There were several tales today related to Snip...I thought you might enjoy them.
First, I rode Snip this morning, instead of this afternoon. He was a tad stubborn about the bit, but it could have been much worse. At one point, he was standing on my spur, so I just leaned back against him until he figured out that he needed to move.
While riding, I lost my .22 revolover. I ride with it strapped around the saddle horn with one of my belts. Well, the belt busted. I didn't realize it when it happened. Anyway, I was riding through the pens, fixing to go onto the back 40, when I went to check my gun--and found it was gone! Needless to say, I turned Snip around and went back over the ground I had just been walking, trotting, and loping all over. (Loping with no bucks today!! Yippeee!! Improvement!)
I found the belt after one sweep and was off Snip when Mama and Katherine got here. Mom must have noticed that I wasn't on the horse and I probably looked distressed, even from a distance, because in no time, my back pocket started ringing and Mama wanted to know what was wrong. Soon, she and Katie were there helping with the search...then Savannah came out. I got back on Snip and went the opposite direction. I found my pistol out near the briars. Believe me, I was quite relieved!
I asked Katherine if she'd like to ride behind me on the way back to the house. I took my left foot out of the stirrup and leaned to the right while she got her lanky self heaved up. That was all fine and dandy until Snip spooked at the gate. We both tumbled off! I probably would have stayed on if I hadn't had the extra weight pulling on my back...but anyway, we slid off and neither one of us got hurt--except for a stratch on Katherine's leg (most likely from my spur) and a few minor bruises. Anyhow, we both had a good laugh about it and I told Katherine, "Hey, now you can say you've fallen off a horse!" Snip stopped immediately--like he does anytime I disappear off his back. Soon we were back on and had no more mishaps for the rest of the short trip.
Much later in the day...I was filling Snip's water tank. He got curious--as per usual. And...well, have you ever seen a horse drink out of water hose? I got wet as he kept poking his nose back into the stream of water. It was really quite hilarious! He had that rather confused look on his face the whole time too...which added to the humor of the moment. Not that it was like I didn't need a bath...I was filthy from working in the barn for a good chunk of the afternoon. But that water was cold!
Anyway...those are today's horse tails. ;)
P.S. Above misspelling was purposeful...
Greetings again...it's been a while, hasn't it? Anyway, I got around to the next step on the coops today. The "roo" (rooster) coop's frame was assembled and I later went to town and got the wire (it's green!)...but instead of putting the wire on, I rode Snip.
Rooster coop frame
I was going to write further, but since I'm Skyping with Daddy, I'll save that for later... :)
I started the day with a jaunt across the creek to feed the cows. Once I came home, I finished up the rest of my normal morning routine.
After Savannah left with Granddaddy for his chiropractor appointment, I started busying myself in straightening out my ever-increasingly mounding desk and corner area. I'm pleased to say, you can actually see the desk and the floor now. Not only that, the remaining stacks are definitely neater than they were. From there I disappeared into my room to do the same to the foldout desk in there. Somehow, I found myself with the lemon oil in hand dusting the bookshelves. I migrated with that into the living room and did the wooden stuff in there. I hate dusting, so I impressed with myself. ;)
I also got all the ends woven into the latest pair of socks (rebelgraysocketeer
), pictures taken and listed. I discovered that the clothes box someone gave me a beautiful jacket in is great for holding a limited number of socks. I started my fourth pair (in blue!) last night.
These are short--8 inches...so I listed them as boys socks. :D
I rode Snip this afternoon. It took long enough to get the bit in his mouth...but for all that, I had the sense of 'almost a break-through'. (I'm not putting to much stock in it...) What I mean by that is, I got the bit held up against his lips/teeth and he almost nibbled at it. I think that is a good sign. When I went to get the saddle, I collected a pocketful of feed and fed him that. I don't think bribery works too well with my horse, but it's worth a try.
I had the sensation while clamouring on that I was fixing to rip the seat out of my britches (as some of you might recall, I've done that once before!) I didn't, but when I got off and got back on later out in the pasture, I made sure I adjusted my pants better before getting on. (In other words, I pulled the legs up some--my knees always hit too high in pants so to get proper bending out of them I have to jerk them up.)
Anyway, I found a dead cow out back...I identified her by the white mark on her cheek. It was Gorilla cow. Turns out, as I got to thinking about it, she was in the exact same spot where I last saw her when I rode the last time. I was a tad surprised the other day that she didn't get up when I rode by, but just looked at us like we were bothering her. Oh well. Maybe she's been sick and that's why she was somewhat touchy all last summer.
I discovered that the runway is a great place to ride. I can get up to speed without worrying about fences and trees. Snip bucked on me once today...I promptly sat him down and backed him and shouted in his ear. Brat...
I also figured out that I can strap my pistol onto the saddle. It's a whole lot more practical than strapped to me, where it bounces around something crazy and I am always having to readjust it. My poor 'gun-belt' is looking sorrier than ever. I like that belt...but it's rather coming apart now from the extra weight.
While attempting to clean out his hooves this evening, Snip got the grand idea to scratch his head on my backside. I ended up having to whack him on the cheek will the butt end of my knife. He stopped rubbing on me. (It literally throws me off balance when he scrubs his head on me--no matter what my position happens to be; besides that, with all those stickers in his halter, it tends to be uncomfortable!)
So...the long and the short of it is: Snip behaved overall worse today than he has in a while--but better than he could have. I was so dehydrated by the time we got done, I didn't really care. I just wanted to get done so I could go wet my whistle.
I think I'm going to be stiff in the morning.
Now, I didn't do anything crazy today--unless you count riding almost to the very back of the leased property. That's rather interesting because I must stay alert--I never know if some nutty squirrel is going to spook Snip. He was rather interested in the dead cow...but I didn't let him dawdle too close or too long next to said corpse.
While back there, I noticed one of the cows was over on this chunk of land by herself. I got to looking at her and concluded that she was the cow that about two days ago I had said to myself, "She's fixing to have a calf." Meandering closer to her, I determined (a guess mainly) that she had had her calf. So, without trying to look like I was searching for it, I took Snip in several different directions around about. I had a feeling the calf was bedded down someplace to the west of where the cow was--blame that on how the cow was acting and where she was looking--or better yet, when she started watching us closer. Anyway, I was headed west when I saw the calf off to my left. It is white, but other than that I can't tell you about it, being as it bedded down. I wrote it down in my little book (while trying to get Snip to stand still and stop nibbling on that palmetto.)
Anyway, I had a good, uneventful ride. The back-40 is slightly creepy sometimes...particularly when floating through the orange grove one hears Christmas songs played by something that sounds somewhat like a music box. I found another tree stand today too--only it's on the other side of the fence. There are at least three 2x4 constructed deer stands on the leased land. I also saw three raccoons scurring away from us. I don't know if Snip saw them or not, but I had stopped him because I was listening to the squirrels bark and chatter at us. Fortunately, I didn't run in to any dangerous critters. I did almost ride through a spider's web with the spider (a crab-spider) still in it though. I saw it just in time, backed Snip up, and went around the tree from the other side. :D
Snip finds the leased land just as fascinating as I do. He walks along (almost too quickly sometimes) with his ears pricked forward. Here I would like to interject and say that if he was not responding to commands fairly quickly, I would not be riding back there. As is, he is behaving quite well, stopping, turning, and backing without much more than slight pressure on the reins. Admittedly, stopping is his worst point.
I had fun...I just wish I didn't have to fight the bit into his mouth. He KNOWS how to take it and once it's in, he's calm as a cuke. I even think he's been enjoying the rides! He's just bound and determined to make me earn my ride by forcibly stuffing the bit between his teeth. Except for the bit, he's been being super good--mostly.
Oh well...I think God is using this to teach me patience...at least with this critter.
Today, the 7th of December, is a day that brings back some memories...
Last year, at about 4:30 in the afternoon, I took a headlong fall off my horse and broke my wrist. Remember? (If interested in re-reading that tale, you can find it under December 2011 on the "Archives" page. I wasn't using the blog format yet...)
This was the next evening...
Besides the pain, I was rather disappointed that it was (at earliest) 9 pm by the time Daddy and I left the ER with my fractures splited. (That splint cut the blood off from my pinky finger something bothersome!) The reason I was so disappointed was that I had really, really been looking forward to watching 'Tora! Tora! Tora!'. It has been a family tradition ever since I can remember to watch the movie on December 7th and we hadn't managed to see it for the last 3 years. (I'm fully planning on watching it tonight. I brought our VHS player over for that express purpose!)
The morning of the 7th of December, 1941 witnessed one of the most horrendous attacks our country had ever sustained up to that point in time. Many men died that day as the USS Arizona sunk and the other ships in the harbor were severely damaged. "The day that shall live in infamy" is one that my family has always honored. This is a day never goes by without a thought of the past. Thoughts of the men who died...thoughts of the men who sacrificed their lives so that we could be free. I pray that we will not forget the noble sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines--past, present, and future.
While I may have broken my wrist on the day of infamy, even while sitting in the ER I didn't forget these men. (That's not a brag--at all.) I wonder how many young people my age pass the day without any knowledge--or care--of what happened at 8 o'clock that Sunday morning 71 years ago. This, my friends, is a reminder to never, ever, ever forget the men who have died to preserve our freedoms. This is reminder to honor those men...and I don't care if they are 100 or 18 years old! You owe your freedom first, to the grace of God, and second, to the soldiers He has seen fit to bless you with. Don't ever forget that.
God Bless Our Military!
Pearl Harbor WILL NOT be Forgotten!!!
P.S. You won't get any smart-aleck remarks about the Air Force or Navy out of me today....
Yep. Honest. It really took longer to comb the mass of goatheads out of Snip's mane than it did to put the bit in his mouth. It took someplace on ten minutes, accompanied by some spinning, to get the metal in his mouth. I tell you, holding onto his ear like that really helps me stay with him. :D I just hope it isn't humanly possible to rip a horse's ear off...(because I would...)
All told, Snippy behaved pretty well today. I not only rode him, but I got a head count on the cows. Total 46 head (44 cows, 2 bulls). I think there are 14 calves....there will be more on the ground soon.
I rode back on the leased land some. It's kind of weird, but I almost get the creeps back there. I don't quite understand it. Maybe it's partly because I know if Snip spooked and took off before I could get him under control--or bail out, I could get seriously ripped up by the trees. Anyway, it's just interesting.
This morning I ran into Byran's and got a roll of hay for my poor, poor little herd. They need some fattening up. Serious fattening up. I probably ought to get that little crooked mouthed calf off Snowflake. She's tiny still, but Snowflake doesn't need the extra drain on her. I have to make it a priority to feed them every day. Perhaps I ought to stick a note on my forehead...
I'm kind of hungry....so I think I'll go set the table...and then bug Savannah as to whether or not supper is done!
Remember me mentioning about a cow closed up in the pens yesterday? Well...once we talked to Daddy and Mama about it, the idea formulated itself that maybe someone was in the process of rustling said cow. Hmmm....not a very pleasant idea. (And yes, cows still do get rustled...just not like you see in the old Westerns.) Anyway, by the time I went to bed last night, I kind of had the heebee-jeebee's--that is, until I zonked out.
I spent most of my day at the computer (again!) and managed to get the AfterEffects compositions rendered and placed. Only the audio work remains. I'm tickled pink!
About 4-ish I headed out (Savannah and Granddaddy had gone to a doctor's appointment and weren't home yet) to take a peek at the pens and open the west gate. From there I meandered down the run towards the back 40. Half-way down, for some reason I decided to check and see if my .22 revolver was loaded. (It normally is.) I felt like kicking myself when I flipped open the cyclinder to find six empty holes staring back at me. Thing is, I didn't reload it last time I shot it because I was going to clean it the next day--but I never did get to that. (I think part of the reason is because the piece you put the patch through is broken--cheap plastic!) Anyway, so there I was tromping around with an empty gun. Not much good for self-defense of any sort unless you're close enough to use it as a bludgeon.
I kept going regardless and wandered back onto the leased land. As I moved along I got to sniffing...there was that repulsive, yet sweet smell I've learned to recognize right off the bat as something dead. Looking off to my right, I caught sight of a mound I didn't remember being there. I went over to investigate and sure enough, it was a dead cow. She was one of the few with horns. I was kind of surprised that it was that particular cow. I didn't think she was in that bad of shape. It's my opinion that she probably just laid down and didn't get back up. I also got to wondering if that panther I saw last Saturday had anything to do with it--at least the eating part. Savannah suggested later that maybe the cow was down and the panther finished her off. I don't know; what I do know is that we lost another cow. That makes two this year.
I fixed a small piece of the electric fence on my way back from looking at the gate leading from the orange grove to the 'back 4o'. There is absolutely no lock on that. So...anyone wanting to sneak on to Granddaddy's land would have no problem whatsoever doing so.
I returned to the house via the runway and attempted to count the cows. I counted them I don't know how many times and most often came up with 43. That's bulls and cows, not counting calves or that heifer I was going to wean. However, I'm not going to put that down as a solid number until I get a better on-horse-back count. That's my job for Monday.
Speaking of horses, I went out this morning at around 8:45 (pretty normal) to feed Snip. I was fixing to do my usual whistling, when I heard a noise. Looking up, I saw that rascal horse of mine in the yard. He was standing by the pumps. He had apparently JUMPED the fence! Brat child...Anyhow, I hope the expirence was uncomfortable enough that he will not repeat it. (He got cut up some.) If I catch him in the act, I'm going to whomp him good. I had my breakfast sitting there getting cold when I peeked out at him and saw him nibbling that the fence. I charged out there and gave him a nose to nose scolding. After I went in, he walked away from the fence. I think he knew I was mad at him--but I couldn't tell you how much of my tirade he understood. He isn't stupid, but neither is he logical.
See, I have a total uninteresting life, don't I? ;)
I'll start at the beginning of the day (minus all the dishes and such like). I buried my nose in the computer screen this morning building AfterEffects compositions like a pro. (Heh!)
I had half a dozen done before lunch. More importantly, I learned how to use Photoshop a little better! I cropped two flags out of the pictures from Ocklawaha and shrunk them up and a made a lower third out of them. (If you don't know, a lower third is the title bar thingy you see in documentaries, for instance. You know, the bar that says "So-in-so, author of such-in-such". :D) I had to go back and add that into the compositions I had already made. I plowed through and I think I have all the ones I want. I figured out that I'm going to have to mess with the color of the text...but I'll take care of that tomorrow. I also have to do quite a bit of work with the audio. I have to raise the volume level on the main audio track--I'll have to go back into Soundbooth to do that. I'm going to see about removing some wind noise from another audio track (Commander G's speech) in Premiere Pro. One of my contacts on Google+ gave me some tips on how to do that...Google+ is kind of cool like that. Need help? Just post that you do and someone might just show up and help you! :)
At some point after lunch, while I was busy working on AE compositions with WCPE
playing in my ears, the two ladies from Granddaddy's church who stop by fairly regularly, dropped in. The one asked if we'd play a bit for them so Savannah played a couple things on the piano, I hauled out the cello, and then gave a piece on my guitar (one of my new favorites--Riding a Raid). That was all the more musical I was today. (Not counting the singing I did while doing dishes and riding Snip.)
Moving on, around 3:30ish, I went out to ride Snip. As usual, it took a few minutes to land the bit between Snip's roving lips and between his teeth. Once that was done, the rascal was calm as a cucumber. I brushed him and combed the mass of goat-heads and other stickery things out of his mane. While working on his forelock, he started nibbling on the front of my shirt. I think he was eating the goat-heads stuck on it, but all the same I shoved him off several times--I didn't really want to get nipped.
I saddled him up and hopped on. Then off we went! At a walk. ;) I did trot him and even slow loped him later on after we'd been going for a bit. I didn't get any hint of a buck out of him today, for which I was glad. He did get rather impatient to get moving while I sat on his back and peeled myself an orange I picked off one of the old trees in the pasture. It wasn't 100% 'ready' but it sure tasted good anyway! I ate it on the move. I was tired of having to get on to Snip about his pawing.
Other intersting things of the afternoon...he spooked a little bit as we sat next to the hanger. This very tall weed was rubbing against the hanger making noise and that startled him. I made him walk back that way a bit--training thing, you know. (The same reason I whirl
For some strange reason (providence), I decided to go up the trap to the pens. I am SO glad I did. There was a cow shut in there! How she got shut up I don't know. I had left that east gate open after working cows last time...with the chain hanging on the north fence (where it gets closed). Anyway, that gate was chained shut
. There is no possible way, even had the wind been honking, for that chain to wrap itself around the gate and hook itself. Someone had to have shut that cow in there. I know it wasn't me or Savannah, and it certainly wasn't Granddaddy! I dismounted from Snip, rather worried about this cow. She poked her nose out to me and I briefly scratched her nose. It was damp and she didn't seem to be in distress (fortunately). Her eyes were normal (this is one of the more docile/friendly of Granddaddy's herd) and the only thing I noticed negative about her was that she seemed rather sunken about the hips. (Could partially have been the angle she was standing at.) Anyway, I got the gate open and chained it that way. The cow went out and immediately started eating not to far away from Snip (who by the way I had tied to the fence--as soon as I started to turn away he went to start nibbling at the reins...stinker.) She stayed in the run until after we'd left then went to join her 'people' on the south side of the pasture. I don't know if she got anything to drink or not, but I do know that she hadn't had any water in the pens. So....if I find another cow closed into the pens, I'm going to be one furious girl. I was pretty irritated as it was--I wonder, was this some brat kid's idea of a practical joke? Just think, if I hadn't decided to go riding today and on a wild hair go all the way up the run to the pens, that poor cow might have died from thirst!
I finished my ride...nobody got hurt and Snip behaved himself like a gentleman almost the whole time. When we came in it was time for supper--for both of us. As I was coming in, I looked back and that crazy animal had his foot in the sink that serves as his feed bowl....
Minus the myserious cow episode, I had a really good, fairly productive day. How was yours?
I had the brilliant idea to trim my horse's hooves this afternoon. I asked Savannah to help by holding Snip's head, so she did. We got started around 4:00. It was at least 5:30 by the time we got finished.
I started with the 'trouble' foot (the right front). Ho-hum....how do I make this hour and a half of horse hoof wrastling interesting? Anyway, the funny and not so funny parts were interspersed throughout that time and they included the following: Savannah got her feet eaten by fire ants (ouch!), Snip removed the hoof-pick from my back pocket at one point (he's going to chip his teeth if he doesn't stop nipping on metal!), and I took a head-long, semi-backwards tumble at one point. Savannah was afraid I had gotten kicked as I rolled out from under the horse with my spurred heels waving in the wind. No, I hadn't gotten kicked--he'd just moved and I lost my balance and he moved some more and so I couldn't catch myself on his barrel-shaped hide. I told her, "Oh, you'd a known if I got kicked! I'd a hollered." She responded, "That's right, you're not Katherine." (I guess she and Katie tend to not yelp as soon as I do because the hurt takes their breath away differently.)
The fall didn't hurt. It did hurt though when I went to give Snip a good solid whack on the cheek for being a jerk. I hauled off and swung with all my might...I hit him alright. But he might as well as hit me. The side of my hand smashed right into his cheek bone. I don't remember if I yelled about that, but I danced around in a circle because it hurt so bad. Then I went right back to work. The swelling is going out of it now, and it doesn't hurt quite as bad as it did when I finally got done with Snip's feet and took my gloves off and let myself think about it. Savannah asked me if I broke it, but I don't think so...it didn't throb like the other bones I've broken. (In other words, I think if I had broken it that I wouldn't have been able to finish the job.)
That stinker was busy the whole time trying to nibble on us...and I don't know how many times we had to turn him around. I somehow managed not to get my feet stomped on. Snip was so ornery; I never actually got mad at him, but I gave him the no-nonesense voice several times. He also behaved himself somewhat better a couple times after I grabbed him by the nose and dug my fingers into his nasal cavaity...he thought about that.
This whole process would be easier if I had a set of nippers that I could conviently handle one-handed. The ones I have I can use one-handed, but it isn't easy. Probably wouldn't hurt to sharpen them either...
The result of the afternoon's struggle...four not-so-well trimmed horses hooves, two feet covered with ant bites, one stiff back, and one sore hand. Ah...life is so fun! (And that is only partially facetious. :})
That's a Gene Autry song...and I actually didn't sing it today. However, it aptly describes things.
After playing my cello and guitar for an hour/hour and a half, I got the notion to go ride my horse. Actually, I didn't just "get" the notion...the desire, urge, whatever you want to call it, to get back on my horse has been growing on me for weeks now. Seeing the cavalry at the reenactments probably hasn't helped. :)
I didn't plan on doing anything foolish, just mainly walking Snip. It took several minutes to get the bit in his mouth (I want to switch back to the snaffle, but I haven't found it across the creek--I may even need a larger [longer] one). It didn't help any that somebody was shooting and Savannah was riding her bike. Anytime that crazy horse hears gun-fire any more he is all ears and eagerness. It really is strange since the first time he heard gun-fire (a .22 rifle no less!), he freaked out and pulled the gate down (okay, so it was a rotten post!). Now, first shot and bam! he's there (normally right behind the backstop).
I saddled him up after combing the mass of goat-heads out of his mane. By the time I was done he had something that reminded me of one of those 'fro-looking 80's hair-do's with the head band. I actually didn't need a bucket to mount (I was afraid I was going to :D).
We walked, identified hog-sign (there is some out there--just in an entirely different spot than last time I saw it), and towards the very end I trotted him and loped him just a little bit. I think he attempted a buck on me, so I sat him down and backed him. I can tell how out of shape I'm in--loping wasn't the breeze it normally is--my legs are weak (and by then my seat was beginning to feel the saddle.)
Still, I'm happy, I put my spurs back on my boots and rode my horse for the first time in weeks (er, months). Now, it's time for supper. See ya'll later!