It was a beautiful November day. Stunning blue skies, the subtle colors of fall, cool but not yet cold, the absolute perfect day to go riding.
There's something about riding a copper horse in Autumn's softer light, the gleaming metallic look of her coat makes my heart shine.
It didn't start that way. I showed up right as Lily was about to be let out to pasture. I had reached Stephanie and we were going to ride together. Which meant Lily was going to have to get in the trailer.
She gave me that look. The "you've got to be kidding me" look.
And my self loading horse turned into a non loading horse.
We spent some time working through the issue. Part of it came from how little time we've had together, part from the call of the pasture, part of it that streak of "I don wanna" mare time of the month. Doesn't matter really, the main thing was that we had to work through it, slowly. And I had to remember my own advice. Slow. Steady. Calm. Clear lines.
Eventually we were on our way.
It was great to ride with Stephanie and Cibolo. He's feeling better, the anti inflammatories seem to be doing their job. Stephanie said Lily is Cibolo's rock. He is confident with her around.
That makes two of us.
It was nice to be back on the old trails, to be riding with my favorite horse riding partner, to be on my horse that I know as well as I know myself. She balked at only one thing, the swim noodles handing from a tree. I love finding something she won't do because it feels like such a huge opportunity to work through something, to deepen the connection. Funny how it's solving problems that help you connect with your horse. I don't think I'd ever thought of it that way.
As for the noodles, I wasn't totally surprised that she didn't like them. She's never been crazy about things hanging from above. By our seventh pass she was over it.
We kept it simple, we cantered up one hill. We wiped down our horses, we chatted about people we knew, about being over horsed, about the beautiful day.
And when it was time to go, Lily loaded just fine. (Okay, it took two tries, but world's better than the morning.)
It was a lovely, lovely day.
Thanks to everyone who voted on my covers for Matchbook! I'm doing a poll on facebook and to my Crib Notes subscribers (via email) too. I'm so excited and so grateful for everyone who has weighed in - THANK YOU!
Frankly every cover is getting votes at this point. I'll let you know how the votes go in the next few days. I'm also going to be emailing out the first chapter for free, let me know if you'd like to receive it...
If you haven't voted, please check it out here.