Friday, March 25, 2016

After Expo

So the week after Expo, Ashke got time off from being ridden. I went out on Weds and checked his right front to make sure there was no aggravation of the injury. I had hoped to ride with Leslie from HCWE at Barr Lake on Saturday, but the snowstorm we got on Friday pretty much precluded riding. Instead, I went to the barn and got  a short but fun ride in on Ashke. We started working on our bend off of the neck rein (and bending in general). I might need to figure out how to get him to bend without collapsing the circle but for now I am happy just getting him to turn with bend without having to drag his head around.

By Saturday afternoon it was obvious that it would be dry and mostly clear at Barr Lake the next day. J and I and Ashke were all jonesing to get out on trail, so we made plans to go. Unfortunately, Leslie had figured we weren't riding due to weather and made plans, so we were forced to go without her. Ashke walked on the trailer like normal and fifteen minutes later we were at Barr Lake. We were the only horse trailer there, and it didn't take long to get Ashke groomed, tacked up and on trail.

Tia, T's godmother, had come up for the weekend and came with us. As soon as I turned Ashke toward the trail, he wanted to run. We did trot circles, backing, and a little bit of fussiness until Tia and J were ready to go. On the other side of the bridge, I held Ashke back to his distance traveling trot and we were off.

Except we weren't. There were issues with bike tires and air. Ashke and I trotted and cantered up and down the canal bank (about half mile total distance) until the problem was fixed and we were on our way again. Ashke either trotted or cantered the entire distance. I think we took three walk breaks all total and none of them lasted more than a couple of minutes. He was feeling good and wanted to cover some ground. We had a good half mile canter on the way out and again on the way back along a stretch of ground that was soft, but firm, with no rocks. We took a side path along a canal until Tia realized her tires were covered in goat heads, so we turned back. Tia started losing a ton of air, so she headed for the truck and J and I continued on.

Eight inches of snow on Friday and this is all that is left by Sunday.

This stretch was the half mile long canter area. We were a little more than half way through. 

West End of Barr Lake.

Sometimes trees are amazing.

J taking a pic of me taking a pic.

A brief walk break. Too bad he wont stretch like that in the dressage arena.

We really wanted to go investigate this old barn, but goat heads.

A little slower than last time, but Ashke didn't even break a sweat.

Ever since 1993, I have seen pelicans in the sky in the spring. I see them other times too, but I always see them in the spring. They are hugely impressive birds and have become my internal indicator of spring. (After seeing one eat a live pigeon, they scare the hell out of me, but they are still cool from a distance). This year was no different. On Monday night, on my way to the barn, I saw them in the sky. And not the ten or so I usually see. I saw flights of up to 50 pelicans, in groups of ten to twenty, less than a mile from the barn. I turned around and drove back.

Coming into the small holding pond just off of 168th.

Just landed in the holding pond.

It's hard to get a good idea of their size when you look at pics.

There were thirty or so landing and diving in the holding pond.
Some farmer is going to be upset they stocked this pond.

There was a lake outside of Boulder that had a gold fish problem. Someone had released some goldfish into the lake (because people are idiots) and the goldfish had taken over. There were so many fish that the lake glinted orange in over head photographs. The Fish and Wildlife department was considering draining the lake to get rid of all of the goldfish, since they are an invasive species and not native, and they didn't want the goldfish to contaminate the water ways. Then the pelicans found the lake and within a span of two weeks, they fished out and ate all of the Koi and goldfish (they were pretty good size) from that lake. I guess that is one way to encourage them to come back.

Several of the State parks have flotsam anchored in the middle of the lake to provide nesting grounds for the pelicans. I would never have guessed they would nest so far inland, but our region has an active colony.

Then on Wednesday this happened.

31 inches of snow on the top of my grill. Almost three feet on the back patio.

I haven't tried to go to the barn yet. Maybe tonight, although we are supposed to get another 4" to 8" overnight. I guess there is a massive snow drift in front of the barn on Thursday. We will see if we can get out to see Ashke after Costco tonight.

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