Monday, April 6, 2015

Taking Care of Himself

Chatfield again. Love these trails.

First ride with K and Eddy in two months.
Eddy was a bit up. He pushed past K when trying to load and I ended up loading him. He started out being a bit of a jerk, which K handled by doing circles around bushes and trees until he settled down.

Red Tail Hawk watching us ride past.

We spent a lot of time trotting today. Ashke was pretty up too. It didn't help that we kept joining up and then leaving other groups of riders. Eddy got very anxious every time the other horses left.

Took us a couple of miles to get the horses to stop piaffing at the trot down the trail.

J kept peeling layers and showing new colors

We reached the first lake about two miles in and Ashke asked for a drink.
That was a first.
The bank was very steep and he went down it anyway. The water was breaking against the shore, and he went down it anyway.

He drank and drank well. 

He kept jumping at the waves breaking against the rock next to him.

I think our ride last week, when he overheated and didn't drink when he could, taught him a lesson. He certainly demonstrated a different viewpoint this week.

Heading toward the Highline Canal

The terrain is mostly rolling hills.

The canal however is mostly flat. The canal is pretty good for the horses, but has patches of sand mixed with dried clay (clay will hold shape as it dries - like hoof prints - that makes for a bumpy ride for J.)

K living her dream

Shit head.

Eddy still wanting to run, run like the wind.

The canal traces through several subdivisions, which obstacles like giant white propane tanks, privacy fences that hide barking dogs, and horse shaped tire swings. All of which eat horses.

We walked and trotted through the subdivisions, until the canal was back on State Park land, and then we did several canter sets. At the far end of the canal, we did a trot set that was at least a solid mile or so long, keeping the boys in a good rhythm without racing. It was pretty awesome.

Then we came off the canal and into the river bottoms of Plum Creek.

Lot's of down timber and singletrack.

We were playing hopscotch with J

There was a place in the creek where we had gotten into the water when J and I were here last weekend. Ashke walked right in and drank very well, sticking his nose completely under the water while he was slurping. Eddy came in and pawed. Then dropped like a stone into the water. Caught K completely off guard. She handled it well, though.

He is drinking here. After he had a good drink, I got him out of the water, since I could feel him thinking about laying down.

This was our 45 minute or so hold. Lots of grass to eat. Eddy was tied up, so I wasn't worried about Ashke wandering off. And then he didn't want me to catch him (he was getting farther and farther away) so I kept him closer for the rest of our lunch. He begged apples from J and I.

Back to the stream for a drink before we leave. This was his third drink in nine miles. Plus he had a wet mash at the trailer before we headed out.

He really wanted his ears rubbed (another first) when I put the bridle on, so we spent a few minutes doing that. I really need to remember my ear bonnet. I got out of the habit during the winter. There are bugs again.

Now he's just annoyed.

We had ridden just shy of nine miles when we stopped for lunch. The GPS dropped the signal when I tried to resume and did not track our journey back.

There were a bunch of turtles sunning themselves when we rode by. Only one stayed on it's log for a photo opportunity.

Eddy had finally settled down and relaxed

Offered Ashke water at the edge of the reservoir on our ride back. He walked in up to his knees and drank deeply. Again. That would make four times he took water on a sixteen mile ride.
Good poneh.

The last push back to the trailer. J opted to stay on the asphault, but K and I were tired of dealing with spooking horses every time a boat was hauled past. Can't blame the horses for being spooky, but I also didn't need to deal with it any more.

Back at the trailer, Eddy drank a good amount of water and both horses plunged into their very soupy mash. Ashke was a bit sweaty under his saddle, but no where near as warm as he was the weekend before. The clip job worked and he figured out he needed to drink anytime he could.

Although Ashke was sound at all three gaits, he was struggling with his left lead at the canter. He kept cross cantering. I'm not sure if he was trying to protect his right hind or his left front. There was no swelling or heat in the leg and he was willing to do a mile worth of trotting, but just wasn't as excited to do a canter. It was especially bad when we were trying to canter singletrack trails. It might have been due to Ashke trying to protect himself from expected pain, because when we were cantering the groomed grassy areas by the camp ground, he was carrying himself very well and not switching in the back. That was at the end of our ride. We shall see how he feels tonight when I ride.

Both horses walked on the trailer without hesitation to go home. Maybe next time Eddy will remember and be okay.

I rinsed off the sweat when we got back to the barn, then tucked him into his stall with two flakes of alfalfa and another mash. He was making silly bliss face when I left.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad Ashke did so much better in terms of taking care of himself on this ride! Beautiful as always. I hope Eddy behaves himself again next time! I hadn't realized it had already been 2 months since the last time he trailered with does time fly!


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