Monday, February 7, 2011

an outing

Major and I joined two friends for a picnic outing. And so did every horse owner in our area!

I apologize to people stuck in the snow and ice, don't read on if you can't handle the good weather...but Saturday it was 74 degrees and gloriously sunny, with a warm breeze. This is California, but Northern California, and usually we don't have it this good. It broke a record...while the rest of the country breaks records for cold. Sorry! If you need a break, come visit!

The three of us headed for the lake. All of the horse get along fine, but each has their issues. We work on that throughout the ride, helping (harassing) each other, pushing our boundaries. At one point on the lake Major was a snot, it was windy, and here came a very low helicopter. He's usually fine with them, but was getting silly, so my friends suggested I burn off a little Major and I trotted off ahead of them, went a bit, then headed back to meet them. That helped.

We ended up at the packed staging area. There were probably 20 trailers. There are nice benches and lots of grass, so we all ate our snack. Major really wanted my sandwich, and probably would eat everyone else's food too. He got a piece of crust at the end (very delicious with peanut butter he thought). It was nice to just sit and relax, and none of us had a plan except to enjoy the day.

Heading home we took the upper trail. It has tough footing and not many places to trot, so that is good for horses anxious to get home. We all took turns leading and following. While Major prefers to lead, he is fine anywhere. Since he is quite fast, he usually has to stay behind so the other horses don't work too hard to keep up. Even with Major's slow trot one horse (Dune) kept cantering, but it was more that Dune was being naughty. We had to work on that coming home, but it's all a process. I know Major in groups is a whole different horse (not in a good way!). It is hard when friends are frustrated, but luckily we can all help, because we've all been there (and will be there again).

I did split from my friends to work beginner's hill, and let Major burn off more steam. It is good and steep, a good canter up. At the top Major was ready to run more! But I was done for the day, so we walked back down the other side and back home. It was longer of a ride than I'd planned to do for our first big ride back. I had been being pretty cautious with him, but he was sound and happy the whole trip. I know we'll get more rain before the winter is over, but with days like this I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and plan for summer adventures.

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