Sunday, December 25, 2011

I made my 500 mile goal with Biscuit!!!!

Barry and I went for a Christmas Eve ride at Tyrrell Park.  We loaded up the horses, Biscuit was a little reluctant to get in the trailer but he did anyway.  We hauled out, parked on the grass to the far right so we wouldn't get stuck again and and saddled up.  I forgot my steps and so I went over to the picnic table to mount up.  I can mount from the ground - I did yesterday out on the bayou when we cleaned their hooves, but it is just easier from a mount.  We went into the woods and I told Barry to go slow as it could be slippery.  We went through the woods and out onto the bayou.  It was overcast and 45 degrees but I wasn't cold.  I had some serious layers on....Cuddl Duds, a short sleeve teeshirt, my L.L. Bean fleece plaid shirt and a red lined wind breaker and my purple gloves.  We went down the bayou and Sarge was wanting to go up on the marsh levee.  Biscuit stops dead in his tracks and refuses to go forward.  I am turning him in circles and he would go a few steps and that was it.  Backing up like a Chevy which I find annoying.  Barry said to make him go...ok...easier said than done.  I am still a whimpy rider!

Otter on Willow Bayou
I was turning him around and saw back towards the woods was an otter playing up on the top of the levee!!!  He was about 150 yards away but we could see him plain as day.  Barry wanted to go up to him to see him better but as soon as we got closer he headed for the water. 

We headed back for the back and crossed the bridge.  We got off and cleaned hooves.  We crossed over the little land bridge and went around towards the back.  We got around the turn and were about 1/3 of the way to the back and I felt it start to sprinkle just a little bit.  We kept going and it started sprinkling more.  Not raining but certainly sprinkling enough that my windbreaker was totally wet and the horses got total wet.  We went through back by the bayou and it looked really pretty - even in winter the bayou is pretty.  We came out at the other side, taking the narrow trail to the left and got wet from the trees.  We walked down to the bayou and then turned back.  We hadn't been trotting as I didn't want Barry bouncing around because of his recent eye surgery.  Sarge was busting a gut to go and Biscuit had been having one of his kick him down the trails days like at the beach last week.  But as soon as he knew we were heading back he was ready to go.  We were trotting fast and Sarge was loping.  That stretch is nice and smooth with very few cracks.  Biscuit covered ground pretty fast but he didn't like getting too far ahead of Sarge.  He will lead other horses well now but not Sarge.  Sarge is in charge and Biscuit doesn't try to lead him!!  We trotted quiet a ways and then walked.  It was sprinkling and my hair was wet but neither Barry or I were cold.  I love that kind of weather so I was happy as a clam.  Barry is not too much on riding in the rain and Sarge thought it sucked.  Biscuit didn't care.  We crossed the bridge and we trotted going back up the bayou.  I was watching out for cracks.  I finally got a little tired standing up and we slowed.  We went to the left in the woods because it is a shorter ride.  Sarge slipped a little in the mud so we were going at a fast walk but nothing too quick as I didn't want a bowed tendon or any other issue.  Barry had asked why I was standing at his fast trot and I said you can sore their backs sitting a fast trot.  I had a blast riding in the rain.  It felt wonderful.  I got to the trailer and pulled his tack off quickly and put it in the trailer.  We loaded the horses up and pulled out the poop.  We headed back to the barn and the truck temp said 45 degrees.

Jaimie had already fed the horses and had gone - it was around 3:30 so I went into the barn and got their Safe Choice to give them.  We unloaded them and cleaned poop again.  Better to clean right then than later.  We left the tack in and headed home to a warm bath.

I uploaded my Garmin track and it was 7.8 miles so I made 501.2 miles on Biscuit for the year.  Biscuit actually has probably 16 miles more than I do as Robin and Kenny have both rode him on trail rides at Ebenezer when I had cakes to do.  He has turned into a great trail horse. We are still working on issues - making him stay on the rein and keeping collected, jogging at a very slow pace, cantering instead of galloping - and he is doing a great job.  He isn't perfect but he is willing, sweet natured and just a pleasure to be around.  He got several little treats from me after the ride and some alfalfa in the trailer.  What more could horses want?

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