It was miserable this morning even by BC coast standards. When I woke up early this morning to wish Mr G a good day at work, I could hear the wind and rain and happily snuggled back into bed. Sadly, pretending it was all a bad dream didn't work - the weather didn't seem to be clearing when I woke up again 3 hours later. A quick look out the window confirmed everyone seemed to be hiding inside, and the only boat visible on the water belonged to the Coast Guard. I had planned to volunteer at the club grounds this morning, helping to fix our show stalls for next season. Thankfully, the worst of the rain held off for a couple of hours and we got a good amount of work done. I'm forever impressed by our little club. Probably half the members and even some non members showed up today in truly miserable weather to dismantle our old stalls and make room for new, bigger and better stalls for next year. While I do love the barn in Alberta, the sense of community with our group here on the coast is amazing and so far I've yet to find anywhere that can compare. Besides, it's just generally kind of awesome to be surrounded by women very capably using power tools, tractors and chainsaws. It's a good thing Mr G was at work - he might have got a bit intimidated by us all :) I believe a fun time was had by all, even with the weather. I know I had a great time catching up with old friends and it always feels good to give a little back to the club. It's humbling to look around at our beautiful grounds and facilities and realize that every single bit of it was accomplished through volunteer work and donations. Membership is also ridiculously inexpensive at $30 a year - after paying 'real world' prices in Alberta you can bet I gently remind everyone here just how lucky we are!
I didn't end up riding today, poor Ginger's rainsheet is apparently NOT waterproof anymore. I ended up moving her to a paddock with a shelter and a big pile of hay so she can dry out. I feel guilty about her being out in the wind and rain last night with a wet blanket. The temperatures are still really mild so I thought she'd be happier out in the pasture with a rainsheet than locked in the barn - obviously not considering her rainsheet might not be up to BC rain standards! She seemed her usual cheery self though, and all was forgiven with an apple ;) I think I'll leave her in the paddock now for the winter. I don't think she'd be overly happy locked in a stall at night, and since not all the turnouts for the stalled horses have shelters, it may be best to just call 'dibs' on the paddock she's in and leave it at that so I always know she has a dry place to hang out if she chooses. I love to shop for horse gear so I'll still be getting her a new, non leaky, rainsheet. I don't think I'll clip her this year, so a good rainsheet should suffice, with a warm fleece liner for the couple of weeks we get of freezing weather.
The good news is I managed to get out for a ride yesterday. The storm was getting warmed up yesterday so we had some wind and rain and Ginger was a bit on edge. I skipped the free photo session, as pictures of a wide eyed Ginger and me freezing and wet didn't really appeal to me! Instead, Mr G came with me for a hike, so I was brave enough to hit the trails regardless of Ginger's behaviour. We very intelligently decided to head up the mountain, so within about 10 minutes of packing me up the hill, Ginger suddenly decided to be the sensible trail pony I love. Funny how that works, although it does make me wonder if I need to go on a diet ;) She was convinced Mr G was actually leading her around, which was a bit funny at times as he would randomly walk over to check something out or start to jog and she'd try to mirror him if I didnt remind her I was riding. She was really, really well behaved. I opted to get off and lead her for a cool down (and me for a warm up jog!) the last 10 minutes or so towards home. Mr G ended up leading her and I was, as always, so pleased at how careful she is with him. As I've mentioned before there aren't a whole lot of people that she'll trust, so it makes me very happy that she's chosen him to be part of the select few. I appreciate that she doesn't take advantage of the fact that he's not overly experienced, either, if anything she is more careful with him than me. She even stood tolerantly while he petted her and told her not to worry when a car drove by. I didn't have the heart to tell him she's fine with vehicles, it was just too cute.
I've got a ride planned for tomorrow on my own at the ring. I'm really itching to work on that canter a bit and we're having fun doing gymnastics over poles. Then a ride with friends either Tuesday or Wednesday, then Friday we leave for a long weekend away. I'll try to fit in a couple of extra rides this week since she'll have Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon off. I'm still all motivated to get ready for the shows we've got planned for the spring. We'll see how long that lasts, though - a few more days with weather like today and this blog may go suspiciously quiet :)
I'm happy to be back, and while I really miss my job (and the Alberta sunshine!), every day makes me more and more certain I've made the right choices. I can feel the stress melting away-to the point where I wonder if that's part of the reason for Ginger's big turnaround of late. Zen rider = Zen horse? Could be a topic for a whole new post!
No pics today - they all have G in them along with Ginger and although I'm sure he'd let me put them here if I asked, he's pretty private and shy so I won't. You'll just have to trust me that he exists and he is awesome. I'm going to have to start calling him something other than G or Mr G on here too - it's a bit confusing even for me when my horse has a "G" name too!