Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A break from projects

We've been going at the work projects so much lately that we decided to take a break last weekend and do nothing for a change.  Well, I guess we were sort of busy, but we weren't working.  We had a nice, quiet morning at home Saturday.  We slept in and enjoyed coffee in front of the woodstove looking outside at the rain falling.  Maybe it's because our summer seemed so short-lived this year and it didn't really stop raining until July, but I'm really resentful of the rain already.  But, it is what it is.  I can be thankful that we don't have frozen water troughs to deal with, or freezing pipes, or so many other weather-related issues that others' have to experience.  That's what I need to keep repeating to myself.  Anyway, after turning the horses out, giving them their morning hay ration, cleaning the stalls and putting the evening meal in their stalls, we were finished with the only chores that we had to do that day.  I made some homemade spaghetti sauce and put it on the stove to simmer and baked an applesauce/spice cake for a friend's memorial service that we were attending later on that afternoon.   It was a simple affair with family members and a few friends.  We planted a tree along with the friend's ashes and created a small memorial in his honor.  It was a nice way to say good-bye. 

Afterwards we spent some time in the barn with the horses, then went inside and watched a little tv before heading off to bed fairly early.  Wild people we are!  But, it was a nice day and it felt good to relax and take life easy for a change.

Sunday, we got up fairly early and got the chores finished before heading out to Eugene to watch the Extreme Trail Challenge.  This was a first for us, and I was quite surprised at how easy the courses actually were.  There was nothing that most of us trailriders don't usually encounter while riding in the mountains.  The big difference seemed to be, for the horses anyway, was that these obstacles were indoors and because of that, some of the horses were a little hesitant about something, that if outside, they would do without a second thought.  The activity really seems to be catching on with people, and is something that can be enjoyed by all types of riders without a lot of expensive training, special tack or gear.  However, it would be quite fun to have one of those obstacle courses at home; sure would be more interesting for the horses than a lot of ring riding.  In fact, there are several clinicians specializing in this type of training now.  There were a couple of them there, and one of the guys, Mark Bolender, does a lot of building these trail courses on private property for clients.  Now there's another use for somebody who owns a lot of heavy equipment! 

Some of our friends were there with their whole family riding some of their horses.  I don't know how well they did overall because we left before it was over, but from what I saw, they did very well.  Their horses were all amazingly quiet and confidently mastered most of the obstacles on the courses.  I was very proud of how well they did.  Some of the kids had to double up and share horses because Greg, the father, had brought his big boy, Ben; and when Ben goes along, their 6-horse trailer becomes a 4-horse trailer.  Ben is a grey Percheron who stands 18.2 hands high.  Ben is as sweet as a horse can possibly be...just don't give him a butterscotch candy and then expect not to be molested for more.  :)    In his former life, Ben was a Disneyland carriage horse, but he's a family horse now and is used primarily for trailriding. 

Greg and Ben

An indoor creek crossing at the bottom of the waterfall.

This pretty little Arabian mare handled the balance beam with ease.

Big Ben making it look so easy...
  When we got home, the navy bean soup I had cooking in the crockpot had the house smelling wonderfully.  I baked some cornbread and we had supper before heading outside to bring the horses in for the night.  In some ways, I wished we'd stayed home where I could have worked with Eagle and ridden Ladde because unlike Saturday, it didn't rain at all.  Oh well, you can't do everything.  There's just too many things to try and accomplish in a weekend.  With the time change, horse lessons will become more of a challenge because it's dark before I get off work now.  I hate that.  I'm just not looking forward to winter at all this year. 

Ladde helping with the pear picking.

Annie relaxing

Eagle sporting his "winter woolies"

Stall potatoes   :)

Blessings everyone from Cingspots


Grey Horse Matters said...

It's always nice to take a day to relax. The show looks interesting and fun. Love Ben the Percheron. Great pictures.

fernvalley01 said...

Looks like you have all your projects well in mhand . ANd a girl needs a day off too! What a fun one

aurora said...

Look at those great projects! Tired just thinking about 'em. I'm sure they'll be enjoyed in the middle of winter.

What a cool Extreme Challenge, with friends to watch! Ben sure is a looker. Glad you had a good time, nice to take a day away.

panthercreekcottage said...

I've heard of that challenge. I think a neighbor of ours attends yearly. How fun. Glad you enjoyed yourself. Oh those beautiful jars of goodness. I can see them already on those pretty papered pantry shelves of yours. Blessings dear friend.

Jenn said...

Oh my! That indoor trail challenge looks AMAZING!!! Not only beautifully set up, but beautiful to look at too. I'd love to go watch one some day, maybe even try my hand competing in one too.

Winter woolies....mine resemble that remark!