Monday, December 19, 2011

double ride

After last week's adventures in speed, I wanted to take is slower, but still put in some miles. My friend B and her horse Ziggy were up to the test. We wanted to do a mini endurance ride, coming back home halfway through and then heading back out.

Major did not seem to annoyed with Ziggy along, who is often his archenemy. They both headed up the trail, and jauntily trotted towards Rattlesnake Bar. Perfect weather, not too cold, no dust, lake view. The park is closed to vehicles, so we tried to get a good canter on the dirt roads. Both Major and Ziggy know that we often turn around here, so they were a bit sluggish, but we kept going, and they relented. Coming around the corner, there is a large yellow caution sign, warning boaters of stuff. Ziggy saw it as we passed and gave a huge spook into the road! B managed to keep her seat, she was happy to have boots on when she landed on the asphalt, and then manged to crack a joke: obviously Ziggy can read, and the sign meant "Imminent Danger! Must run now!" It is always good to laugh when your adrenaline is going!

The ride back was less eventful, even though we took them the "wrong" way home: they were very good at pointing out when we kept missing the turns back to the barn. Back home we untacked, gave them a drink and wet mash snack, ate some lunch, and headed back out.

Going back up the road Major seemed pretty chipper, but Ziggy was dragging, He does use up quite bit of energy worrying about the horse in front, the speed, the scary stuff...but we hit the forest and both horses just shut down. We used all of our riding skills just to keep them walking a reasonable pace, they soooo did not want to go out again! They were just dragging down the trails, we both needed a crop! I thought the lake trail would perk them up, so we hit the sand and headed for Granite Bay. Major was in front, trotting along, when he sidestepped, threw on the brakes, and declared himself done. I don't think so! We continued and got to Beeks Bight, where we had to decide: continue on or head back. Both horses were being so good, none of the misbehavior I had last week, so we headed back. Ziggy was in front and didn't know where were were, so he didn't think we were going home. Major knew, but kept it to himself in the back!

We eventually cut down to the lower trail, Major took the lead back along the lake, and he certainly knew where we were! We took a cutoff from the lake trail into a very unused access to Pioneer Express trail, and then back into the forest. Major did the strange sidestepping thing one more time, I think he just didn't want Ziggy behind him. No kicking at Ziggy this time, very good behavior, but he will need to get used to someone back there! He is fine with most others, it is so hard to figure out their quirks.

The ride back was good, because both horses were pretty tired. The mileage wasn't too high, but the Pioneer Express trail is pretty taxing, with lots of up and down and rocks and dropoffs and bridges for them to think about. They were so good they got another snack and a good currying. Back in his paddock, Major was more interested in his leftover breakfast (I don't know how he could still be hungry!) than me, but I told him what a good boy he was today, and hid some carrots in his salt bucket.

All in all a fun adventure, though I know nothing like a real LD, still good practice and something different. And now I know for that second ride from home I need to carry a crop!

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