Friday, November 23, 2012

Through the Woods

A Sunny, Beautiful Day on Horseback

I rode today.

Tucker was first, in in the arena. We did just some basic walk, trot, canter, not asking for too much. Aside from a few laid back ears and a few minor protests, he was a good boy. Canter departs were prompt and after a stretch of canter, his trot became nice and forward.

Since Thoroughbreds were bred to gallop, sometimes canter is the best way to warm them up for more intensive work. I have always found that cantering improves Tucker's trot and willingness to work for me.

Then, just for fun, we jumped the little jump I had set up for the lungeing sessions. It's only about 18"-20" or so, enough to ask for a little jump over and no drama.  Once again, Tucker was great about it. He never rushed and was quite willing to take my hand an let me rate him and place him for takeoff. No big challenge, but it's been years since I've done any serious jumping, so I am pretty pleased it went that well--in a dressage saddle no less.

After I finished with Tucker, I saddled Chance up for a trail ride.

Out we went, into the woods.

Oh, my goodness!! Devastation everywhere! Huge trees are down everywhere. We are talking trees with three foot diameter trunks. And worse, a good number of them are not blocking my lovely woodland roads. There was, of course, a way around most of them, but it was tricky going. In several places, if I still were riding my Russell--the super eventer--I would have some perfectly lovely obstacles to jump. The trunks were across the road with good footing on both sides. BUT, I am no longer up to such excitement and don't have a horse trained for it, so I will just have to keep on going around. There certainly is no way to clear trees that size out of the way. *sigh*

Fortunately, Chance has a level head and, although he too was pretty wary of many of the fallen trees, he cooperated really nicely about the go arounds and really proved himself as a trail master.

On the way back home, I managed to get us lost. Well, not really lost as I could always see the way out of the woods in front and on the side, but lost from the proper trail.. Once I did find it--nearly at the end, I realized I had gone far west of its proper location. The funny thing is, Chance knew where it was and kept trying to get me to steer him to the east. I was no disoriented by the fallen timber that I just didn't listen to him. Next time out, I'll take that trail into the woods so I'll see where it actually is and what it looks like now. That way, the next time I ride the trail in the other direction, I might actually not wander about in silly confusion.

Maybe I should have just dropped the rein and let Chance take us home. Clearly he had more brains about it than I  did.

Guess it's going to take a lot more rides through the woods before I figure out how to enjoy the trails again. Right now, it's rather a tricky adventure.

It looks like a hurricane came through or something............


  1. I'm so glad you got to ride. It was a beautiful day to be in the saddle. Jumping in a dressage saddle...hmm. That could get uncomfortable with bigger jumps. Bet it was fun though.

    I can see how you could get disoriented on the trails with all the trees down. Chance is a good boy and seems he has a good sense of direction too. Glad he got you home safe and sound.

    Wonder if there is some environmental agency that could be called to saw those trees up. Or maybe someone looking for a load of firewood for the winter to sell or use? Probably the only good thing that will come out of the trees blocking the trail might be to keep the motorized vehicles away. Or maybe Chance is destined to be a jumper!

  2. Anonymous6:37 PM

    Glad you finally had some decent weather for riding - sounds like both boys were very cooperative.

  3. We have had some great riding weather here too. So glad you got out. It's good for you! All those trees - I suppose that no one is going to come along and cut them, push them aside and make your trail rideable again. On the other hand the downed trees might discourage ATVs and the errant toy fire engine.

  4. would all those trees down stop the off road bikers? that would be a bonus, if so, and worth your diversions round them... - Oh, ML's said that....great minds and all that, LOL

  5. isn't it funny how most horses have that homing compass in their heads! will anyone ever clear those downed trees off the trails? or will new trails just grow around them permanently?
    - The Equestrian Vagabond