Friday, July 5, 2013

The Fourth

I talked J and T into going for a ride with me on the 4th of July. How cool am I? N couldn't go because she was spending the day drinking, cleaning, putting a grill together and planting bushes. In the heat. I think after it was all said and done, we probably had more fun.

T's biggest complaint about riding out with J and I is that I ride too slow. I made a concerted effort to ride faster, most of it at a trot, in order to not slow him down too much. He was so grumpy when we got ready to go because he had biffed it in the neighborhood and had scuffs on his leg. He was scowling and monosyllabic, which I immediately recognized as food deprived. After force feeding him jerky and gatorade, he was much better.

You can't see it, but there is a teenage scowl face in there somewhere. I don't know when he's going to realize that a bowl of rice krispies is not nutrient rich, and he is going to be hungry soon.

We had some technical difficulties with the seats, the derailer and something squeeking on J's bike, which had the wonderful affect to making T complain about the noise.

J got tired of taking pics of me and stole the camera. I really like this picture. I love where his head is and how he looks. Too bad it was a fluke.

He was so forward that I fought with him all day. He was categorically unable to stand still. We moved in circles a lot. He fought me to let him canter, but I was pretty insistent that we remain at a trot.

Well, except for a couple of times when the road before us was straight and smooth.

Every time T got out in front of us, he wanted to race.

I think he looks fantastic here.

Led the pack most of the day, which made holding Ashke back even more difficult.

N says I lean and twist to the left, which I do when I am watching how he is moving. Bad habit.

He even enjoyed the water at the lake.

I was worried for a moment that he was going to try and lay down.

Pawing, boots and all.

A rookery. The birds at the top are Blue Herons and the one's in the lower branches are cormorants. I can't believe I didn't notice this before. Blue Herons are awesome and awe inspiring.

And Canada geese.

On the final stretch of uphill. Ashke tried to race every bike that went by.

Ok, I know it doesn't really look it, but this was an extremely steep and narrow trail I rode down for the first time on Thursday. The little voice in the back of my head was screaming, "don't do it." I ignored it and we almost died. Ashke was pulling and trying to go very fast. I was trying to get him to tuck his butt under himself and listen. He saw T at the bottom of the hill and tried to trot down the path. It was steep enough that I was having visions of us going tail over head in a front fall down the hillside. I pulled his head around to turn us back up hill while I still could and instead of turning, his feet kept going downhill sideways. We were getting very close to the edge. In a panic, I leapt off of Ashke on the uphill (off) side, prepared for him to slide sideways and go over the edge. He stopped as soon as I was off and followed me back to the path as calm as could be. J said she wasn't worried as long as we were going downhill, but when I panicked and pulled him sideways he wasn't in control any more. I've decided I'm listening to the voice next time and choosing shorter and not as steep of hills to learn to go down first. Stupid rider mistake. Silly horse mistake. Luckily, no one was hurt.

 We had one more incident on the ride. We were coming out of a tunnel under a road and a bike rider went whinging by at 50+ miles an hour, on the road. Ashke caught sight of him out of the corner of his eye. He spooked very badly and somehow managed to take a quarter sized chunk of skin off of the top of his LH fetlock. I have no idea, with where we were and where we ended up, how he managed to take skin and hair off there, but he did. I got off and checked it, then led him for five minutes or so, to make sure he wasn't lame. He was fine, so I mounted up and finished the ride.


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