Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Greg, 15, got dropped off by his dad yesterday, Monday, at 8, to do some work here on the farm. He fed all of the animals, and saddled up Chester, Leo, and Rialto for training. I stayed in the house and helped my son get started on his schoolwork, then went out and rode with Greg in the arena. It was 35 degrees and blustery. We worked on better(or any) neck reining responsiveness in Chester and Leo and on getting Leo to take a canter and stay in it. He bucked about eight different times, but not hard. The lazy horses buck when asked to canter (that would be Chester, Leo, and Sheik). Greg is great at staying on the buck and giving a sharp correction/admonition to the horse for it's insolence. Chester is a blond fuzzy Halflinger and Leo is a big blond bronto-quarterhorse-ah-saurus. I also tried Rialto, our strapping young white Arabian gelding, for the first time. I was impressed with his responsiveness to turn and go commands. Greg has been working on him for months and has done a great job. Our ears got too cold riding in the wind, and with deer hunters out, a trail ride was out of the question, so we untacked the horses and worked inside the barn a few hours. Greg envisioned a playpen for Nathaniel and Bartemaeus, the youngest goats. Fifty nails and two power drill batteries later, their horse-stall home had a balancing barrel, a swing, hanging punch-ball, a laddered ramp, "king" platform, and a covered fort. A friend arrived to take some pears and a quilting kit, and left. Greg and I opened three storage tupperwares on the horse equipment shelves and ferreted out the parts needed to make a new set of reins for riding Leo (Greg doesn't like the knot knobs on Leo's regular reins). We went inside by the woodstove to warm our fingers, create the rein set, and snack on chips. Ten minutes later, I drove Greg home in the old VW. It is still loud despite the new exhaust system I put on it. Will have to crawl under and look at it again. On the way home, I stopped at True Value hardware to get a lamp for the chicken shed. I saw Fred Garr there, but he dod not recognize me, even though he spoke with me about chickens. Truthfully, I didn't recognize him either, until driving home and thinking on it...he was so much healthier and able-bodied than when I had seen him last. His Donkeys, Jenny and Josie, were (are still) staying at my farm while Fred recovers from an injury. At True Value, he was buying fence repair supplies, so I think he will want his donkeys back soon. I will have to call his wife today and see if they want help getting their place repaired and ready. Anyway, got home and helped my son finish up his school work. I think he'll ace his geography test tomorrow. Time to quit this blog and go post plans for this weeks outdoor adventure. Last week we canoed. I think we will dig for Jerusalem Artichokes this week.