I achieved the final stage of my post hip-replacement recovery today when I got on my horse and had my/our first ride in a year and a half. I've been pretty functional in most ways for the past month, but wanted to be really sure I was ready before trying to ride. Last week the weather was just too hot and humid for either of us to start back to work, so I've been biding my time for conditions to be right, and today it all came together.
I haven't had the protective cover off my saddle for eighteen months, and I was a bit concerned that it might be covered with fuzzy green mould by now, but no. It looked just as good as when I put it away all that time ago. No cleaner, mind you, but none the worse for being shut away in my locker. I had a friend hold Alpac while I got on, as I have to carry all my weight on the operated hip in order to mount, and I wasn't sure how that would go. He was a very good boy for the twenty or so minutes we were in the ring, working at the walk and trot. It will take us both quite a while to get our wind and fitness level back, and we're both aging, but it sure felt good to be back in the saddle at last, and pain-free for the first time in many years.
Shot one shows Alpac turned out for a run last week. Despite his age (23) and lack of fitness from being worked, he still looks good and I don't think he's ready to retire just yet. In typical Saskatchewan fashion, the turnout manages to have deep mud and blowing dust at the same time.
We've got crows living in the neighbourhood and one or two of the adults come daily to our yard to enjoy the fresh water of the bird bath and to see what might be on offer in the way of edibles. I scooted for the camera to grab this shot of the crow perching on the gargoyle. Once they are aware of me, they don't stick around, so getting good quality shots is always a challenge. The crow and gargoyle together is a visual I've been wanting for a long time.
Shot three shows one of the horses at Ebon having a good rub during a break from his jump lesson last week. Between the heat and the abundant insect life, there's usually a reason for a "scratch" break.
Friday night, pretty well out of nowhere, the skies opened up and rain just bucketed straight down for the better part of an hour. Shot four shows how hard it was hitting the ground, bouncing and splashing off the pavement. We did need the moisture, although Saturday's follow-up full day of rain was a bit of overkill.
I always like getting out into the garden after a rain, when the air is fresh and the raindrops are sparkling on the flowers and foliage. This is one of the abundant Stella D'oro day lilies in the front yard.