“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” – Norman Maclean
Notables over the last nine days: We are in the thirties and forties (I repeat, thirties and forties!). The groundhog needs an eye exam, for our sanity relies on him and his absent shadow. Beatrice tried to reunite with her two hen friends. Beatrice now lives on our deck and lays eggs in our hay, alone. Our miniature pinscher, Murphy, got a clean bill of health after a worrisome few days. The horses’ blankets are off. I got back in the saddle. Another worth repeating: I am back in the saddle.
Our valley is a gutter brimming with snowmelt and rain. The Bitterroot River is rushing, full of life, making its presence known again, bustling through, breaking the quiet of winter.
This snap in weather is an answered prayer, one that came by way of lighter gloves and hooking up the horse trailer for the first time this year and loading up my girls. We frequent a nearby roomy arena as much as possible in the late winter so I can start conditioning their minds and bodies for trail riding in the warmer months. It’s nothing short of a great reprieve, swinging my leg up and over their backs and bringing them back into the classroom, so to speak. The first few rides are as expected: cranky and full of steam.
Chris and I aways wondered what skijoring might be like as a participant (when someone skis or snowboards while being towed behind a galloping horse) and I suppose I got a good enough taste when Lucy took off away from me, pulling me on my heels for a long stretch behind her. Our second time was much better, calmer, safer. She is a Mack Truck of a pony, short in height but built for fight, especially with her winter weight bouncing along our every stride. I love seeing what she’s remembered from last season and cataloging her progress since she first came to us, almost one year ago with only 30 days of training.
As for Raven, my soon-to-be eighteen year old, she is rolling an eye over Lucy’s youthful shenanigans, putting in the extra effort like she always does.
So that leaves us here, on the better side of winter, heads above the water, getting back on the horse.