To most of you it probably seemed like I'd dropped off the face of the earth, or more likely, lost out in the wilderness firmly implanted in the mud courtesy of Owen.
Alas, I've been tied up in mundane affairs such as selling the house and moving. I even had to pass up my beloved Side Saddle at USET this year...the first time I've missed it since its inception. But I've not had time to so much as brush Owen, let alone ride, and spent considerable time scrubbing and painting the house to get it on the market. We listed it in mid August, assuming that it would take a few months to sell while we iron out the kinks in the building process. Shockingly, the house sold in 2 days to the first people to visit it, leaving us searching frantically for a place to live, not such an easy thing when you have 6 indoor cats. Then we were broadsided by the news that our new house which was initially supposed to be ready in October won't be ready until February...just a bit of a delay of 6 months.
But we were extremely fortunate in that the old stone tenant house at Cold Saturday was vacant, which leaves us living right next door to our farm. And it's cool to to living back at our family place, even if we don't own it any more. Here's a link:
While madly clearing the basement much of my tack was thrown into storage; not, however, the sidesaddles which are probably growing mold under their protective fleece covers. My back has been quite bad lately and I was afraid riding aside might exacerbate it, but my ride in the Manorgrove left me feeling pretty spry whilst my latest ride astride left me in so much sacral pain I was unable to sleep for 2 days. I'm really feeling the need to add to my sidesaddle collection, something lightweight and hackable. The Manorgrove is pretty comfy and that flat seat is lovely for your posture, but it leaves something to be desired when riding down a steep hill, suede seat or no, so I'm keeping my eye out for something with more sweep to the seat (hint, hint to any of you out there with a saddle to sell). Of course, there's pretty much no obstacle I won't tackle when out hacking...it's good for Owen, even if it is an almost vertical drop down into a stream bed, me thinking the whole time "right shoulder back, right shoulder back" while trying not to get left when he leaps over the water. He's game for such adventures...shame he's useless over fences.
And speaking of the boy, I never thought I'd say this about Owen (and Jeannie can back me up on this) but he is getting FAT. He's always been such an equine gyroscope that putting on the pounds was never an issue, but I had to go up a girth size this month. The rain has really brought on a last hurrah from the grass and since he lives out he stuffs himself. But I finally cracked the passage code with him. I tried everything from ankle rattlers to working him in shipping boots to get him to lift his front legs in the passage but he persisted in being lazy with the front end. In desperation I held a very thin PVC pipe in front of his legs while working him in hand, and boy did that do the trick. He lifts his legs to step over it, but since I'm carrying it along it acts like a floating cavaletti. He knows what to do, but he is always looking for the easy way out but when he puts in the effort, well, wow! It wears me out to keep up with him, but on the plus size I've dropped a couple of of clothing sizes in the last couple of months.
I'm hoping to squeeze one show in next week. Dona is hosting a small dressage show, and she is allowing me to ride a 4th level test in western tack under the Western Dressage Association rules, which considerately allow sidesaddles. We didn't even have to petition them to allow sidesaddles, they just did it on their own.
In conclusion, "Questing" is also the term for the action of baby spiders to find their new homes. Once hatched, they spin a small thread and climb to the top of a tall piece of grass or tree and allow the wind to sweep them away like eight legged paratroopers, landing and settling in wherever the breeze deposits them. Kinda like what's going on with me and Bruce right now.