Thursday, June 20, 2013

June Trail Ride

I thought I was done with trail rides until September or October when the nights begin to cool down enough for us to have cool mornings, but yesterday I came home from Scrappy's vet appointment and realized that between a cooler temperature and nice breeze, I could probably go on a trail ride.  BUT FIRST I had some things to do, and by the time I got out to the barn half an hour later it felt like the temps had risen about 20 degrees, so I had to abandon that plan.

My husband encouraged me to try to go on a trail ride this morning before it got too hot, so I fed the horses a little before 5:00 AM, waited for my husband to finish getting ready for work, took my shower, fed the dogs, waited half an hour to give Midge her insulin and other medications, and headed for the door to go on a trail ride.  BUT FIRST I had to go to the bathroom.  I was so frustrated.  I was like, "No no no!  Not now!  I've only got a few minutes before the sweltering heat sets in."

But I knew I had to take care of business or it would be an uncomfortable trail ride.  I scurried outside and let out a sigh of relief because I still felt a nice breeze.  The weather wasn't unbearable just yet.  I looked up to find P.S. lunging Lostine in the arena.  Awesome.  My ride was already prepped with ground work.  I asked P.S. if she she'd like to go on a trail ride and the biggest smile spread across her face.  She said she's tired of riding in the arena.  I don't blame her.  It gets boring really fast.

We saddled up Lostine and Bombay.  She lunged Bombay in the saddle while I led Lostine around the property to get her used to her Old Macs and to tighten the cinch a little at a time.  Her back and wither conformation has changed a lot as she ages, and the Tucker trail saddle we got for her a few years ago when the Arabian saddles didn't fit her anymore is now too narrow for her.  I'm hoping that Rock's extra-wide saddle tree with FQHB will fit her when it arrives.

As I was circling the house I saw that the trash didn't look like it had been picked up yet.  I asked P.S. if she noticed if the trash truck had been by yet.  She hadn't.  I said we would have to hurry up and get across the street before the trash truck shows up in order to avoid a potentially bad situation.  The horses ignore the trash truck when they are in the barn or arena, but I'm sure they would react differently with a rider and being in the front yard in close proximity to the trash truck.

Of course, as soon as I set up Lostine next to the mounting block I heard the trash truck approaching.  I told P.S. we should hold off until it passes.  However, it wasn't coming into view. I finally spotted it two streets away.  I said, "There it is.  If we hurry, we have a couple of minutes before it reaches my house."

Lostine was stellar and did not walk off when I mounted.  P.S. mounted and we headed up the driveway with the sound of the trash truck roaring down the street behind us.  Now it was one street away.  Lostine sensed my urgency and was fast-walking on alert.  I decided I had better slow her down so as to not make Bombay anxious.  She immediately slowed with just a squeeze of the reins.

I taught P.S. to halt the horses and look both ways before crossing streets even if she already knows the road is clear, because I want the horses to get into that habit.  However, since I knew it was only a matter of seconds before the trash truck turned up our street I told her I was skipping that step.  I pushed Lostine out into the street, and of course, one of my neighbors driving a diesel truck hauling a trailer had to be coming from the other direction.  We just kept the horses moving and cruised right through the gate.  I think Bombay was nervous when the truck drove behind him, because he passed Lostine on the trail head.

I could hear the trash truck coming up the street behind us from our left.  Once we were out away from the street everyone relaxed and we had a wonderful ride.  Since the horses haven't been trail ridden in about a month, I expected them to be nervous, but they didn't skip a beat once we were away from traffic.  They were in their element.  I gave credit to P.S. for keeping them tuned up three mornings a week.  Though no one has been trail riding them in this heat, P.S. has been doing ground work with them, lunging them, and riding in the arena.  It's when horses just stand around for a while that they get rusty, resistant and spooky.

I did hear a lot of bugs and one rattler shaking its tail when we rode down into the main arroyo, but it sounded far enough off to our right that I didn't worry about it.  If the rattlesnakes are out of their holes in the morning sun, they are often under bushes in the low laying areas like the washes.  Lostine did crab walk sideways while passing some appliance that someone dumped in the desert next to the trail.  There's been some recent dumping going on, as we passed two bed box springs that weren't there the last time I passed through.

It's so nice to have someone who can work with my horses when I get waylaid by problems.  I always feel guilty when I either don't feel well enough to work with the horses or am just too busy.  It was so nice to just be able to throw a saddle on a horse and ride out without having to do a ridiculous amount of prep work just to settle the horse down.  Hopefully, we will get another nice morning like this sometime in the near future.  I'll just have to stay on my toes and keep an eye out for it.


Cindy D. said...

Love it when things fall together like that. It's almost as if someone took your voodoo doll and surrounded it with rose petals and soft music! LoL

Marissa Rose said...

Yes! As long as you have someone responsible leasing your horses, it is sooooo helpful!! I say responsible, because even if they aren't super experienced or a genius regarding horses...if they are responsible then they will always make sure they are learning and working correctly with horses!

Crystal said...

Wonderful! Thats the hard part about summer here and probly way worse there is the times its nice to ride so much else is going on.

Cheryl Ann said...

That's great!