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November 5, 2014: The Real Dog and Pony Show

With the end of daylight savings time, the amount of available daylight has been greatly diminished at the day’s end. I don’t get up early enough to fully appreciate the fact that the available daylight has been tacked onto the morning hours. Actually, when finally I do get rolling, I notice that it’s a tad bit warmer, and a tad bit lighter out than it was a week ago. I’m actually thankful for this.

But – bottom line – daylight in general is being subsumed by night/dark. So I’m having to plan my days a bit more carefully. Otherwise, I won’t have time to fully enjoy the extended fall or spend as much time as I’d like with critters.

Hrimmi crossing a tarp

So I’ve sort of flipped my days around. I’m writing in the late afternoon/early evening, and exercising the horses in the mornings, starting out by going around the loop with Hrimmi, Pete and either Tinni or Raudi. Then, I take Tinni, then Raudi, or Raudi then Tinni, for their daily ride. Ryder now comes with on both rides. I continue to pony her off one or the other horse until we reach the trails.

I say “sort of” flipped my days around because I haven’t fully committed myself to doing the above each and every day. For example, today, after Pete and I did our morning walk, I came inside and wrote until 1:15 p.m. I got out with the animals at 2 p.m. The sun’s now setting (gulp) at 5:30 p.m., leaving me with three and a half hours to both get the afternoon chores done and exercise the horses. Today I threw a rather nice wrench into the works by doing extensive groundwork. During this time, I acted like I had all the time in the world. As I discovered, I did not.

I first set up a quasi-agility course for Ryder, Hrimmi, and Raudi. This consisted of a large square post on two tires, a lone traffic cone, a sawhorse bridge with a sheet of plastic at the base, a picnic table, a kid’s pool, and the two new cavalettis.

I first took Ryder (off leash) over the course. She did really well, though the kid’s pool, with its high plastic edge, stymied her. I next took Hrimmi over the course. She isn’t afraid of anything. If she were a kid she’d be a bully. The pool also threw her for a loop – she put her front feet in, but not her back. Instead, they skittered the circumference of the pool. She also wasn’t too sure about the picnic table activity. I got up on it and put her next to it. This, I think, was a good idea because when it comes time to back her, this is where I’m going to do it from.

Raudi was next up. I worked her off line. This was a challenge because she’s easily distracted by other things, like the hay in her feeder. We began by working on bow – she’s catching on – she’s nearly got it. I kept her attention most of the time, she did all the obstacles. I then did the same with her under saddle. It was ridiculously easy.

By the time I finished with this – 3:15 p.m., it was getting chilly. I took Raudi and Ryder over to Pat and Ray’s back fields in order to change the routine a bit for both. It was dusk when I returned home. I then took Tinni out – we did the lower loop trail.

Tomorrow we’re going to lose another very precious five minutes of daylight. Not good. I’m going to try and get some work done and also get the animals out. I’m going to yoga at 4:30 p.m., so I won’t get to use that extra hour of daylight. Structuring my days is going to become even more impossible in the next few weeks ahead. But then, December 22, the scales will tip back in favor of there being more daylight than darkness. I’ll then have more leeway in terms of my indoor/outdoor activities.

Next: 297. 11/6/14: At Play in the Fields of the Equines