Tuesday, September 17, 2013
A Riding Vacation!
Ellen and I like to take time off just so we can ride. We just did a 4-day weekend.
On the Wednesday before, I went for a ride with Kevin and Starry, and it was so hot and humid. We took it easy and didn’t go that far.
On Thursday, Ellen and I took Dante and Cole on a 5-mile ride. We crossed both rivers with ease. Ellen is getting very confident with the river and Dante and rewarded her with slow and careful crossings. It’s hard to believe he is the same horse that used to rush across and panic if his foot slipped. Now, if he slips, he slows down. Ellen then took Ranger on a short ride with me on foot. (I can’t keep up when they trot.) Ranger was very perky—and he was thrilled when he found Kevin on Starry on the trail. They came home with us.
It rained overnight, so the river was too high for Dante to cross. We were able to cross with Cole and Ranger, so we took them up to Ranger’s favorite trail—the show ring trail. I don’t know if Ellen will take Dante up there anytime soon—Ranger likes it too much. The goldenrod is in full bloom, and it was very, very pretty. Once again, Ranger was perky. Cole Train could barely contain himself for the first half hour. He settled down after that.
Kevin was babysitting, so he said that I could ride Starry on the second ride. I haven’t ridden Starry in years—since I always had 2 riding horses and Ellen had one. Unfortunately, because the river was too high for Dante, we stayed on the hill. The first time I trotted Star, I was shocked. I didn’t remember his trotting to be that rough. The only words that could come out of my mouth were, “This—is--wrong.” Each time I trotted him, I did a little better. I remembered Ellen saying that you had to post on the very first beat or it takes to long to coordinate your movement with his. That helped. Also, I had to make sure my timing never got behind his. He throws you up very high. In the end, I think I was doing pretty well. Ellen said Starry looked much better, too. I felt very satisfied to have accomplished so much. We did 3 trips on the hill. The only problem with the ride—it rained most of the time.
Saturday, the river was still too high for Dante. My younger niece came out, so I took her on a ride. She rode Ranger, and I rode Cole. Kevin joined us with Starry. It was a perfect September day, and all had a fine time—lots of trotting. Poor Ellen only had an arena ride and we met her on her way down the hill with Dante.
Sunday, we were able to take Dante and Cole on a ride together. This time, there was a lot more cantering and lots and lots of trotting. We crossed the second river via the ford, since it was too high for short horses like Cole. It is very deep there, and we are lucky to have the option. Dante did well with the ford. Ellen led him, just to be safe. She then rode Ranger while I walked on the trail. Even though it was Ranger’s fourth day in a row, he still did well. I think we have found the right balance of work for him.
Monday, it was back to work. Sigh… It didn’t mean I was done riding, though. I was scheduled to feed that night, so I went out to ride. The weather was very cool, but this was day 6 for Cole. I didn’t know how he would be feeling. We went on a short ride with Starry—since it gets dark so soon, now. Anyway, Cole was on fire. He had a lot of energy. We did some fast trotting and some super cantering, turned around and trotted quite a bit on the way home. The ride was only about 45 minutes, but it was intensely fun. Best part—in spite of a vigorous ride, both horses behaved beautifully.