Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Lots of rides
I haven’t been blogging cuz we were too busy riding. Ellen and I took a couple days off last week, and we put them to good use.
Wednesday, we rode Ranger and Cole up to the show ring trails, and we had a really nice time. We then did a repeat of Sunday with Dante—we wanted to work on the second river crossing, again. Ellen rode him up to here, but I rode him across. He was a little reluctant to go in, but Ellen lured him with apples, and then he decided the river was the place to be. Once we made it across, I left Ellen in the dust and trotted to the end of the sewer plant trail and back until we met again. She let me ride him home as a reward for doing so well with him. She walked with us, though.
On Thursday, we were just about to saddle Cole and Dante—when the skies opened up and it poured. We waited around, but decided to ride Ranger instead of Dante. We thought the river might have risen. We were right. The first river was fine, but the second, deeper crossing was higher and muddy. We crossed on the ford, there.
Since we knew we could cross the first river, we took Dante on a solo ride with me on foot. Yes, Ellen rode across, and I got wet. Kevin came on foot to walk with me, because soon as she got across the river, this time Ellen left me in the dust. She trotted away to the second river and back until she met us, and then we walked home.
Our next ride was on Saturday. This would be Dante’s big debut on a Cole ride. He was great. We did a lot of trotting, and he didn’t mind if he was in the lead or following. Ellen rode across the first river, but was still nervous about the second, so we switched horses. For the first time, Dante didn’t hesitate with the bank or the river. She let me stay in the saddle. We went passed the place I where turned around on Saturday—to a trail unknown to Dante—Flane. It is really named Fall’s Lane for the street we cross, but Kevin used to abbreviate it as F. Lane on his calendar where he recorded his rides, so we started calling it Flane.
Flane can be tough because it is out in the open and closely parallels a busy street with houses on the other side. There are a lot of distractions—but Dante handled it like a champ. We trotted both ways.
On the way home, he did hesitate at the second river bank, but Cole took the lead and he readily followed. After crossing, we switched horses and headed home.
Ellen worked on Sunday, so I went on a 2.5 hour ride with Cole and Kevin on Starry. We had a great time, but a half hour from home, Cole must have hit a bad rock and bruised his heel. He was fine on the flat, but very sore on any stones. It put a shadow over a lovely ride. We soaked it when we got home, and then we came back in the evening to soak it again.
Ellen graciously let me ride Dante on Monday evening with Kevin and Starry. She wanted him to do the second river one more time before she rode him. He was just awesome crossing it away from home. He hesitated on the bank going towards home, so I asked Kevin to bring Starry past. Starry crowded us on the trail, and then swung his rump into Dante’s chest. He stood like a statue. (Cole would have climbed a tree.) He then walked down the bank. He is totally ready for Ellen.
Cole was putting all his weight on his foot. I think he will be back to normal in no time. I don’t have any shoes in the back, and his heels got worn down too much—making them vulnerable. I will put shoes on him next year, for sure, because Ellen and I are going to be riding way more miles!!!