Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lake Ride! And Trailering Issues...

Desire and I met our riding buddy, N, at Lake Oroville this morning for another trail expedition. The morning itself didn't start smoothly, Desire was beyond jazzy from the minute I pulled her and promptly decided she didn't want to load into the trailer. Nope. Nada. Not happening. Its pretty funny how often horses will hop into a trailer fine the first time but the second or third time they suddenly decide its maybe not such a good idea. The first time I led her up to the trailer things seemed like they might work out, she stuck her head in the trailer and snuffed the floor, but from there it became swing-butt-left-and-right, pull back, etc. It took me about 30 minutes and an assist from my husband to get her in and when I got to the lake, which is a 20 minute drive that I cruise along at 40 mph or under, she came out of the trailer a dripping sweaty mess. I don't know WHAT hair was across her butt this morning but she was definitely out of sorts. N was just parking when I arrived and we pulled our grey Arab mares out at about the same time so Desire relaxed when she saw a buddy was nearby. For the piss and vinegar she was exhibiting in the morning she was surprisingly quiet under saddle, which was fine with me. N and I both had our share of spooky-horse moments but nothing too dramatic. By the end of the ride we were joking that Desire was definitely a true desert Arabian as she eye balled any and all wood/logs/sticks along the sides of the trails with deep suspicion. She also concentrated fixedly on the left side of the trail and would have left the trail altogether (and...gone bush hogging???) a couple times if I weren't steering her around to keep on it. I'm not sure why she is so convinced that she knows a better way to get wherever we may be going but it seems to be a pattern with her so far. Riding out from home she also hugged the left side of the road and had to be steered in the direction I wanted. Interesting. Anyhow we did about 13 miles in just over 3 hours, with a couple of water and short grazing breaks. It was a GORGEOUS day on the trails, bright blue skies and sunny, maybe 60 degrees in the sun but certainly chilly in the shade of the wooded trails. I am love love loving how smooth miss Desire is, its so fantastic to be barely posting or even sitting as we jog down the trails. Oh that was the other revelation, she has quite a nice jog that she maintained on the trails today, which is a good speed for N and her mare too.

We got back to the trailer around 3 and went through the trailer loading issue again, with Desire lleaanningggg into the trailer but not lifting one of her front feet to get IN it, I swear she looked like she was going to face plant into it as gradually all four feet got closer together and she leaned forward without actually stepping in. N went to her head and I put pressure on her from behind and she hopped in. Soooo. Some work to be done there.

It was a wonderful day on the trails and I'm tired and HUNGRY!


  1. That sounds like an awesome ride!

    Have you ever let D just sidepass off the trail away from the imaginary monsters? I let Dixie do it every now and then just because it's funny. she always gets confused and stops right away, like "What, we're not on the trail, aren't you steering?"

    The forecasters can't figure out what our weather is going to do today but if it gets to 50 I'm gonna go for a spin :)

  2. Well the thing is she is already TRYING to go off the trails, to the left, to whatever random short cut she thinks she knows. I did give her her head a couple times just to see where the heck she would go if I wasn't keeping her on trail and she veered off into the woods LOL. Also I am teaching her to side pass, when I first got her any rein contact meant stop and any leg contact meant GO, so we're working on the leg aid stuff. She's getting it. She does collect now, fortunately, just isn't happy about it and still starts slooowwwinng down when I ask her to.

    Its sunny and bright here but wind is picking up and supposed to be crazy gusty through tomorrow. I'm going to a new riding spot this weekend that has a galloping track! WHHEEEE

  3. I have so had to deal with most of these things! The staying on trail thing was the strangest for me to deal with: I'd only ridden horses who would stay on trail. I had to teach Major to use the actual trail, not the forest, or the cliff, or the lake... He still tries it when he wants to do something else/shortcut, so my solution is so turn the way he wants, turn in a circle, and then keep going the original direction. It used to take a whole bunch of circles, now it just takes one (usually). I'm sure teaching her leg will certainly help!

    One infamous first ride I was trotting up a trail, went to turn left, and Major leaped the bank straight ahead and kept going up the hill. My friend was cracking up laughing, I was trying to get him to stop, funny now, not then! It sounds like she just needs to learn what you expect, she thinks she knows best!