Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thankful weekend

While many folks got together with family and friends, John and I went to the barn to spend the day with our horses. I'd like to have a family gathering, but it involves juggling  travel time to and from the barn and ride time (got to get some exercies), all tied tied in with keeping the turkey basted and non-equine family members entertained! And if those non-equine people want to watch football, I'm afraid they're out of luck--no cable or reception at my house. I'm hoping the day will come when the horses are on the property and I can host a Thanksgiving get together. We're keeping an eye on the available properties, watching for something that will fit our needs. But until then...

 So loaded with a thermos of hot tea and carrots, we headed for the barn to round up our steeds.

Thursday was frigid. Harley and Rolex were coiled springs as we rode out. I made Harley lead up past the scary goats. Without Rolex's company, I'm sure I'd have been walking him on foot up the road! I watched his ears and head--he thought about turning for home, but my insistence and Rolex's presence kept him moving forward.

Thanksgiving Day gaves all those hunters who still haven't gotten their deer a chance to roam the woods mid-week. We decided to avoid the power line--a truck was parked there, a sure indicator a hunter was up in the woods. We decked ourselves and the horses in blaze orange for good measure. I wonder if they make those crocheted ear nets in blaze orange? Even though the bugs aren't present, the color will add to our visibility. Heck, I make so much noise yammering at Harley and John, they would hear me coming, not to mention the shuffling of eight feet through the oak leaves!

I tried out the Easyboot Trails on Harley since he's such a tenderfoot. The Easyboot fit kit arrived, but due to the flare in Harley's hooves, I don't think the Glove will work. There's too much of a gap around the hoof wall and no spread at the V. They recommend the Backcountry Trail for trim issues (although this is really a shape issue), and I think those will work better. I'm still pondering the Renegades, but not sure I want to fuss with cables--been there done that with the original Easyboots! And given the mud we can get around here, I want a secure boot. Please feel free to share your experiences with boots, fellow bloggers.

Here's Harley, looking down Cheney Woods Rd., waiting for monsters to come around the corner.

And here he is peering behind. "Always watch your back trail", say's Harley. I look like I'm crying--don't know what I was doing!

We turned off into the woods, headed for the quarry. There's a large portion of the woods road that's flooded, even in dry times. After all the heavy rains, deep water was guaranteed. I asked John to take some photos for me, but Rolex, always a go, go, go girl didn't want to stand still for long. He snapped off a few before we tackled the deep water.

I'm grinning like a fool because I'm having so much fun. Even Harley was, despite the fact that he tried to act like a chicken when he realized Rolex was not right behind him.
When he gets too far away from her, he panics, stops thinking, and his survival gears kick in--wait for me, Rolex! Then it's smash n' dash. Harley was happy to turn around and stay with his girlfriend. But his bravery weighed in just up ahead when Rolex took one look at the icy flooded roadway and said, "No way, I'm not walking through that!"

 Harley approached, looked, sniffed, and began cracking through the skim ice. By the middle, he was in water just below his knobby knees. Rolex followed Harley and then we warmed up with a mad gallop up the soft sandy trail leading to the quarry. When he passed Rolex, I thought, Oh boy, let's hope he pulls up at the top! If he were braver, and had better knees, I wonder how he'd do on a cross country course--he's a strong bugger!

A tremendous amount of logging has occurred around the quarry. I think they are planning to expand the gravel extraction. But until it's impassable, we can still ride around the barrier gates. One section is blocked by boulders. Rolex would not walk between them, nor would Harley. So I hopped off and led Harley through. I think she was confused by where she should go--it was a narrow gap. And now I had a perfect mounting block--a nice big, flat boulder. Once we moved away from the quarry ridge, back into the woods, the freezing wind abated. I informed John that Harley had to go first at this point so he wouldn't dash after Rolex and get me smashed in the face by an offending oak limb I invariably hit every time we go home this way. I need to bring the saw along and remove this hazardous branch.

I'm thankful to have 3 lovely horses, and a wonderful partner who shares my passion. So many women have spouses who support their "hobby"; I'm so lucky to have one who is an active participant--one who went out on a limb and got me Harley. My horse and I are works in progress. Was he the best first horse for someone returning to riding after a 30+ year absence? Probably not, but I'm giving Harley the opportunity not many others would have. He's no school horse--he can be ornery, but he can also be such a sweetie. What discipline would he excel at? I'm not sure, but I think he knows he's got it good with us and he's happy to have his trail buddy, Rolex Girl.

For Thanksgiving dinner, he horses had a nice warm beet pulp/flax/rice bran mash and we went home to tuck into our turkey dinner!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lovely ride!
    As to renegades, the cables aren't half as fiddley as the original Easyboots - we had one of them for a pony with an abscess that the vet had savaged years ago and it was a pain in the butt. Once you have the Renegade cables adjusted that's it, you just close up the straps and away you go. The first two times you use them you will probably have to do some adjustment but after that they are no more fiddly than fitting tendon boots.
    Anne and I had problems with them twisting originally but I think that was because our horses feet were only a couple of months out of shoes and had not taken on a good barefoot shape yet. As for staying on in deep mud (long intake of breath) yeah I dunno about that :-(
    Could you look out for a 2nd pair on ebay?
    What size do you think Harley is? I have a pair of size 2s that I don't think I will use again


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