Finally, finally, finally. . . . N and I were able to do a trail ride. It was a beautiful day, with just enough wind to keep it cool and cloud cover to keep us from burning up. I met N at 11 and after we got them all tacked up, we headed out. N was a little worried that Cali was having foot issues and we realized that she hadn't been turned out at all in several weeks (N said something about her not going to turn out when the fungus outbreak happened and that ban hadn't been lifted. I realized today when Ashke was out standing in his field alone.) Cali was kind of sluggish and didn't move very fast on the walk out. We tried a couple of trots and still N was concerned.
Ashke was incredible today. He had a couple of snorty moments - he really does not like the Goodle (Golden-poodle mix) we have seen the past three times we rode the canal. We went that way again today and he got all spooky and snorty with the dog. This time the owner and his wife were out working on their tiny garden and not only apologized for the behavior of the dog, but called him inside. Perhaps he learned something yesterday. We can hope. Ashke also remembered the newspaper on the trash can, looked at it kind of funny, then walked past it without issue.
It is incredibly green and the grass is tall and very lush. We were a little hesitant about snakes, but didn't see anything except the Goodle. N and I talked the entire ride. It was really nice to catch up. It's been several weeks since we were able to ride together due to our schedules and her moving into her new house.
After about 2.6 miles, N said that she was afraid Cali had a bruise or something and wanted to head back. I, understanding the frustrations of foot issues, turned around without an issues, and low and behold, Cali found a lot more energy (one of the reasons I like to ride a loop, because then there is less likelihood of them knowing where they are and heading for home faster than they left.) We did some nice trotting and Ashke had a couple of decent canters. The second canter spurred Cali into a canter and there was almost a race, but calmer heads prevailed.
When we got back to TMR, we went to pick up N's halter and lunge rope she had left on a fixture. I told her I wanted to try and pick it up without getting off and after a good ten minutes of trying I had a pretty freaked out horse and a rope strewn across the ground. We both dismounted and I started dragging the rope behind Ashke. This is an issue for him and something I wanted to work on. We moved in circles in both directions with the rope on both sides and by the time we had worked our way around to the parking lot, he had calmed down a lot and was figuring out that the rope wasn't going to hurt him. A couple more sessions in the round pen letting him drag ropes behind him attached to his circingle should remedy his fear.
I once again did all four boots. He is much better about having them on his feet and understanding how they feel when he trots and canters. He is still popping up in the front when we are moving through transitions, something I am going to work on tomorrow night. I am going to ride for the first
time without boots in the arena tomorrow night (I have already prepped
dinner for the crockpot for T and J) and am going to enjoy the luxury of
riding four days in a row. Woot!