Monday, February 7, 2011

the saga of the lost boot

A Sunday Tale. Just a short ride to loosen up from yesterday's ride. The weather was (again) spectacular, Major was in a good mood. I tacked and booted. Saturday the boots were perfect, and I think we do get more grip in the muddy sections. Heading out, I planned on a sightseeing trip to one of the lookout points, and headed out. About 1.5 mile out, the clip-clop of hooves became more of a clip-thud. I leaned over and glanced down, no right boot! Damn! I figured we'd lost it recently or I'd have noticed (right?). So we turned to retrace our steps...and Major went "weeee, we're going home!"

So dealing with the idiot-acting horse (none the worse for wear from the 10 miles the day before) we went back over the stones, through the mud, me watching the trail for the orange boot, Major just pulling for home. Almost back to the staging area, we followed two horses that we know, and then let them leave. I still hadn't seen a boot, but was dealing with Major who was convinced that if we didn't follow those horses home RIGHT NOW that something terrible would occur. So we turned back on the trail, to remind Major that we hadn't even done our ride yet!

At this point I was composing the "reward" poster for my boot. "LOST: one orange renegade boot. Owner is despondent over the disappearance. If you see or hear anything, please call."

Back down the same trail, we turned a corner and the trumpets heralded! There was the boot! It had been flung into a ditch on the side, completely intact. I have no idea how that happens, but I guess I need to tighten everything a bit more. I jumped off and just attached the boot to the saddle (reminder, bring more carabiners, they are so handy!)

crappy camera+glorious sun=Major's aura
Now to deal with the horse. We did not manage a nice ride to a beautiful lookout point. Instead we did close to five miles...of back and forth the same 1/2 mile section of trail. There was head-tossing and general crabbiness, there was jigging and circling and snatching the reins. On about the eighth time of working the same trail I finally got the walk I was asking for. It was not pretty, and not as quiet as I'd hoped for, but it was a walk. So we kept walking towards home, and he maintained the walk.

Can you see the dirt aura now?!
Back home the torture for Major continued. He was so sweaty, and it was so warm, he got a mini-bath, including tail wash and face scrub. He looks like a drowned rat when wet, his scraggly tail looks even worse, his wimpy forelock hangs limply, so I took pity and I took him to have a grass snack. It also helped him dry out a bit. Then I did was hard, but I let him...roll! In the sandy arena he coated both side quite well, came to say hi to me, quite pleased with himself. I guess we both won some battles today.

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