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Hands-On Work

Thanksgiving Monday. The sky was dishevelled as we drove out to the ranch this afternoon, some clouds scattered, some stacked in a haphazard way, messy like a teenager’s room.  I was surprised to see all the horses clad in checkered horse blankets. Gosha said these nylon overcoats are necessary now with the cold night air and risk of rain.  My 14-year old son Oliver helped me bring Traveller in from the field dsc_0082then groom and saddle him.  Oliver has always been a bit intimidated by horses but the hands-on work of brushing Traveller’s coat, combing out his mane and even shovelling his droppings put him at ease as he began to experience firsthand the unique movement and manner of a horse.

I rode Traveller around the outdoor arena, working mostly on maintaining a steady gait as I transitioned from walking to trotting to loping and back.  The sky cleared in that window of time and the sideways-streaming light of late afternoon filled the valley.

On the car ride home we passed a field with a lone maple ablaze from top to bottom in the consuming red of autumn.  “The burning bush”, 15-year old Abigail observed aloud from the back seat past the noise of her iPhone and her headphones and the other-reality-distractions inside her teenage head.

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