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September 27, 2020: About this, a beautiful fall day

I looked around today, I mean really looked around, and I saw that the leaves on the hardwood trees are now all yellow/orange. I try each year to take note of the changes in the foliage both in the spring and in the fall, but I always seem to fall short. It seemed like yesterday the leaves were green. And it seemed like the day before that the spring tree buds had a green tinge. Green haze we call it.

And I couldn’t help but think that we got lucky this year. In the Pacific Northwest and points beyond there were numerous large fires and lots of smoke. My sister was housebound with her little terrier. And high temperatures seemed to be the new normal – Pete just spoke to his brother who said that it is, right now, in Ojai, California, 118 degrees.

Here we might have fires, smoke, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. In considering such instances, I think what would we do about the horses and in particular Tinni who is 31 and has old horse lungs? I suppose sequester him in his stall with plastic sheeting. I would also lobby hard for a fan being hung in his stall. The generator would be the electrical source. And we’d have to use an extension cord. The others, they would have to suffer.

Claudia riding along Eklutna Lake

But as I said, so far, we have been lucky. And I of course hope that our luck continues.

We did have riding lessons today, with me being the facilitator. I didn’t have any time to prepare, but nevertheless, it went very well. The day’s activities got off to a good start with me and Judy talking very intensely about things we’ve been studying, mainly the use of the psoas muscles and breathing. We both worked at coordinating the two. Then we took her mule Ismee for a short walk. Ismee was very alert, but at the same time relaxed. She’s unlike my horses who are not as reactive. Judy just had surgery, so she’s not riding right now. But as I told her, right now she’s making very good use of her non-riding time.

We next had a guest – Claudia Sihler, who owns the Better Companion Dog Training Facility, came and gave a horse clicker training demonstration. My horses were not there because Pete, who had instead opted to get hay, was late. As it was, we had just one horse to work with, Jessica’s Scout. Claudia, in short order, built an entire lesson around horse and owner. They all worked on standing still and doing nothing, and then touching the target. Then the threesome went into the arena where Claudia had Jessica trot Scout over poles, the purpose of the exercise being to see if Scout, who has become pacey, will trot. This then will better enable her to build up her weak back muscles.

I had a lot of questions, which I interjected between instruction times. I am now eager to work with my horses on backing, using the target stick, and directing their noses backwards. This was something that I had not thought about.

Once we were at home, Pete and I unloaded hay and split and stacked wood. Then I took the dogs for a walk and admired the beautiful fall foliage.

Next: 268. 9/28/20: Bookville

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