Jan and John's horse Zan is a good ol' boy with a gentle soul. These days, this flashy appaloosa is enjoying his golden years, but he's done a bit of everything.
John and Zan
Zan and John - Mountain Man Attire
Zan is the kind of horse you want someone you care about to ride. When David was sidelined with an injury but still wanted to ride, Zan quietly hacked him around. Jan gave me about a million stirrup-less, rein-less lunge lessons on Zan to improve my seat. He's Paj's best friend and pasture buddy.
It's Spring! True, there's no leaves yet, and only a green blade of grass here and there, but we can ride again! Yes! Today is St. Patrick's Day, and my third ride in a week. Yes!
Paj and I have porked up a bit over the winter, so we're taking our time getting back to work. The previous rides have been nice walks. Today we did a few suppling exercises along the fence line. Shoulder-in was automatic, but I had to think about my aids for turns on the forehand and haunches. "Now, how does this go?" Paj responded as soon as I got myself straightened out. We did just a little trot work, and rode down the lane a bit with David and Boomer. It's so good to be riding again. It's 63 degrees today, but they're saying we'll get 5-10" of snow Friday. Ah, Spring.
Now that the days are longer, we started letting the boys out into the paddock in the evening. That lasted two days. Reggie decided that he is Paddock Master, and those coyotes have to go. We have a pair of coyotes that live in the gully. They cut through the paddock early in the morning, and return across the paddock at dusk. Reggie is having none of it. He flattens his ears and goes after them.
This photo is not of Reggie, not of a coyote, and it's not even my photo. But you get the idea. We decided that horse vs coyotes could only end badly, so the paddock is now off-limits to the horses in the evening. That works, because the paddock needs a rest. It's not over-grazed, it's over-played.
We had a warm week, and the pastures thawed and dried out. The footing was good enough to ride! It was wonderful to ride again. Paj was soft and forward and relaxed. What a good boy after all that time off! Boomer was very good too. I was excited about getting back to regular work, and of course it's snowing today.