Three for Three
Half day of school so I was home by 2 PM. It was a beautiful day.
I saddled up Toby, put on his bug armor and some good mosquito spray and headed out for a hack. I decided to go around the lake in the back as we have not been there since early spring. The ground was dry so it was nice even in the spots that have been boggy. But then I did reach a mud puddle across the whole trail and when we tried to go around it--there was no way to tell what the footing was like in it--I had to cut through the brush. So far, so good. Toby is good at trailblazing.
But then, up ahead, right where the trail narrows beside the lake, some fisherman had hung up a black plastic bag for trash. Good points for them. Bad points for Toby. If there is one thing that scares Toby besides mylar balloons, it's plastic bags. Especially plastic bags hanging up where they should not be.
Decision time. Had I room to work him, we would have been fine but the lake was literally within three feet and I don't know how the lake floor drops off, so if we had gone in I'm not sure what might have happened. I dismounted.
Trouble is, once I'm off, I have no way of getting back on without a fairly substantial mounting block of some sort. There was nothing past the bag. There was nothing on the far side of the lake. There was nothing...until I was all the way around the lake, back into the woods and halfway back on the trail home. Phooey. Suffice it to say I had a nice walk WITH Toby instead of ON Toby. Once remounted, we took the longer route home. We were out for at least 45 minutes, maybe an hour.
I saddled Chance up next. He was positively delighted to be going out for a hack. I took him on a ride he's never been on since the flooding has blocked that trail. It was dry today and we had several places where we could trot. The gnats were bothering him around his muzzle as I'd not put any mosquito repellant there, but otherwise, he was a "happy camper," and we had a nice ride--fairly long for him.
I tried riding Tucker up the little hill to do some trot work behind the new run-in, but a squirrel rustled around in the bushes nearby, Tucker startled, threatened to buck, and then kept on dancing. I went back into the arena and trotted some strange patterns around Chance and Toby before finally heading out for a short hack.
Tucker was perfect. Once he had a few tree leaves/branches in his mouth, he was totally relaxed--in a squirrel-free environment--and we had a lovely ride. There are several very low fallen trees across the trail in one spot. I'd trotted Chance over them, so I decided I try the same with Tucker. What a boy!! He actually jumped them, very quietly. I was delighted.
To be frank, Tucke has been scary more than once out of the arena, so managing two little jumps in the forest is acutally a big accomplishment. As I was riding, I was thinking how much "nerve" I have lost over the years. I'm particularly a nervous rider, but I am far more cautious than is probably warranted. Toby is a bad spooker, so it's not so much fun to frolic about with him. When Tucker gets riled, he bucks, so he's no fun in a frolic. Here's hoping Chance will keep his level head and be a horse I can "play" with out in the field.
Time will tell. But for now, I had a wonderful day today!!