We always have a 'To Do' list for Saturdays and today, we got it all done. That in itself made it a good day but what made it even better was that the first thing on the list was a fun thing ...riding. That's something we don't do enough of these days and that we haven't done together in a long time.
I think we enjoyed today so much partly because last week was tough for both of us at our respective jobs. In both cases, it was your typical work-related, boss-engineered fiasco exacerbated with a healthy dose of office politics. Total nonsense and so not productive in the work place. By Thursday evening, it had taken it's toll on both our moods. But Friday, as I drove in to the office, I decided I was going to do everything I could when I got home to make it an easy stress-free evening for Yeoldfurt. Saturday is the one day out of the week when we are both off so we try to make it count.
I had to do the grocery shopping on the way home, but I hurried through the aisles and didn't waste any time getting everything put away and dinner started as soon as I got home. While dinner was on autopilot, I went out and took care of all the critter chores whic is a 30-45 minute ritual every evening. By the time Yeoldfurt rolled in, all he had to do was get comfortable and meet me on the patio. I had his favorite beverage on ice and waiting for him. We always spend an hour or so on the patio in the evenings this time of year. The temperatures are bearable and the sunset is spectacular. This is our time to catch up on the happenings of each other's day and make plans for the days ahead. When we had our session last night, we decided there were three things we wanted to get done this Saturday ... RIDE the horses, FINISH the electric fence (minor tweaks) and one town errand.
When we first started talking about it last night, Yeoldfurt suggested we go into town first and get that out of the way. But the place we needed to go doesn't open up until 10:00 a.m. and I knew we should probably get our day started long before then. So reminding him that since the first thing on our list was the one thing we could count on accomplishing, I suggested that we ride first. We are always up with the chickens, so to speak, and it's always coolest in the morning so that's the best time to ride. The horses are also already right here by the house until we turn them out in the morning so it's also the most convenient time to ride.
Plans are just plans. Sometimes life gets in the way and plans have to change. But today, everything fell into place perfectly. We were both up an hour before sunrise and I had started my experimental batch of 'Leather Cookies' in the Excalibur. By 8:30, we were dressed and out the door to feed the little critters and gather the horses. We brought the two horses in that we were going to ride and turned all the others out to the pasture. By 9:00, we were saddled up and riding. Yeoldfurt's mare is the buckskin named Lucy. She's half-mustang and can be highly opinionated. She hadn't carried a saddle, let alone a rider, for about a year so she was a little more opinionated than usual this morning. But after she lost the first argument or two, she settled down to business. By the time Yeoldfurt stepped off of her, she was willing and even enjoying the attention. He had only been on her about 30 minutes but it was a good ride and a good refresher since she'd had so much time off. I stayed in the saddle a little bit longer, working on some fancy stuff with my mare. She's neck reining now and her sidepasses are getting better and better. I guess her sidepasses have always been fine. She knows what to do ...it's really me who is getting better and better with my cues. If I get my cues right, she does great. If she's sloppy or hesitant, it's because my cues were off. She probably appreciates me finally figuring it all out!
We spent a while grooming them after the ride and gave them both a handful of sweet feed for a treat. By that time, the 'Leather Cookies' were ready, so we let them sample those too. Lucy will eat anything you offer her but my mare tends to be skeptical of anything new. They both LOVED the leather cookies though. They ate three a piece and were looking for more, but we had to draw the line somewhere. We turned them out with the other horses and got ready to run our town errand. Even the town errand went smoother than we expected and we were back home in an hour. I fixed us a light lunch, we took a short break, and then we were ready to start on the fence work.
Fencing is a never-ending chore when you have livestock. Setting posts and stretching wire is slow and back breaking unless you have a crew and a tractor or bobcat to run an auger. But today's chore only involved replacing and repairing fasteners on the electric fence. Yeoldfurt started at one end and I started at the other. The poor dog is used to tagging along with us whenever we work around the property, but we're usually working side by side. With us heading off in opposite directions, she didn't know who to follow. It didn't take long though and we met in the middle to finish up the job. It was about 5:00 in the evening when we were done and we sat down on the patio with some cold drinks, taking a break to reflect on what a good day it had been.
Just when I couldn't imagine how the day could get better, we got an email from our tax consultant that we're getting a nice refund this year. That means we can fund some of the goals we set for ourselves in January, like buying a freezer and getting a couple of calves. There will probably even be a little 'mad money' left over for each of us. I think Yeoldfurt has some ideas on how he'd like to spend his and I know I have ideas on how I'd like to spend mine. Yup, today has truly been a great day!