Larry and Jean made homemade horse cookies last night. They're delicious--lots of molasses, carrots, apples, oats, and peppermint pieces, with a little sugar, flour, and canola oil to make them cookie-like. Stella loves them, and all of the other horses do too. It was really funny watching Larry and Jean working in the kitchen. Larry was putting dollops of cookie "dough" on the sheet while Jean made them round and spread them apart. She fussed at Larry because there were six cookie dollops on the first row and only five on the others. They were having so much fun together.
Today, I went to the barn early this morning to help Larry and to ride. Larry asked me if I'd help him with the roof of the house. Because I'm afraid of heights and because I know nothing about putting shingles on a roof, he said I could pick up the old pieces of shingles off the ground and put them on a trailer. It wasn't too bad except that I was constantly worried about stepping on the square nails that were standing point-up and waiting for me to place my foot carelessly on top of them. I didn't step on any of them, which I was very happy about. I got a lot of work done, so Larry made me a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. He fed me horse cookies and an orange for dessert. Then, we went out to the barn to give the horses some treats and to ride.
I worked Stella on the longe line for a while because I knew we were taking the horses to the back field. She was downright lazy in the arena, but I knew she was going to go absolutely mad in the back field. I put Larry's work saddle on her and we rode down the path to the back field.
The back field is a rather uncomfortable place for me to ride. I don't know if I've written about this or not, but Mac's grave is in the back field. There's something about riding beside his grave that upsets me, as if he can still (or even would, if he could) care that I'm riding Stella now. Add the fact that Stella goes crazy when she works in the open, and there's a huge mess of ping-pong balls spilled everywhere and no one capable of picking them up.
When Stella "makes bad decisions," which I sometimes say as a little euphemism, I joke that the bucket of ping-pong balls in her head got tipped over and the balls started bouncing around everywhere :)
She wasn't too bad, though. She gets better each time we go out, usually. We trotted with a lot more control than I've ever had in the open, and she actually halted from a canter without having her head hauled around to my knee. It was kind of fun, too. Larry and I switched horses for a while, so I rode Sissy. I didn't like the stirrups on the new saddle that Larry was using, so I rode without them. Sissy and I jogged around for a while and did a few serpentines. She's a very nice horse to ride. She spooked when we were walking back to the barn because Abby ran up behind us. Stella spooked after that because Sissy spooked. That's Stella for you...
My back and hip were really hurting. I took a pain pill after I finished with the shingles and before I even brought Stella in from the pasture. The "maximum dose" didn't help me AT ALL, but I didn't take any more for several reasons, one of which was that I had to drive later and I'm not supposed to have any if I'm going to be behind the wheel. I was in a lot of pain and it sucked, but I'm not hurting so much now. I have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday, and he's finally going to check my hip.
After our ride, Larry and I took care of our horses, cleaned the barn, fed the horses, and finished everything up for the night. I had to go home, but Larry said that he would take me with him to the therapeutic riding center tomorrow. BJ has to go back home.
We'll see how that goes. I'm so happy I got to spend the whole day at the barn with Larry.