Out on a Hack
Lovely, cool and breezy day.
I took Toby out on a nice hack first, going back to where the flooding is not--after a relatively dry summer--and then back through the woods. Met one quiet, thank goodness, ATV when we were still in the field, so Toby did not startle too badly.
Again the ATV's are illegal in the State Park where I ride, but that does not stop them. Now that the gas prices are lower, the riders are out. I'm hoping this week they will not be riding. I am off from school all week and want to get some relaxing rides in.
I took Chance out next and took him on a longer ride, going along the back of the old farm we are trying to preserve and then looping back. When I started along the back of the farm, another ATV came out of the woods. The guy rode right into the field where I was, but he did keep his speed slow enough so his engine did not roar. That still set Chance into a bit of excitement. He was a little "fizzy" (borrowing Caroline's phrase) on the way out anyhow and insisted on trotting and then cantering a bit on the dirt road along the cornfield. He was strong to the rein with his head up rather than down, but I never quite felt as if I couldn't stop him if I needed to.
After the ATV, though, the fizz bubbled over and he kept jogging off with his head way up. Again, he wasn't out of control and he didn't feel really unsafe, but I hate that head up thing. I just kept on half halting until finally, he put his nose down and stretched into a nice big, eager walk.
He really settled down once we were back in the woods instead of in the more open areas. I've only taken this trail once before with him and in the opposite direction, so it was quite an interesting outing for him. He's a good, solid fellow and just needs a few more miles under his hoofs out in the big world.
Because I'd given him a good school yesterday, I decided to lunge Tucker instead of riding. And I set up a little grid of two jumps at a "no stride" distance. I think it's the first time I've challenged him with this gymnastic problem.
After a nice session of trot and canter on each rein, I set him at the jumps. (only about 1 foot high) He figured it out easily, but found it exciting enough to do some bucks and gallops at it and after it. Then I added a third little no stride jump and he really started being silly. I settled him down into a trot approach and then switched directions. On the left lead, he was a little more settled, but still ready to be silly if I gave him a chance. We did managed to get some nice passes, eventually, so he finished up the workout quite well.
He did work up a sweat though, so I sponged him lightly, dried him with a towel and put on his breathable sheet for the night. He should be just fine. It's chilly out, but not cold and he will dry quickly on his own.
If you didn't notice the post below, you can see my Halloween costume and my kitties. No pics today, but I do hope to go out in the woods with my camera to take some shots of Tucker's trail through the woods. It's only about a 15-20 minute ride at the walk, but for him it's a big deal. Despite his weeks with Kenny, he is not the most reliable hack I've ever been on--and heaven forbid should he meet an ATV out there!!
Wish they would all just stay home.