This will be the final post for April. I can't think of anything to do for X, Y or Z and honestly, I'm okay with that.
Sunday, we had a day of beauty, sunshine, companionship and eating grass.
The hose is not on back by the outdoor washing stalls and the line for the indoor wash room was really long. It was warm, but windy and Ashke did okay.
He has taken to laying in his run in the sunshine, which I am sure was wonderful for him, but not so much for me, since the run was still really muddy. I washed all of him.
N only washed the saddle area, Cali's mane and tail. She rarely washes her entire body. I pointed out that her horse isn't white.
The only downer was when Cali started licking the paint off the fence.
His coat is so good this year. He is mostly shed out. The problem areas from last year seem to have cleared up and he has shed out in his flank area.
He wasn't very happy about the hose or the incredibly cold water.
I had to soap his mane twice to get it white and then it went really fuzzy and flighty, like a unicorn's mane.
I even washed his face and forelock, which I haven't been able to do before.
It took some washing to get the dirt from the saddle and the girth off of his hide. I had to shampoo his butt three times to get it clean.
I think his forelock has been yellow since I brought him home and it is finally white.
By the time he was clean, he was pretty chilled and starting to shiver. I squeegeed him off and finished rinsing out his tail.
And then he got to graze on the nice spring grass, which is going to be under snow soon.
It didn't take long for him to dry off and warm up. He loved hanging out in the grass. Being able to graze during turnout is probably the one thing he misses the most from being at Christensens.
His topline is beginning to fill in and he has a crease down his spine.
His abdomen is beginning to tighten as well, with regular work that is a bit more challenging than what he was doing before.
Doesn't he look good?
We have a trail ride planned for Saturday with N and a couple of people from the barn. I was supposed to ride with them on Sunday, but I was afraid he would be too tender footed from the ride on Saturday.
Saturday was, without a doubt, the best day riding I have had since bringing Ashke home. J and T rode their bikes and N and I rode our horses. We went through the neighborhood instead of down 58th and that was a much better path, because of the reduction in traffic. Most of the way through the neighborhood we met up with the bike path and headed on our loop around the lake.
N was very happy to get out and so was I. Ashke and Cali were amazing. We walked some, trotted some and actually cantered a lot.
It was pretty fun to do the ride with J and T. The horses were perfectly willing to have the bikes in front, to the side and behind them. J and T were very good about talking to the horses when they came up next to us.
The bikes were fine. But this evil little bunny tried to eat Ashke and caused a pretty decent spook.
J on her bike. She and T hunted for geocaches and found at least one.
Yeah, not spooked by the bikes at all. Weren't real fond of the huge rusty sewer pipe we passed, though.
N got on and rode without lunging Cali, and she was wonderful. The ride was just so good.
There are some nice little flat areas were we could trot and canter. Cali, who has struggled with N over her right lead, picked it up without prompting over and over again on the ride.
There were some nice downhills for the boy to ride. And then he discovered why downhill is always paid for later in additional uphill.
The only underpass, which we got off and led the horses through.
T loved this part of the ride. They were chasing a geocache which ended up being a puzzle cache, with trivia about golf. Needless to say, they stopped looking for it, not knowing anything about golf. This part of the ride was Ashke's own personal hell. You do see the like of large boulders to the left? He hates those.
This was a nice stretch of ground. Our first canter. Both horses did really well. It was pretty exhilarating, although I do need to figure something out with my hydration pack. The shoulder strap was rubbing my neck and gave me hives, plus the camera was bouncing and smacking me in the face. Otherwise, it was wonderful.
We went down through a gully, instead of using the bridge (nice canter up a fairly steep hill on the other side) and then curved around to Tucker Lake.
Both horses got in the water, at least the first time.
N completely forgot she had leg wraps on and let Cali play in the lake any way.
Ashke took a page from Reagan's playbook and played in the water.
I was worried he would try to roll, which happens sometimes with horses that paw the water. He didn't, but I was prepared to get him out of the water if he tried.
Cali really wasn't interested in going back in once the water was brown.
After leaving the lake we did some more cantering. Both horses were feeling pretty frisky still and really enjoyed being able to canter on a straight away. We had to wait at the top of one hill for T and J to catch up. It's much easier riding than biking when going up hill.
T was pretty grumpy when he saw this. He walked most of the way up that hill. It would have been much less frustrating to him if his derailer hadn't been malfunctioning.
N and I cantered most of the way to the top. Even doing a bit of hand galloping. Ashke seemed to think it was a race. Poor T was stuck way behind us walking his bike with J. He was not happy when he got up to us. I asked him if he wanted a snack and he jumped at the idea. We stopped and let the horses eat some of the new grass while we snacked on trail mix and M&Ms. We really need to get some jerky for our outings. And some cut up oranges.
We finally capped the top of the hill. J and T were quite a ways behind us, because they had stopped to locate a geocache.
Walking the last little bit. At least he wasn't so angry any more.
The geocache was an ammo case and had items. We left one and he took a yellow dinosaur.
At the top of the hill, the land drops off sharply. You can see North Table Mountain in the background. T loved this part of the trail.
In the corner of one of these curves is a blue bench. There was a man sitting on it. We were right next to the bench when the guy moved. Cali spooked. She must not have noticed he was alive.
You can't see it, but there was a very scary wet low area (ditch) that we had to cross. Cali had to go first and threaten to leave before Ashke would cross it. He was better, however, considering I had to get off and walk him across the last time.
Once across the ditch, Ashke was good to go again. We had a couple more canters and then they were done. Pretty tuckered by about 6.5 miles.
This is T on his bike. He was doing this every time he had a downhill run.
He is pretty talented. Good thing I don't worry about stuff like this.
I know people who don't live out here who can't understand the beauty I see in this wonderful area. I hear it from J all the time - no trees. No water. All that damn sky. Me? I start to feel claustrophobic when you get me in the trees.
The last push towards home. T and J went off ahead and tried to find another geocache, but they couldn't locate it. They had fun trying though. By this time the horses were starting to show signs of being both tired and footsore. They are running into 9 weeks since their last trim. I think 7 weeks is a much better time frame and N agrees.
They were both a bit tuckered, but still willing to walk at a decent pace as we pushed for home.
It was an absolutely perfect day. Considering we had 8 inches of snow on Tuesday, having a day like this on Saturday with a high of 71 was amazing. Of course, it's supposed to snow again on Weds, which is May 1st for those of you keeping track.
It does say we were out for 2 hours, but it also says we stopped moving for 46 minutes and 19 seconds, which explains why we were so hungry when we got back to the stable.
A lot more elevation than I expected. Overall, a pretty good ride with plenty of things to look at and ways to extend the ride as the horses become more fit.