I didn’t accomplish much this weekend, but I did manage to get my butt in a saddle for the first time since early April. Brian finally showed up and shod Arthur on Tuesday, when I wasn’t around to pay him. The MayFest Horse Trials seemed like a good time to track him down and settle up, and catch up with some friends who would be competing. So I headed to the Horse Park Saturday morning with a checkbook, cooler, and camera. I found Brian, who took a cold beer but declined any monetary compensation for his work because he had delayed it so long. So in order to keep the trip from being a total waste, I wandered around and snapped a few random pictures and finished off the beer before heading home to try out Arthur’s new shoes.
He behaved about like I expected after a vacation of almost 2 months. Like most thoroughbreds, he keeps himself fairly fit just playing around in the pasture, so physical conditioning wasn’t really an issue. The main goal was attitude adjustment, and he needed lots of it. Mostly, we just ambled around, letting him settle and get used to all the horrifying monsters he has to get used to all over again at the beginning of every summer, as we shift from hunting to hacking around the home place. Dangers like piles of wood and dogs jumping out of water tanks were awaiting us all over the farm, and Arthur was sure that if he hadn’t been so alert and prepared to flee at any instant, we never would have made it home alive.
Sunday’s unexpected rain put a damper on any outdoor activities, so I relapsed into geekdom. I worked on some scripting that (I think) will automatically produce my site statistics each week to relieve me of running the report manually.
Monday’s weather was once again pleasant and dry, so I managed to get a little mowing and burning done, and get back in the saddle. We hacked around a little longer this time, with experiences very similar to Saturday. We had some new monsters to deal with. One was a bale-wrapping machine, which neither of us had seen before. Being a geek, I thought it was way cool and wanted a closer look. Being a horse, Arthur said there was no flippin way we were getting anywhere near that monster. Any creature that leaves droppings like this is probably capable of swallowing a horse whole.
We also had to contend with a motorcycle. When I fenced off my house/barn/pasture from the rest of the farm, I was too dumb to put in a gate. So my rides all begin and end with a half-mile hack on the road between my driveway and the farm entrance. We have occasional encounters with traffic, which usually is not a problem (except for the dogs who don’t understand the concept of yielding right of way). As the motorcycle was approaching from behind, I decided meeting it head-on would be better. So we turned and walked back towards it, and the driver politely slowed down as he approached. Arthur actually had no problem with it until it passed us, at which point he decided we needed to whirl around and run after it. I’m not sure whether he really wanted to race it, or whether he just thought that was a good excuse to run home.