Sunday, April 14, 2013

Break out the backhoe, honey! I have a plan.

I took Hudson for a walk yesterday to a part of our property that, while fairly close to the house, we had not fully explored.  It’s an overgrown area between our best hay field and the creek.  I call it the orchard, because it is full of ancient apple trees.  Clever, aren’t I?

Maxing the tape at 1300+ lbs, Hudson weighs in on her need for exercise.
And even though I haven’t really spent time with the details, I have big plans for those four or five overgrown acres.  The are going to be transformed into a riding path and jump course.

So yesterday, with both Hudson and I needing some exercise, I hand-walked her to that field of daydreams.  After this week’s torrential rains, the orchard is a soggy place, with what might be a vernal spring running diagonally across it.  It is heavily weeded with little grass, and a few deer paths meander randomly through it.
A view of the orchard

However, I spotted a couple of jumps already waiting to be developed, and that vernal stream could make an excellent water obstacle, if properly corralled.

Mwah-ha-ha! This year, I learn to use large construction equipment.  

On a related note, it seems like Starlight is ready for some cross-country action.  

Ancient stone wall = future jump
Yesterday we were in the final 15-minutes of a conditioning ride when Pete (of Pete of the Cows) came up behind us with his big white truck and trailer.  Pete is always very considerate when he passes us, and he slowed down.  
However, it was Starlight's first time being passed by a truck pulling a big aluminum stock trailer.  I knew she was tense, but I didn't expect what she did next: She used that big, stockhorse arse of hers to leap from a near standstill over the roadside ditch and up into the neighbor's dormant hayfield.

A fallen hemlock offers both high and low jumps
She threw me off balance a bit, but good girl that she is, she didn't attempt to dump me after that action, and we stopped on the other side, and likely both of us were thinking, "What the hell just happened?"

The fun part of this is we needed to jump the ditch again to get back on the road.  She doesn't know it, but these nice jumps clued me in on just what kind'a action she got! 
A dust mask is now part of my regular stablewear, both when I feed hay and when I groom muddy critters. Achoo!

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