Saturday, November 1, 2008

White Oak Canyon ride.

Wow, a week gone already since the LD. Where does the time fly!

Last night I hooked up the horse trailer and took Falcon to it. He stopped 6 ft from the trailer and wouldnt budge. I climbed on and put steady pressure on his lead rope and asked him to "load up" or "step" Finally he stepped and nosed the trailer.

More rebellion, more pressure, then step, step, one foot on the trailer. Finally, up he came. I made him stand there for about 5 min. then backed him off. He was tenative and hung balancing on the edge of the trailer before finally stepping off.

I repeated the process 5 more times until he was loading without hesitation again...YEAHHHHHHHHH!

So today, when Karen came, I asked her to keep her distance with Red and not to crowd us. Falcon loaded right up. Then Red.

We drove up to Skyline Drive and looked for parking....Were we crazy? It was a weekend during PEAK LEAF season! Finally we found parking at Skyland in front of some of their cabins.

We hadnt checked the horses feet before we left and Karen promptly found that Red was missing his right front shoe and pad! DARN! Ok, well, coban and duct tape it is. His foot was too wide for the Easy Boot.

That done, we wandered around looking for the trail that our map showed to no avail.
Finally we headed down Skyline Drive towards the stables where we knew the White Oak Canyon trail was.

The Trail started out on a fire road down crossed three creeks that paralleled each other and then turned on to a leaf strewn rocky trail down into the canyon to the creek. Unfortunately I dont have any pictures of us CROSSING this creek because it was quite tricky and narrow underwater with large slippery rocks.

Falcon and Red crossed like champs and we continued for a short distance up the otherside. Then decided that the day was short and we better head back since we couldnt make time with Red's lack of a shoe.

This time, Red crossed the creek first. The creek became muddy and Falcon managed to step up onto the large slippery rock under water. He kind of lept foward to regain his balance, only to freak out at a tiny waterfall on the left and two barking dogs on the right.

Mid stream he whirled around and lunged out. Oh great. No amount of coaxing would get him to reenter. I dismounted and tried to walk on dry rocks while leading him through the water...He chose to attempt to follow me on the rocks and promptly slid hither and yon.

Quite a crowd of tourists were gathering to see the outcome....most of them had seem him cross initially.

Karen attempted to get Red to come back across so she could lead Falcon, but Red wouldnt budge from the opposite side!

Finally a young man pointed west and said "hey, there is a foot bridge up there"

I said, "that is for people, big sign says, horses not allowed"

He said, "I won't tell if you wont tell!" yee hahhh...

So I walked Falcon up a narrow foot path, up 4 narrow steps onto a NARROW metal bridge. Falcon put one foot on the bridge, CLANK! another foot on the bridge CLANK!
foot 3 on CLANK, foot 4 on CLANK! Ok, this is going to take a LONG TIME!

Then CLANK CLANK CLANK CLANK....right across he scurried and then tackled 10 semi-wide steps down the other side and back on the trail.

Shooooo weeee and clapping and exclamations were heard how amazing it was for such a big horse to walk on such little steps....yeeee hahhhh.

Back up the trail we went, completing just under 6 miles in all quite uneventfully after the creek crossing...until we arrived at the trailer....DUMB PEOPLE parked a CAR RIGHT BEHIND the trailer.

Thankfully, the car ahead of me was just leaving and I was able to pull forward to board the horses. Falcon clambored right on, with Red close behind and we headed home having had a great day.