City Deer and Luke Rocks!

Sunday we got hit with a lovely, glistening coating of ice. A friend and I still decided to go out for breakfast. The slide out the driveway was bad enough. Then there was the treachorous walk from the car to the restaurant. (Note to self, tennis shoes are not the best thing to wear on ice…)

The real fun though was getting back up the driveway. We got almoooost there before I heard “oh, oh” and we slid backwards, then sideways, back into the street. I now know my driveway is wide enough for a mid-size car to slide sideways all the way down.

After parking on the street, we kind of crawled up the lawn, across the landscaping rock, clung to anything grabbable on the house and managed to get in through the front door. Sheesh!

I was hoping to get to a store to try on some winter riding boots and look for Under Armour, which I hear is the end-all best for being non-lumpy, bulky under breeches and sure to keep you toasty. Well, as toasty as you can be outside in the cold. But going out again seemed a little nuts.

So I watched the goings on of the backyard, city deer. I thought it was kind of strange, this one doe and buck hanging out together, but maybe they are the only deer in the neighborhood.

I’ve seen the buck before in the backyard, before the fence was put in. He can still jump the fence and go through the yard, which he did, but the doe doesn’t appear to be willing to do the same.

They appear to be eating the buckthorn behind the fence so I actually wish they would come on in and do some clearing in my yard.

I swear she is going to be the death of him as she keeps heading to the front yards, by the street. He frantically keeps watch and I can just hear him thinking, “For cryin’ out loud (said with a Minnesota accent), where is she going now?! Woman! Get back here!” before he takes off after her.

I hope they stay safe because they make me feel a little less cityfied and happy watching them.

Saturday, I rode in a clinic that started at 9 AM and lasted until 3 PM. Given that the high temperature was about 20 degrees, watching was a mite cold, but my insulated Carhartt overhauls over my winter breeches, not to mention my wool thermotop, turtleneck, sweater and down jacket. made it bearable.

I rode at noon and had hoped to get a video of my ride, but people were busy setting up for lunch and it was so cold that I didn’t really think there would be anything good to video anyway. I only managed a few photos of the other riders before my camera seemed to lock up from the cold.

Well, given the occasional “Wow” that I was hearing, Luke must have an awesome trot, and I’d like to see it someday. I know that it feels amazing — more lift than I even felt with the two warmbloods I’ve owned.

Somehow that uphill Tennessee Walker part of him has put the magic into those legs. The instructor believes he could someday do passage and piaff. The bad news is that the canter is always going to be tough for him.

But the instructor gave me some things to do that should help. She had me bend his neck to the inside for a brief moment (not extreme, just until I see his eyelashes) to unlock his neck and back (which tend to be stiff), then stroke his neck when he relaxed and lowered his head. She had me aim for 2% more trot to engage his hindquarters more, without speeding up or losing my rhythm, which gave me even more lift. Doing those two things helped raise his back, which he doesn’t do easily or often.

She said if I can think about just getting the best walk and best trot possible, where his head is lower, his neck and back are unlocked, he has more swing through the hindquarters, and his back comes up, that these things combined will help him with his canter. She said his canter was not as bad as I thought and he picked it up nicely.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited by her comments and the compliments I got from the other riders.

I’m not really thinking of being some big, dressage rider, but I’d like to see just what Luke is capable of. He has been full of surprises so far. Okay, so he doesn’t look like super horse in the photo below but at least he’s well dressed…

Well, this is long enough. I’ll save my explanation of what I learned in my first Dog Obedience II class for next time.

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  1. It’s just amazin’ how high those deer can leap!!! It’s great ya can feel like your still countrified right there in the city!

    The ice sounds treacherous…stay safe sweetie!

    Have a beautifully blessed day and stay warm and cozy!!! :o)

  2. Well, you’ve been busy! The ice storm and trying to manage walking and driving through it, sounds horrendous! I think I’d be wearing some spikes on my shoes, like YakTrax. lol!

    The deer would be so cool! We are surrounded by Open Space, BLM, National Forest and Wilderness lands, but surprisingly enough we rarely ever see deer. I suppose there’s plenty of food where they are?

    The clinic must have been so fun for you. Sure wish someone would have taken photos. I would have for you! 🙂
    Luke is so cute!

    Looking forward to reading about the dog class, too.


  3. Ice….I hate it! It is so beautiful yet so destructive. Luke is one of the kindest sweetest looking horses that I have ever seen. He just has that soft look in his eyes. One of those horses that you will forever cherish.

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