Tuesday, May 3, 2011

auburn to no hands

I finally put Major in the trailer and just went somewhere. Well, not just me, I had lots of help from a very supportive SO. Getting everything ready to go somewhere takes forever! Lugging the tack from the barn to the trailer, getting it all settled, double checking everything: I think it will be better once the trailer is organized.

Major took a minute about the trailer, but then got right in. Didn't seem to fuss much, and backed out nicely at the staging area. After a wide-eyed look around, I got him tacked up while the SO packed his backpack. Having a friend along for Major (even though it wasn't a horse) helped us both. Heading out on trail Major was interested in this new place, but not spooky, and we trotted while we could. I was glad the trail was marked from the American River Ride the day before, there are some trail splits that are confusing. There were streams to cross and a waterfall next to the trail, beautiful and no problem.

Major started getting balky about 3 miles down. I still can't decide if he just decided we were done (which he does on forest trails sometimes) or if something was wrong. I got off, walked him some, got back on, and continued to No Hands bridge. I've walked across the bridge countless times, but from horseback you are much higher up! Not scary, just a better slightly disorienting view of the water. Major didn't even bat and eye, good boy!

I didn't feel the need to continue, and poor SO was going to have to hike all the way back up, so we started for home. We were going to take a longer rest break, but something just seemed NQR (not quite right). Even heading back Major was seeming balky, so I hand-walked him for awhile. I was getting back on when another rider passed us. That perked up Major! I used his impulsion and SO said to go...so off we went.

The rest of the ride was better, we trotted quite a bit, even getting into his nice extended trot. He really wanted to catch the other guy, but I held him back. He did catch up with them, fell back again, and passed at one point, and they passed us again too. It was good practice for Major. We were able to canter in one spot, to the top of Robie Point, but it was warm and we walked some of the way back from there. Major is not is as good of shape as he thinks he is, so actually listened when I wanted him to slow it down.

Back at the trailer he got hosed off and managed to find leftover hay from the day before. He seemed fine, drank OK and munched on grass while we waited. SO did the whole trail with a backpack, much more work than I did! I was still worrying about Major, so SO drove the trailer home, we unloaded and Major got a good roll in the arena.

I'd love to keep going and do more of the trail, the trailer to get there is pretty easy. I just need to figure out what is up with my horse! I'm in awe of the riders and horses at Tevis who traverse that section of trail, after already going 96 miles. It is rocky, steep and they're in the dark! Wow...

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