Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hacking in the Woods

Three Good Boys

As I was riding Toby along the woods trail today, I recalled how, when I was ten or so, I used to play out there, riding my bike or my wooden stick horse, pretending I was galloping along on a noble steed. Fifty years later, here I was, astride a noble chestnut living the dream I'd had for as long as I could remember.

I can't recall when I first fell in love with horses, but I also cannot recall when I did not love horses. I started a savings account when I was ten, and when I graduated from college and got my teaching job--the one I am retiring from--the first thing I did was start looking for a horse of my own. I'd leased a great old fellow--Tawny--but that was not the same as my own horse. I lucked into buying Russell R. and the rest is history. I think I got to ride Russell in the woods at least once, maybe twice, so I did fulfill a portion of my dream then. But horses in the back yard and riding those trails any time I wanted to....

Of course, I don't exactly gallop around out there. My rides on Tucker are pretty sedate--all walk. I haven't really tried much more with him as he has that "explosive" streak. Toby and I trot and canter now and then. Chance seems to be the right temperament to have some fun on, though. Fact is, there really aren't too many places where the footing and distances are good enough to really go anyhow. PJ and I used to have a nice gallop along the back of the farm, and the other day, I gave Chance a nice long trot out there. I'd do more with Toby, but his tendancy to spook can make things pretty hairy as he will do it from any gait, at any speed. Call me chicken, but I'm not quite up to sitting out those dramatic moments with the security I used to have riding.

But we'll see. As I get more fit, I may play around some more. I do know that today, Chance trotted happily along the wooded trail for a bit, just because he wanted to. And he felt great doing it. I do think, though, that for more serious trail work/hacking I need to shorten my stirrups a hole or two to give me a stronger leg position for the more "cross country" kind of work. I have my stirrups at dressage length and, with my knees, that doesn't give me a lot of strength in a more forward seat.

Regardless of the gaits, I had a grand time riding everyone out there today. And, to top it off, a minibike raced past in the field after Tucker and I had turned off into the woods. He just gave it and interested glance and didn't even flinch. That was pretty impressive as far as I was concerned. I gave him the extra carrot when we got back to the barn.

More frustrations for Stacie as the horse did not vet out according to her needs. She is going to get a second opinion on the xrays, but from what she's told me, it doesn't look too good. Bummer. He seems to be a really nice horse.

Meanwhile, our former trainer, Chris, called her to say he has an older schoolmaster for her to lease/buy if she is interested. This horse is supposed to be schooled to 3rd-4th level. That might work out as a temporary solution, but she really does want something younger that can offer her many years of riding.

Things were looking so promising. Now it's back to almost square one. If only we were in Britain, I'd get Caroline looking for her. She seems to find good horses every place she goes!! *G*


  1. Anonymous6:19 AM

    It's wonderful that you get to ride your good boys in the same places you played as a child. Sorry to hear about Stacie's horse - good horses with bad x-rays are heartbreakers. I hope something works out for her soon.

  2. I am glad you are enjoying your boys as teh weather settles down.

    Sorry for Stacie. It is always teh case, good horses are usally damged simply because they are used. The difficult one are always very sound!

  3. Well good on Tucker! Curious how you felt/reacted as you heard the mini-bike, understanding Tucker's ways & wiles and what could happen . . .

  4. shame stacie can't get Zip!

    sounds like you're chilling out nicely there...and so is tuck, only giving a glance to a bike

  5. My older sister claims that she put pictures of horses in my crib when I was a baby. She loves horses too but I am the one with the obsession. My two brothers don't care at all, nor do my boys. It's just as well as it's the most expensive obsession I can think of.