A Mellow Ride in the Sun

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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It’s been a sort of harrowing few weeks for me. It’s not that anything bad has happened. It’s just been busy. I should be (and am) grateful that my little business is booming to the point that it is keeping me really, really busy. I am glad we are close enough to our nephew that a trip out to his first birthday party is possible. And of all the dogs you could conceive of finding yourself randomly living with, the one that landed on our doorstep is pretty exceptional.

But still, having a dog in the house is a lot to adjust to, particularly since I’m here trying to work all day and we don’t have a dog-proof yard. Factor in the fact that the dog is one of the most highly intelligent, energetic breeds out there, add a little sleep deprivation to the mix, and it’s been a bit overwhelming. Today I was feeling more than a little in need of a break. We left Elsa at home and headed to the barn.

Steen has developed quite the habit of coming to meet me the last several weeks. It really does warm the heart to see him. He catches a glimpse of me, stares for a minute, then makes a b-line for the gate. He’s left the bale, tromped through mud, and moved other herd-members out of his way to reach me. Today I was even happier to see him than usual. I feel like the dog has been occupying roughly 70% of my conscious thought processes since we found her. One my favorite things about horses has always been that they give you a mental break from whatever part of your life is stressing you out.

We had a very quiet ride. The sun was out and it was warmish, so we went to the strip. I must admit we spent a lot of time sitting our horses and chatting. Steen was super quiet and attentive. Sometimes I swear they know when you’re utterly worn out and give you a pass for the day. He was really almost perfect. I didn’t push him at all and he didn’t push me at all. We did a lot of mellow work at the walk and trot and I got some beautiful leg yields and transitions out of him. Brian and I worked a bit on a mirroring exercise we learned at the clinic. Then I asked for a little lope but the footing was mushy and Steen slipped a couple of times. After that he was doing this weird hoppy gait, I think because he was worried about the mushy grass. I was afraid he’d pulled a muscle or something so after we wrapped things up and went indoors I loped him inside. We did a few laps in each direction with a simple lead change in the middle and he was great. Actually I had some of the best loping transitions I’ve had on him. So it was a really nice day at the barn.

We’re still on the fence as far as Elsa is concerned. She is really a sweet-heart, and so well behaved I can’t believe whoever taught her her basic manners isn’t scouring the countryside looking for her. But I’m just not convinced I want a dog. Even a good one. We’re giving it a few more days before we decide.

Ride Time: 0:50
Horseback hours YTD: 9:15

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9 years ago

It is pretty amazing a how dog can find you. But understand if you weren't particularly looking or ready, that it could be a difficult adjustment. I have had dogs all my life and when I was down to just one dog and lost her unexpectedly, I have never known the house to be so empty. So I filled it with 3! I wanted to make sure THAT never happened again. When I work at home, I am a slave to my dogs. I call them my "team" and they are usually right here in my office with me alternating… Read more »