Tuesday, February 22, 2022

welcomes Miles

Since Q was a temporary lease I kept my eye out, casually looking for the right fit. Too old, too young, too far away, too much money! 

I tried a few. A chestnut was nice but moved a little funky to me. A gorgeous gray was too young. A paint-Arab cross was too much to handle with some baggage. What was I drawn to? Of course bay Arabs with fun personalities. 

photos from his ad
Then I saw a local trainer’s ad: “extremely fun and playful horse” “completely confident going down the trail by himself” “going down the trail and doing some horse camping “would love to be a trail or Endurance horse” “has also camped at Point Reyes by himself.”

Downside: “still young and can get excited in large groups on the trail.”

Figured he was worth a look. Went out one afternoon and took him for a spin in the arena. Well, the trainer rode first. He didn’t do anything bad (he’d had three days off), was just a little uptight in there. His background was a show barn, with that silly show barn Arab energy. When I rode him he didn't do anything stupid, didn't feel explosive or silly, just a little uncertain. But he was so cute!

So I decided I wanted to ride him on trail. I was nervous, as I always am with a new horse. But I met them at the staging area (where I ride all the time, which was great) and headed out hiking. No problems, so got on and proceeded to have a completely uneventful ride, the best kind! Over and under, big trails, small trails, leading, following, trotting, walking, what a good boy! A couple moments of wheee, let’s go, but shut him down and he was fine to continue.

As we rode back my brain was spinning. Hmmm. Good horses sell quickly. He’s a good one. Friendly, steady on trail, even my favorite color. I’d be sad to miss out.

So they settled that. I told the trainer right then that I’d take him. Too impulsive? Maybe. But just look at this face. 

meet Miles (registered name: Bacchus DWA)
Meet Miles. An almost 6-year old bay Arabian, 15 hands. Good trail experience, even camping. Baby brain in groups needs work, but we can get there. We have lots of trails to explore. 

a walk to the staging area in crazy winds, no spooking!

settling in to pasture


Monday, February 21, 2022

thank you Q

Q and I have explored more than 100 miles of trails. We've had our disagreements, though mostly understandings. But it was always a temporary lease, and I was always looking for my next horse.

I was just getting her tail cleaner too! But she is certainly in better shape.
She taught me a lot, and will hopefully continue her trail career with her owner.

Thanks Q for a different perspective. I learned a lot.
I can use all my horse knowledge for my next adventure partner….(hint, not a gray…)

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

spring Q


It's almost a perfect time to ride right now. The grass is bursting out and bright green, birds in the trees…and it is getting dusty. Seriously we've had no rain, in winter, for 40 days. After a wet December we're worrying about fire danger in February, yeah for California! 

ferns are not tasty but she had to try

As much as it is not my favorite, every time I ride Q we do a little warm-up in the arena. Most days she needs a brain-reminder that yes, work is an actual thing you have to do. Once she remembers that she actually has a job, and can listen to the not-unreasonable requests from the puny human atop her, we hit the trail. I don't have between the ears pictures because she is not exactly the type to stop and relax (we're working on it).

love this rock monolith

This little mare sure likes to go! Walking is fine but trotting is even better. She has a great, smooth trot, and just goes along like a metronome, incredible consistent. Up hills, on the flat, though we slow for most downhills. We've traveled about 15 miles a week, split between 2-3 ride, usually an easier forest walk/trot and then a faster or harder (more elevation) ride. 

posing as we hike an extra steep downhill
Last week I took her on the rock trail, which is yes, pretty much just all rocks, to see how she would do. I was only planning on doing a small portion, as it is very tough. The horse has to slow and think about their feet, as there is flat granite to cross, rock steps, rocks to clamber up, let alone all the ducking and dodging the rider must do as it is always overgrown.

tree tangle behind us, lots of trees fallen this year
Unsurprisingly, she loved the technical trail, she just seems to like to get out and see new trail. I had to work on making sure she stayed slow, because she probably would have bounded over all of it just fine at speed (but damn the rider!). Afterwards she was dripping sweat and still managed to try and spook when we got back to the staging area at the "unexpected" horse trailer she saw from 100 feet away, guess she was not THAT tired!

after workout snack
After rides I've been rewarding her with some of the tasty green grass. When she is all cleaned up after the ride she looks like she is glowing and that lasts all of about five minutes, then I put her back in paddock and she rolls.
pretty clean!

 We're enjoying our adventures, and there are fun updates ahead…