I don’t have a lot of time to post today because I am going to ride my horse!
I am leasing a very old (but still very spry!) quarter horse named Gibson who is teaching me to ride. Right now I am taking lessons on Gibson until I feel confident enough to take him out on my own, and then I can ride him as much as I like :) I am super excited about this, because my landlord is currently fixing up the barn and fields to get horses of his own, and then I’ll be able ride in my own backyard too!
I’ve not had a chance to take photos of old Gibby the kind gelding, but here’s a photo from the website:
He is such a nice pony, though he is a bit fat. He doesn’t bite, kick or stomp on me so that makes me luff him.
ETA – well, I looked at the clock while I was writing this and realized I didn’t have time to post and make my lesson on time, so I took a couple of photos of Gibson for you whilst I was there:
Today we were doing “barrel racing” by which I of course mean a very slow trot awkwardly around some barrels to help me stop staring at his ears and start looking where we’re going. He is very patient with me and my mixed signals, and the fact that I put his saddle pad on upside down. However, I did tack up for the first time all by myself today, and other than the saddle pad I did everything right … so go me!
The place is full of dogs, and they all think I am the bomb, because there are always cookies in my pocket. It’s a natural side effect of having a pack of dogs at home. Here’s a hound begging me for a treat.
In other news, the invincible Miss P is back to her old self a week after almost dying on me. Poor gal, she just has the most rotten luck of any dog around. I am still totally mystified as to what she could have possibly have punctured her tongue with, but yesterday I did watch her try to pick up a pokey branch as a potential stick to carry around, so it’s safe to say it could have been nearly anything sharp. Piper prefers to have something in her mouth at all times to just about any other activity, so it’s totally likely that she happened to pick up something sharp on the way back from our walk.
Her stitches evicted themselves into the dog water bucket the other morning (gross) but I guess the wound has healed up. She has colour in her gums again and is transitioning back onto raw food after a week of eating delectable canned delicacies like rabbit and beef and buffalo.
*sigh* I miss the days of canned delicacies.
I am really grateful for all your good thoughts and kind and caring words. Piper means the world to me. Even if she is kind of ugly, poor thing. She may look like she was thrown together with spare parts, but she is an indispensable part of my pack and I don’t know what I’d do without her.
TWooie, otoh … *insert eyeroll here*
We had a little guy at the shelter up until recently who was trying to make his way to a rescue group on the Island. So I drove him to meet the transport on Thursday late morning and since I was already out that way, decided to meet Auntie Robyn, Jenn and Luna for a walk in Ladner.
Jenn tried real hard to be as annoying as possible to Piper, doing drive-bys with sticks and her other patented manouevres to make Piper insane.
But Jenn had not met Springaling, The World’s Most Irritating Dog. Now don’t misunderstand me, I adore my little Springles, but a more tenacious, in-your-face, determined-to-be-a-part-of-everything-anywhere-ever dog you have never met in your life. And as far as Spring was concerned, Jenn was just the Most Fun EVAH and everything Jenn could do, Spring could do better.
She kept Jenn out of Piper’s hair for the entire outing, simply by following her around and being as annoying as possible.
(Which is what she does at home as well. Remind me to tell you about Spring, Dexter and The Terrifying Squeaky Chicken In A Bathing Suit story some time.)
But speaking of keeping dogs out of other dogs’ hair, a most curious thing happened on our Ladner walk.
Now TWooie, bless his damaged little bean, has come a long way from the obese tub of nasty that first arrived at Casa De Food Lady two years ago (his Gotcha Day is at the end of this month!) However, he has not come all that far about strange dogs, you know, existing. His rage ebbs and flows, most flows. There are a few places we can now regularly go with him (on leash and mostly) non-reactive, but new places with strange dogs gets him all agitated. And we have not been to Ladner for a real long time.
So he was a righteous mess from the moment we got out of the truck. Every approaching dog was cause for a flip out at the end of his Gentle leader style rage. This makes walks super un-fun. He even tried to beat up both Jenn and gentle Lu, the little jerk. And for reasons I will NEVER understand, every strange dog bypasses the swirling mass of off-leash collie and beelines straight for TWooie. Since the park is made up of roads surrounded by ditches or bush, we had nowhere to go except to back up with me trying to stomp the pavement in front of the approaching dog to make it change course* (with TWooie doing his Angry Shark Caught On Fishing Line routine at the end of the lead).
About halfway into the walk, Dexter started doing a most extraordinary thing. He would see me struggling with TWooie and trying to get away from some other dog and he would run over and *plant* himself between us and the other dog. His tail was wagging and he was friendly as anything to the strange dog, but he Would Not Let It Pass. If it moved forward, so did Dex. If it tried to go around Dex, my fella would back up and keep his body between the dog and me. No matter how they tried, they could not pass Sentry Dexter. When they finally got bored with trying and moved away, so did Dexter, happy as a clam that he could help.
At first I wondered if maybe I was imagining this, but then Robyn said “did you notice that Dexter is not letting other dogs come near you and TWooie?” So clearly not my imagination. Underneath all that insane LETSGOLETSGOCOMEONLETSGO!!!!!! there is a sensitive, keenly aware dog who is super in tune with my body language. Cuz he’s not doing it for TWooie’s sake; he hates TWooie. He is amazing.
The dogs love it out at the park in Ladner (except TWooie). It makes Tweed ridiculously happy.
And it’s prime hunting grounds for the likes of Woo.
As for Spring, well, everything makes Spring happy :)
Can we go again? Maybe now?
Sorry Spring, not now. Right now, I’m going to have a hot bath and read a good book. Ah, so exciting are my Friday nights. Just how I like it.