Sunday, September 7, 2014


Tonight was the long anticipated moonlit ride. Michelle and I advertised amongst the barn and ended up with a total of seven of us riding up the mesa as dusk fell.

A woman from the barn next door (I didn't get her name) was riding her Clydesdale/TB mix named Addison. 

Then there was Kate on Eddie, who was not quite as regal as Sir Fabio Paddington, and whose mum is still a tad bit afraid of him, considering he unseated her about a year ago at a gallop. I guess she was hurt pretty bad and has been taking it slow getting back in the saddle. They have been working on ground manners and walk-trot, and Eddie did great on the trail. I offered her the use of my trailer to work on loading and unloading. She also wants to ride Dowdy Draw and the trail around Marshall Lake. We tentatively talked about doing a trail ride one of these days.

Michelle rode Amaar. He was kind of a squirrel and Michelle rides the way I did before I got hurt and scared and tentative. She is fearless and just doesn't care if he throws a fit. She's got a great seat and always wears a helmet. Always. I really admire her.

Becky on Jimmy. We rode with them last year and Ashke is not a fan of Jimmy.This became an issue on trail when they began to threaten each other and Ashke was thinking about kicking.

G and her boyfriend on the back of Charlie, bareback. It was said boyfriend's second ride. I was impressed. 

When we started up the mesa, Michelle took Amaar and Addison to the front of the group. They trotted up the hill. Just as they began to go, Ashke stopped to poo. As he finished, he looked up and Becky on Jimmy was just disappearing. Even though Charlie, Navarra and Eddie were there, he lost his shit. We did canter piaffe all the way up the hill. It was like being on a pogo stick. There were a couple of times I thought he was going to rear. This is still an issue, although I did not lose control and there was no frantic galloping, it was still more than I wanted to deal with at the time. Someday we will canter piaffe on purpose, but that day was not today.

Trisha on Navarra. We had three grey Arabians out of six horses.

The clouds have finally cleared and the moon was up. It was cool but not uncomfortable. The horses were pretty good overall, and the hill took most of the moxie out of the ones that were up.
Well, except for Ashke.

I made him walk up the access road to the top of the mesa. He and Amaar got into a walking race, which was pretty fun to watch. They were both blowing pretty good by the time we got to the top.

Moon shot from the back of a moving horse.

It was pretty much full on dark on our way home. We did the short loop at the top and managed to make it back safely, despite the rocks and mud and the fact that Ashke WOULD NOT walk down the hill. We trotted. At the same speed as Amaar's walk. While pinning his ears and threatening to kick Jimmy (he doesn't like Jimmy for whatever reason). Trotting downhill in the dark is not my favorite. In fact, it doesn't even make my top ten.

Glowsticks on the side of my breast collar. I was the only one with them, which made Ashke easy to see.

Ashke got stressed whenever horses would go in front of him, regardless of whether there were horses immediately around him. His go to mode when stressed about being left is to piaffe at either the canter or the trot and to fight against my ask. We really need to work on this some more, with a group, if we are going to do an endurance ride. 

One of the bonus points of the ride last night: we danced and bounced our entire ride. He out walked the other horses going up hill and trot piaffed his way down. He was warm but completely dry when we reached the barn. It's going to take a lot to wear him out.


  1. What fun! Yes, Ashke is really in shape.

  2. Love the glow sticks!! Would doing a one rein stop and lateral flexions help? I can't stand horses that refuse to walk so if mine tries to go faster than the gait I choose I do a one rein stop and then flex back and forth until he completely stops thinking about going forward then we continue on. It works great but I've been doing it since I rode him for the first time. I don't know how well it would work on a horse who already does that... It's also dependent on the trail obviously.