Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Catch up - Dixie

In the last three days, I've made 5 full size pies and 4 mini pies. All apple, and all from scratch. This means that I've got my mojo back with making and handling pie crust dough, but I HATE APPLES. Each full pie takes just under 3 lbs of apples, so I've peeled and sliced over 15 lbs of apples. My husband and I have been to the grocery store 4 times for pies alone, because while I know what ingredients I need, I can't remember to buy them all at once.

I gave one to one of my uncles yesterday. It was worth making it - he was initially skeptical that I could make a homemade pie, but when I peeled the foil back from the frozen pie he got the biggest grin on his face. Today I'll give the rest away. Two more uncles, my godmother, and my mother in law. The mini-pies got dropped off with my parents; we'll cook them and I suppose I'll eat a slice tomorrow. After actually making so many damn pies I have no interest in eating one right now but ehhh I bet I'll enjoy it tomorrow.

Ok, horses. Saturday I loaned K my clicker training book and showed off Poppy's little repertoire of tricks. Right now, he thinks she's a walking treat dispensary and has a whole lot of attitude toward her. She's doing round pen work with him (and I'm coaching her, cause her body language isn't really assertive yet) but she loves to give him treats. Really, who doesn't love giving a horse treats? I suggested she keep giving him all the treats she wants but actually make him work for them. I think it'll help get his mind back in the "she's the boss" mode.

Then T, who had been waiting fairly patiently, asked if I was going to ride??! I said yeah, but I wanted to ride Dixie and if she wanted to go she'd have to go FAST. (A few days ago, we watched the good parts of Talladega Nights again and my inner 5 year old is constantly screaming "I WANNA GO FAST!") She agreed, I saddled up, and away we went.

Dixie was excellent. She trusted me enough to skitter past the Washing Machine Monster, and go slow up and down hills, and not try to tree me in the woods. I don't think a long trail ride is the place to ask your horse to be on the bit, so I mostly rode with a bit of slack in the reins. A few times I gathered them up and worked on following her head nod and asking her to connect with me, and she did well. One time in the woods she almost came unglued - got really nervous and tucked her chin to her neck and started dancing around - but I talked really calmly to her and kept her responding to my cues and she relaxed again.

I did do something horrible. I didn't mean to! We walked up to a tiny little stream that crosses the trail - maybe a foot wide, maybe four inches deep. I wasn't paying enough attention to her body language and I assumed she was quivering and twitching trying to work up her nerve to step over it. She wasn't - she was getting ready to jump the little stream. I had too much contact on the reins for a jump and I wasn't mentally or physically ready to jump and I really yanked her mouth when she popped over the stream. DAMMIT. Of course, it was pretty obvious in retrospect that she was about to jump. It feels different, somehow, when they're tensed up all over ready to jump versus when they're tensed up ready to step over an obstacle, and I should've been listening better. Sigh.

After we got back, I realized that I hadn't once thought I was about to die. I think I told yall before how I deal with The Fear - I get scared, I consciously realize I'm scared, and I set the fear aside by thinking "Welp, it's been fun, gonna die when I do this," and I calmly do it. I didn't have to go through that routine at all Saturday. Pretty cool!

Our weather is CRAYZEE. Saturday it was warmish, in the 50s (12-13). Sunday was cold, sunny, and windy, with a high of 32 in the morning and down a few more degrees by afternoon. Monday was cold again, Tuesday it rained all day and hovered just above freezing, and last night a huge warm front blew in. It's 66 (19) right now! Tomorrow should be a little colder, then Friday it's supposed to hit 71 (22)!! The point of telling you this isn't to make you jealous, but to illustrate that today is a great day to go ride and right now, I am going to ride instead of telling you about Sunday.

We've got dinner with Graham's mom tonight, then dinner with my parents tomorrow night. I'll get back to blogging and fill you in on Sunday real soon. May you all have a really happy holiday, and if you get tasty homemade food then hug your cook!

1 comment:

  1. Poppy has been mugging for treats and Tonka has been mugging for willy scratching. He seriously thinks I'm his bitch now, so we've been having some attitude adjustments.

    Sounds like you had a great ride. Don't worry too much about popping Dixie in the mouth -- you will know for next time and you will be able to help rather than hinder her.

    We are expecting about a foot of snow today. I am SO glad that I am not traveling home this year. Enjoy your pies! Did you keep the cores? I freeze them if I have room and give them to the horses frozen. They don't mind at all.

    Merry Christmas!

    kraneewe: just a little bit of cranberry sauce on the side


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