August 03, 2008

08/09 Season Begins

August has arrived... all the horses are officially a year older (Alfie & Kody are 5, and Neo is 8), and it's time to bring them back into work for the season.
Yesterday I drove up to Pahiatua to pick up Neo. 6 hours driving! Neo loaded and travelled well, and although he was a bit upset to be leaving Zak - he was very excited to have lots of horses waiting for him at home. I wasn't really feeling spritely enough to ride anything after that busy morning, but did re-arrange grazing/paddocks and started the riding horses on their supplements and upped their feeds. Happy horses!
Today I finally got to ride again! It was raining, and of course the ground was wet as anything too.. but I managed to clear a space in the tractor shed so I could tack-up in the dry - and I dug out my hideous saddlery warehouse rain suit to keep me dry while riding (I love this thing, it might be ugly - but it does it's job very well). I wasn't sure how the horses were going to behave after their time off, but I'm not a fan of lunging to quieten them - so I just popped a saddle with no stirrups on so it was all nice and laid back (and I got to leave my big sloppy gumboots on too - fantastic). Pics of poor drowned rats, Kody & Neo:
Kody was quite spooky coming into the shed (and past the woolshed, and over the gravel driveway, and anything else he could have a bit of a freak about) - and I've never ridden him before, so I was thinking "this might be interesting!". But he tacked up well - wasn't bothered by anything, and even let me jump on happily. We rode in the front paddock, down the drive to the road, and up to the house - just seeing as many different things as we could. All just at a walk, but he was a real dude. Slightly nappy and unsure about the big puddles- but a good boy all-up. I think he will be a really sweet horse.
Neo was as if he'd not had a day off since the last time I rode. He's looking fit and well, and has grown while on holiday (not a park hack anymore, I don't think). He marched around the farm happily and if I didn't know he'd had a holiday, I would have assumed he was in full work and ready to go to a show tomorrow! I'm glad he's been such a dude about it - as he can fret about things, and I wasn't sure how he would react to me, and to riding, after his holiday. Of course he's still a bit neurotic! Not too keen to stand still, and chomping at the bit... but it's all just a front! He likes to act tough.. but he's actually very soft and easy to ride. Can't wait to take him out this season and see how he's matured.
Decided against riding Alfie - and got out the clippers for him instead! My first ever time clipping, and his! He stood like a rock, and was very patient. I left his legs and face woolly, as I haven't really got the facilities to get them clean and then dry - so they can wait for another day.
So glad to have the horses back in work! Suspect I'll be tired tomorrow though!