Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Horse Hiking

Joseph and I have been doing a little bit of ground driving in the round pen.  I must say I'd much rather be on his back.  I think the communication is clearer that way.  But I haven't been saddling him at all, so we need to work on that.

Sunday we went hiking instead.

Scout has Holstein hips.

These heifers looked totally shocked and scandalized when we popped up out of the creek to say hello.

Then they came in to say hi, and show off how they can pick their noses with their tongues.
 We walked through the middle of them, with them dashing about trying to figure out whether we were a 
threat, and I think I was more tense about it than Joseph was.

Something dead.  Calf, or fawn?  Small ribs, big vertebrae.  Could've been a baby moose or elk, too.  Joseph doesn't mind dead stuff unless it stinks really bad.  Me too.

Water is no problem.  We crossed this creek many times in different places.

Scout was a trooper too.

You can't tell from the picture, but this was the beginning of a a pretty hairy part of the "trail."  I don't think it was even a cow path.  Maybe a seldom used game trail.  It was steep, very thick with brush, and the dry grass and occasional piles of twigs were a slipping hazard.

We made it to the bottom and found ourselves at a very familiar creek crossing.  It was so hot, I wouldn't have been surprised if Joseph had wanted to have a lie down in the water, but he didn't.

I hid in the shade with a bottle of water while he had a tasty snack.

He took everything in stride, even on some really tough terrain.  There were places you definitely couldn't ride through, they were so grown in with branches, and there were places where I had to tell myself, "If I can do it, he can do it."  Of course he did it all more easily than I did on my two legs.  He wasn't bothered by any of it.

He only got worried once, and that was here:
John wanted to get in front of him, I was already sitting on the ground taking a breather since we'd just climbed a tough section of trail to get back to this road.  John and Scout had to squeeze between Joseph and the fence, and John touched his butt to let him know he was going through. Joseph got scared and did a tiny little scoot.  I was sitting in front of him and I'm glad he didn't run me over.  If we were less tired we humans could have handled that situation a little better.  I didn't know what John was doing or I would have moved my horse.  I should have thought about him wanting to get into the shade as well.  No worries, it wasn't a big deal.

Sweet horse, just about climbing in my lap looking for snacks.  :)

I took a picture of the barb wire gate so I can brag on my boy some more.  It's a pain in the butt to get unlatched and drag open, but Joseph isn't phased by any of it.  He waits patiently while I wrestle with it, walks calmly through, waits patiently for the next horse to pass, then stands nicely while I wrestle it closed.  Not a problem.  Not that it's a problem with any of my others, but they were all more worried about these gates at first than Joseph was.

And here we are, hot and exhausted, almost back to the trailer.
Today it is MUCH cooler, definitely fall weather.  I'm going to enjoy some horseplay and then go work with the equine dentist some more.  I worked with her yesterday, on another vet's horses and her new very wonderful mule.  It was fun. I'd love to ride with them sometime but I'm not sure we could keep up.

Oh!  Scout scared the crap out of me this morning!  I thought he was dead!  All the other horses came in, but he was laying flat out, way over by the pond.  Not normal at all.  And I'd heard the donkeys braying more in the night.  I couldn't think what could have killed him so suddenly, unless he got a bad cut (on what though?) and bled out, or a sudden terrible colic.  But I got halfway to him and called his name, his head popped up and he came running.  Silly me.  I worry too much.


American Girl said...

i love the pictures. Looks like a fun trail!

Keechy said...

I don't think any horse owner sees their horse lying flat like that without at least a momentary frisson of fear.

Both Scout and Joseph are looking fantastic!

Cindy D. said...

I agree, we get that little sick feeling when we see that, even if it is just for a second. If I went out in the morning and any of mine were laying down, I'd freak!!!! Simply because they are up and asking for breakfast long before the sun comes up.