Sunday, December 31, 2006

Over the Water and Through the Woods

Out on the Trail Again

I took Toby out first today. I thought I'd check to see just how bad the trail around the little lake in the back was. It was.

This is a restored sand mine. The State of New Jersey took a lot of time and effort to change the big hole the mining company had left into a neat little natural lake. At one time, there was a nice pathway all around it. Over time, the mini-bikes and ATV's have rutted it up to the point that there are numerous places where the water just settles into big swampy mud puddles. It is near to the swamp proper, so the land does not drain well to start off with, but at one time, except for a patch in the back, the trail was nice enough that I could trot.

No more. Picking your way along trying to find some good footing in the water, or trying to avoid the water for better footing takes total concentration and a careful walk. Toby is wonderful about it all and will go willingly through the water if need be. But we had to be cautious since it was hard to tell how good the ground was under us. It might be OK again in the summer if we have a good dry spell, but for now, I think it's far too much of a challenge for Tucker and I'm not too keen on taking Chance there either.

When I got back, Chance and Tucker were playing tag in the arena, behaving like a couple very silly cl0wns. I looked down at Tucker's feet and sure enough, he had pulled a front shoe. I found it a few feet away, lying in the sand.

Perfect. The last day of the year, and, since rain is predicted for New Year's Day, my last chance to ride him out on the trail with some dry footing and he had to lose a shoe. I guess I should have ridden him first instead of Toby.

So, I saddled up Chance and once more he eagerly headed out for adventure. This time, I took him down the trail to the lake but instead headed up along the ridge. We had to pass the horse-eating monster gray rock, but Chance never gave it a second look. Quite a contrast to both Toby and Tucker who are totally convinced the boulder has jaws and is going to jump out to get them.
Once again, Chance proved himself a super trail horse.

I told him when we got back that he was already a "trailmonger," and soon he would be a "trailmeister." What a gem of a horse he is.

So far, all looks to be in line for a really good New Year. Here's hoping all who read, and all who visit, and everyone who never sees this blog find 2007 to be prosperous and full of joy.

Happy New Year to All!

1 comment:

  1. happy new year to you too! sounds like you're gonig to have a really good one with chance ... lots of longer and longer trail rides! schooling while you go as well. Impressive that he's so non spooky so young, hope nothing ever turns him the other way!