Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm back!

It was a marvelous week with my folks. I had a fantastic time - sorry for no updates while away, dial-up is not terribly blog friendly! But I had a wonderful time, I have plenty of pictures, and I actually got to RIDE :)

It was cold in MI - but there was enough sunshine to make it bright, and the silver lining to the low temps and chill breezes was the ravening hordes of mosquitoes and black flies didn't get the chance to descend. It actually snowed over the weekend. Not enough to stick, but enough to sting exposed skin.

I'll cover the horse aspects first, so you can all stop reading when you come to the mushrooming, etc. - aren't you glad you don't have to be polite and sit through all the vacation pics? *grin*

So, I think I mentioned that I spoke to an old friend when I was planning this trip, and she invited me to come ride while I was there. This is the entryway to her place - she has (oh, pardon the drool marks) an indoor arena. Sigh....
In the ten years of so since I'd been there, they've added an outdoor arena, as well.
The pretty girl with her head out the stall door is Geminesse, a 20+ year old Arabian, who I rode some as a three year old (she laid down - not her best moment). That white mark on her forehead is a perfect number 1. I actually rode her half-sister, Scherzo, but she was feeling a bit camera shy, and all I captured was a brown blur.

I was able to ride on two different days, and Mary was kind enough to provide me with some very helpful comments and some exercises to work on with Sunny. I apparently have a great seat, but need to be more comfortable with taking firm contact - too many years of droopy western reins :(

It was amazing to ride a horse that had finish - Scherzo, at 18, has been shown to several levels of dressage, and, when her rider actually manages to find the right combination of aids, collects beautifully.

I'd hoped to have more pictures of riding, but we got so involved chatting and riding that we were unsaddled and out of the barn both days by the time we remembered the camera.

She introduced me to all her other horses - she also still has Little Fred, her old endurance horse, who she'd just retired when I was last there. Fred was nearly twenty then, and she sent him down to work in a therapeutic riding program for a number of years. They loved him, but when he turned 29, he came back to live with her. At 30+, he has no back teeth and gums his alfalfa cubes and equine senior, and he's in gorgeous, round, happy condition. All (not just old) horses should look so good!
What else?

Well, there was lots of this on the way there and the way back.

'Tis the season...

See the morel?

Lake Michigan at Seul Choix Point

We went down to the lake the afternoon before I left. The wind was whipping, the water was roaring, and the swell was probably about 7-8' rolling in. You couldn't hear yourself think, but it sure was gorgeous.

There were PUPPIES,
And kitties...
And then there was this face - no photoshopping here, honest! Elton has the biggest, sweetest, goofiest grin, ever! (And I'm not actually holding him down - just rubbing his neck so he'd stay upright and not flop upside down and grin at me that way.)
Elton says, "Don't worry - be happy!"

My folks volunteer two days a week at the Schoolcraft County Humane Society. You can read all about the shelter at their website, so I'll just say it's a great group of people doing wonderful things for the community, human and critters alike. Over 2,000 pets placed since they opened their doors. I went along and walked dogs both days - about a mile each for the big dogs, and not quite so far for the smaller ones - boy, were my legs tired! The first day I walked with my dad, so we finished early enough I was able to go in and get "cat-scanned" in the adolescent cat room.
That's about how I feel this afternoon! Not sure you'll get a Friday book review this week or not. I have lots of unpacking to do, and of course, some horse time to get in yet. And I'm so behind on what everyone else is up to. I have lots of catching up to do...


Anonymous said...

Vacation and riding! What a great combination!

An indoor - drool, indeed - I would KILL for an indoor!

Love the morels (and the kitties and dogs), too.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Awesome! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and b.u.s.y. No wonder you are tired.

Great photos of the kittens and Elton(now that is a face that would make a person smile).