While 75% is not a target I would choose, as it turns out, it can sometimes be good enough. Lemme splain.
Saturday the 17th was a beautiful, sunny, warm(real close to hot but not humid so not miserable) day with tons of possibilities. Ride, train, tour gardens, binge Netflix — possibilities abound. Fortunately the day unfolded for me as a great ‘outside’ day; I even got some natural vitamin D. By the time I was fully dressed, shoes and all, for the garden tour, Debra is almost home and decides riding is feasible after all. So shifting into quick-change mode, total apparel swapout. Sanita clogs are great for wandering about, but not good for catching horses or riding. Quick swallowing of some yogurt that passes for breakfast. Gear in truck, and with Jay’s wonderful help a speedy departure accomplished. I did notice that when the Watauga red light required a moderately hard stop (why do they always turn yellow right after I’ve decided I’ll have plenty of time to make it?), I thought I detected the smell of “brakes”. ???
Of course she was relaxing and not doing anything useful, probably binge watching Netflix. She hadn’t caught the horses or anything! Good help is so hard to find. Actually not too bad was Clem this time. I’ve seen much worse. I did get to walk into the upper field, but she relented surprisingly early. Of course, Prylie was in her pocket almost immediately. On the way down to the grooming station, she noticed that Prylie was missing a front shoe. So, we decided to spend the time practicing loading, hauling, and unloading. Texted Jay to check in; he said he found what looked like a brake-shoe where my left rear tire had been parked. Hmm. Horses in the round-pen while we get ready. While clearing access to the trailer, she noticed that one of the tires was real close to flat; easy fix – she has air on-site. She moves the 4-wheeler and goes to the garage while I back up the truck. I did NOT pull the trailer out – up and around the flatbed (which should NOT ever be allowed to block a HORSE TRAILER). Not a problem for her, fortunately. Air in tires, but wait . . . what’s that noise? Hmm, oh the valve stem is cracked on the flat tire, which explain the flatness. Oh well, we can still practice but the actual hauling will have to be kept short as the tire will not hold full pressure and not sure how fast it will deflate. Still, we press onward.
Prylie was excellent. Clem was not happy that she had to be the ‘training wheels’, but she complied with only three piles in the trailer. Lots of on and off, and on and off, and then we went for a nice short ride. No problems at all. Prylie did call out a few times, once at the neighbor horses as we went by them. Turn in the Y at the church and back home we went. Turns out 3 of 4 (fully inflated) tires is good enough, for today. More off and on, off and on. He prefers to turn to unload if he has the option, but will back off just fine IF he is prevented from turning!
Still plenty of day and sun, so she decided that a short ride would be ok, nothing on the road. Groom, tack up, and off we go, hoping to avoid any bear encounters for sure. So MUCH cooler in the woods. It was beautiful, peaceful, and such a simple blessing. Ups, downs, arounds, and back with zero issues. That’s what I call a success. Turns out 3 of 4 shoes is good enough, for today.
Just as reinforcement, more loading and unloading practice. This time without Clem on board. Success. A little clover and then turned the horses out. She sprayed off and out the trailer, while I supervised and minded the hose a little. Got some yummy veggies from the FarmBoy. A little trepidation regarding the brakes, but headed for home. Made it just fine. Turns out 3 of 4 (fully functioning) brakes is good enough, for today.
All in all, 75% made for a great day of enjoying some of God’s wondrous creation: the sights of the beautiful woods, mountains, and creeks; the sounds of birds and not much else; the smell of lightly sweaty horses.