Although they don't pull their fare share around here to cover feed costs, the horses continue to be "grand-fathered in" when it comes time to buy hay every winter. In an attempt to make them earn their keep, and because we enjoyed our ride so much yesterday, the girls and I took our mighty beasts out to actually accomplish some farm work yesterday.
We have a great big Black Walnut tree in our yard that drops walnuts every year, and therefore, every spring I have a yard full of little Black Walnut trees shooting up amongst the grass. Micah had gathered up a bunch of them into a tub the other day (I think it was for ammunition for a walnut war with the cousins), so the girls and I got the brilliant idea to plant a "retirement" crop. Meaning, that at the time we would consider retiring, we could harvest the tree's and put the money in the bank. We loaded them up into the big saddle bag and took the horses out to plant them.
Except there was one little problem . . . since we rode bareback, neither Alexis or I could get back up on our horses if we dismounted. So, since Grace was the only one with a short enough horse to be able to get back on, she volunteered to throw/plant them for us. Lord willing, some of them will be spared by the squirrels and we will have some trees to fill in where a wind break is needed anyway.
Now comes the cheap horse part:
If Lightning didn't have a lifetime history, going back to my childhood, I would have shipped her off myself on the first trailer to come along. Crazy horse. You'd think she was two instead of twenty, or had never seen those trails before, or ever been third in line behind the same horse for the past umpteen years. It never fails, especially during the first rides after a winter break, that she has to play "Hi-Ho Silver" and rear~ with me on top of her. I didn't technically fall off, because I chose to slide off her rump rather than have a thousand pound horse land on top of me when the centrifugal force continued to lean my way rather than forward. I could have barbecued her for supper myself. And of course, the rest of the ride was spent holding tightly to the reins and working on backing and circling. As soon as she got the hackamore off, though, she expected her treat. I almost didn't give her one. Little black bugger; I should have taken the four-wheeler instead.