Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A December Afternoon in Scotland

It was a stormy day yesterday. We got about 20% of our annual rainfall in about 4 hours. I didn't get a lot done outdoors. However, I learned my lesson with Coco. He gets tied up now while I am turning the big boys in and out of the pen. I can't say he appreciates this, but it works really well for me!

Because of the weather, it got dark earlier than usual, and before I knew it I was headed out to find the horses on 160 acres in the dark. Thank goodness Dakota is light colored! He was a beacon. They were all near the same area they had been in the previous evening. Ducky came straight over and let me put his halter on. I have been giving them a treat after the halter is on, and I think it's helping. Dakota wasn't so keen, but I figured that if I started leading his buddy away he'd change his ideas. It's easier to lead just one horse, anyway. Dakota walked ahead of us on the track, the Fells were around, but not interacting. Soon we came to the gate I wanted to go through, to cut across the pasture. We'd used it the night before, too. I stopped by it and gave Dakota a meaningful look. He stopped and let me know I could halter him then. Easy, He gets it!

By now it was pitch black, and they were both a tiny bit spooky, but they were very trusting. I wonder if they noticed that I was a little spooked, too! I tried to be the best leader I could be. We had a hairy moment when we came to a stretch of the path that was flooded. I had no idea whether they would cross water. They did, after thinking it over. It was a little deeper than I thought, got my feet a bit wet. The whole thing reminded me of so many winter afternoons I've had in Scotland, bringing horses in, or turning them out, in the dark, about 4 in the afternoon. (I remember one place where about 100 yards of the path to the field would run like a river 15 or 20 inches deep when it rained.) There was something strangely cosy about having the yard lights on and having lots of horses to feed, etc. Today I turned D&D out for the rest of their stay, providing that all goes well.

Today I made a lot of progress on the track fence. Soft ground makes for easy post driving! Tomorrow, it looks like we will be back to hot weather.

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