Winter is here. Well, it’s supposed to be here, but our average temperature is above the normal. It has rained a lot, in fact as I write, it is a deluge.
Long gone are the pleasant days and evenings of our summer. I still ride out, trying to dodge the showers, and soft ground.
It’s a time to reflect and clean leather, some of which is long over due. Vaquero Cream for the Bosal, and saddle butter for the leather. Beautiful smells, a quiet Tack room and the smell of clean leather, dogs laying by the stove, and coffee brewing. Age, I find has its advantages, one of which is the ability to appreciate that which has been ignored before
I hear it all the time from folks, saying how?….”I can’t afford a horse, it’s so expensive!”
I tend to be of the view, that it’s only as expensive as you want it to be, and what you want. You could just buy a nag, a horse that will do most things, but in other people’s eyes, ain’t worth a shit. It all depends on you. Rescue horses, they’re all out there, just look. Keep your costs low by being self aware, learn how to be your own veterinarian, as far as you can. Don’t waste money on gadgets and trends. But most of all, don’t listen to those who think they know better than you, as there’s plenty out there. Do your own thing, be honest with yourself and the horse.
I’ve had some wonderful memories of rides with Gracie and friends across the years. If any horse helped me, it was Gracie, staunchly loyal, opinionated, and physically strong. She took me across many hills, valleys and numerous miles of country. Never baulked except when she sensed danger, and there was a few times. It took me a while to realize that what she was doing, was protecting me and herself from soft ground, faulty bridges, and many other things.
Partially retired now, I look at her and smile, they say they don’t live as we do, but I’m almost sure they warm to us, perhaps even accept us, but never ever does that acceptance become total.
She swishes her tail now quietly surveying her Kingdom, keeping two young geldings in line.
Casey, a Tri-coloured Leopard Spot Appaloosa. He arrived a few months ago, I collected him from some good friends who were retiring from horse breeding. He’s just three, rising four. Nervous chap, and a little insecure. He was away for professional training, and came back looking fit and in condition. He’s now growing well, and dispite his insecurity, has accepted all his groundwork training well. He has been backed, and happy with the western saddle on.
He’ll be left all the summer and winter to grow and mature. He’s a nice horse.
It was a dismal ride on a beautiful evening. Unfortunately, my horse Toby, had his own opinions. All he was wanting to do was turn for home, which wasn’t going to happen. So instead of the usual once round the forest, it was twice, to prove a point to Toby, the the wrong thing was hard……
In other words he was made to work harder, when if he had done the right thing, he could have been home earlier.
The four of us, me and three ladies, set forth in a five day ride around some if the Yorkshire Dales. I took my young horse Toby, for experience and fittening.
The weather was a mixed bag, but that’s the UK for you!…. Anyway it turned out to be a great trip, good company and good horses. Riding from Over Silton, we ride a circular route, returning after five days. In-between we encountered Pigs, Cattle and heavy trucks. Even a Postman!
We stayed at bed and breakfast places, farms and Pubs!..All in the name of exploring!
To go,or not to go, that is the question. In fact he did. It took gentle persuasion and patience. It was, as you can see a wet day, our route was through some really magnificent country, pity we didn’t see most of it. I was riding my old sure footed mare Gracie aka TOGG. The weather broke around midday, to reveal blue sky and sunshine.
This was our short break at Styhead Pass, having just lost a shoe. It was me walking from here to Seathwaite and the end. I didn’t mind, but I was more concerned for the horse, as you can see, it was pretty rough.
Coming down Seathwaite Valley, beautiful sunshine. An amazing route,we intend to do it again.