For those of you who have never owned a horse, I want you to realize that you don't just decide to go for a ride, hop on the horse two minutes later, and go. Nope.
Before I leave the house, I have to remember some very important details.
1. Change to a sports bra. Now, this next may be too much information, but...
2. I deleted this step; my husband wasn't comfortable with it; it involved another item of underwear... (think "going Commando"). Those of you with bloglines will read it as originally written, I'm sure.
3. Make sure I'm wearing either sweats or Wrangler jeans. Anything else means misery within fifteen minutes of getting on the horse.
4. Put on my fanny-pack, making sure it contains my cell phone and the digital camera.
5. Use OFF insect repellent liberally, especially if I'm heading toward the river.
6. Time to head to the barn. If I haven't put Blue in the lot already, I could be in for a twenty-minute search around the pasture.
7. Lead Blue to the barn. If he's rolled in the mud, it'll be caked on his back like cement, and lots of curry-combing is in order. If he doesn't seem dirty, I still curry him, just in case there's something on him that could get trapped under the saddle and cause him discomfort.
8. Use the hoof-pick to clean his feet.
9. Spray Endure on the horse, to keep the flies and mosquitoes off.
10. Use Wipe on Blue's ears and face, because he goes ballistic if I spray those areas with Endure.
11. Saddle up and ride; it's been at least twenty-five minutes since I first decided to take a ride.
Most every morning ride I take starts off with a sunrise shot.
This is an area of the river bottom that hasn't been tilled since the flood. It looks dry, but it's still mucky, making it hard work for Blue to walk through it.
That's Blue's tracks.
Can you see the tiny soybeans peeking up?
Farmer Steve's equipment is ready to go to work as soon as he gets up this morning.
Blue and I are heading toward home now. There's a train in the distance.
Ah, Farmer John caught a racoon!
Back home, I give Blue some sweet feed. He doesn't require grain, since he only works for an average of two hours, every other day. But he shows me such a good time, I like to let him have a treat.