Monday, September 13, 2010

Shorter and shorter

It always happens this way.

Just a week ago I was currying the last of Gabe's fuzzy winter coat from his body to reveal the slick, shiny summer coat hiding beneath those long hairs. Well, it felt like a week ago. Who can forget the billions of itchy hairs stuck to every part of your body and clothing on a daily basis? Not me!

Now, I'm already grooming the slick summer hairs from him and watching as daily he turns a darker shade of gray and those glorious dapples become even more prominent. I never really realized a gray could actually bleach out under the summer sun, but it turns out they do. The coat beneath his mane was a few shades darker than the rest of his body. Good thing we didn't do any showing this year or that would look mighty funny when he was all braided up.

Where did the summer go and why did it go so quickly? I ask this question every year as the days grow shorter and the coats grow longer and I never really have a good answer. Pretty soon I'll be relegated to riding on weekends only again or braving the darkness with just a headlamp lighting our way. There is almost nothing more challenging than riding in the dark on a horse who has decided the best thing in the world to do is shy at the light bobbing along in front of him while keeping a wary ear cocked towards the woods...which are absolutely brimming with horse-eating monsters.

But, with the shorter days come my most favorite time of year: The crisp, cool mornings of fall. The delightful smell of falling leaves, cooling soil and an invigorating chill in the air that makes my horses dance with joy at being alive and frisky.

I chased a fox off my property yesterday. A big, brave critter that decided my chickens looked like an easy, tasty meal right there in my arena. Fortunately he wasn't quite fast enough to catch my chickens but I'm sure he'll be back to give it another go.

And seeing that fox in his red coat and bushy tail made me long to spend my weekends fox hunting. Oh, how I miss that thrill! I was hoping to take Gabe out on his first hunt this season, but it doesn't look like that will happen. Not because he's not ready to hunt and not because I'm not DYING to hunt him, but because I am currently lacking transportation to get him to the fixtures. *sigh* Maybe next year. I guess I should move "my own horse trailer" higher on to the needs list, eh?

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