Brightening

Flowers are pretty great. It’s hard to keep them alive indoors since there isn’t a lot of direct light–the windowsill below is very popular as one of the few with direct light all morning. I recently found a leafy plant whose care tag said “ambient light” and another that read “minimal light” so I snapped them up and they are doing great. It’s very exciting.

At some point I decided that cut flowers were an OK splurge, and now I almost always have some cut flowers around. Usually astermeria since it has such a long life for a cut flower. Lilies, too.

And sometimes I fall for the miniature roses–they are usually only $4 and I find them very hard to resist, and very hard to keep alive because of the aforementioned dearth of direct light.

Right now I have a pair over the kitchen sink which are recovering from a months long battle with mites (neem oil finally did the trick!) and a new pair in the craft room with it’s bright light. So far they are doing well!

What about you, do flowers follow you home from the grocery store, too?

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Operation Bridleless

I want to be able to ride Midas, formerly the bully freight train, bridleless and halterless. He already goes quietly in a halter–before I broke my foot I was cantering him in a halter. The time off from the foot was a serious set back for me, and set back our ridden work. So we have some making up to do.

But, we did a lot of groundwork that year. A lot. And we made huge strides.

So, why couldn’t he be one of those horses that goes in a neck rein or less?

I read a Buck Brannaman article on Eclectic Horseman that gave a deceptively simple exercise for laying the foundation–ride a serpentine using only your legs to steer. Makes sense, right? Simple, right?

Hahahahaha.

Ugliest serpentines I have ever ridden.

But….we’re making progress.

I’ve sort of combined that with Clinton Anderson’s Follow The Fence exercise, which we never really spent a lot of time on due to very little in the way of regular fencelines at this property. But I’m messing with the exercise now–using only my legs to direct Midas to stay on the path, as much as I can, anyway.

Anything that involves freedom excites him in a good way, but he hasn’t totally figured out what I want yet so he hasn’t fully embraced the responsiveness. He thinks that no rein means he can go where he likes as long as he keeps the pace I tell him. That is very similar to cruising–where he could go where he liked as long as he kept the pace. Now I just need to convince him to listen to my legs.

It HAS been working, he’s much more sensitive to leg pressure in general now, which is great. We still have pretty ugly serpentines, but I can actually float my hands over the reins without him immediately checking out.

Baby steps.

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