Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland Ride (Sunday, Dec. 26)

It started snowing again the day after Christmas, our road was still unplowed, and since we had sent Jim and Monique home in the 4WD truck, we played it safe and stayed home from church.  We still had to ride Brandy, of course, so we all ventured out into our own little winter wonderland.
The cabin was magical in the falling snow.
 Zephyr knew Jean-Marc would be good for a game.
Everyone had fun--Zephyr jumping to catch the snow, Jean-Marc kicking it for her, and Jenny snapping pictures!
Whenever she's hot or tired, Zephyr loves nothing more than to lay down in the snow.  After all, it's the natural habitat of a Shetland Sheepdog!

Hero, being part kangaroo, finds his natural habitat anywhere he can jump and pounce--field mice, beware!

Jean-Marc looks like the smartest one around here!
As always, hill work comes first for Brandy, and this photo captures well the nice steep angle of the big hill in the Back Pasture.  Just what the doctor ordered!
Herb was my riding companion today.
What a joy to share the magic of riding in our own winter wonderland.
Brandy stopped to taste the snow on an abandoned hay bale. 
After having my brains thoroughly rattled by Brandy's hard pacing yesterday, I sat up late last night researching how to naturally discourage a horse from pacing without a bit or other aids.  Stifle pain or injury is one factor that can encourage pacing (an easy, lazy gait) instead of gaiting (a flat walk is hard work).  One recommendation was to NEVER let a horse pace, as it's a bad habit.  Instead, hold the horse to a walk, gradually encourage it to extend the walk, and rein in every time it breaks into a pace.  Finally, water, sand or snow are helpful in forcing a horse to pick up its feet, thereby tending to gait rather than pace.  SNOW!  Just what the doctor ordered!  So we gave up rapid pacing for a nice, big-stepping walk--and I quickly saw that Brandy was actually working her stifles more by walking.
Angel, on the other hand, was glad for a canter and a race with Hero!
On the way up the last big hill, at long last Brandy cantered for me!  The smile on my face says it all!
Back at the barn there were treats for everyone, including Sara, whose amazing tongue flicked out and snagged the treat Jenny was offering.  All we'll say about that is that cows have VERY slimy tongues!

1 comment:

  1. wow, that was so fun to look at; amazing pictures! what a great post! thanks for sharing! (Monique, via email)


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