Monday, April 11, 2011


Went out Saturday for an exploratory ride. I wanted to assess if any trails were easily passable, if we could do any good workouts on the forest trails. Heading out we were just walking, and I asked Major for a trot and he was just so happy to be moving. When I asked for a walk again he nicely dropped down, and then made cute little happy snorts, ears up, waiting for the adventure.

The main Pioneer trail was being used for a 50 mile endurance run, so we stayed clear of that. (The endurance ride is in a few weeks over the same trail.) I decided to head over to one of my favorite spots: the trotting trail. It was a bit of slogging to get to it, but it was holding up pretty good...until I came across the 5 foot barrier that is the giant downed tree. How sad! That trail is so great just to get on and go (hence the name). Couldn't go around at this time (too much mud on the other road access next to it), so had to backtrack. Kept heading for the forest canal access, found a nice higher trail that was mud free and completely dry in most places, so a little trotting. At the end of that trail Major thought we should turn for home, but I found a good dry hill and just let him go. It was a compromise, and we both enjoyed the brief run up the hill.

barely on the right is the trail...if we swam for it!
On to more serious trail work...the trail down to the lake has a downed tree (that you can go around though it's a bit dicey) and then the trail is so eroded you have to walk and balance across a large flat boulder to get down. I was glad Major is barefoot and seemed to have plenty of grip. I let him figure out where to place his feet, and he is careful and smart (in that situation!). Down in the sand looking right: trail gone. To the left...maybe? Went about 100 yards and nope, unless we decided to swim for it. So sad to be losing this great trail for the year...until the fall at least.

Back into the forest we went. I'd wanted to let Major move out, we're both in need of that! So I went back to the same hill and just worked it. We got to have fun as we trotted and cantered portions, but also good work as we used both sides of the trail, halted in different places and changed gaits. About six times of that and Major was sweating, I was grinning at my good pony, and we headed home with a big swinging walk on a loose rein. A good day for exploring, a good day for riding.

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