It has been crazy around here!! Our exchange student from 2001 was here to visit -- she is like a daughter to us, and we were so excited to see her again. She was here from the 2nd to the 7th, and we had the best time. Well, except for Friday the 5th when John had surgery on his arthritic shoulder (not the same shoulder he shattered in the riding incident; the other shoulder).
So with him out of commission, we won't be on a ride for another six weeks!! Way too long, especially because the weather is now breaking -- the ice is melting, the snow is almost gone, the temperatures are warming up a bit, and the Indiana Dunes will be available to equestrians again (the cross country skiiers' loss is our gain).
One of the last rides we took was a couple of weeks before his surgery. Zora got a new saddle blanket, so we took it on its maiden voyage. The saddle pad he has for her is so thick -- I have never seen another like it. It is fine for the winter, but I always feel sorry for her in the summer. She is so high-charged under saddle that she sweats even when standing still. So he got her this new blanket, and I think it is quite attractive. She will be more comfortable this spring and summer.
We took the trails around here -- through the woods of Otis, and across a nearby corn field. The trails in the woods were a touch beat up from the four-wheelers. I am not complaining here -- the four wheelers have just as much right to the trails as we do. I would just prefer to be on the trails when they are not there. They freak the horses out a bit. Luckily, we are usually on different schedules. During this melting time of the year the four wheelers do make some ruts in the trails. Nothing we can't handle, though!
So it was a pretty nice ride -- a bit muddy but that is part of the deal, isn't it?