Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Frosty Fall Mornings....brrrrrr and projects

For the last week, we've had a good, heavy frost every single morning except for one.  We had our first real frost a couple of weeks ago, but then it warmed up again for a couple of days and it rained a bit.  I'm having to remember to go out and start my car at least 15 minutes prior to needing to leave for work to give my windshield time to de-thaw.  Yep, genuine ice on the car.  My car door was even frozen shut yesterday morning and it was a real chore to get inside to start the car.  Even though it's been frosty and cold, we've been experiencing beautiful, blue skies for much of the past week.  Heavy fog and freezing fog gives way to beautiful sunshine for the remainder of the day.  I just can't complain about that.  The horses are all looking exceptionally wooly and fat too.  I guess I can't deny that fall's arrived with a vengeance. 

The past three weekends hubby and I have been travelling up into the Trask Mountain area of the Cascade Mountain range and cutting firewood.  So far, we've got about 3 cords and we'd like to get at least 1 more before we relax and consider ourselves finished with this project.  The woodshed is filling up nicely and smells wonderful.  I just love standing in there inhaling the lovely scent and admiring our handiwork, because seeing it all stacked up neat as a pin represents a whole lot of hard work.  It gives me a genuine sense of satisfaction at a job well done.  Spending time up in the mountains in the fresh air has been, for the most part anyway, a real pleasure.  It gives one time to think and relax without having to deal with all the stresses and "should be's" when we're at home.  I sure appreciate coming home, taking a warm shower and sitting in front of the woodstove afterwards.  My body just doesn't quite react the same to hard, physical work like it used to.  I tire a lot more easily and always have to remember to protect my back when lifting and twisting repetitively.  And as always, I'm so thankful for my wonderful hardworking husband for all that he does.  There are just so many things that he is physically able to do, that I am not.  However, I have never been one of those wives who can sit at home while my husband is outside in the elements working so hard.  I am there to help in any way that I possibly can.  When we're finished, we both go inside and relax.  Together.

I've been working with Eagle a lot more lately too, and I can report that he is doing amazingly well.  He sure is one smart horse.  In the past several weeks, which is when I started "regularly" working with him about 4 times per week, he has progressed very, very quickly.  He now lunges both directions at walk, trot, canter and whoa, he's learning his voice commands as well, reverses (always turning inside) nicely when asked, and stands perfectly still and turning his head only, to face me until given a new directive.  He leads "light as a feather", backs and is learning to give to pressure.  He is willingly picking up his feet when asked, but occasionally gets a case of rigamortis in that left hind.  Nobody's perfect.  :)  But, he's making progress.  I've been saddling him and routinely sacking him out, and he's perfect in that department most of the time.  I've even put the bridle on with a snaffle bit and he carries it like he's been doing it his whole life.  I haven't gotten on him yet, but did put some weight in both stirrups and lean over his back the other night.  He's a little apprehensive when I'm on the mounting block, but he's getting used to that as well.  I'm just beginning to teach him to breakover in his hindquarters in a tight circle with just using body language.  We still have plenty of groundwork to work on, but I'm pretty sure that we'll be riding him before too much longer.  Slow and steady is my theory.  Ray Hunt always said, "the slower you go, the faster you'll get there".  I wholeheartedly believe that.  Eagle is a gem, and I love seeing him progress, and his trust growing daily.  I'm thinking of setting up a little obstacle course if the weather stays dry, which will help the lessons stay interesting to him.  I just wish that daylight savings time wasn't almost upon us because it's going to be practically dark when I get home from work.  Or, better yet, if I only had a lighted indoor arena the winter darkness wouldn't matter one bit...but, I digress.  If only.

The following pics of Eagle were taken before I got him last summer on some of the packing trips he went on.  Sometimes he actually packed things like oxygen and acetylene tanks for cutting those steel culverts they removed from the forest, and other times he just got to go along "naked" for the experience of going.  Regardless of what he was wearing or packing, or where he was at; he always has the same expression and demeanor like he's been doing it all his life.  What a good horse.  :)

So, we've been busy as usual.  I'm looking forward to winding these winter preparation projects down and actually being able to slow down a little...just in time for the holidays...oh joy.  I'd love to rent a cozy little cabin somewhere in the woods, seclude ourselves up with a rip-roaring fire and hole-up until the craziness passes.  *sigh*   Doesn't that sound wonderful?  A cabin in the wilderness, big old fireplace, comfy bed with one of those big, fluffy down comforters, little paned windows to watch the snow softly falling outside, walks outside in the fresh air, and when you get cold, come back inside for a mug of hot chocolate and a good book...or maybe a nap.  Yeah.  That's what I want for Christmas...

Blessings everyone,
Lorie @ Cingspots


fernvalley01 said...

Busy times! I call it "gathering nuts" here! Eagle looks like a lovely sweet boy. Nice that you and your hubby work together on stuff, even if you cannot do the heavy work , you are there.And I have it on good authority (my hubby ) that makes a huge difference!

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I am with you. Where is a cabin like that? Eagle is doing so well. Am proud of your progress. Sage is coming along too. Slow and steady always works the best. We are suposed to have snow tonight, hate that word.

panthercreekcottage said...

I've got the same Christmas dream my friend. Eagle IS very handsome indeed. Your meant to be boy. sacking,saddles & stirrups, dang I love them words!

btw, you have my old url linked on your places to visit list. Thanks for thinking of me.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Lorie-I'm sorry I came across like I was jumping your comment on my last post. I am very defensive about injections for the sake of injections. Every since I started having problems with Moon's back, 'helpful' local friends keep insisting I just need to get him injected, particularly his hocks...'cause that is what you do with barrel horses (insert eyeroll).

The problem is, none of the professionals I have worked with think this is something to even consider, so I pretty much just dismissed the injection opinion and never even mentioned it on the blog.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like your winter preparations are almost done. I can say I'd definitely want the Christmas you're describing instead of the craziness.

Eagle is wonderful. He sounds almost perfect. I'm so happy you got him.

Carolynn said...

That sounds much like the kind of weather we're getting. We don't have a fireplace, just electric heat (!!) so we're exploring other options to help keep the winter chill at bay.