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April 16, 2022: Mud Season

Around here, this may be a more apt term than break up. The snow is melting, and mud is everywhere. The layers of snow are melting, revealing piles of manure that previously were covered with snow.

The horses are not knee deep in mud; in fact, they are walking on firm but wet ground.

I am frustrated because time spent (literally hours) pen cleaning is time that is not spent riding. I always wonder how I get the place cleaned up in the spring – today I was reminded, well, I do not ride.

The book project also continues to take up considerable time. Today I went to the Meeting House – volunteers that were being sent from the United Way camp were supposed to help clean and sort books. They failed to materialize. I was annoyed because I would otherwise have stayed home and ridden a horse or two. I also had to do some unnecessary book shlepping.

Pete came by in the early afternoon with the day’s haul from the recycling center. We now have enough kids’ books for the fall bookcases and for this summer’s events.

I was reminded by the sight of all those books that I have a lot to do on the book project this week – in addition to categorizing I am going to have a lot of administrativa to take care of.

And we went to dog agility practice at Sirius Ranch. Today was a better day for Shadow than was last Saturday. This time she was more familiar with the footing, the obstacles, the distance between the obstacles, and the smell of the place.

Pete was told by Claudia, his teacher, that he needs to make sure that he checks out the course several times before he does his runs. Pete heard what Claudia said, and this is going to make all the difference in the world.

Claudia has now been working with Shadow, Pete, and me for a year and a half. We all began by taking the requisite puppy classes and then took the requisite agility classes. Because Shadow has had just one trainer, she’s had consistent training. There has been nothing for her to be confused about. She has had positive reinforcement training, exclusively.

It'll be interesting seeing how Pete and Shadow do next week. Pete isn’t that keen on continuing on with agility, so I will pick up where he leaves off. I’m not sure that I will do as well as Pete, but I will give agility a try. I like it, and learning about it, more than Pete does.

In the meantime, with all this going on, not as much is getting done on the animal front. Tomorrow, no matter what, I have to clean the goat and the chicken pens. I also have to clean up the front area in front of the horse pens. Well at least the weather will be conducive to this – or at least this is what I’m hoping.

Next 105. 4/17/22: A Conversation with Ranger

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