Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trail Training Newsletter #111 - Friday Night Ride

Friday Night Ride

It was a long, long winter. I only ride Cruiser out on the trail when conditions are good, due to bowed tendon paranoia. That has never been a big problem in the past, because there were plenty of times that I could take Mingo out instead. One cold weather trail ride is enough in a day. This year, of course, that wasn’t the case. I had no winter horse.

Towards the end of December, I was able to ride Cruiser on the hill, but the river was too high to cross. Then, the snow started. Though we had a thaw in January, I still couldn’t get Cruiser out before the weather turned sour. We had so much snow in February that I was still riding in the arena. Ellen and Kevin got to do some hill work, but the river was frozen.

The snow took forever to melt, but finally, in the middle of March, we got some really warm weather and the snow vanished. One Friday evening, I was able to rush out to the barn right after work to get in a quick hill ride—the first since December.

I walked into the barn, and found Mingo standing in the corner of his stall—surrounded by uneaten hay and grain still in his dish. My heart sank, but the sun was doing the same. This was before Daylight Savings. I couldn’t wait—I had to get my ride in before dark.

I hurriedly saddled Cruiser and out we went. He was excited, and so was I. I was halfway down the hill, when I found myself smiling. Yes, even in the sad state I was in, my trail ride lifted my spirits. I was back where I belonged.

Cruiser and I did 3 trips on the hill, that night. The river was way too high to consider crossing, but I didn’t care. I was riding on the trail. It even did some trotting on some of the level areas.

I went back to the barn to take care of Mingo with a little lighter heart. Mingo may have even sensed my mood; because he was in the best mood I had seen him in a month. I had turned him out in the arena, and he came and stood by me to get his face petted, and he stayed there for about 15 minutes. When he started to look like he was getting uncomfortable, I went to get him a treat to lure him in. When I called him, he came to me—the first time in a long time. Instead of going to his stall and leaning on the wall or pouting in his corner, he decided to finish his grain.

It was a good day all around.

I went home with the smile still on my face.

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