Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Trail

Cleared and Ridden

I hiked the new trail this morning with my tree trimmer and weed whip.  I marked it yesterday, so I knew where I was going and where the briars were.  Clearing them was no big deal as I had chosen a path that was pretty clear already.  I had to trim a few branches and after about an hour's work, I had a path across what was once my Grandmother's corn field.

I had to get the car registration renewed and the car inspected, so that took up the bulk of the early afternoon--trying to get to motor vehicle when there was a short line in the inspection station took a bit of effort and, essentially, three trips over.  (It's only about 2 1/2 miles or so from my house.

That done--car passed just fine--I decided I needed to see if the trail was "horse friendly."

I saddled up Chance and started off with a bit of walk-trot in the arena. He is not 100% sound on his hind end going to the left. My farrier and I, as well as my vet, suspect he has a bit of a stifle issue on the right.  Going on that concept, the only thing that is going to make it better is to leg him up and build some muscle there.  And, the only way to really do that is to trot.  So, I am going to try my hardest to be diligent over the next several weeks to see how he improves with some proper fitness.  After about a week of trotting on the flat, I will add some hill work to the program.

But, on to the trail.  I may have missed a little branch or two at rider height, but nothing serious. Otherwise, the little trail is just fine.  At the most, it might take ten minutes to ride at a walk from gate to gate--maybe less--but it's a nice little break from the arena and might well be a good way to cool off after a schooling session.  I would have taken Tucker out too, but my knees said "not today."  The added work of clearing the trail was just about enough extra exercise for them before a ride.

I veered off the little trail into the woods with Chance to be out longer, as it was a lovely day. Then, on the way back, I took the new trail again, and this time turned towards home at the end instead of into the woods. I can't say Chance was overly pleased, but he's a good boy out in the "wild" and a nice steady ride.

I think my next mission is to see if I can blaze a trail out to where my Grandmother's house used to be with the intent of getting out to the dirt road that heads back to the lake. If I can manage that, I'll be able to add another "local loop" to the trails I already have, giving us some variety without having to go too far from home. Unfortunately the trail around the lake has been so rutted up by the ATV's that places are nearly impassable when it's wet. It really used to be a lovely ride, but no more. However, I do wonder if I hiked some of the high ground out there--perhaps with some friends--if we might find ways to get the horses around the worst of the swampy stuff.

Meantime, I'll do some adventuring closer to home and see what I can do to give myself some friendly places to go.  Hopefully, Tucker will appreciate it.


  1. Neat! I especially love the provenance of your trails. Trail riding is one of my favorite things to do on horseback. It combines my two favorite things. There's just something so perfect about being out in beauty of nature on the back of a horse.

    Spider has learned to be quite good about standing still while I cut down the little rider height branches. Really, he's the best ladder for that job, since he's just the right height!

  2. Good for you for clearing an extra trail to ride on. It was a beautiful day and I'm sure it was lovely to be out on a trail with Chance. Like you I like to take them for a nice trail ride to cool off after a work session. I think they really appreciate being out of the arena for a while and allowed to be "wild" if only for a little bit.

  3. I think that's a great idea - to have some short trails close to home that are ATV free. Do you have cardinals there? We don't here but we do have chickadees and I heard one today.

  4. Great idea, to create your own trail. You can work out how many miles they are, and start fittening-up, your horses. What are you going to do about Chance's stiffle?
    For Teena's I read that I needed to build up her trot work and also introduce some up hill for strenthening her stiffle.