Post 2: Steping Foot in the Arena

After several days of unrelenting fog it finally lifted and revealed the sunny beauty of the Half Moon Bay (HMB) area.  Tourists and locals are out in swarms to enjoy Main St. Half Moon Bay and the sandy beaches at Montara Beach, Moss Beach, and Half Moon Bay.

As the fog wallows around Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Jan kindly lent me her cruiser bike, though terribly small, still rolls as a bike should.  The ride from the ranch to HMB is a spirit-lifting 7.5 miles along the coast on bike trails that parallel CA-1 or “The 1.”  No surprise, my trailer doesn’t feature any laundry facilities, so I strapped my pack on with laundry and computer inside with room left for groceries, and headed to HMB.  The local laundromat cost $3.00 just to wash a load of laundry…absolutely insane!  I think I might just put up a clothes line and wash select articles by hand or I may fork over the 12 quarters this time to save the hassle.

Yesterday I almost sent myself home with 6 new chicks, of the Rhode Island Red variety, but luckily held back the urge.  Robin, the one male who boards at Morning Star Ranch (MSR), offered not only to lend me the materials necessary to raise chicks, but also offered to purchase them as well in exchange for fresh eggs once they start laying.  The hens should start laying once they’re 5-6 months old, but it seems like such a long time to wait for those wonderfully fresh free-range eggs.  In the meantime I will have to perfect my ranching skills.

This morning I learned how to run the ranch tractor through the arena to help level it out.  The who process only took about 15 minutes, but it was very rewarding to know that I’ve begun to contribute to the ranch.  After I put the tractor back in its stall, Nan took me over to the pasture to grab Mud, a beautiful brown mare.  For about an hour Nan, Mud, and me worked on “horsemanship 101” which included how pick up a horses leg to clean their shoes, how to install (not the correct terminology, I know) a halter, and most importantly where not to stand as not to get kicked or stepped on.  We ended the session with 30 minutes of me leading and directing Mud around the arena with hand gestures and occasional encouragement with a whip.  Nan was pleasantly surprised by how well I was able to work with Mud my first day out.  I can’t help but anxiously await when I get to finally toss on the saddle and go for a ride.  There’s a large hill/small mountain just to the east of the ranch that has some good equestrian trails that I’m dying to check out.  In the mean time, feeding and walking the horses will have to suffice.

I think I’ll head over to grab some groceries, see a few people in town, and then head back to the ranch.


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