Sunday, November 2, 2014

Last sunny days of October

With autumn winding down as we head towards the short, dark days of early winter, the horses soaked up the last bit of warmth the sun had to offer. The past weekend offered some of our best weather for fall riding. The horses are beginning to get their winter coats. Cold nights have given Harley a bit of a shaggy look, and Ruffy has started to get fuzz-face; long hairs growing around her cheeks and jaw. Rolex appears to have the least amount of winter hair growth, but she'll be catching up soon enough with the snow headed our way!

This is what I like to see this time of year--sleek Thoroughbreds ready to face the winter. They enjoy their beet pulp/flax seed/rice bran mashes and we can see the results in their shiny coats and the extra "padding" along the ribs. Coupled with the alfalfa mix hay, they've never looked better. Even Vance, the elder Standarbred in the heard, seems to be holding his own and feeling good.

We put the hay barrels down in the field to encourage the horses to eat down there, rather than along the upper fence line which has turned into a mucky mess from all the recent rains. The reduced traffic should help the mud dry out a bit. As I worked on the fence, I had the "assistance" of the gang, first Rolex and Harley, inspecting my work and sniffing my pockets for carrots, then the inquisitive Ruffy, also hoping I had treats to hand out.

Walking the fence line, noting what repairs I still need to do before winter, the gang moved with me until they decided I was of no interest without carrots. I know some people feel strongly about giving horses treats, but I look at it as a reward for letting us catch them. When I first got Harley, he was fond of walking away when I approached. That's not to say they all don't try this on occasion, especially when they're feeling fresh, but treats do keep them approachable in the field. No one is especially nippy, but I might feel a nose and lips snuffling at my pockets when I'm picking out feet!

Our latest adventure took us back out to Jepson Farm and the quarry. I always love the ride out to Jepson Farm. This time, I gave the camera to John, and he snapped off numerous shots of Harley. Here's my Halawa Moon, looking like his dad, Malibu Moon--big spooky eye and little short ears! He was feeling a bit fresh early in the ride. In fact, he was a handful just leaving the barn, but settled as we got going. Standing around is not something OTTB's do very well.

Here's another shot of Harley with his "look of eagles" pose for the camera.

"Enough of this standing around", said Rolex, "let's get the show on the road and go somewhere! "Hey, what's Lisa looking at? Jeezum, Harley, can you see those tiny trucks down there?"
There's been a lot of activity at the quarry as the process material before winter. Once things start to freeze, they can't run the gravel plant any longer and things quiet down for winter.

We decided NOT to take Rolex's short cut down to the bog, up the ridge, and through the ravine, this time. But we did stop to take a picture of what we now call "Rolex's Ravine" since she's the one that got us into that little adventure. John's new nickname for her, Rolodex of Trouble, really suits that mare. She keeps us laughing, our Roley Girl. The camera doesn't show the depth very well, but believe me (and Harley), it was a scramble. For those of you that have seen The Man From Snowy River--that's what came to mind, maybe not as steep, and certainly not at the same speed, but still a scramble!

When we got to North Point, Harley and Rolex had to stop and watch the horses in the pastures. Harley started walking down the drive to go investigate while Rolex watched and wondered, "Do I know you guys? Did I smell you out on the trail?"

North Point is for sale, for a cool $770,000--too bad it's way out of my price range. Its adjacent to conservation land with many trails, has a lovely barn, three pastures with run-in sheds, and a half mile "track".  Harley and Rolex wish I could buy it for them (and so do I).  Ah well, it's nice to dream.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting Harley's blog.