to move all over, investigating and peering around like her neck is on a rubber spring. With enough attention, I know she will be gentle and still like my brumby in no time.

This is what the pasture looked liked as I left that day. Snowy snowy night!

It was just such a beautiful snowfall. Even with anxious brumbies, I loved it.

Check out Bill;s video that he made during the ride: Just click right here.

The next day I was back at the barn with Brandon and Getty. While Bill was inside watching the Patriots play, I had a plan to return to the trail that made Lilly so antsy the day before. I figured more exposure to the Pfersick Road route was the solution to the anxiety problem!

I didn't want Getty running around like a coyote and adding another variable in the mix so she had to stay on her leash. Here's the hayfield near the cornfield at the beginning of the adventure. I cannot say that my brumby was any happier about being there than she had been the day before!

Here's powerline brumby. Before we got to this spot, her behavior was not very good. Lots of fussy complaining and stubborn refusals. Recalcitrant brumby! A few times when I popped her with the crop to move ahead, she kicked out her leg at me! On the ground she tried to bite me! She was really hating the Pfersick Road trail. I was torn--on the one hand I felt bad for her: no one likes to feel afraid. On the other hand I was not about to let her call the shots. I corrected her firmly and without fuss and we moved on. We passed the red barn and turned right onto the snowmobile trail.

This trio of signs I missed yesterday. But I think they are supercute out there in a big ole field.

Strangely enough, as soon as we turned onto the snowmobile trail, the very one that kept Lilly very anxious yesterday, was the very moment that she started to calm down. She started to meander. She dropped her head a little. She didn't seem so nervous. There was a little nibbling! We even took some time to pause by potentially scary farm equipment. Her mood was much more relaxed. Phew!

Back on the road heading home, we said hello to some horses who ran over to visit...

...and also found a photo op at the town line. It represents Lilly's dual citizenship.

We also peeked at the creek under the little bridge that was so scary both yesterday and earlier today. Yes, much better, brumby.

Ah! Back to the comfort of Pine Hill Road! Mission somewhat accomplished!!!!!!

This time when I left the farm, the weather was not in a state of high drama.

Driving home I passed this guy! I actually drove right past him. So I had to back up because I wanted to see him so bad. He watched me back my car all the way up to him. I took this picture through the closed window. Then I rolled it down. He watched me roll the window down. Then I called, HEY THERE, LITTLE FELLA!!!!

That was too much. He took off to get away from the crazy human who could not keep her mouth shut. Note to self: Do not scream greetings to wildlife just because you are in a state of rapture at seeing them.

Every day brings with it so many new lessons!!!!


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Cutest ever picture of Ruby. Glad your calm ways reassured the brumby. Is that owl winking at you? What a flirt! (I holler at critters too) :D

Love the post title so much. That was my favorite song back in the day - the first song I ever requested on WLEE - the am station I listened to on my little transistor radio when I was six!

Ohhhh memory lane.n

Melody said...

Love to hear of your adventures ~ the good, the bad and the nervous... Makes me feel better to know that even the calmest of our equine friends can have a little bit of kidney jarring anxiety at times, and be a bit fresh ~ but hopefully not really mean it too much... ;)))))

lmel said...

What an awesome shot of that barred owl--how cool is that?
I know what you were feeling with the anxious horse--that's Harley nearly every time we go solo! But you stuck with it and rode through--good for you. Harley needs a little smack now and then to remind him who's calling the shots and keeps him focused on moving forward if he's thinking about having a spin.
I watched Bill's video too. Your piece of Mass. reminds me a lot of Vermont--well you're pretty darn close to the border, right?
Glad to see someone else got out for a ride in the lovely snow! I rode yesterday and today. Today's ride was better; less wind to make him spooky! The trails are so lovely, but it was a two handed ride--no time for pictures.
Wish we lived closer--our taste for adventure, regardless of weather, seems to be the same.

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