Saturday, November 10, 2012

One Hour Ride, One Good Meal

I was sitting in the farmhouse watching Last American Cowboy (an Animal Planet reality series about ranchers in Montana) when I couldn't take it anymore. I was not going to watch people ride horses on my ancient iMac when I could be out riding my own horse. In happy frustration I changed into jeans and paddock boots and threw on a heavy flannel work shirt. I lead Merlin to the hitching post in front of the house, groomed him, and without any groundwork just saddled up and headed up the mountain road.

I just wanted go give him a workout and enjoy the fresh air. My workout would come later (thank you Ms. Jillian Michaels) but while the sun shone at nearly fifty degrees, I wanted to soak up the vitamin D. It was a pleasant ride. We walked, trotted, and cantered up the steep roads, talking to neighbors and waving to cars passing by. Merlin got to brush noses with some quarter horses behind an electric fence and then whinny to another a bit up the road in a paddock. We were met by stray dogs, passed by angry drivers in fast cars, and stopped to talk to folks along the road. It was absolutely delightful.

Of course, I wasn't out in a -10 degree day wrangling angry angus heifers so compared to the television show we just trotted through the daisies, but still. Nice.

I'm happy about the decision I made to buy and work with Merlin. It'll be another year and a half before he is paid off, but when I get the actual ownership papers I will be thrilled. He's had his moments of stubbornness and strife, but at the end of the day he's a nearly bombproof multi-use animal that makes my farm life (and emotional life!) a thousand times better. It's hard to believe he hasn't even been in my life a year...

I came home and untacked Merlin and put him and Jasper out into their pasture to run through the dead grass and kick up their heels. Jasper tour off after a doe, snorting. Merlin raised his head, but was not moved to follow. He worked up a good sweat on the hour-long ride and seemed happy to just stand, drink, and eat.

This cowgirl is going to enjoy a Saturday night at home. I'll be enjoying the barbecued lamb ribs that have been in the crockpot all day simmering over rice and homemade bread. I started this new and wonderful habit of really enjoying one home-cooked meal a day in the late afternoon. It's not so much a diet as it is eating when I am hungry. Eating something I worked hard to raise, source locally, bake or cook. I don't fast the rest of the day, but meals are super light, leaving anticipation and total joy for the star meal of the day: supper.

Enjoy your Evenings, Antlers! I will too!

13 Comments:

Blogger seagoddess said...

Lovely. Lovely day in southern New England, too.

November 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Tracy Hodgson said...

I hope I get as comfortable with my horse. I bought her a month ago, and after I finally got a saddle, it rained 8 days straight. On my second outing on her, she threw me off, and, boy, do I ever hurt!

November 10, 2012 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Tracy Hodgson said...

I hope I get as comfortable with my horse. I bought her a month ago, and after I finally got a saddle, it rained 8 days straight. On my second outing on her, she threw me off, and, boy, do I ever hurt!

November 10, 2012 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Firecracker Farm said...

Keep writing Jenna!
I swear you are driving up property values in Washington County!
Miss you!

November 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Lorie Hyten, adult services said...

Nothing inspires me to ride more than watching other people ride. I read your post after just getting in from the barn and ride on River. Super windy day here in northeast Kansas, picked up a canter in the pasture against the wind, wonderful. At home a bowl of homemade crock pot split pea soup, cooked for hours with a meaty smoky ham shank. Now shoes off, body relaxing, Prairie Home on the radio and a wonderful post to read. Thanks for adding to my day.
Lorie H.

November 10, 2012 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dixon said...

Sounds amazing... makes me think another horse should be in my life.

November 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM  
OpenID kindsofhoney said...

Sounds like a great day!

November 10, 2012 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

This a wonderful description of a joyful day. Thank you.

November 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I spent part of my evening reading Made From Scratch, petting my dog and listening to Celtic music. This after a day of winterizing garden and rain barrels, work inspired in part by that very book. Been thinking about you all day, sister!

November 10, 2012 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Wayne Jones said...

Nothing like a hearty meal at the end of the day. Made even better when it comes in some form from your own hands. The more you play a part in your foods production the more empowered you feel, at least that's how we feel. Enjoy the mild weather as I'm sure it will go the way of the Goony Bird.

November 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

:) I like being called an "Antler!" :)

November 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I don't think I have ever commented before and I have been reading for years. I'm not a farmer, nor do I want to be but I really enjoy your blog. Thank you.

November 10, 2012 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I don't think I have ever commented before and I have been reading for years. I'm not a farmer nor do I want to be but I really enjoy your blog. Thank you!

November 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM  

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