Today was beautiful! 61 and sunny, BUT very windy. I decided that I would take a ride on Red Dog and let Karen ride Dakota. We headed down through the woods as usual and made the 0.5 mile loop up to the driveway.
At this point, Griffin, the labradoodle decided to attack the hens and I had to make Red trot over and threaten Griffen. The hen squawked as she was freed. Hit the pasture fence and bounced through...and hit the ground running.
I decided that maybe it would be best not to take Griffin since there were new calves in the pasture. I locked him in the kennel while Karen went to the barn to get a breastplate for Dakota.
The woods were barron, the leaves damp and moldy and the ground squishy from the thaw.
We reached the open field and gingerly trotted around the edges. Everything was muck. The field had been plowed and replanted with winter rye which was peaking its little green shoots through the mud.
It wasnt a very good decision of mine to slop through all of that mud. The horses ended up with muck all over their bellies and girths.
The open grassy pasture was a welcome site. I hopped off and did the gate duty. Red did not want to stand still for mounting..but I worked with him a bit on that and then we trotted and cantered around a small part of the field, crossed the stream and skirted the larger part.
The cows and calves were all huddled in a hummock trying to get out of the wind.
Karen didnt seem too interested in more cantering. She was tired from shoveling gravel all morning and stressed by her car and family.
Red was pulling to go home, so I pulled him back towards the west and cantered him up a hill away from Dakota. I circled him several times and as we neared the pond a huge gust of wind came and blew up waves in the pond. At the same time Gemma came up over the hill and Red spooked and took off running at full speed and gave two big bucks. I managed to stay on and hauled back on his reins. I was really unbalanced after the second buck and was so totally glad he hadnt given a third one.
Regaining control we circled the pond and met up with Karen and Dakota and rode to the gate. This time Karen hopped off and did gate duty.
Red was chomping at the bit and tried to race for home. I whirled him around and whacked his butt. He was MAD and kicked out wildly to the right then pranced sideways angrily...I made him STAND and calm down then allowed him to walk towards Dakota. From there we mostly walked until we reached the driveway and there I let red trot out.
He really was mostly a very comfortable ride. I told Karen that he is better without shoes on. She didnt think it would make any difference...but she hasnt ridden him unshod...so maybe tomorrow....
It was GREAT to be back on a horse!