This morning we were planning to go crow-hawking with Kaya, but when we weighed her, we discovered that she was "too fat to hunt." She was 1060 grams, and while we'd have taken her out at 1045g, 1025 is better and 1060 is just too high. Plan B was to wait a few hours and go out around noon.
HELLO PLAN C!!
We'd planned a few weeks ago to meet a falconer friend and her Saker falcon Smilla at her friend's stable where we would try horseback riding with the birds, but M and I were struck down with Covid and had to cancel. This morning quite spontaneously the friend (IH) sent a message and asked if we wanted to meet and ride in the season's first snow.
We are the least spontaneous people you don't know and I really can't stand winter, snow, or being cold*, but after a quick consultation with M, I started scrounging for my riding pants, boots and helmet! Smilla and her human couldn't come, but we will all surely meet next time!
* Blame it on Wisconsin! 44 years of that, and I've had enough!
|Seriously, does it get any better than this?
We arrived, met IH and her beautiful Icelandic horse, Kvikur, and got Kaya out of her travel box.
|Kaya: "Whoooaaaaaa, WTH?"
Kvikur was totally cool, like nothing can rattle him. And he's already met Smilla the falcon, so this was not his first rodeo, as they say. Kaya, on the other hand... As reported earlier, she has been in the presence of horses, but not frequently. And never on top. However, we really do believe she trusts us and has learned that she's safe when she's on my or M's glove.
At first we walked a bit so Kaya could get used to Kvikur and his human, then I handed Kaya to M and hopped on. M handed Kaya back, and she tried to settle in.
|"Mom?!? You sure about this?"
IH took the reins and led Kvikur so I could focus on Kaya until we knew how she'd handle this. M tromped along and snapped pictures the whole time, and although you'd think we would have thought to take ONE photo of the three of us with Kvikur, we did not. Next time!
|IH has longer legs than I do!
I could just barely reach the stirrups, but no matter.
It was cold but ok, and then it wasn't. 😂 Schneeregen, Schnee, wind... And still, I was happy as could be, riding with Kaya! It was a lovely ride and I can picture all kinds of horse & hawk adventures for the future!
|Look at the pup!
This is how he spent the whole walk! 😍
I don't need to write much more - the photos say it all. What an amazing and fabulous experience this was! We are so grateful to Smilla's human, IH, and Kvikur for this day.
I've loved horses all my life, and now falconry IS my life. What could be better than combining the two on a snowy day?