Saturday, September 12, 2009

This morning was an early morning for me. I had to have all my feeding done, finish getting ready to go, and get out of here by 7:30 to meet for the trail ride at Liberty Lake at 10. Rode until 2:30 and then drove home. Long day! And it wasn't even over yet.

But first, the ride:

It was great. As I was walking out the door I was thinking, "Why am I doing this again? It's going to be 90 degrees and the yellowjackets are angry this time of year." Happily, nobody was stung, and it was really cool in the trees up high on the mountain. We sure had to climb to get up there, but it was worth it. I think coming back down was harder. Tonka thinks going up is harder. He was soaked with sweat. We've hardly ridden at all lately and he's out of shape.

It was good to see everyone again. I hadn't ever gotten to ride with Cathy before, and her daughter came along too. On her three year old filly! What a darn good horse that is, to be packing kids down the trail with no worries whatsoever at such a young age. Another new rider was Bea. I just love her German accent. Her mustang is fairly green but did really well.

It's interesting, on a ride, the different styles. Some like speed, some don't. Some are on green horses and take it slow, and some are on barely containable older horses. I'm always in the turtle group. Partially because I'm not much into speed, but also because I really appreciate it when people are patient with me and my horse, and so I want to be there for anyone who might be having trouble. Horses need another horse with them, and some people don't pay much attention to that and will run off. Others have their own training issues and can't worry about the green horse behind them. So Tonka and I often play steady eddie, which isn't always to his liking. Of course none of the horses play steady eddie as well as Pepper does. He did a good job slowing Tonka down today.

Speaking of slowing down, I have a bad hip. Yep, at my age. It hurts like crazy sometimes. It was really, really hurting on the downhill portion of the trip today, to the point where it was distracting me from the job at hand (which was mainly to keep from losing an eye on one of the many low hanging branches). So I started breathing into the pain - slow, deep breaths. It was neat to notice how that seemed to affect Tonka. He became less agitated about the horses who had disappeared in front of us and settled into his job of getting down the mountain.

I guess I'm a bit long-winded tonight...

On to Mr. Anchor. He is a neat horse. And he is definitely a horse. Case in point:

This was really no big deal:

This? This was a REALLY. BIG. DEAL.
I was so proud of him when he stood still for me to pet his right side with The Creepy Hand of Death.

Seriously, it's kinda creepy:

Especially with that red at the bottom of the glove. My daughter freaked when I touched her with it. "What is in that thing?!?" "Just paper towels and a rag, dear." "Oh good, that's better than a severed hand."

But I don't think it's so much the "hand" that bothers Anchor, as the touch. He accepted it really well on his good side, not much different from just the bamboo. Touching on the right was soooo hard though.

He's doing great so far.


Lea and her Mustangs said...

Thank you Andrea for coming to ride and for being thoughtfrul for staying to the rear where I always am. Pepper really likes ambling and at my age, me too. I too wasn't done when I got home. Had promised to help a neighbor with her goats and ended up milking 6 (with a machine) Interesting!

Lea and her Mustangs said...
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Andrea said...

No need to thank me for staying behind, I like it there! Except for the dust...

I've never milked with a machine. That would be an interesting newexperience. Hope you didn't have to do the clean-up!

Anonymous said...

Nice progress with Anchor!

Group trail rides can be a bit scary - there are some people who have no sense and don't take account of the needs of other horses and riders. Good for you for helping out with Scout.

Sorry about the hip - is there anything you can do for it? Mine, particularly the right, bothers me sometimes. I just try to keep as active as I can and that seems to help, but it seems to me that you're already pretty active!

Andrea said...

For the hip, I have this rubber band thingie, and I put it around my knees and walk around the house sideways. It really helps a lot but it looks kinda funny. But I haven't done it in about a year... So I'm going to start doing that again. The chiropractor helps some. And actually, riding helps too.