Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a week off

Back from camping for the week, I just had to get out and ride. I will admit when out hiking last week in the beautiful old-growth forests in Redwood National Park I frequently thought about how awesome it would be to trot a horse along the amazing, quiet primeval forest. The ground is so soft from millennium of plants and leaves, it almost bounces. I'd look at a trail rising steadily in front of me and think what a nice canter place that was. Unfortunately no horses are allowed on most of the trails, but it was almost as fun imagining it.

The barn manager reported that Major had been full of it all week: not being ridden means he runs his pasture mates around! I just wanted to get out on the trail, so saddled up and walked up the road. He seemed fine, not jumpy or silly, and off we went. I think we were both happy to be out. I love looking through perked ears as we take a trail turnoff, "Where are we going now?" Major seems to say.

Out to the lake. This time of year it just draws me in. The water is reflecting the sky, green grass to eat and no one out there. I didn't see another trail user the entire ride, and just two kayakers on the lake. Heading out we walked and trotted, and when I asked for a canter in one long, clear stretch it was so nice and controlled. His slow canter is slower than the fast trot, but so much nicer to ride. He was really being quite good. A tiny bit of spookiness (more than usual) that I think is just silliness from not being out.

The grass was so tempting, and our ride was so nice, I stopped and let him eat many times. At one stop I noticed he'd tweaked his boot off center, and since we were on the sandy trail I just took them off. I put them on later with no issues.

grass at the perfect height!
Coming home started the pulling contest, but even that was ok. Just something we're working on. I wasn't going to let much ruin my day, so when he got silly, I just waited, and circled or backed or reversed trail. We walked all the hills he wanted to trot, and had to stand by the scary water trough at the staging area (just that one trough, no idea why!).

Back home in time for a bath and an appointment with the trimmer. As much as I'd like to learn myself, it is sure a lot of work! Since Major has been wearing the boots his feet hadn't worn as much, and the trimmer actually had more work to do on the rock-hard feet. With trimming every four weeks Major's feet seem to get better and better. Plenty of heel, but still working on his contractedness. Most things I've read have said it just comes with time. Starting to have enough heel to support the back of the hoof will help with that.

A good horse day. I often think the simplest day (even the challenges) with horses are better than most any other adventure.

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