Dogs | Horses

Just a Few Hurdles

How exciting! I saw the sun today! I am so happy!!!

The day started out at 27 degrees and it was dark when I cleaned stalls and fed the horses.

horse eating hay

Java checked out the fresh mud.

dog in mud

The sun was peeking out as I hung out the laundry. I tried to capture the steam coming off the clothing. You can kind of see it between the clothespins.

clothes line

The temperature progressed to 38 degrees by 10 AM when I was filling the bird feeder and drank my coffee out on the deck. The warmth of the sun, the wonderfully dark coffee blend, the view, they were heavenly.

horse in paddock
weather vane

When we went back in the house, Java stared longingly out the window. I knew she wanted to go for a walk, but I didn’t think my hobbling gait was going to get me very far.
dog looking out window

I tried to distract Java, but it wasn’t working.

dog looking out window

Around 11:30 AM, I started to get ready to go trail riding. I made a lunch and gathered up the things I needed. I had to get the truck out of the garage and hitched to the trailer.

I was working on getting everything hooked up when a neighbor’s chocolate lab ran through our yard and out the driveway, and Java took off after it. I jumped out of the truck to yell at Java, not realizing I hadn’t actually put the truck into park. This was the result.

horse trailer hitch

The trailer got knocked backwards before I could throw the truck into park, burying the trailer stand in the dirt.

My hands were shaking so bad I could barely put the truck into drive so I could go look for Java. I found her laying by the side of the road chewing on a stick. Java jumped into the truck and we drove back home.

Lesson Learned: Put the dog in the kennel when you need to concentrate on something, like hitching up the trailer.

I called H to see if he could come help. He couldn’t, but advised me to stack boards under the trailer tongue.

horse trailer hitch

Then raise the trailer stand until I could put blocks under it. Then finally crank up the trailer until it was high enough to hitch the truck.

horse trailer hitch

It worked.

horse trailer hitch

Now I could have gotten all frustrated about so many things going wrong in the past week, did a lot of swearing and crying, broke something, and gone back to bed and pulled the covers over my head. Who would blame me?

But I think I’ve hit a limit in how much I feel these things. I was definitely shaken; I was so afraid I’d broken something or was in over my head. But I calmed down and handled it.

I’m almost thinking that it’s a blessing that so many things are going wrong before the divorce is finalized and I really am completely on my own. Because I’m learning a hell of a lot about fixing things and coping.

Since the trailer was hitched, I went ahead with my plans and went riding. The sun had vanished and with it the warmth, but it was still nicer than it will be when we hit winter, which doesn’t officially start until December 21st! It feels so much like it’s already here.

There were a few loud ouches when I had to push off the ground and into the saddle with my bad leg and I couldn’t turn my foot to get it in the stirrup and had to use my hand to place it there. But I was pretty good after that.

trail riding
After riding for an hour, I went back to the trailer to warm and unstiffen up a bit. Luke and I shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and oatmeal cookie. He really like the sandwich! Not so much the cookie.

peanut butter and jelly sandwichWe crossed over to the other side of the park and rode for another two hours. We went down the narrow trail to the right that really isn’t for horses.
trail riding
But the path takes you down to a cool pond and through some rather wild areas where you have to pretty much lean on the horses neck to get through the trees. Fun!

trail riding

We saw lots of people walking their dogs and each walker seemed to have an entourage of a particular breed. We saw one couple with four dachshunds; a guy with two bull terriers; one lady with two golden retrievers; and another woman with three labs (one of which was joyfully carrying a big stick). The retrievers and labs were well behaved. The dachshunds and bull terriers, not so much.

But the best was when a bald eagle flew about 10 feet to the side of Luke and I when we passed by the river. I drew in an audible “oh”, and then laughed, I was so amazed! It was so close, I looked into its eyes and saw the beak and the wingspan and thought of power and freedom and majesty.

Not bad for a trail ride that almost wasn’t.

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9 Comments

  1. You are really learning a lot…I’m just sorry the lessons are hard ones…at least they look that way to me. You are pretty tough girrl!
    I love going to the park to see all the dogs and their people. And the eagle…what a bonus!

  2. A great day! You overcame some setbacks that would have defeated many people (injury, Java running off, trailer) but went out and enjoyed your trails anyway.

    The bald eagle flyby sounds really cool!

  3. Sounds like you had a great day, even with the trailer mishap, I am so proud of you and how you were able to handle it!!
    I love the pictures of Java looking outside, she is so cute!
    I was beginning to think I was the only one with mud, but I see you are dealing with it too! I hate what rain does, especially when horses are involved. Yuck.

  4. Hope your knee is better.. you had a bad morning..but hey the afternoon sounded great! There are lots of things you can learn to do! I think you should find some sweet guy who loves horses and dogs and cook for him..but short of taking out an ad in the paper..I have no idea how you will meet that guy..although we have a couple of bachelors up here that would qualify! 🙂

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