Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools Day Ride

Poor Ruffy is laid up with a cut on her frog. We've had some late nights at the barn caring for her, but we're hoping all will heal soon. In the meantime, she's been on stall rest with a bandaged foot until her Easyboot Glove Back Country booties arrive on Tues. Once we've got her in a pair of those, we should be able to turn her out and keep her foot protected. She's been so antsy, even starting to make faces at us--what I call her "chipmunk face" (smacking her lips and tongue, squinching up her nostrils). I suppose she's used to having feet soaked, legs wrapped and all kinds of fussing from her days on the track; and she's behaved very well for us, only upsetting the foot soak tub once.

Harley, which way do we go now?
This has left John with only Rolex to ride, but of course, she's great fun for him, and Harley is her best bud, especially out on the trail when she's not quite sure how to handle what's in front of her. Ole Mr. Little Ears will sometimes just bash right along beside her, ramming my knee into her rump, or John's leg, as if to say, "This way, you silly girl".  Although, when we did come to rushing brook with a stony crossing, he looked twice and tried to get out of it. He tossed his head, barged back up the trail as if to say, "Forget it, I'm going back!" I even thought  he might give a buck he was being so stubborn. But once John dismounted to lead Rolex, he decided it wasn't all that scary, and he could manage it like the big boy he really is.

 Rolex had her first meeting with ATV's on the trail today. She was spooked by them, but was a good girl. Surprisingly, they don't really faze Harley. He looks at them, but isn't scared by the noise, and all the drivers have been courteous about slowing down when they see horses.

We headed out to the quarry.  Part of the quarry trail is made of soft, sandy footing. It's a great place to let the horses canter up the hill. But with the bitless bridles, Harley thinks the race is on and likes to tear up it, not so willing to slow down. Beware low branches and duck low on his neck! We need to trim some of the canopy! John rode ahead to get a picture of me. Harley began to prance, thinking Roley Girl was leaving with out him. Then I let him go. Here we are rounding the bend:

And then slowing down as we approach Rolex and John (about halfway up the hill). The race wasn't over yet--we still had to get to the top! Can you see that big grin on my face? Yes, we were having a blast!

After having discovered some different trails veering off in new directions, we decided to do a little exploring. One branch we discovered last week, dead-ended on Route 9, a busy east-westbound highway heading to the coast and I-95. But today we took another turn, literally the "road less traveled". A lot of mucky drainage probably keeps most of the ATV riders away. Our new route actually dumped us out on Cheney Woods Rd. From there, we knew to turn right for home--as did Harley. Even though it's a dirt road, it's quite stony. Since he's barefoot, Harley is not keen to walk on rocky, pebbly terrain. So rather than risk a stone bruise, I dismounted and walked him down the road until we reached the next trail junction. The old road bed is blocked by giant boulders, perfect to use for mounting blocks!

We had to dismount again to cross a dicey old corduroy road in a swampy area. From then on, it was smooth sailing. We had our second fun canter up another hill whereupon Rolex just kept going and Harley, sure we should turn for home, reluctantly followed her, ear twitching to the side, pointed towards home. John pulled her up, Harley swung around and showed her the correct route. We got in a little jump over my favorite downed birch, then we walked them back out to the road for a cool down.
Another lovely weekend in the woods on horseback.


  1. OH!! You too have had a nasty FROG WOUNDING this winter! How was hers acquired, do you think?
    As you well know, mine lasted 9 weeks till I could allow her bare again,out in the elements!

    I am thinking I may try the "fitting package" on those back country glove- hoof boots. Nothing from Easy care fits my mare and she rips them off or they twist and turn terribly...but...the combo effect in the make on those...maybe?!! Let me know how yours go for you please!

    What are the dimensions of Ruffy's hooves? Mine are almost perfectly round...which is out problem.

  2. We don't know how she did it--on a rock maybe? So far, Ruffy has done well with the Easyboot Backcountry Glove model--although she's only been turned out in it (for long stretches) and ridden about an hour at a time. She's not at all lame from the wounded frog and seems to do well with these boots. John sized her up, so I'm not sure about the dimensions. I'm thinking about trying them for Harley rather than using shoes. Even after a few months without shoes, he still seems ouchy on gravel and rocky terrain. My big concern is rubbing on the heel bulbs, but so far, Ruffy appears ok. I believe they come in 11 different size to try and fit all shapes. I'll keep you posted on them! Oh, and so far, they haven't come off! An added plus over the original model.


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