Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Summer at the Ranch

The title of this post is purposeful. Because we will be here for the summer, and no longer. I've spent a very stressful few weeks learning about eviction law, making last attempts with our tenant, facing the fact that we are moving back in a month or so.

We have and continue to enjoy our time here. The adventures have been many.  I'm going to start sharing a few of them here so I don't forget them, so that each is tied onto the chain links of this blog, charms of bracelet of my humble horse life. I share them with you because you've been with me on so much of this journey, I can't imagine going on without you by my side, so to speak.

So here is one story.

 I've grown close to the big black horse, he's dropped some of his stoicism. It all happened when we went on our first ride away from home.

Woody and I met the old crew at the lake, but we were early. Early because I didn't want to go, not really. It had been a bad few days, and I wasn't in a good place. I hadn't yet taken Woody out on the trailer since we loaded up at Trail Riders. That trailer loading hadn't been smooth. So I made a deal with Woody. If he wouldn't load, then we'd just work on loading and I wouldn't go riding.

I hooked everything up, backed up the trailer, got Woody out of the paddock. He snorted at the trailer, put a hoof in and took it out. I smiled, and got in the trailer, preparing my self for a trailer loading session. Then he followed me into the trailer, shifting himself into position.

Damn. Apparently we were going.

You know, technically this means you can't put your horse in the lake and then go trail riding...

I had given myself a 30 minute lead time for trailer loading, 28 of which we didn't need. We got to the lake early, and I was happy to learn that Woody had no issue with being the only horse around.  We milled about, and I took him by the water, mostly to see his reaction. He was curious, but not eager to walk in. After a time the crew arrived and we proceeded to have the best trail ride ever.

Riding a calm and experienced trail horse is a joy. A true, incredible joy. We stayed with a few friends who had more challenging rides, serving as the calm influence. Our ride back to the trailer and parking location was simple, quiet, lovely. We unsaddled and prepared for the lake.

We followed our group to the shore and went into the water. Woody was reluctant, but I walked in, just as I had in the trailer. And he followed me.  Soon he was moaning, swinging his hips in the water, playing, loving the lake. I saw something change in his eyes, something in his spirit.

On our way out of the water he did something, something he does now every time we do something special together. He gave me the tiniest little bump with his nose, not aggressive, not pushy, a tiny bump, like I've seen him give Lily, the precursor to affection.

I laughed, and we had both had lunch before heading back. Knowing that things between us were very different.

And it made me smile.


Dan and Betty said...

Great! I would love to have the opportunity to take our horses to a lake.

Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Woody sounds like a special horse and you're fortunate to have him right now in your life.

Wolfie said...

Cripes, I can only imagine how awful it is when you have a difficult tenant. I am glad though that Woody was able to make you smile. Horses truly are magic...

aurora said...

Awwe, what a priceless ride. Your connection with Woody is one to treasure. Glad you chose to share, and have had the opportunity to have these special experiences.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww! So sweet! Apache does something similar to me when she's being affectionate, too. She pushes her muzzle against my face and just wiggles her lips all over. lol! It tickles and always makes me giggle like a little girl...and I really think Apache loves to hear that from me :)


Laura Crum said...

What a lovely story. I'm so sorry to hear you're having problems with the tenant--it sounds as if you've been very happy where you are.

50+ Horses said...

I loved this Post. Sounds like the two of you have bonded. Turn to him when you are feeling down, he'll be there for you!

Fragrant Liar said...

I love that he was groaning and grunting with joy at the lake. He knew his job was to lift your spirits, and he came through. He's a keeper.

Shirley said...

That's a shame about the tenants and that you can't stay at the ranch. Woody sounds like a real treasure.