Today was cold and windy, but the horses are going to winter pasture next week, so today was the only chance I had to ride before Her Highness went on vacation. Mom and Bill's horses might be back in a month or two, but Her Highness will go down to fat pasture in January. She needs it. Even though she's been maintaining her weight for the most part, fat pasture is so good for her, plus it's at a lower elevation. Winters at altitude are kind of tough on the old girl. Down closer to 5,000 feet will be much easier, as it's typically ten to twenty degrees warmer down there, not to mention much less windy.
At her age, I'm getting worried about sending her out to pasture, honestly. I know Ida takes amazing care of her and will keep an eye on her, but I still worry that she won't make it through the winter. That sounds terrible, but she's 25-ish and the fact is, she's geriatric. I know that by sending her down to fat pasture, she'll be much more comfortable, will gain some weight, and Ida will treat her well.
I had hoped for some good weather, but it didn't look like it was going to happen, so we loaded up anyway. Ashinator was c-r-a-n-k-y that I woke her up from her nap to take Ranger out. I actually had to pull rank and tell her she was going to do it, I wasn't asking. Want to know how to piss off a teenager in about 1.5 seconds? Wake them up from a nap and tell them they are going to do something.
Oh, she put on a good show of being pissed off. Well, it wasn't really a show, because she was super pissed and stomped around the lodge like only a nineteen year-old girl can. Beel was actually worried that Ranger was going to dump her because Ranger is really sensitive to moods. Beel was fairly certain that Ranger wasn't going to put up with a certain cranky someone's shit.
Boy, was Beel wrong. Ashinator had never caught Ranger before, and if he don't want caught, it ain't happening. However, Ashinator stomped through the pen with the lead rope in hand and I'll be darned. He put up a token resistance. And I mean token. To just stand there and get caught is against his nature, so he had to shuffle his feet a little bit and go down to the stream to get a drink of water, but he pretty much haltered himself for Ash.
She muttered and cussed me out the whole time, but Ranger just followed along and agreed with her. While she was catching Ranger, Estes kept trying to go to her. I had walked up and haltered Estes and was watching Ash to see if she needed any help with Ranger, but I had to hold Estes back. What is it about horses that just want to "heal" cranky girls? All that negative energy pouring out of Ash and Ranger and Estes couldn't get close enough. WTH?
Ash does a pretty good job of Cowgirl-ing Up. It's been probably three years (yes, she reminded me of that fact) since she's been on a horse and we gave her the Rachel treatment - just threw her up there bareback.
Oooo, she was cranky. 1) I had the audacity to wake her up and *tell* her she was going to ride; 2) I made her ride bareback; and 3) Washoe kicked a rock and caused Ranger to skitter sideways. It was after the skitter that I was reminded - loudly - that she hadn't been on a horse in three years.
You know that old adage, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man"? It's so true.
|Look at that cranky girl!|
|Less than a block later,|
Ranger had worked his magic.
|Half a mile in,|
she was telling Ranger that they should hang out more often.
|The gratuitous three generations shot.|
Because it was so cold and windy, we only rode around the Ski Road loop, but it was plenty to get Estes warmed up and moving well and enough for Ashinator to shed her cranky pants.
And since it's our last ride of the year, here's an almost-good picture of me with Her Highness.
|I rarely allow myself to be seen in my glasses,|
but I was too lazy to put my contacts in.
|See the date stamp?|
And Estes' butt?
Proof that I didn't just post a picture from a previous ride.