It’s been pretty consistently in the 90s since we got here. I wasn’t sure if that was normal or not – I come from Memphis, where it’s in the 90s until some time in November usually. S said it’s been hot a bit later than usual. Today, fall arrived. The wind started howling down from the west, clouds went whipping across the sky in a bunch of strange patterns, and the temperature dropped 10 degrees. And I rode, alone!
Well, first I walked.
There was a guy with a backhoe digging a huge trench by Dixie’s pen when I got there. He was looking for a water line, without much luck. My psycho mare was… asleep. I got her tacked up and mounted, and we headed for the gate, where she decided she couldn’t possibly leave. She started that super-annoying backing up thing. I tried easing around to the side, but she was not having it. I wasn’t sure if she was honestly terrified or just being recalcitrant, and I didn’t want to force her into doing something too scary for her to handle… so we walked. I got the spare lead rope and led her down the road, on a small loop trail.
I’m kind of glad I did, just because I got to look at the sky. Another lenticular cloud was trying to form, and the cloud was between me and the sun. The sun was refracting strangely off the cloud and the corners of the cloud were lit up by rainbows! Not like actual arc-shaped rainbows, but the edges of the cloud were red / orange / blue / violet. So pretty!
Dixie acted a huge fool for the first 2/3 of our trip on foot. She’d stop and look around all panicked, and I’d have to coax her to walk again. Then she’d crash into me or step on my heels, and I’d yell and pop her with the lead rope. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to follow behind me on my left or my right. Jackrabbits tormented us. She was even a shit after we turned for home… but then she calmed down. She started properly following me, stepping where I stepped instead of crashing through the bushes beside me. She didn’t put on the gas and try to pass me. I was quite pleased!
When we got home, I put her bridle back on and mounted up again. We made it somewhat hesitantly out the gate and down the gravel road. We turned off on the dirt road by the neighbor horses, and I wanted to ride to a light pole, then turn around and gait back to the gravel road. She stopped two steps from the light pole and started backing up again. I sat real quietly and contemplated what to do while she backed and backed and backed. All I did was keep her head pointed straight ahead while she backed up a good 30 feet. When she petered to a halt, I picked up the reins and had her back some more. And more and more and more. After we went another 30 feet back, I softly halted her and softly asked her to walk. She had no problem whatsoever going forward after that!
We did a bit of gait work on the dirt road before S showed up on Summer. I went with her on a short loop, about an hour. I think this was my last day wearing a tank top!
Tomorrow we’re (wisely) giving the horses the day off. It’s supposed to be even windier and another 20 degrees colder – high of 68! I think I will take Cersei to Mount Rose for a hike. We can see if the aspens have started to change colors.