Monday, August 31, 2009
Old friends, New Beginnings
OMG! So much to tell since Wednesday. I can’t believe I haven’t posted since then. Shame on me! The queen of excuses...it was really too dang hot to do much! I will stick to the freestyle stuff here and then put the rest in the misc category. I gave Snookie a little break on the hill therapy and let her work on the flat for a few days. I knew our big ride was going be this weekend and didn’t want to KILL her! Also, since it was my best friend riding her, who knows nothing about horses, I wanted to do a little test drive/tune up. She was light as a feather in all the seven games and lateral flexion. Not bad for not being played with for so long. Except for yo-yo…backing has always been hard for her, but still she did it well. So, she is really starting to put good weight on…Yay! I could not tell my friend how nervous I was, for all of us. Snookie being old and prone to spooking, her knowing nothing, me and my nerves riding Rose, and Rose because it was her very first REAL trail ride. We got off to a late start and by then it was getting quite warm. We hosed the girls off first, then loaded up. Short drive to the lake. Small issue getting mounted. …Next time I will remember a mounting block! The plan was to just take it slow and respect the horses thresholds as we got to them. First one was 10ft down the trail. Stop chew weeds, 4 more steps, and so the first half hour went. Rose was in the lead, as I feel Snookie didn’t feel as confident with a non horse person aboard to take the lead like usual. Rose the brave one…not so brave. That’s ok. Took a while but we made it about 100 yards. Then the dried creek bed in the shade with berry bushes. That was a NO GO! I dismounted and led her through. Found a rock and remounted. Finally I urged my friend to take Snookie in the lead. No need to request twice. She clearly was ready to stop fiddle-fart’n around and get the show on the road. Rose immediately followed suit and both were as calm as can be. Then we got to the fork in the road, both trails lead to a switch back up a pretty steep hill. We chose the harder one by mistake and Snookie led the way. Halfway up I could see her falter and had Joni stop and we dismounted again. After we mounted back up, we enjoyed the beautiful view of the foothills. We eventually came to another steep hill and decided it was just too much for our first outing and not fair to Snookie. We headed back and of course, now headed home, the two had a steady rhythmic march. We dismounted again to traverse the switchback downhill. I knew Snookie couldn't handle it. Mounted again, and stopped in the shade and let them graze a few minutes. We made it back safely and had a wonderful time. When we started…my friend literally knew nothing about riding. Snookie took good care of her, and us of her. I survived my fear…in fact conquered it. I was terrified I would kill my best friend or my senior citizen mare. We decided we will do it again soon, but next time we will go to the other lake with not so steep hills. What a great birthday present!