Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Copter Surprise

Christmas day started out very calm and peaceful.  We had just finished a late lunch when we saw an unusual black and white striped helicopter fly low past our house.  We watched from the windows as it hovered over the property across the street as if the pilot were intending to land at our neighbor's house.  Then it reversed direction and circled back around our house, around our barn, coming very low over the horse's dry lot, then we lost sight of it.  We ran to the living room window to watch it land across the street and I said,  "I bet that was a good desensitizing experience for the horses."  Just after I spoke those words, we saw SaraJane running wildly across our front yard with that tail of hers straight up in the air.  Oh oh!  Horse on the loose!  And on the run!

The helicopter landed across the street in our neighbor's yard.  I found SaraJane behind our house, running up and down outside the pasture fence, whinnying frantically to Misty who was on the other side of the barn, still in the dry lot where she was supposed to be.  How on earth did SaraJane get out?  Then we saw the dry lot fence.

The poor little girl must have lost her mind when that horse eating pterodactyl flew overhead.   It looks like she ran right through the fence. 

Fixing fence was not on the agenda for Christmas day, but Mr.OnceUpon got right on it.  As he was working, I noticed that Misty has been doing some of her artistic whittling on this wooden fence post.  Silly termite!

I went across the street and introduced myself to the neighbors.  (What a way to meet your neighbors, huh?)  They are renters and haven't been here long and will be leaving soon when their new house is finished.  I told them we had a little mishap with the helicopter flying so low over our horses and asked that they call me before the helicopter takes flight so I could close the horses in the barn.  They were very nice and were sorry to have scared the horses and asked if SaraJane was ok.   She is fine.  She made it through the fence with just one small scrape on her leg.  The pilot is their son and he was "dropping in" for dinner to surprise his mother on Christmas day.  At first he had tried to land from the other direction, but the wind was not in his favor and that is why he circled around our house and came in low over the horses. 

The dad gave me a call when his son began his pre-flight and I locked Misty and SaraJane in the barn. It probably would have been good for them to see the helicopter lift off and fly away, but we had enough excitement for one day.

The pilot lifted off and flew away into the sunset, with an audience of neighbors standing in the street.  It's not every day that a really cool looking helicopter lands on our street.

Oddly, this is the 3rd helicopter to buzz us (if you count the gyrocopter) and the 2nd time this year that one of my horses has had the wits scared out of them by a low flying helicopter (the trail ride incident last June was the first). My horses seem to attract more helicopters than flies. 

But all are safe and calm now.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Under the Gun and Under the Weather

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, however I would love to vacation on another planet right now.

I'm under the gun at work which continues to be extremely stressful as several project deadlines are looming in February. I won't be online much until I get through this big push.  I'm just hoping all the other parties involved in this huge work effort get their acts together so I can get my part done and over with.  I don't want these projects bleeding into spring and summer. 

I'm under the weather because stress + overtime = illness.  It was bound to happen.  I got hit hard by a virus and have been sick in bed all week.  I'm hoping the worst is over.  I don't have time to be sick.

Horse time is limited too, but I'm trying to ride once or twice a week depending on weather, health, and energy level.  I only have two opportunities to ride during the winter weeks.  I can ride on Saturdays if the weather is mild enough for outdoor riding.  Or I can ride one evening a week when a local equestrian facility opens their indoor arena to the public.

Riding with the public is an interesting experience in itself.  The arena may be packed with riders going both directions at various speeds.  In a word: chaos.  Unfortunately there is no arena etiquette during these public riding times.  It's every rider for himself; watch out and avoid collisions.   Other nights I may find myself with the entire indoor arena to myself.   That is a different challenge with the eerie silence interrupted occasionally by sudden noises that are amplified by the big space.  I think I'll take a radio with me to cut through the heavy silence when I find myself riding alone.  I hate to ride alone!

I hope to catch up and visit your blogs this weekend since I'm still too sick to ride. 

I do hope everyone and everyhorse is having a healthy and happy holiday season.

Merry Christmas!