Monday, March 14, 2011

Visit to the Horse Barn

We visited the horse barn where my niece rides last weekend. The tack room door was standing open and we went inside.

Each horse has its own bridle.

These are some traditional velveteen riding helmets.

These are girth buckles. The girth is the strap which holds the saddle on the horse's back. It goes under the horse's belly. Did you know that horses will inflate their bellies a bit to make sure that the girth is put on loosely and comfortably? You have to tighten the girth before you mount, so that your saddle won't slide off with you on it.

Here is my niece putting on the horse's bridle. She worked surely and swiftly as she tacked up the horse.

My niece is a beautiful young rider.

Here is a funny barn dog. He is sitting as close as possible to a girl waiting for her turn to ride. Every time she moved over, he scooted closer, and leaned on her.

Look at all these beautiful, sensitive faces.

Look at the long whiskers on this velvety nose and chin, and the cavernous nostril.

I like this horse's calm, alert expression, as my niece groomed him after riding.

The horse was sweaty under his saddle after the riding class, and my niece curried and brushed him until he was dry. Then she covered him with a light blanket and put him in a stall.

The horse's ears swiveled to and fro, listening to all the voices and activity in the barn.

Here is the coarse mane hair.

In this picture, my niece is scraping the mud out of the horse's hoof using the hoofpick. There is a tender bit on the bottom of the hoof called "the frog" which I was always very nervous about poking when I was a girl and had to do this, but my niece worked with confident care. I was so proud of her and so fascinated with all the activity around the riding barn. I realized how wonderful it is to be around horses, all over again, and that I miss it. I even miss all the horse smells- the sweat, the leather, and even the manure!


marcia said...

I love this post. You knew I would.
Ahhh, magnificent equines !

happy day!

nunu said...

ezra and i just read through this together and looked at the pictures. he and i both enjoyed it and it couldn't be timelier for us as we prepare to leave our island to live on the family ranch. i have always loved the smell of horses too. amazing how much the smell of horses can make you feel a certain way like the smells of baking spices can. this was a lovely post. it read like a children's story.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Love the photos of your beautiful niece (she sits well), the dog leaning on the girl, and especially love the close-ups of eye, and ears.

All joys,


Appleshoe said...

Beautiful post and beautiful pictures Beth. Take care.