Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Old Haunts

While my son and I were out driving this weekend, we drove past the second place I boarded Bombay during his training. It had been a while since I'd been in that area, and I was stunned by the beauty of the houses and pastures. The lady who owns this place still does board horses there. Talk about letting your horse live in luxury...

I have always loved her sprinkler system...

She doesn't have to worry about horses stepping on sprinkler heads, nor does she have to hand-water.

Right next door is the third place I boarded Bombay during his training...

He stayed in one of those barns, and was trained in both the outdoor round pen and that big yellow indoor arena behind the barns. I took lessons there too. I miss taking lessons there, but the trainer reserves weekends to teach kids and she's heavily involved in showing Arabians. She just never seems to have time for us trail riders anymore. I was one of her first customers when she started her horse training business.

I remember her saying that she cantered my horse out in the hills for about an hour and he was fine. Here I am six years later and I still can't get him out on the trails without an array of spooks and bolts. I guess that just goes to show you that the rider makes all the difference in the world.

She took me on a trail ride with me on her school horse while she trained another horse on the trail. We rode past Shaun Estes house. He's a retired baseball pitcher. He had his own batting cage in his backyard. We also got confronted by a really loud hound dog, so she taught me how to deal with dogs on the trail, which basically involves cutting a wide wake around them. Of course, her old school horse wasn't concerned in the least about the dog. Had I been riding Bombay, I'm sure the outcome would have been different.


Breathe said...

What a beautiful place and that sprinkler is a great idea!

It's always a challenge to get time with trainers. They are so focused on competitors (either kids or showing) that they don't seem to have an interest in plain ol' riders.

I think it makes a big difference that you are riding alone, do you? I know Canyon was better when we were out with a group.

fernvalley01 said...

Beautiful facilities . I guess I wonder if he was fine on the trails with her , did he have a long time off before you took him on trails?
I am a little surprised she didn't take you and Bombay out for a trail ride before you left , so you could get an idea how he handles on trails . Just curious

Lulu said...

Those sure are some beautiful horse properties!

My husband was crunching the numbers the other day and he really thinks that boarding was cheaper than keeping my horse at home. I was surprised by that!

Paint Girl said...

That first place is beautiful! Wish I could have a spread like that one!
When Brandy was in training and my trainer would ride her on the trails, she could get Brandy to be a perfect trail horse. You are right in that a lot of the time it depends on the rider. I was always nervous and tense on the trails but have since learned to breathe and relax when I go trail riding. It makes a world of difference!

HorseOfCourse said...

Lovely places!

You know, trail riding is not only about the rider, it is even more about how often the horse is out on trail.
What I mean is that if the horse is seldom out on trail, everything is new and scary, and he spooks.
If he is often out on trail he gets used to what happens, sees that it is not dangerous and spooks less.

How about your project on finding trail riding companions? Have thought anything more about it?

Mary Olson said...

Those are some nice boarding facilities. I hope I can find something suitable when my house sells. As for the trail riding, I worked my horse a lot in an outdoor arena to have some of the stimulus of the outdoors but there was a fence to prevent runaways. Then I rode around the outside of the arena. And gradually broadened where we rode. As soon as I felt any nervousness, I'd go back to where my horse was relaxed and always end on a good note. It takes time and patience but eventually we were able to go trail riding on real trails. If you have another person with a good trail horse, the process can go a little faster.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

When the trainer took him out on the trails, she did it once, and it was his first time out. She took him out by himself without any other horses.

There was some time off between then and me taking him out on the trails again, and I have been taking him out here and there over the past couple of years. It just seems like it takes ridiculously long for him to settle down and think, "Oh, I've done this before, this is no big deal."

Finding trail companions is going to have to wait until my work hours get under control. You have to work to be able to keep horses, and unfortunately work is what gets in the way of you being able to enjoy your horses.

Leah Fry said...

Gorgeous facilities.

Hope work is settling down a bit for you.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Another issue I've been having with riding is that when I do get a Thursday off from work, the thunderstorms roll in and I can't ride. It's going to happen yet again this week, and I don't want to have to spend all my vacation days sitting in the house, so I have to just work and not take my vacations on the stormy days. Then as soon as we have a clear and sunny Thursday, my boss says I have to work!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Those are some serious horse facilities. wow! And the vistas surrounding them our just gorgeous, too.

I know what you mean about the rider needing to be a good match for the horse. I've come to realize since putting Baby Doll on the pasture land near my house, that she is a true Alpha Horse.

She is fairly independant and not very tolerant of other horses unless they pass whatever rules she's made.
I watched her the other day, and she is able to move 5 other horses in any direction that she wishes just by giving them a look and some pinned ears.

Which is why she doesn't make the best beginner horse. She always has to be reminded that her rider is the alpha (and I don't think she ever truly believes it).

Ironically, in all of our rides out on the trails, she has done much better alone, just her and I. When other horses are around she gets annoyed and distracted by whatever they're doing or how they're acting.
She also seems not to like geldings as much as other mares. All three times that Baby Doll and I had an 'episode' it was always riding with my neighbor's gelding.

I hope all the planets align soon for you, so that you'll be able to get out and ride more often, NM.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - I'd love to put Lostine and Baby Doll together and see who pushes who around. It's hard to convince an alpha mare the the rider is really the alpha. That's interesting that having a gelding around has always been the deciding factor in whether Baby Doll misbehaves or not.