Saturday, September 20, 2014

Threesome

Today, for the first time in a week, N and I managed to be at the barn at the same time to ride together. J brought her bike and we had talked about doing the Fairmont. N didn't want to do the entire loop, so I suggested we do a loop around Tucker Lake and back home. She agreed that sounded like more fun than separating our two lovebirds and riding in the arena.

After we mounted and headed across the parking lot, I saw Joe coming out of the arena on Mesa. Mesa is a Kentucky Mountain Horse (with the same type of mane that Gracie has) and is a five gaited horse. He has a really nice running walk. Joe and I have spent time riding together in the indoor and when I saw him coming out of the outdoor I asked him what he was doing. He said he was going to go up the mountain. I asked him if he wanted to trail ride the Fairmont with us. He said sure, even though he had never taken Mesa out on that trail before. (I know Mesa has been trail ridden a lot and he didn't have any issues the night that Mike rode him up the Mesa with Michelle and I on the first moonlit trail ride. I figured if he could handle the night ride, he could handle the Fairmont.)

So, then there were three.

Two geldings and a mareface. Kind of like Chandler, Monica and Richard at the restaurant. Neither Ashke or Cali was happy about the situation, although N and I both agreed it was good for them. So, off we went with a threesome of horses and J on her bike. The best part was all the video J took of us riding.

Heading out for the trailhead.


Cali was a bit exuberant and it took some time to figure out the riding proximity with all three horses. Cali had a tendency to double-barrel at Mesa if he was behind her but also got stressed about how far away Ashke was if Mesa was between them. It was fun working with the dynamics of two horses who love each other and the gelding that came between them. Look for the movie - it will be out next year.


Mesa and Joe did pretty good for their first time on trail. Cali only double barreled one time and then we played the "what horse goes where" game for the rest of the ride. Ashke did awesome. My horse loves being on trail.

 The frisbee golf field is behind us. We figured out that part of Cali's tripping issue is her hind boot. She is interfering a lot at the walk. But only on the boot that is too big.


This trail takes us past a Frisbee Golf Course and for the first time there were a ton of people playing, the course had been cut in places, the "holes" were cleared away and the tees were mowed. We figured out on the way back that there was a tournament going on. The players were very respectful of the horses and went out of their way to make sure the horses weren't spooked.



Poor Joe didn't know what he was getting himself into.

Mesa didn't have any issues moving out in front. In fact, all three horses were fairly forward.

We went around Tucker Lake.

J went on the dam and we went along the bottom. I didn't know this, but horses are not allowed on the top of dams in Colorado. Joe is a civil engineer and threatened to call the civil engineering police. He had no clue as to why horses had to stay off the dams. I think this is a new law, because the signs weren't there last year.

The trail was single track and kind of sketchy. Where I stopped was narrow and steep below us, with a concrete culvert and a metal rack over the top. Both Joe and N were a bit unnerved. The horses handled it fine. N threatened to take the dam road next time and Joe said he would report her. Of course, he made a point of saying he had no idea who would enforce such a law.

 Ashke has the most expressive ears. The concrete culvert is to our right. The pic I tried to take didn't turn out.

Joe still smiling facing death by culvert. Mesa is not worried at all.

J taking a pic of me, taking a bad picture of the culvert.

I live in such beautiful country. It takes my breath away.

Even J is beginning to appreciate it. (She has a touch of agoraphobia).


My favorite part of this picture is the shadow,
Joe and Mesa cross the bridge with little trouble.
N having a good time.
Mareface gets cranky when asked to walk through tall grass she's not allowed to eat.



Horse butts
It's hard to tell from this pic, but Ashke is putting on muscle along his back, his shoulder and the front of his withers. He looks amazing.


His "I'm heading home" look

His neck has filled in and looks so strong to me.
He is so sure footed on trail, it blows me away.

Ashke got pretty up at this point in our ride and started to threaten Mesa by swinging his butt towards him. I turned that threat display into a request for a side pass at the trot down the trail. Joe asked N about why we were doing that, and N explained to him how we can use either dressage movements or lateral movements to help take the edge off an energetic horse. I also do it because then he is doing what he is doing because I want him to rather than him acting out.

We are both getting stronger every day and I have no doubt that we will be ready for our first endurance race next May. Even the heavens agree.


The best thing about this video? When Mesa bursts past us and Ashke thinks about racing, but at my request comes right back down and just canters nice.


Not bad. We had a great time and I can see us riding with Joe and Mesa again.

Oh. And this is the bruise from whatever popped in my arm, which still hurts like a MoFo.

I'm really not sure what I snapped. Anyone?

2 comments:

  1. I'm catching up on commenting this morning! I read all of your posts the minute they pop up on my blog feed, but it's just such a PITA commenting from the phone. I love Ashke's posture in that before-last photo, and the last one of you two with the lens flare is simply gorgeous! Sounds like a great ride overall, and J's camera skills just keep getting better and better!

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  2. I love all the videos! So cool! That arm looks really painful....

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