Thursday, April 20, 2017

Another Little Buddy and Another Ride

I found this little buddy on the driveway last night...

I've seen it called both a Western Banded Gecko and a Desert Banded Gecko.  This one has leopard spots on the tail instead of bands.  It looked like a leaf, but I knew better, so I pulled the dogs away from it.  By the time I got my camera, it was hiding against the foundation of the house.

I fed the horses at 5:30 AM, which meant that Rock finished eating his breakfast as early as 8:30 AM.  He and Gabbrielle take three hours to eat one flake or slice of hay, while the senior horses take four hours.  It was still cool enough that early in the morning that I went for a trail ride again.

My neighbor was pushing a loud metal wheelbarrow with tools in it up his driveway toward his front yard.  I hoped he wouldn't bang a tool against it or fire up his chainsaw or hedge trimmer or weed whacker right when I rode past.  He didn't.  I made a point of focusing on where we were going, so that Rock would not gawk at him, and it worked this time.

Rock is so funny.  At one point during our ride, I became aware of something falling out of a bush just to the side and ahead of us, and then heard a thud.  I looked down to see that a squirrel had fallen out of the bush and landed right beside Rock's head.  Something like that would have sent any one of my Arabs high-tailing it home, but Rock just slowly side-stepped to avoid squashing the squirrel, while the squirrel jumped up and ran away from us.  He causally flicked and ear in its direction, but kept his eyes on the trail up ahead.  I laughed and said, "I guess something like that isn't new to you since you live outdoors.  Huh, Rock?"

He's getting so good about everything from holding still for the mount to watching where he places his feet so that he doesn't trip to listening respectfully when I tell him he can't snack on bushes.  Just a few weeks ago he would swish his tail and stomp his feet when I said no to snacks.  In fact, today I even tested him by taking him on a trail that was overgrown with grass and bushes.  I had to keep the reins tight so that he knew he didn't have the slack to do a snatch and run, but he did make it all the way down the trail without eating.  He's also getting softer and more responsive to my cues.  I thought the day would never come when I'd experience that.

We usually get our trash and recycling picked up two to three days a week right around mid to late morning when I like to ride, so it's always a challenge trying to get up the driveway and across the street before the trash truck arrives.  I was glad that I didn't ride yesterday, because the trash truck broke down right in front of the gate to the bridle trails.  They kept the engine running, and were working on the trash compactor, so there was quite a racket.  If I had been coming home from a trail ride at that time, I would have had to go out of my way to exit a different gate and ride up the street with traffic.

During the month of March, our area hit critical mass as far as the population of snowbirds is concerned, so our neighborhood had to be split up into different trash routes.  They started picking up our garbage last, at the very end of the day when I don't ride, so I was really happy to not have to deal with the trash trucks during my trail riding time.  However, now that most of the snowbirds have gone home, we are back to mid to late morning pickups.  By leaving at 8:30, I managed to miss the trucks, which made for a much more relaxing ride.  In fact, they weren't even in the neighborhood on our way home either.  I love being able to ride down the middle of the street without having to contend with drivers.

The streets were like a ghost town -- just the way I like it.  My neighbor was in his front yard doing something, but again I focused on where we were going, and Rock didn't even notice him.  I could get used to this lack of gawking from my horse.

We managed to cover a lot of ground without stepping on any snakes.

We're still loving our Two Horse Tack bridle and reins.


Camryn said...

I was going to ask how your feeling about the new tack. It's beautiful. Haven't ordered yet but, plan to get some buckle nose halters for the boys. I truly hope your able to continue your rides for a while longer. Be a shame to have the snowbirds leave then have to quit.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Camryn - Ha ha! That's usually exactly what happens. First, we wait all summer for it to cool down enough to ride, and then all the snowbirds show up and we have to desensitize our horses to all the traffic and noises in the neighborhood. Then the snowbirds leave and the temps instantly jump up into the triple digits, so that we can't ride.

Yeah, I really do like this tack. It goes on and off easy and nothing flops in his eyes. It's lightweight.

Crystal said...

Sounds like the perfect ride.
And wow your horses are slow lol mine are such pigs, Jess can eat a flake of hay in less than half hour! I'm gonna have to start getting up and feeding earlier so I can ride before it gets too hot, I hope I have another month of nice weather before that happens but I doubt it

TeresaA said...

It sounds like a great ride. I'm glad that you are getting more time in the saddle.

Linda said...

Yes, your horses are very slow eaters. Mine are also pigs. Every one of them eats fast. You sure have some great riding around you and Rock has just become more and more solid. Maybe you'll get a mild summer this year.