Monday, April 25, 2011

A Beautiful Riding Memory- changed

BIG FIR LANE

video

Went to the stable to investigate our new views . I was informed,
 they have changed somewhat~
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------home again-----

I dared the ride in the wind, to go see the fate of BIG FIR LANE.
I was told to come right home afterwards by Joni -the miraculous  horseback survivor - she was at the stable yesterday and she bid me a safe jaunt out, but almost unwillingly so.  We are both still shaken up after last Friday's events.
 I walked the mare till I felt good enough to ride..the wind did have me pensive a little. She was a bit spooky, but nothing really fearful..so we ventured. She seemed lame, her head was bobbing..so I was trying to figure out what leg/hoof it was as we walked. I had done some lunging with my "balance system" for 15 minutes and she did not seem lame in the arena.
She is very soft in the hooves from the continued MUDD. I am thinking it is tender hooves, and maybe one more than the rest for the bobbing motion. I am going to have to sacrifice some New saddle $ for the EASYWALKER horse shoes- soon...the Hoof boots just won't stay on-or straight- in these conditions of many creeks, mudd bogs and puddles, they stretch far to much. These particular boots have served us well though...over a years time, we have used them..but not with out some tweaking and taping and OH!

This was our first evidences of the  heavy machinery~



We ventured farther and I saw the big GAP in the wood, where BIG FIR LANE used to be! 
It would have extended directly ahead of us, making a symetrical evergreen row to match the one on the left of the bare trees.



Here is a before shot from last October, when I moved in to this area to board.


And below...my mare's lft ear, is right on the very same tree~


Here is what we found today~


I was unable to go to the far angle view...too windy and it began to hail. This is what we used to ride through, in the sunsets that poured over our right shoulders, from the  West~


Everything Must change, and does!
In fact, it is one of life's constants...I say there are two main constants(aside form the obvious life and death) CHANGE & the unending love of the LORD!


UPDATE!
Joni, dear heart has been recovering nicely from her fall . She  appreciates all your Prayers & concerned, healthful wishes towards her! She asked me to post a photo of her wearing her helmet...she knows that God spared her life, but she also says that wearing her helmet (a Troxel) saved her directly too!



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Divine Riding Graces

Good Friday in our neck of the woods was a beautiful day to be alive...and of course, go ride!


With the hit and miss days of sun vs rain..we sure got it good this day!
 I sent a MSG out to my riding partner from the stable, that I was about to go on a ride...was she available? She got back to me, "Give me an hour"...OKAY! I hooked up to her trailer, as her BIG SKYE Paint horse is way to large for my normal 2 hse trailer. Hers is the same brand, a "Thuro bilt", but more a stock trailer- taller wider.
***
I confess that this is the most recent riding adventure, and not any of the "Looking Back" I promised last post. This is very important to me and I MUST interrupt myself, and post it firstly~
***
My girlfriend and I loaded the horses and planned to go to my old riding stable's places at "ABRAHAM ACRES". Big Skye, for some reason was being a pill loading again..he tested and evaded and finally conceded. This behaviour is new for him and has my friend slightly annoyed...but she practiced her breathing and calm and eventually was able to calmly load her horse. We drove through the sunshine to my former private boarding barn. I had looked for the release forms for her to sign and we had a little conversation about how "inherently dangerous" horses are to us humans..with me adding to the end of the statement, " And I love every minute of being with them!" She agreed. I did not find the release, and my former PBO txt's me to were they were, but since we we already gone...it did not matter till we returned.


Lazy, hazy attitudes we got from the horses...they seemed very content. I had all 4 of Wa's hoof boots on and she was hesitant to go down the road... she took second behind Big Skye again. She has done this now quite a few times this spring. First, as I rode with my "Must Ride" partner with Simeon the day I almost lost my camera..and this ride again, with Skye. It's our third in 2 weeks time, and she is at ease with him. I am enjoying it, but actually wonder too, if she is in her right mind..it is a HUGE departure from herself.

We had a nice time chatting it up and walking down the rode.  As we neared the PORT BLAKELY service gate to the forests, I got to tell her about the neat, new gate features to keep OUT the motorcyle croud. We asked and asked last year, for this to happen...It did! The man that lived across the street has done the work for the forest manager. Just last weekend as my former PBO and I were trying to figure out how to get horses in, wtihout allowing the motorized group in...the man came out to meet us and to show us where we could enter. *** I entered his photo and name into my phone, then.***
We entered the forests and took the firtst right, down the trail off the service road.
I dismounted for some of the first lower trail, it is  too slick for the boots, and me to ride. The mare slipped behind me plenty, as I walked ahead of her. I felt good that I was not adding to the slippage with my weight and directives I would have been giving. I remounted shortly, we rode to the next service gate, to go up the mountain, some  2 miles away according to our Brittish Riding partner. He sounded off with our speed and miles per hour - "HOORAH"..totally funny, we both had him logging our ride.
This is the first leg to my 3-4 hour loop around "Stony Mountain". It is a good conditioning start for the horses for hills. We planned to go up to  the top of the first hill and return, calling it good.

 The horses were in control when we trotted and also cantered some.  Once both of them wanted to continue cantering even when I put my right arm up in the stopping signal..I had some trouble stopping as soon as I wanted...she did too..but we both had a straight shot and room to go another couple paces. It was all fine and normal. They had a light sweat going by the top, and our destination.



We walked with them some of the way down. I always walk Wa mare at this point, as it is really a creek bed and rocks are everywhere..not small ones, but larger round ones. My girlfriend walked Big Skye too. I had lots of re-mounting to do this day...one of my hoof boots WOULD NOT stay straight on her hind..so I finally removed it. Then it fell from my Soft saddle, I tied it too loose. ARG!
We were just really Praising God for the day. On this "Good Friday", we revelled in being out and about with our horses in the woods....we share our Faith together and that is such neat blessing!

I mounted up again, rode the 40 minutes to the lower trail from the service road 1/2 mile from home, dismounted for that slick stuff...and finally found a log to remount again. My friend had walked back  aways from us...giving us space. I hurled myself on the mare and stood and looked back at her and Skye. She  saw us and seemed fine, so I started to walk my mare. I looked back again and they had decided to canter up to us...I kept walking slowly...then heard her all of a sudden say, "HOLD UP"...I stopped, turned, and saw through the evergreen tree Big Skye, apparently bucking...but I couldn't see my friend! I heard a loud- "THUD" and here came  Skye...without his rider!!
OH! I told him to "WHOA", throwing my arm up into the air in authority- and so did my mare, swishing her tail and pinning her ears as he cantered to us. He stopped and I was off in a flash to grab his reins.....I heard nothing.... it REALLY- REALLY scared me and I cry again now, to even think of the sight I beheld, as I walked around the little corner.

SKYE snorted loudly, and I gasped...my friend was in a heap on the ground! I prayed so loudly over the sight- " God to have MERCY and Extend GRACE to my friend and for "Jehovah RAFA",(the God that Heals),  help her please and  "Jehovah Saboath", (the LORD of HOSTS) please be protecting her at this very moment from harm."
Using the names of God, in specific times of prayer, is like calling upon a known friend to help.

I still did not know if she was alive.............

AUTOPILET started in me..... I multi tasked, got my phone out...the Brittish voice, telling me that I had not moved an how much time had passed- was NOT helpful! Turned him off. Pressed my speed dial number for Gemma, whose property we parked  on.

I just couldn't get the horses tied fast enough... got mine first, I had my halter bridle on with a rope...that was totally easy and she was totally good about it...then as Skye was shying and snorting still....I kept and EYEBALL on my friend, prayed  as the phone rang- kept tying the horse and then- SAW HER CHEST MOVE up and down in a breath!!!
I called out to her, "Praise JESUS!!," and also - "Joni, Don't move!!"..knowing I had to get over there to keep her still.
The horse was being a pill...moving back and forth and making it extremely difficult for me to tie... Then, my friend Gemma  answered on the phone! I am yelling at Joni, trying to tie the horse....told her that we had a horse accident, where we were and my friend was unconscious and to bring the car.
THAT was 2 MINUTES into it... As I finished the call and finally got her horse tethered and before I could reach her..she slightly raised up from the ground, "Joni don't move", I said again. She also moved her feet to flat on the ground and her knees to bent. I was happy she was not paralyzed...but quickly got to her, to keep her from moving anymore!
3 MINUTES into it as I finally got to my friend and she dazily looked up and my teary face and said, "What happened??" for the first time...I quickly realized...she needed professional help- NOW! 5 MINUTES into it I called back,  asked for the nearest EMT team to come for her,and  please call 911!
All this seemed to take so long....she kept coming and going into a waking state to not. She complained of a headache and a feeling of needing to throw up. I thought about which direction to turn her head if she actually did...she was flat on her back. I got her phone out of her pocket as she closed her eyes again. MAN...I had a hard time figuring out her phone!! I had to call her husband! I also had to turn off the Brittish man telling us things about the"workout paused"!! She opend her eyes and began to ask again, "What happened?"..this went on for 10 minutes..her asking me that..I asked her some questions too..she had no answers for me except-her husbands name and her own. I called him, gave him directions..then called the PORT BLAKELY land manager to open the gate for the EMTs. THEN...since I had the number, I called the man at the end of the road***...told him what happened. He was on it...told me he would bring a MULE down for her to be transported out. It is a QUAD vehicle.( this was a total God -going before us-*** circumstance, I had just met the man the wkend before!)
Everyone arrived shortly..I was trying to move the horses below the action as the team helped my down friend...my mare became too excited to take past Joni on the ground..do I had to take her above them.




The team looked at her helmet, asked me questions and arranged for a "Life Flight" helicopter to come to the nearest town. It all was done with within 35-40 minutes time!

Blurry phone shot...the MULE taking her OUT OF THE WOODS.


I watched them load her into the ambulance vehicle. I stood with my friend John and Gemma, who's property we were parked on. They helped me so MUCH by coming to my(our) rescue!! They too, Share the same faith and it greatly relieved me to know...prayers were sent out from the first minute onward.



I called my husband to pray and also the Stable owner where we boarded..to let them know what had occurred and that I would try to load Skye and Wa and bring them home again.


Yet, another blessing..Skye loaded for me in four halts and five steps! He never tried to turn away or back up...I was so thankful...he knew it too, as he got the remaining carrot chunk from my pocket!
Got them home safe, unloaded, untacked them and put them into stalls...parked the trailer, and just let down and balled and balled all the way home!


                   Trillium flower, from the top of the trail we rested on~


 As the night progressed calls came in to let us know that the cat scan was clear and that Joni really wanted to go home...they allowed her to! She is now resting at home, with an apt to return to the hospital in a week.
I went to the stable yesterday, my mare was so relaxed and worn out from the previous day... the owner was filling the stalls with shavings and had thrown the empty white bag in the aisle behind us...the wind picked it up suddenly. I watched in almost slow motion, as these things seem to be sometimes, as my mare in cross ties reacted ever so slightly as the bag almost blew under her legs. She was just so out of it, she barely reacted to one of her Nemesis's!
I  just took the mare out to eat grasses for a few hours.

 Joni and I spoke before I had left for the stable...her memory was coming back so nicely,  as I asked her what she remembered. She told me she remembered me jumping on and that she had moved Skye aways away, because he was so antsy. After I jumped on...then, she said she thought maybe I had been trotting or cantering- TO  MY HORROR- she thought that...in fact, I was having huge, painful thoughts of my walking  the mare at all, was a fault to the day. She quickly said to me, as I cried, " DON'T you do that to yourself! There was nothing that you did wrong, my horse sometimes does these things.."....
I knew that I was forgiven, be it my fault or be it something we had just discussed about horse back riding being "inherently dangerous".

She also told me that she had missed her only Helicopter ride by being out of it..and that once in the Hospital, when they told her they had to cut her shirt off...she had requested, "Please don't cut My riding boots off!"

All in all this EASTER SUNDAY, We are overjoyed by the Love of GOD towards us.  And- My girlfriend and I have been bonded closer together  now-through the hazardous LOVE OF HORSES!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Looking back


Literally so, the mare is trying to tell me that she'd rather go the other way!!
I could not resist her innocent face as she stared back towards the normal trail homeward last Sunny -Sunday. I had started out with a raincoat on...but it became too hot to wear as hand walked with the mare, so in ditched it in a tree...we had to go back that way , for me to retrieve it!
Yes, we have has at least one more day of the brighter, somewhat warmer stuff. Last weekend was full of some riding and some horse management stuff. We had the fecal testing done and all the stable's horses were at the low shed -200 mark. So the vet recomended our wormer and the owner administred it that morning Sunday. I don't ride much at the worming time, just hand walk or light in hand.


OF course, it turned out to be  "the sunny day" of the week! Things are finally looking colorful, weeds and flowers alike! They don't really show up in the dark grey days we have had.

I came out to the stable  knowing I was going to go on a "mare/walk", a nice Grass eating quest. But, I decided to bareback saddle her and maybe sit on her as we went from destination to destination..it was barely riding. She was elated to find me actually passive about when and where she dipped her head to the grounds, for the delightful greens.



Okay, I just sold my Mecate' reins to a blogger friend Jane but now, I miss "one" aspect of them..the length.   I love to allow the mare to munch occasionally, on a period of break during a ride. But all my favorite reins are too short for me to relax...I have to almost lean forward to keep ahold of them, while she has her head down. So, I am on the hunt for some rope reins, with clips, that are longer.


Here is something cool~I have a NEW RIDING PARTNER- He is British, he rides WITH ME, though he has no horse. He has greatly encouraged me, in my pursuit of loosing weight.....
I ran out of card room on my camera's sd card or I would have gotten more of him talking to me. He had me Hooting it up in the woods last Sunday! I laughed loudly so, as I figured out his accent and that he was cheering me on! "HOORAH!" He'll say, after telling me our speed.
He lives in a free "Application" I downloaded to my phone called,  "CARDIO TRAINER"...he speaks to us as we ride and tracks us on GPS and COUNTY MAPS-mileage-location-calories burned and yes...speed...listen to him...
It is quite a small clip so turn up the sound or you'll miss him!



video

The mare wondered where the Brit dude was...he talks to us about every  2 minutes saying how far we've gone and how long we've been riding..then of course, the "Speed--- per hour-Hoorah!"

My stable mate uses him as well, to cheer her and her Big Skye horse on, as they ride !


 Funny too, when you stop the process and save your data..it tells you in a food item, how many calories you've burnt. Ha, I earned a STRAWBERRY...that's like when I  tested it out and walked from one end of the barn to the other. Our Sunny Sunday walk/munch time out was a whole AVOCADO ride! Usually, we ride a 5 banana ride.(4.5 mi)
(notice...we are traveling in the back in pic above??!!)
I have begun to see a different mare of late..it is kinda neat-o!

So we munched along in the sunshine day, the mare and me...seeing new sights for our trails..this one had taken the overflow of a nearby pond!

The tranquil grazing location below, we stayed in for some time...and my Brit riding partner says then, "workout paused".



"Workout resumed" , and we strode home..head bobbing up and down for the clumps!
There is so much to tell you all and I have had- no time- to sit and log the accounts of any of it, till today. So as to not make this too long, I will be "Looking back" for the next day or two to catch you up on some exciting times and also some amazing findings in the life and times of two mares, Pantz and Washashe along with a years anniversary creation and Freyda wishes some blog time too!

Happiest of Eastertides to you, my dear friends!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'll take it

                                   Mr. Sunshine appeared, and it happened to be my day off!!


Since having the flu-throat-cough-stuff... this is week 3 of just a little cough remaining.  One or two sunny days gives me hope without doing me in! I'll take what I can get for sunshine- to me it is HEALTHSHINE!

Everyone is itching to GET OUT THERE and RIDE-HIKE-GARDEN-and WALK about!!! Mee too.. SO to get this day, that is above 45 and sunny..I am in it and on my mare!
Unfortunately lately, when my throat hits the differing temps, warm air of my rig to icy cold to all across the board through the stable and taking a ride..woo..I HAVE to keep my neck warmer on or It croaks and spasms...and feels like it may relapse into something. But one MUST GET SUNSHINE in their eyes and also its goodness spilling warmth  throughout the body ! I HAD to go for a ride..even if bundled up to the neck!

 As I arrived, someone was leading Wa out to the turnout fields( or was it the other way around?!) the mare was so pleased to get out...prancing along.  We have had rain storms mixed with  heavy, pelting, hails.  So the horses were in most the week.
I drove  up right before the mare was to the fields, I tapped the horn to get the attention of the handler..they heard me and turned around. Washashe felt VERY slighted! I could clearly see that!

Three people had horses ready to go, as I entered the stable. A trailer was hooked up and I thought for sure- 2 of them were jetting off together..nope. All were heading in separate directions this sunny, warm day.

The mare and me too...headed out for our  only solo- ride of the blustery week. It was finally inviting us to come play!


I had no training agenda in mind, we both were so content to get out into the sun shining world.
 I let the mare choose the directions. She picked a new trail loop we had worked on a few weeks ago, as I walked with her. It was forged by the logging trucks of last month, and takes us to a neat-o-trail that will will be good enough for jumps later, when it dries a bit. When I took her for that  "Mare Walk", she rather liked the new scene. She does love her change of venue and scenery.

This new trail spilled us over to another road we trotted up. As we topped the hill, I looked at the foothills. They were freshly dusted with a snowy  icing. Those hills  are (and will be again)  our summer riding places. Hill training grounds- 1000 feet  up to 2000.
I am wondering how we shall do later in the summer, we have reservations for Eastern Oregon with the stable to stay in Joeseph, Oregon. It is much higher in elevation.


Some of you may remember me mentioning a Clinic I was to Audit  at a nearby stable with one of my stable mates. It was supposedly on Biomecanics of riding. I say supposedly because..I  was so disgusted with what I saw there.
It to me, was no less than horse abuse and poor training at a HIGH price. I won't mention any names or publish any photos...but, it was sickening and the older trainer-( my sister remembers riding along side them YEARS ago)  a judge at one point in their life, allowed one local trainer to abuse her poor horse and some other talented girls to have some of the worst postures, creating their own riding problems.
The well known instructor..tried to get the younger riders (not the puffed up &seemingly on crack or speed- abusive, local trainer) to ask their horses for things(unsuccessfully so) for something my mare and I do ALL THE TIME...
SIDE PASS!!!
I did not see one step without a jerk of the bit and or, a kick of the heal...unfortunate!!!
As I thought of them jerking and kicking and hitting...the trail I was on had some low hanging branches...I asked the mare for halt-I breathed out- I shifted my weight to the right slightly, without collapsing my hip. It is easier with a stirrup to step into but, I pretended it was there...I gently touched her left girth and the mare stepped over, accordingly, one correct step at a time. Then we were smack-dab-next to the branch for me to tweak out of the trails line of travel!  She got a big rub and audible praise, each step too!
It is hard to see the remnants of the fir tree branch upon her mane..but with tweaking, comes the drizzling of the needles!


Wa mare used to become upset with things crashing around/above her, and also the trickle effect, of needles,  leaves and bark falling on us- as I broke the branches. Now she is really patient..after the many years of doing such things on trail rides! I think she enjoys the standing time now. I can let the reins rest on her withers ( I tether them to the grab strap-in case of sudden movement)  and use both hands to tweak our favorite trails!

We went onward riding, after the tweaking of branches- to the "BIG FIR LANE". It was  pleasantly dappled with the shadows of them! I let the mare drop her head to the ground and walk...it was so peaceful!


Now here is where my Wa mare actually surprised me...she apparently had a training agenda -for this day-I was SHOCKED TO DISCOVER!!!
She turned up the clear road way and towards the farm with llamas ,  donkey and many other assorted noises, that usually have her saying in her mare body language,
 "can we turn around now?!!"
Not this day! This day, was hers to discover her own strength to face down her world, with me being very encouraging for her to try- one step at a time-allowing her to stop when ever she wanted and start again, at her will. It was a glorious SUNNY DAY, I had no where else on earth to be!!!


She took in the sights..sniffed the winds for clues to what she was up against...I zoomed in on the cute little donkey, checking us out too.


No one decided to come nearer the fence line this day. I was  secretly happy about this as, I wanted Wa mare to be able to make the entire fence line with out  (seemingly)  an apparent challenge from the inhabitants of the farm.


As the donkey walked slowly down the the llamas, they rolled and bucked and tossed the top notch of furry masses of hair around. We delighted in the distance we could watch all this from!


As I asked for a step at a time towards the herd of unusual creatures...it happened....
The wind blew the strong scent of them to the nostrils of my mare!
She caught the unusual scents-snuffled it in and into her thought process...! I was so giggling inside too...she would dip her head up and down..look to the left and to me, then back, then to the right and to me, then ahead again. She never tried to move away...I loved it!



video

It was delightful..we moved on around the field and then cantered up a small hill and turned right, to go towards the next set of llamas. This is her disliked avenue. She did not want to go there and thought she saw something in the distance, so she just had to stop to check it out.


There we NO llamas this day, in the avenue of fear..but she stopped dead soon enough. Something else was coming!
It was my PBO on her Neat Paint gelding, Skyler. Sometime I'll show you all the quirky, cool things he does...like smile and fetch. HA!
We stood and talked it up for 10 minutes, which was excellent for Wa mare to just chill with someone new. I had to pull her away from touching him a few times...she can be a hypocrite. IF HE  HAD TRIED TO TOUCH HER...oh..  snarky face and maybe a LOUD squeel!


But no, Skyler ignored  this Mahogany bay mare and stood his distance. He was interested in what he may find to nibble on, below~


It was such a nice ride, hopefully back to health for me and the start of training for the mare and me.
She was really sweet, and to be with out on the first nice day- LOVED THAT!
 She got frazzled once, when someone above the road level and out of her view at one of the ponds, chopped something loudly.  She startled and jumped forward. We turned back and as it happened again she jumped again, but we went even  higher, to see the noisy humans.
All was well again in her sunny world!

Home safely from the solo ride...the mare relaxed in the sun.


This look cracks me up...she must have heard something behind!


I actually did not put her blanket on for her remainder of the days turnout knowing... she'd love to muddy up herself...but to my shock, she did not roll. She visited with her turnout buddy Theo, lazily sunned herself and went to seek some springtime grasses.





Next time out- we go for some time with her Lead mare Pantz..."A barn-over" !

Hope you all are enjoying some springtime!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One on the list

My Thoroughbred mare Washashe, is very opinionated.


She is the first mare I have owned aside from my pony Trixie.  But at age 7, I was not observing Trixie's Nature so much. She was  my pony, and maybe I noticed a heat cycle...but truly now, I do not recall it.  I don't recall her ever balking at anything we did or anywhere we went.
After nearly 25 years without a horse-all the learning has come whoosh bang-fast and hard! Reasons for behaviour can be simple and sometimes, very complex.

Washashe mare of course, is somewhat touchy and reactive during the sensitive times of season. And there is the pre season and the post season times as well .(it seems "~'  )
 I take her into account and  change/diminish the amount what I may ask her to do -accordingly.
It's tough being Washashe, and at that time, it's even harder! Focus is disturbed and I am like an nat bugging her, so to make sure it's not tough being me, her rider!  I do take care and like I said, I diminish greatly what we do.


 I care for her  and the things she goes through. I want to acknowledge them, and also be a smart manager of my horse. It is what it is, nature at it's finest and I try helping her through the symptoms by giving her Raspberry leaves. Fresh in the summer, I dry them myself, and through the other times, I buy bulk organic. It does seem to take the edge off..as well as for us women too..Raspberry tea is very good.


THAT isn't really ON THE LIST of disliked RIDING THINGS ( I'M the only thing on that season list) Wa mare has..that is just nature.

Her LIST begins with- and is not limited to:
  1. RIDING IN WIND
  2. Riding in rain that is moving sideways, in wind
  3. Riding through deep muddy bogs
  4. Riding through thick underbrush ( or a deep wooded area with narrow, uneven trails)
  5. Slippery trails (second only to)
  6. Steep, slippery trails
  7. Hills with rocks
  8. Creeks with large rocks
  9. Riding near or around fiercely barking or lunging at us- DOGS ( when she even hears a dark bark, she is high alert)
  10. CLIFF edged trails
  11. Riding near llama's (this may be taken off the list soon~)
 ALL the above- being in back!


I understand  why she dislikes all of them. As much as I sometimes want that trail horse that is oblivious to-some-or  most of those things... I have ridden THAT horse over the past 4 years..and let me tell you- I AM HAPPY WITH MY MARE!!
 She is honest and true about her dislikes, I just need to know the terrains we travel and make wise decisions.
FORTUNATELY, there are many destinations here where we live, to meet the safety needs of riding in any weather!

 I can mix & match some of the dislikes - And get a fine ride in on my mare .


I dismount for some bad hills, she settles and is able to pick her way without my weight atop. She also frets about being hit in the mouth ( why I like bit less for the trails) is she gets upset and rushes or slips. Though, my sign to her if bited, is to put my hand upon her withers with the reins, so she may pick and choose her way without my hands moving at all. She does honor this most times, by going slower and methodically so.

When she dislikes something she rushes..."get this crap thing over with!"  Her nervousness towards an area and it's terrain, it has gotten us in BIG trouble in the past. Her falling or almost falling.  Doing laterals or backing or anything that involves pressure =AMPS HER HORSEY ENGINE UP!
So to dismount is to be safe.

ROCKY HILLS and rocky creeks. I put hoof boots on her. As Long as she has  something to grab onto with the boots, she is good. But riding onto slicker trails with boots, NEVER again! She starts to dance with nervousness, to keep herself upright.

Wind riding-is okay without the rain involved AND if I stay to the open areas. She can clearly see the predators there..they won't pounce on her from a tree above! Being smack -dab-in the middle of the forest..as it is moving in wind..I have found- makes for a wild ride as she wishes to get out of it!


 
DOGS we can conquer, if I speak aloud to the dog. It  is likened to my "Trail Opera". Speaking loudly or singing seems to cover the scarey times and she settles.
If I know the dog is contained, I can take my time with her fears..by approaching and stopping, settling and then again moving forward. If we are somewhere ( I try NOT to go to these places) where the dogs may be off leash..I am prepared to jump off and defend her. She knows this too..I have defended her before by hacking a pit bull in the face as it B-lined for her hind legs.
NOW,  I'd  probably just spray it with my Bear mace!!

THICKLY UNDERBRUSHED forest trails or beach trails.
 I won't do the beach trails unless I know they have been trimmed..those  scrubby trees and sage bushes really gouge, poke and scratch!
 If I have to 'Off Trail it" because of downed trees or an obstruction...she gets nervous with the sinking ground and poky untrimmed branches...plus, me leaning over and such. We do it all the time, and I know she dislikes it but sometimes-you gotta do-what you gotta do!

IF IT'S STEEP uphill and dry..we go for it. If it is not dry, I dismount, place the rein on the halter ring and undo the other side, get behind her and hold her tail ( if bitless-connect both rings)...she knows what to do now and we walk up ( I mean really Steep) the  trail together!
If it is a downhill steep...I walk besides her, holding  the stirrup leather for ballast. These past months being bareback.. I hold onto the girth ring or pomel grab strap.

So, though it may seem a rather large list for a trail horse...  I Keep in mind, these places we go to are not on the trail maps, most times. They are being forged by us, and reestablished as  usable trails.
ALL The ways she  does come through for me on trail rides, with her level head and willingness to try. Her athletic ability and  ability to rarely tire.
  Her trot...oh man, her floaty trot..others are cantering to keep up, and she is floating in trot!
Her being a mare and a Thoroughbred mare at that, has me smitten with all she does with me!

LOVE does not cover my emotion for this mare-o-mine.  I do LOVE her deeply, but more than that, I admire her so much. For all the trials she seems to hand me sometimes, I actually am handing her the same ones...she is just talking to me through her opinion and reality of the issues! The longer I know her, the more I accept her for who she is. She just about has me trained to her liking!!


 I am hers and she is mine..that is the long and short list of it~

 
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