Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Spring...Trail Riding at last!!

Yesterday was just a perfect weather day, especially seeing that its March. By noontime the sun was out and temps were hitting 62. I loaded up my western tack and headed to the barn.

I double checked saddle fit first; something I like to do every spring "just in case". Good to go! I just recently trimmed G and trimmed a hair too short, so I put on his front hoof boots, tacked him up and off we went.

The dreaded bridge...what bridge? G didn't even hesitate for a moment. Good Boy!! We did have a few moments of "hey mom lets turn around here", but I simply did a turn on the forehand and headed back out toward the river. Did I say how I love dressage? It certainly has given me an arsenal of tools! We did encounter one quad and small bike and I asked G to stand off in the woods while they passed and he did his imitation of a piafe, lol.

I could hear more atv's out along the river so I decided to cut down a trail that I haven't been on since the first year I was there. It's usually flooded over at the end hence the reason I don't follow it. So we're following the trail and it kinda disappears. I wasn't sure which direction to take and because of the way the marsh floods I hesitated to go toward the river. I looked to the left and saw the corn fields up above, but we'd have to cross a little stream. Hey no biggie right?

Well, we descend and suddenly G goes from ankle deep water to chest high water. I'm thinking the stream bottom is not sand but mud. I encourage him onto the bank. Next thing I know his left leg is over his knee in mud. At this point I have to say I'm so proud of myself. Instead of panicking, I gave G his head held onto his mane and just let him do his thing. He worked himself out and up the bank to the field. I'm really proud of him, as I'm thinking he's going to buck when he gets himself out of this mess. Nope. BUT he was extremely tense. Since there was no grass to be found I decided to just let him keep moving. Once we got through this field we found that they had let the next corn field go to grass so I steered him over and gave him his head....yum yum yum. He spent about 10 minutes grazing and I asked him to move on. He was now much calmer. Still a little high headed since he knew we were headed home, but at least we weren't jigging anymore!

When we got back to the barn I took him up to the track to work another 20 minutes. It's our routine. Go home, get to work some more. He was gaiting so well, and we had more lift in the canter which was sooo nice. While I was untacking G, the owner who was sitting at the end of the barn yelled over "what do you have on his feet, bell boots?". I told her they were his hoof boots. Then she asked if I had ridden him on the track with them. I said yeah why? She said that he had more animation and looked smoother than she'd ever seen him. It was nice to have confirmation of what I was feeling! I think I'm going to continue to ride him in the boots...cause the canter was awesome. Did I say how much I love spring, oh wait that was dressage? lol.