Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fluffy coats, windy days, and rain.

Fluffy coats, windy days, and rain. 

 Winter not ready for winter.

Day 38:

Wind kicked up today, which is really no surprise.  It seems to follow me to the ranch.  I'm always getting calls and texts along the lines of "Are you here or on your way out?  The wind just picked up."  95% of the time, its a valid question and my answer is yes.  This particular day we nearly stopped afternoon riding because the dust was so bad in the morning.  Opal just had a grooming today because my day was so full.  I love the contrast of her mane and coat and while I was admiring it, I noticed she was getting fluffy.  UGH!  A sharp reminder that colder, shorter days were on the way. 

Opal knows winter in on its way.

Day 39: 

Overcast and 30% chance of rain.  If weathermen could actually predict weather.  Early day because the weather was looking more like 70% as the morning went on.  I had my daughter with me when I tacked Opal up so I had to push the stroller and lead Opal at the same time.  Opal loves kids and is very curious about them.  My daughter had one of her dolls with her, so I shook it around a bit and touched Opal with it, who just looked at it in return, then went back to being loved on by my kid.

 I like the little one.

After I parked my daughter in her stroller before my ride, I walked Opal to the bathroom, which has chickens, ducks, pigeons, and a turkey in the cage next to it.  Hey, sometimes on the trail you just gotta go.  I wanted to make sure Opal was ok with swinging doors and me vanishing.  I kept the door cracked a bit so I could see her reaction and act accordingly.  She watched where I went, but then was content taking a drink form a water bucket next to the building.  I don't think this obstacle will be an issue.

Chickens on the right, bathroom on the left.
 Standing while I'm 'inside' the bathroom.
 Oh there you are Mom.

On a whim I swapped out the rubber bit for Ehawee's D-ring snaffle with copper and steel rollers.  Opal was doing ok with the rubber bit, but I wasn't sold on that being her bit yet.  She'd play with the rollers form time to time, but more importantly, she was starting to turn and bend with it.  We had a quiet ride in the ring and watched other horses get worked.  

 Is this my bit Mom?

 Then while Opal and I had the ring to ourselves, Shaman, a 17 hand leopard appaloosa (yes, he really is that big and yes he has an AMAZING mane and tail) decided he wanted in the arena.  He was turned out on the ranch to graze with several other horses.  Shaman just flips the two gate latches open and lets himself in.  He's a very sweet boy, so I wasn't too worried about him joining us.  I let Opal stop at the opposite end of the ring and watch.  Opal really like Shaman, he was one of her first friends at the ranch.  

This was when Opal first came home, Shaman is on the outside of the pen.

She called to him once, then decided to head towards the gate.  I wasn't sure if she'd walk out or run out, but I figured, what the heck, lets see.    She walked on out, no big deal.  She walked right over to Yvette to say hello.  I figured lets walk her to my tack room and tie pole.  Yvette was kind enough to catch a brief video and picture of us.  Opal has great breaks, her steering is getting better, but her 'go' button needs work still.  We're getting there.

 Shaman at the far end of the ring.
 Gate to exit arena.

After our ride Yvette took one last picture of us.  Thanks for the pics and video!  

My big, brave girl.

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