Sunday, July 27, 2008

On the trail again

Wow, I hadn't realized that I haven't been on Falcon in more than a week. AND he is getting fat munching on all of that grass.

But last night he had the other boys galloping around the pasture, up the hill, down and then back up again, so at least they are getting some exercise on the hills.

I did ride Red one day last week, and he plumb wore me out with more refusals than I can count...don't EVEN want to go there. He is barn sour it seems and thinks that if he pins me up against a tree or backs in to the woods he won't have to go anywhere, but in the end, I won.

Enough on him. Falcon is my endurance boy, although, I do want to do some with Red as well if he can get over his barn sourness.

I decided to go out to ride this a.m. because it was calling for storms in the afternoon. The morn was warm, but not too bad and I was saddled up by 9 a.m.

Falcon freaked slightly over the Tucker endurance saddle creaking as well as the different rigging. Usually I ride him in my Tucker Cheyenne, but that was up the hill in the horse trailer and I didn't feel like dragging it around. The endurance saddle is the one that he has bucked me in before, but he is going to have to get over THAT because, it does fit him AND me.

So I walked him around the barn lot a few times and tightened up the girth, then walked him down the fenceline to the corner before I mounted. He never showed another concern about the saddle.

Already the deer flies were messin' with his head...poor boy, and just as I went to mount a big ole horse fly landed on him....ugh.

He was very willing to go and we walked the first half mile then started off at a nice trot up the mountain trail...he broke in to an easy canter and I let him set his own pace.

We reached the radio tower in record time, but at the top, there wasn't a breath of air and Falcon was already soaked with sweat with sweat running down his face as the heat index musta been 110 degrees again.

I dismounted and walked him down the rocky east side of the mountain (by the way, it is called Piney Mt) This time I walked all the way to the bottom hoping to get around the gate. We had come 1.7 miles.

No luck, steep embankment on either side of the padlocked gate. We turned around and walked back a little ways and then climbed up in to the woods and followed a deer trail. But once again we came to a steep embankment and thick brush. I could see the road below, but didn't want to try and get through the mess OR try and get down that VERTICAL hill.

Back through the woods. HOT HOT HOT. Falcon is such a good willing boy, just manuevers on through the mess with out complaint.

On the fire road again, Falcon took off at a fast trot and veered left onto the sandy road that I knew dead ended, but I let him go to get more of a workout in. He took off cantering until the trail started up again and I turned him back around and cantered back to the fire road.

He started off walking for most of the climb, but that is tough, so he started trotting and cantering again. He always spooks at the same stump on the way up, so I was ready today, so guess what, he didn't spook!

Soon he was really laboring and slowed down to a walk again. Sweat was pouring off and we stopped at the top to give him a breather.

On the way down the other side more cantering and flying trot. Wonderful, the boy can move, but I hate trotting down hill, oh well, good practice for competition.

He knows to walk when we reach our fenceline and he didnt struggle to race home even though the other boys were hollering for him from their stalls.

While hosing him off, I noticed that he had clipped his left front leg, either with a rock or his hoof. I hosed it off good and he was a little sore, so will have to keep an eye on that.

I put a dose of electrolytes in his feed made sloppy with water and he gladly slurped it up.

Even with all of the walking we had done 3.8 miles in 30 min, with our fastest speed being around 16 mph.

The plan then was to saddle up Dakota and Red and pony one of them, just to see if Red would go out with out balking that way....but geeeeezzzzz it was so hot and the haze had settled in so thick that I couldnt even see the mountains. Not a good day for the respiratory system to be out.

Will have to see what tonight or tomorrow evening bring.

1 comment:

Shana said...

I am so glad Falcon is working out for you, it is great to hear you having success with him! We put in a 10 mi ride this weekend. Check the blog for the long story and a couple pics.