Saturday, January 29, 2011
The Best Day
After having a great day with Linus yesterday I really wasn't sure what we were going to do today that would be as fun. I thought of going up the road in the other direction but by the time we were ready to head out it was snowing pretty heavy (finally!) and as most of you already know, I don't like taking him on the road when it is snowing heavy or the driving conditions are bad. All I need is some jerk who doesn't slow down to lose control near us...and as much as the road is meant to be shared I still don't like taking the risk.
So, instead I decided to finally try him through the fields and back to the bush. I absolutely love being in the bush, it's like a whole other world back there. So peaceful and quiet. So quiet that you can hear the snow fall. Except for when Linus and I go crashing through it! I haven't taken him through fields much because I guess I have kind of been relying on the roads to keep us on a path. Through the field his first instinct has usually been to play. He gave me a look when I headed him off the driveway to the North instead of to the road to the South that was the equivalent of a kid saying "Sweet"!! We went across the back lawn, through 3 fields that we use for cow pasture and then down a trail to the bush. To give you an idea of the setting, the farm totals 96 acres, 45 of which are bush. We used to cut wood and despite the major ice storm we had some trails are still easy to follow. Dad has been back recently on the 4wheeler and the tracks hadn't yet been completely filled in with snow, so that helped me get an idea of where to go. I have a good sense of direction and being in the bush sure puts it to the test!!
I was super impressed with how well Linus listened to me and kept on a straight path through the fields to the bush. I was even more impressed that he was fine with me ground driving him through places he has never been. We used to have me go first and then once he saw I could do it, he was comfortable with it. But, he was so brave and took it all in, ears perked and head up! I often had to remind him to slow down...we were going places that I snowshoed 2 weeks ago and we have more snow now! I think there should be a ground division for endurance! : )
Once in the bush, Linus was totally in his element. He has no excuses now for not wanting to go through, around, under or over any obstacles!! He moved through the bush like he lived back there. Better still, what a Fantastic way for us to practice our turning and backing up. He got into a few spots where we couldn't go ahead so had to back out and turn around. He listened beautifully to my cues. There was even points where I was driving him with one hand and he was responding to me just turning my wrist one way or the other to direct him. This super-impressed me because he was excited to be back there and wears a bitless bridle. So he did that well with no mouth contact. Please don't think I am bragging - I am not at all..I'm just so proud and excited about our day. It was as much a thrill for me as it was for him. He went through branches, tight spots, over trunks and really enjoyed knocking snow off of branches.
We were both breathing a bit heavy when we got back to the house so I swapped his gear for his halter and lead and we went for a walk until he was back to normal. I can't wait to get back in the bush again with him...hopefully tomorrow!!
We came out of the bush and through 2 other fields that we had never been through. Then I lowered an insulator on the fence and we went into the field of tumerac trees. We went through the trees and then I had to open the fence again to get back into the field for us to head up to the house. Linus happily went through two posts not much further apart than his own width. All I did was point and say "ok, go through" and he did.
This was by far the most thoroughly enjoyable day we have had together yet. I think Linus thought so too because when I took his tack back into the house he whinnied when I came back out like he hadn't seen me yet that day!! I fed him, gave him a big hug and told him we'd do it again soon!
It was so mild today that I had a spring jacket on over my coveralls...Linus was particularly interested in the toggles and strings!
entering the bush
digging out a stump to sniff
I liked this picture because it showed how thick we got into bush in places and he was totally fine with it
more investigating - we sure got covered in snow from branches!
I noticed this hoof print on our way back from our walk...I couldn't believe how much it looked like a heart...the only one I could see nearly as defined as this.
Donna & Linus
Lunenburg, ON Canada
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