Whew! If I thought I was tired last night after the two-hour ride, I was wrong.
I pried myself from bed this morning at 7am to try to wake up enough to be out at the ranch again at 8:30. I took vitamins, I drank tea, I ate breakfast. I got out there by 8:40, without a spark of enthusiasm.
My horse was okay overnight, thank God. He'd taken a poop just before I got there, and he was eager to go out and DO something. But oh, when I sat in the saddle, I was all too aware of where I was sore.
Nevertheless, Cathy the Mad Horsewoman and I set off on our aged mounts, and again, rode for two hours. Both horses were calm, and maybe a little draggy, until we hit an orchard where the verges (You should never go straight through an orchard -- it pisses the farmers off something terrible) were five inch deep muck from having received irrigation water the night before. The horses switched from shuffling lazily along to having to watch their footing, and Cathy the Mad and I had to switch from just sitting there to watching carefully and guiding the horses to the firmest possible footing. (A horse who thinks he might get mired begins to leap and lunge to get out of it, which could be disastrous for two old ladies.)
Cathy confessed when we got back on dry orchard road that her palms were sweating; the horses had decided that they'd had enough adventure and were ready to go home; my rear end still hurt, but we all had to agree to go the remainder of the hour and a half. On we went.
The morning was cool and gently breezy, the horses calm, the roads clear of machinery or commotion. It was a good ride. At the end of it, Dink even took a few swipes at eating the mulberry tree near the tack room -- a good sign. When I walked him toward his pasture-paddock, he dragged me to the side to crop the thick green grass of the ranch owner's yard -- another good sign. And when I put him into the pasture, he called again for the other horses, but then began to eat the food we'd left for him the night before.
I oozed home, ate lunch, worked a little on the Press, and now can't wait for bedtime. I went to the store to buy some "sweet feed" for Dink, and some "SandClear." The SandClear won't clear him of me, but if he's got dirt in his gut making him colicky, it'll drag some of that junk out. I'll try to dose him with it tomorrow.
And do another ride, but it's not going to be another two hour jaunt.
Well, unless I wake up and feel ten years younger tomorrow.
Which is unlikely, as I feel as though if a bunch of ancient Egyptian embalmers showed up outside the bedroom window, I'd just roll over and say, "Go for it."