With the temperatures back on the rise, my cold nearly forgotten and the promise of hot chocolate afterward at a close friend's house, I was off to the barn yesterday in great spirits. Moon and I walked in the door and as I approached the cross ties, something felt...off.
Laying on the ground was a glove. A piece of hoof. A brush. Odd...Wendy is not sloppy and while there's stuff in the barn, it's never a mess. I opened Moon's stall and tucked him in, knowing something wasn't right...
I rounded the corner of the barn to the long row of stalls and was greeted by a big black head. And blankets strewn about, boots, buckets, halters and leads, everywhere. Nice silly escape artist-pony. Opened the culprit's stall and he wandered right back in, ignoring me as I slide the bolt across. And then resumed his cribbing, the likely cause of his escape in the first place.
W wandered in as I was picking up the debris, clearly wondering why the heck I made such a mess of the barn! Of course, she'd been out just a half hour earlier letting everyone in for dinner, so she didn't expect anyone to break out and start throwing stuff around. Silly pony. At least the feedroom is always closed tightly and the extra feed behind a solid door. The only thing they can ever get into is the rabbit food, and that's only happened once.
When I went to grab Moon I found he'd soiled his stall and the barn rule is to clean up any stall messes made before turn-in. Since the weather was supposed to be warming overnight I started cleaning up knowing he'd be out for the night, only for W to let me know that he'd actually been in during the day, since a cold wind had been blowing. Spoiled! Regardless, I learned how terrible I am at cleaning stalls! There's a true knack to it, lemme tell you. I can pick a pasture wonderfully, but separating poo from straw without throwing too much good stuff away is near impossible!
Our ring ride was awesome, though we didn't get to work on extended trot to canter as there was a lesson going on and I have serious crash-issues. Some days I'm amazed I can drive on the right side of the road and make appropriate turns : P
Moon remained stiff headed left, and was going so far as to invert and twist his head and neck through his 20 m circles as well. He *almost* seemed to not want to ride on the outer hard frozen sand and when forced to would counterbend. But I could also be making excuses for him, since he'd ride happily in those areas going the opposite direction. W at one point yelled "That can probably be fixed with a little leg!"...except a little leg only made him push back into it. Bugger. Which meant three quick leg cues and suddenly the Mr. realized he needed to stop shoving into me. Not that he was happy about it, and continued to try to avoid it every time we came around.
The highlight for me, was walking up the centerline and asking him to trot. He transitioned beautifully (W even commented) and stayed round enough for me to proceed down the line in a smooth sitting trot, and walk to halt perfectly at the end. Man I love riding this horse!
Of course, shortly thereafter J came into the arena to take some photos and Moon's eyes lit up. "Cookie??" As we came around the short side of the ring he comes to a grinding halt in front of J and W and pokes each of them for a cookie. And manages to get two dog cookies for his cuteness!
When we had finished up, a solid 45 minutes of practicing, we headed into the barn and got to meet Curly horse's owner. Who had brought him in to see Moon because he was outside calling. And put him back out. Okay...
W let us know that the barn Christmas party would be closer to New Year's due to everyone's busy schedules, which is absolutely awesome since I'll hopefully be able to attend then. There's some really awesome people at the barn and I think the party will be a blast. I'm hoping to make cupcakes with little fondant horses on top, provided I have the time!
There's just one thing from yesterday I can't put out of my mind...
A little orange kitten.
Him and his brother have moved into the barn and taken up residence. He's the little guy who curled up between Moon's saddle cover and his saddle while I tightened the screws on it, playfully batting the screwdriver. Yesterday he was swatting at Moon's tail while I was grooming him, then proceeding to chew on it. He curled up in his stall in the thick straw, mewing quietly, and chased invisible mice in the ring while we rode.
I'm just smitten. He's a wonderful, sweet adorable kitten, and I lost our childhood family cat last year after 15 or so great years. I kinda miss that presence.
Of course, I'm not fond of cleaning litter boxes, of worrying about the cat clawing the furniture, or dealing with having him looked after when we vacation. But he's soooo cute, and last night when I was telling the BF about him, he came ridiculously close to tell me I could bring him home. DON'T DO THAT!
Doesn't help our dog is a cat lover, and the little furball needs a proper home. And that W's given me permission to take him home if I want...
Which I won't do. A friend played the worst Christmas song yesterday about a dead cat, and I'm feeling sad about it. But I'm not going to take him home. I won't. Someone tell me not to. BAD idea. Not till we move to the farm. Must control self...
Putting that aside, after my ride I got to visit an awesome friend, enjoy a big cup of steaming hot chocolate and gab about ponies, farms and life. The perfect end to a great evening! And I get to do it all over again next week. NOTHING makes it feel more like the Christmas season then yesterday. Friends, family, warm fuzzy creatures and sweet memories.
Life is good. Life is really good.