Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Major had most of last week off, while I spent three days snowshoeing at Carson Pass, then hiking at Markleville, and then playing in the sand at the ocean. All in amazing weather, tshirt at the beach! Northern California rarely gets weather like this, and I feel pretty lucky to be able to go all these activities. Everywhere I went I thought about horses. Riding in the snow would be fun, though I think you'd have to be careful if rough snow/ice on the horse's legs. On the hiking trail I saw signs indicating how to high-line your stock, and imagined upcoming summer trips. But my favorite would have been cantering the bluff trail above the Sonoma County beaches. No horses allowed there, but I'd love to take Major to the coast.

But I digress: Major had the week off, but I worked pretty hard. So getting in the saddle today those first trot steps I was feeling pretty sore! But he was raring to go. A friend had posted how she trotted the whole "trotting trail" to Dottie's hill, and I decided to do the same. It was fun, and got Major good and fired up. I thought about the trail to Granite Bay, but I didn't have much time. I headed down to the lake to do a small portion of the canal trail.

And here came the crazy/fun/brave people! OK, they are not crazy (maybe?), but they ride like a bat-out-of hell ALL the time. G & H are the nicest people, and asked me to join them, but truly, I don't have the guts (or the seat) to ride like they do. My friend B was with them, and she told me later that she just put her horse on the other horses tail and went! I am working every ride on Major's manners I don't think that is the best situation for him, though I'm sure he'd think it was great fun!

The one time we stopped: I just couldn't pass up a photo of the rising moon
But he actually watched them fly up the hill toward us fairly calmly. Then we headed for the lake. He wanted to go-go-go but we worked on keeping it an insane trot, not a canter. His canter is often slower and nicer than the big trot, but I could tell he wasn't listening or collecting up at all, and all strung out I'm not cantering over rocks! So we big trotted, and it was nice to maintain speed for a longer distance. So often our speed graph is crazy up-down as we slow for rocks, down hills, etc. The canal trail doesn't have the obstacles, though we did startle some deer and I was worried about coming around the corner to a flock of Canada geese! Major just kept flying by.
this is what the rest of the ride looked like: what, just a blur? yep!

So many, many, many half halts later, we ended up doing the entire canal trail and cantering up the tiny switchbacks at Sterling Point. He wasn't tired in the least, and I still let him trot, knowing I was going to have to throw the cooler on him back home. We could have gone much farther, but it was almost dark by the time we spied the light on in the barn: we'd been gone exactly an hour. The cooler helped dry him a bit, and luckily the weather is mild, so I turned him back out with his beet pulp and hay. He sat contentedly munching, and I towel-dried him a bit more. He was clean, I was filthy, and that's how we horse people like it!

In the past I wouldn't have even done a ride like today, which for some people is mild, and others is crazy. I was on the edge of comfort today, but I know my old instructor would be proud of me pushing my boundaries. crazy/fun/brave is all relative.


  1. Nice, sounds like a good ride! I think I was feeling similar on the 2+ mi trot on the dirt road to my neighbor's the other day, it was almost pushing the boundaries of my comfort but Desire was moving fabulously and it felt great to really WORK like that. Ah man, aren't our horses great?

  2. A 2+ mile trot would be an awesome workout! I need to find some good dirt roads/wider trails out here...or make a trip your way!

  3. Yep and there were 2 or 3 steep little hills in that mileage too which was great! You are always welcome, lot's of stall space and trails to explore here :) I really want to ride on your trials someday too!

  4. Okay the little "comment will be published after approval" thing didn't pop up so I'm not sure if my comment went through...if it didn't the gist was, come visit anytime, got stall space and trails! And I want to visit your area too :) If that's a repeat, sorry, hehe

  5. 8-) I always worry my comment didn't go through, especially since most of the time I'm doing it from my phone! Always fun to explore new trails...