Monday, October 1, 2012

The First of Holy October!

There was a horse in my backyard this morning. I turned the corner and there he was, black as coal and (I swear it) smirking at me. Merlin lowed his head to take out another bite of lawn. I rolled my eyes. There was a time when a loose horse—any livestock really—would have sent me into a panic. I just walked over to his halter and lead line, grabbed the container of horse cookies and walked up to him. He took the cookie and let me slide the halter over his head and lead him back to his pen. Jasper was there waiting, having never left HQ.

It was a damp and chilly morning, weather I adore. The day was set for pheasant hunting in the damp breeze followed by a ride with friends Patty and Christine. I didn't plan on spending the first hour of that hunt mending fences, but that's exactly what happened. While the horses ate their hay I pounded in new t-posts and fixed the electric wire that was torn down.

The whole morning, at home fixing the horse fence or out stalking pheasants was blustery and glowing. Glowing in the sense that at any minute a cloud could break and sunshine streamed into the forest, illuminating the red maples. All around the chilly woods were oranges and reds and oranges, as if they too knew the Calendar date and put on their church dresses. I was thrilled to be out in it, out with the bluster and the color. It felt like the fall I grew up with, what I missed with such a dull ache for years when I lived in Tennessee. I love that state but it has no idea how to have a properly miserable wet October morning. Brigit bless and pity it.

After the hunt, Merlin and I were picked up by neighbor Christine. She lives just a few miles south near Content Farm. I felt like a kid waiting to get picked up for a play date, and just as excited. I was wearing a green kilt, half chaps, paddock boots, and a favorite sweater. Merlin would be in his western tack. This is becoming my riding kit of choice. The kilt covers my legs from rubbing and the tall half chaps protect my legs. It's a lot easier to get on and off the horse as well, what with the kilts added mobility. Jeans, even stretch jeans, make it hard for me to throw a leg over Merlin. In a kilt I just hop up.

The afternoon ride was a series of quiet thrills. We rode from Livingston Brook Farm over to Maple Lane Farm. We passed stone walls and Bob and Caroline's herd of Haflingers. We went down truck roads in the fields, up steep pastures, and along hedgerows to ponds and trees. It was great fun, and Christine was a great addition to our usual duo. Her horse, a young quarter horse gelding named Dream, was just great. It was their first feral riding adventure away from home and that 15.2 hand superstar did everything she asked, didn't spook once, and looked beautiful in the few rays of Autumn sunlight. Steele and Merlin did just as smartly.

I am so much more comfortable with myself and that horse. When I get on him I just want to run! I adore the sensation of moving swiftly on horseback now, something I used to fear. I got in a few goood jaunts today and it was better than hunting, or mending fences, or nearly anything at all. To think I waited thirty years to canter a horse across a field on a Monday.

Brigit bless and pity me!


Anonymous Christine said...

I made the Blog! Yipee! It was a great day - thanks again!

October 1, 2012 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

The way you tell your stories transports your reader to your yard on a cold October morning I ♥ it! Sounds like a pretty nice day with good friends and good ponies ☺

October 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Can't beat that for a Monday for sure!

October 2, 2012 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

That does sound like a fairly wonderful way to begin the week!

October 2, 2012 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

That does sound like a fairly wonderful way to begin the week!

October 2, 2012 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Samantha Burns said...

Can't wait til the day I can have a horse too--sounds like so much fun!

October 2, 2012 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

Looks like a good balm for the stress of what-if's and how-to's

October 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

So, did you have any luck on the hunt?

October 2, 2012 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Matt in TEXAS said...

Well, Archery season for deer started in Texas on Sept 29th. I went out in the rain with my crossbow, saw a few hogs but they were too far to take a shot. Going back this Fri & Sat. Good luck on your hunt! - Matt in TEXAS

October 2, 2012 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger dinsdaledogs said...

Shoot! I wanted to see the view :-)

October 3, 2012 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Wendy Halliman said...

I LOVE the Merlin "escape" portion of the blog!!! Our horses used to get out on a regular basis, they would usually just hang around the yard or go in the barn...but there was one time they went up to the nearby golf course (Beautifully groomed, 18 hole tournament quality course...delicious!!!) They apparently had run, rolled, eaten and basically tore up the turf on their escapade...they had a police escort bring them home. The officer suggested I might want to consider fencing them in LOL. Those horses were sooooooooo grounded!!!!

October 3, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

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