Saturday, August 6, 2011

And now....Summertime Bliss!

I took a 4-day weekend, and yesterday I loaded up my boy and took him to Salmon Brook Park to ride their lands and McLeans Game Refuge.  It was 78 when we left the barn, and with a 70% humidity it was muggy/warm, but the breeze kept it manageable and the clouds kept the sun from heating up the day.  

It was such a pleasure to ride alone, just the two of us.  Being able to ride at your own pace and stop when and where you want is divine.  At each stream we stopped mid stream and let the cold water cool G down.  About midway through the ride, I called David at Evening Shade Farm, where I bought G from some 9 years ago.  I wanted to thank him again for selling me such a wonderful horse.  We've certainly had our challenges and obstacles to overcome throughout the years, but he's kept me honest and continually seeking to improve as a rider.  We had a great conversation.  I always enjoy talking to David and hearing about the horses he and his wife are currently working with.  Interestingly enough, two minutes after I thanked David for such a wonderful horse, he spooked!  But of course!  Still not sure if it was deer or a coyote in the bushes next to where the trail turns to the next field, but it caused G to do a half hearted spin to the left.  We did quite a few circles to keep the feet moving and always in the direction of the trail. 

Even so, it was a great ride, and comparing yesterday's reaction to that of 8.5 years ago, it so paled in comparison.  The best part of all was that at no time did G want to rush back to the trailer, even when he knew we were headed in that direction.  It was probably the most relaxing ride I've ever had to date.  I think he loves standing in the streams and munching on grass, it makes his time out on the trail much more pleasurable.   And the bonus is that G is now loading into the trailer with just the one door open.  I used to have to open up the whole back and remove the center post.  I believe he's finally trusting me to take him away and bring him back unharmed to the place that he loves.

I took a couple of videos on my iPhone so I could remember the wonderful day we had.

Turn it up to hear the stream!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summertime Blues....

I've always loved summer.  Summer means spending lots of time outdoors, and once I had a horse, that meant trail riding, trail riding and more trail riding.  Well, not this summer.  We've gone from wet to hot, hot to cool, back to wet, and hot again.  It has created an environment for gnats, mosquitos and deer flies to not only exist but to thrive!  With the wetlands in and around this area, the woods out behind our boarding facility are impossible to traverse, as the moment you enter the woods, you are swarmed by deer flies.  I'm talking 30-40 at a clip.  I've never ever seen anything this bad.  The past two trail rides, I've trailered over to Salmon Brook Park and ridden there for a couple of hours.  Its been wonderful, but I miss the convenience of just riding out the back door so to speak.  Even riding the outdoor arena can be daunting between gnats and mosquitos.  One of the down sides is that G isn't in as good a shape as he was last year traversing the hills out back 3-4x a week.  It's definitely noticable under saddle, as he has lost some of his hind end strength.  All we can do is wait until the first frost that kills off the bugs and start enjoying our woods again.  

And like the annoying mosquitos and gnats, we have a new boarder coming in this week.  She's someone that two of us in the barn were very happy to leave behind at the old barn, which is closing its doors.  She is a non stop talker who thinks she is queen of the world and all that she surveys.  I can only hope she hates it and leaves.  Truly, I'm not sure I have the patience to deal with her any more. She really burned a couple bridges at the last place with me and hubby.  So I guess the only thing I really can hope for is the bugs to die off so I can spend more time on the trail and less time at the barn, lol!!  Praying for strength, I'm gonna need it.