Thursday, October 16, 2014

Long, Overdue Update

I haven’t blogged for a while because I have had a cold, and it has taken away my creative energy. It hasn’t stopped me from riding, of course.

Ellen and I had a 4-day weekend, last weekend. The park was paving the road by the northern trails, but we still had the southern trail. It isn’t as long, but we were just glad they weren’t paving there, too. The weather was nice and the horses were great. We had lovely rides.

On Saturday, we were able to go north, so we decided to go on a long ride. We hadn’t done it for a while because of everything going on in the park and all the paving. This is the ride we used to go on with Ranger and Cruiser in their youth. For the first time, Ellen was brave enough to cross the big river on Dante. The only time I handled him was to lead across the busy ford. He was perfect for everything, of course.

The whole ride went well, but we were still disappointed. Now that we didn’t have any new goals to accomplish over there, we were just frustrated. These used to be awesome trails that we could trot and canter most of the way. It was a thrill to go ride fast and far. The problem—the trails are still a mess from the big spring flood. There is gravel, everywhere. We would trot for a minute and walk for a minute. This went on most of the way. Towards the end, it got better, but we were anxious to get home. We had to turn before we got to the best part of the trail. It took us 3 hours to do a ride we used to do in 2 hours. We got back right in time for the horses to get their noontime meal—and Ellen wasn’t able to ride Ranger.

It was disheartening to look forward to being able to go on the long, fast and far rides and find out that we can’t do it anymore. We can do really long, slow rides where we feel guilty with every bad step the horses take on all the stones. We can’t have what we used to have until they do some repair work, and they are too busy worrying about repaving the road. I don’t know if anything will ever happen. They did do a little repair work on the other short trail, but not all that much—though we will take anything we can get.

The next disappointment of the weekend happened on Sunday. Our niece, Missy, was home from college and was supposed to ride with us. She called me in the morning as sick as a dog and cancelled. (Turned out she has mono—no wonder why she felt so horrible.) We did the ride that we planned, just the same. It was time to go to the show ring. Missy never went up there before, and she would have loved it. We had a great ride. The weather was perfect for October, the trees were lovely and the trail up there is far from the river, so it’s never harmed by flooding. We trotted and trotted and trotted. It was fun. We met Kevin and Starry on the way home. It was the best ride of the weekend.

My evening rides have been short. I just don’t have much time before it gets dark. I rush home, eat, feed Thunder and Maggie, take Maggie on a short walk and rush to the barn. I can saddle in less than 5 minutes and be on the trail, but I can’t go far. When I get back, I ride the loop in the back of the property in the dark. I was unable to do this with Cole last year due to misbehavior, so I am happy I can do it now. I am just not ready to ride in the indoor arena—maybe next week if the weather is bad. I just can’t do it, yet.


Mariodacat said...

So happy you were able to at least get out and ride together, even if it wasn't as far or exactly as you had anticipated. It sounds lovely to me. I'm not sure I'd be in a hurry to cross a river either on a horse, so can appreciate Ellen's hesitation. I know once you are experienced and have done it a couple of times, it's probably easy.

achieve1dream said...

Aww sorry for the disappointments. I hope you and Missy are both feeling better. I'll keep my fingers crossed the weather holds out a while longer so you don't have to start riding in the arena yet.