Monday, December 29, 2014

Trail Meet Up with the Girls

Blogger Christine of How Sam Sees It and I got a chance to ride together today.  That last time we rode together was around Thanksgiving of 2013.  She brought her trusty Palomino mare Maggie, and I rode Lostine.

I thought Lostine might be a better choice to ride over Rock for two reasons:  One is that Lostine is a fast walker so she'd have an easier time keeping up with Maggie, and two is that if something happened and I was forced to dismount, I could get back on her and it wouldn't be the end of our trail ride.

We had planned to meet on the far side of the road from my perspective between our barns.  I had never ridden Lostine across a street with painted lines and traffic, so I wasn't sure how she would do with that.  She does get nervous whenever I lead her toward that road, and once we cross either road on each side of our part of the desert, she makes it very clear that she is out of her comfort zone.  She usually runs circles around me on the lead rope and whinnies at the top of her lungs.  I guess she's calling out for any horses in the area to come rescue her.  She's always been more of a horse's horse than a people pony.

I was hoping that Christine and Maggie would reach our meeting spot before we did to help coax her across the road, but it turned out that I lost track of time and got a late start, so Christine just crossed the street and came to my side to meet me.  Here's where Lostine first met Maggie...

We rode past the fallen saguaro and let the horses check it out...

Maggie was good about getting up close to it, but Lostine just kept jetting down the trail ignoring my cues to stop and wait.

I showed Christine where I put the concrete mounting block, so if she ever needs to use it with her tall Friesian Baron, she knows where it is.

At one point I got stern with Lostine because she was racing Maggie for the lead position and I said, "Slow down!"   I looked over to see Christine slowing Maggie down and said, "Oh, sorry.  Not you.  I was talking to Lostine."  Oops.  Hee hee.

It was fun getting caught up on what's been going on with Christine.  I rode with her back to the street, and then turned for home.  I was interested in seeing how Lostine would handle splitting apart.  She did pretty well with meeting and riding with a new horse for the first time.  She threw a few stink eyes at Maggie when Maggie walked beside her or tried to pass, so I just kept on Lostine about her attitude.  We knew that Maggie would not nip at Lostine when she rode behind or beside her, but Lostine didn't know that, so she was on guard.

Lostine walked away from Maggie just fine until we reached the horse rescue.  Then Lostine's tail shot straight up into the air, she called out to those horses, and starting doing the jig.  I guess she was feeling really confident having just shared the trails with a new horse, so she was calling for the horses at the rescue to come out to play.  About half-way through our ride, my spastic colon started acting up, so I thought I was going to split a gut with all that dancing around.  I decided to dismount and walk the rest of the way home in hopes that I could walk off the pain.

When we were walking down the driveway, we found a strange woman in our backyard taking pictures.  She quickly climbed through the fence into the neighbor's yard and started looking in their windows.  She was obviously a home shopper.  I can't stand it when people trespass, but I decided not to chew her out because she had several other things going for her.  She was my age and not a retired person who would most likely just sit on the porch all day staring at me.  She didn't have any loose dogs with her.  The car she came in was one of those quiet eco-cars and not one of those loud diesel trucks with mag wheels like most of the house hunters have shown up in.  And despite peering in the windows of the house next door, she did not watch me closely.  She actually showed no interest in my activities while I untacked Lostine and put her away, which means that she can probably mind her own business should she become my new neighbor.

She flushed a coyote out of its den when she went bushwhacking down by the wash.  I also saw two coyotes on my way out to meet Christine, and another on the way home.  I think the coyotes were out because they are trying to stock up on rabbit stew before the big New Year's storm.  Right after I went inside the house, The Mad Pruner traipsed through my back yard to go dig up and/or plant stuff in the arroyo.  I contemplated sneaking down there and then shaking a tree while making loud growling noises, but then I realized that he might carry a handgun.  Sigh.  'Tis the season for trespassing.  Again.  My husband mentioned that the lady with the loose dogs has been coming around and letting them poop in our yard again.  There are quite a few dog turds over on the side of our property where we never take our own dogs.  He said that next time he sees her, he's going to tell her to cut it out and to keep those dogs on leashes since they charged my horses one day when we were riding.

Christine and I are planning on riding together more often.  She invited me on a long ride to the river, but I've got some hesitations.  Rock is brave enough to go on a long ride with horses he doesn't know, but if something happens and I have to dismount, then I can't get back on him without a tall mounting block.  I weigh too much to expect someone to give me a boost up.  Those days are gone.  I don't have that issue with Lostine, but she was stretching her neck out like she had a kink in it after just an hour and a half of riding today.  It might be too much for her.  Gabbrielle is still lame, and I don't trust Bombay anymore, so we are probably just going to work on shorter rides together, and try something new each time to expand my horses' comfort zones.

I'm adding in a picture Christine took of me.  This is what I look like with my cactus-proof vest and GoPro on my helmet.


Cheryl Ann said...

Glad you had a good ride today! :-)
Cheryl Ann

How Sam Sees It said...

We had a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to riding with you again. :)

Venom said...

How about trying the click n lock stirrups Nuz?
They will give you 4 more inches of stirrup closer to the ground for you, and once you're mounted you just lift your toe into the trigger and the stirrup pops & locks back into it's proper position for riding.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Tried 'em. Hate 'em. You have to be physically fit and lightweight for that product to work. All I do is swing under the horse's belly and fall on my ass. Then when I click the stirrup up, the horse spooks and I wind up on my ass again. Some solutions are worse than the problem.

achieve1dream said...

Yay a picture of you!! I so want a vest like yours. :)

How tall is Maggie? If you have to dismount can you switch horses? Or maybe Christine has a short horse you could ride? I hope you guys can figure something out. I wish I was out there riding with you both!!