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Date:7/26/2014 2:29:56 AM
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Hello from wet, flooded Virginia

Good morning, we WERE rained off. My trainer made a decision yesterday morning to cancel the trail ride. I have to admit I was relieved, as I was concerned about some steep areas, mud, flooded areas, and the bridges! I drove a little east of the trail yesterday morning before going to the stables, and the ditches were flooded everywhere. I picked up two new cockatiels -- beautiful, a grey and white male with gorgoeus markeings (he looks like a miniature osprey) and a colorful female. As the species originates from Australia, I have named them Adelaide and Sydney.
They are hand reared and set quietly on your fingers; the two are half-siblings (different father) and only 3 months old. I have another cockatiel named 'Festus' -- he's a grumpy character, who prefers not to be handled much, but he loves his little friend, a male parakeet named Skipper. So, driving through the wet roads with flooded ditches, I thought there was a good chance the ride would be cancelled. I did do my one-hour training yesterday with Jack, but the arena was soupy with large areas of water, so we practiced trotting and cantering through the water for confidence. The whole lesson was on correct bend, so we were doing rounds and more rounds, which Jack is not fond of. He was getting fussy with his mouth and trying to avoid the bit.
I took him out for 15 minutes around the farm after the training and he enjoyed that, walking slowly and cooling down on the grassy areas, which were not as wet as the arena. Another small spook when leaving the arena, as he didn't like a yellow octane container with a nozzle that my trainer had left at the gate. David opened the gate for us, and Jack began to move sideways. I kept my leg on and urged him forwards but as he passed the container he took a huge leap out the gate -- I was expecting it (it's good to know your horse!) so stayed centered in the saddle and did not lose my stirrups, but I gave him a loose rein. Once outside the arena, he was fine in about 30 seconds and went on calmly around the farm! Such funny creatures!

More rain this morning -- it will not clear up a bit until Monday. I was going to ride this morning with a friend, but when I awakened at 8:30 it was raining heavily again, so I am in today working on projects.

Hope you are drier there? There is a horse show at Deer Run next weekend, so I may go and help out. Back to work now!

Love to you and Cisco.
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