Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Riding with Lioness March

Weekend ride with the barn girls... WINDY-WINDY!!
My stable mate from "Equinemine" blog. Maddy and she, looking on.

This was my stable mate's "Maiden Voyage" with her new trailer and her Maddy mare. She also was trailering another from the stable. I know she was nervous...I was when I first started too...and sometimes now I still can be, wanting for all to go smoothly.

I waited to load mine up till they had theirs inside safely...
It took just a few minutes for the girls to allow the two horses a peek inside and then ask them to go all the way inside. I was so happy they both really trusted their human partners to go ahead into this new -BIG- white box!
Then I went ahead and loaded up mine too, in our rig waiting nearby, with the door, invitingly open.

Wa mare hates to ride alone and she frets and weaves, so I prefer to not have her in there just idle...it rocks the whole rig! I prefer to trailer her with someone in the front spot, but this day, we needed to go it alone. I think the two larger warmblooded horses in the stable, are TOO large for my slant load trailer. So we may be traveling alone alot this summer. If I could have been at the stable the day before, I would have dosed her up on the "DAILY CALM" herbs in the night before grain, and the morning of as well. It seems to help alot with the "edge" of her nervousness.
BUT.... I was at the local TACK SWAP SALE..it is the largest in our area and I'm on the quest to raise enough money to get my new ANSUR Saddle- on time.
I have a trip planned for late MAY and seriously-don't wish to be riding bareback for it!!!
(More on the sale later)

We had three trailers and 4 horses going out this trip. I showed them where to park..as this area was my stomping grounds for the past 2 years. It was, like I said -WINDY as heck- and my mare was coming into season on top of that...so she was in rare form..and having a group of horses is NOT my preferred riding habit. She is so competitive, and quickly  today, she had her adrenaline up. I knew I'd go first and she is an angel TRAILBOSSHOSS  for that position..head low, neck longer, ears perked forward and attentive to where we are going, ..striding out. She usually sets  such a walk pace, others have to trot to keep up.

This trip was to condition on the non muddy, firmer roads. Skye, I call him the "Big Skye", is recovered well from the Tendon injury of last fall..now needs to build up muscles and stamina, as most our horses do, after a minimal wintertime schedule of riding. We were getting tacked up and Julie said..I forgot my girth! Well, since I just went through all my tack and considered, but did not sell my "Wintec Dressage girth"- it was in the trailer! YEA, otherwise two of us would be riding bareback!(her more so than me)We got going.

We started out with 4 horses...but our stable owner dropped out and went on home. The roads are service roads to Forest lands. They have gravel surfaces and with our areas soft soils...harder hooves to take the rocks are not easily found. Even Mustang Cazi I ride..who has hooves of steel...gets sore about this time of year, being in and around muddy paddocks.
Her Paint Willow, had all four boots on, like Wa mare did too..but hers  began to twist and she KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT..a pain in the rear..having to get off and adjsut. NOPE, she called it a good trailering day, and went home to ride our" mostly" rock free lands near the stable.

Us girls rode on into the WINDs of MARCH...not too aweful bad as a LION..but more like a Lioness. Sometimes we'd get a nice break in the trees, like this. Bothe Maddy mare and Big Skye were tenderfooted, having only front shoes on, they sought the sides of the road, over the middle.

We only rode out about an hours time, their horses were not in shape to go on further so we all turned around. My mare had a FIT thinking she'd have to be in back and leaped forward, as she does, a little too close to Maddy. My stable mate offered to help with training, weaving in and out and circling...but I was already beat being bareback, and-after the previous days 5 hour tack  sale-a-thon, on concrete.... I wanted to..but I have to be in better condition mentally and physically, to outlast my mare with  patience and calm. I also must pretalk the ride with others...I feel as though I put others off..if they must babysit the High strung mare-o-mine.
 It's easier just going in front or Solo. Washashe does not give in easily and I end up alone most times, either ahead, or sooo far behind that she sees other horses-NOT- to have a walking calm mare. It'as teadious and sometimes stressful/ dangerious..according to where on the trail or road we are.
After 4  years of trying...I'm not too sure  it's worth it, to get all the TB out of her-is that possible? (ha, kidding)
I do have 4 other riding partners that have gone the distance with me,  these past 2 years..the mare is  willing to be in front or back and trade off with them...but it did take time in-each ride to make sure she remained relaxed.

We adventured a bit on the way back. There are two properties for sale in these deep woods. My stable mate went up to one of the houses and barns to check it out~


Up and back down, she and Big Skye went

 At one point, I knew I wanted to allow the mare to stretch her legs..so I got clearance to go. We then flew off..what a nice gallop we had! She soon realised though...the other horses were NOT behind us! She neighed and neighed...she rarely does this, but these are "her horses". I got to one of the forest land gates and heard a weird noise..it was a truck driving up...humm...the other gals soon arrived too...and we all looked at these intruders, to our quiet ride day.
EARLY for a beer I thought!

They soon were around the gate and I was decidedly hand walking now...we'd try this behind them to start with, I thought. Wa did alright with many "half halts" in my walking, she payed attention and did not rush -oo much. I forgot to put my blue plastic bag in my saddle bags..it helps with her keeping a distance when I put it behind my back..she can be so trying sometimes..I use any help i can get to refocus her competitive nature.

Once back at the trailers, the nice, calm  loading ritual began..I loaded my Washashe mare  and then they soon loaded Maddy & Big Skye. Uneventful and reassuring for the future.

The  Maiden Voyage for Julie was a success!



  1. Val prefers to be the leader too, and his running up the back of other horses has been a (pardon the pun) pain in the butt ;)

    Sounds like you had a good ride despite a few issues - aren't there always where horses are concerned?!

    So excited about your saddle. I think Ansur just cam out with a convertible dressage / trail saddle - have you seen it?

  2. You've gotten so much rain but now you're rewarded with all that GREEN! The photos are magical - I always feel as though I'm there with you. I also always learn something new, like this: "tenderfooted, having only front shoes on, they sought the sides of the road, over the middle"

  3. I know I've said it before... but your trails are JUST..SO.. BEAUTIFUL!!...

  4. Wa is what she is and will always be. Can't take it out of her I don't think:) Cassy doesn't mind being in the back so much as long as her leader isn't slow, if they are she will head butt them to push them along, lol. I only allowed her to do this to her very best friend and pasture mate when I knew she wouldn't be kicked! Fun ride you all had, hope you get that saddle soon.

  5. Christian~
    I've had that happen with this one..she'll get the angle on me and go for it( so rude too!)...I know when it is coming now and can trun her off by turning her around. Then all the horses leave and I have to wait till they are completely out of sight..then she's good!
    YUP..always a training ride I say, be prepared to add some!

    The "Crossover" is the "Endevor" dressage saddle, made to look Western. It is gorgeous!
    Julie (my stablemate)is the Videographer that has done the videos for the web site of "ANSUR". She may be getting one of the "Crossovers" free...she has the "Classic" now.
    OH YES...I dream of my new "Konklusion" saddle and how delicious it'll feel-for the BOTH of us!

    I am so happy that you come along for my rides!! I love, and absolutely adore your MOUNTAINS and WILDLIFE and Hikes! Not to mention, your positive outlook at this life we all have and the twists and turns you take- in stride!

    I think of you and Lori Skoog when I post wooded areas and water. Glad that you come for the ride!
    P.S. I'm still looking up the design factors of that saddle you mentioned. I'm pretty much decided now, with all the newer matierals of a co-polymer flexing, carbon infused nature..I won't ever go back to a "Wood Tree" again. Those horseshoes I tried last year are as such as well...they absorb shock and flex.

    OH GOOD TO KNOW about Cassy! Since we shall be RIDING TOGETHER this summer! But with only 2, (if Gem does not come) it should be good anyway.
    Yea, I'm defensive a bit..I've a lot of NH folks eyeballing me and telling me it's all my fault, her TB-ness. She will "come back" to me though, credit points!
    We've come so far together and if I had stuck to the NH..wouldn't have ridden at all!
    I'm trying hard to sell anything I can for the saddle to be MINE when it's done! MAY sometime, I hope. I do dream of a few things .. I always dream of how it would be to ride my mare in an arena environment, calmly, and balanced-no attiude from her. Now, I dream of "posting" and "two point" or even "half seat"! I really miss stirrups!

  6. Riding in a group is always a challenge, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it's a trial. I really like riding alone when I ride Beamer, because I don't have to deal with his stallion issues. But it's always good to have them behave in a group, especially if they are willing to put up with training issues.Because after all, it might be my horse on one ride and someone else's horse on the next ride. Good trail partners are hard to find.

  7. Yay! Another happy ride in beautiful country. I love going along on your rides.

  8. If that ol` mare of mine isnt the lead horse? Its like being on a sullen, ears back miserable donkey!

    She hates the back, but as we do ride with others, its an issue we are addressing. (Mainly by being in front!)
    Great ride, well done.

  9. Nice ride! I like riding with others, actually never ridden out alone.

    Pretty horse that Big Skye, I can see how he his name.

  10. Such colorful butts at the end! LOL LOL
    Cant wait to hear how you did at the sale!
    The Expo was fun!

  11. Wa mare is what she is. All TB !! WOW Sky is a beautiful horse!!!!! <3

    I need to sell a saddle... can't decide which one though. I'm thinking my roper and keep the Aussie for Rosie and my husband.

  12. Oh, you do live the great life out there with your sweet horses and trailers and wonderful trails. Wow! I love your stories. Glad you all had a safe and happy ride. What a funny adorable photo at the end!

    Very excited to hear about the sale. It must have been an adventure. Where in the world do you get all your energy? Did you go to the sale BEFORE the ride? I think I would have gone to the sale and then gone to bed. Those types of things tire me out. But, you trailered and went on a trail ride? You are amazing!

  13. Sounds like a good day overall.
    I can't wait to trailer out!

  14. I can understand how you feel about riding the lead horse all the time. Dusty won't let anyone in front of her either, she always has to be leader of the pack and it is tiresome. Sometimes you'd like to just meander along peacefully but not on these mares.

    Skye is gorgeous and so is Maddy(and of course Wa mare too). Glad you all had a good day and Julie and her trailering went smoothly. Many more rides in your futures. And yes, I think it was a little early for a beer!

  15. Juliette~
    DITTO back on ya...I so enjoy riding with you and your 2(soon 3) TB boys!
    Oh no...I could't have done that gruling sale and ride the same day...I have a problem standing on Concrete...since I stand for a living...the concrete wears me out, I tell ya!
    The ride was the next day...and the fact that I am sick now...tells me that I OVERDID!!

    ill~ Yes, I am excited for you too...did you get that "facemask" bumper for Scout?

    It has helped me that you, and others have expressed the same attitudes that my Wa has, in your horses..I am happy that I shared my seemng problems to find, across the board it is a horse/herd thing. Some lead, some follow.
    Whenever I am in the back and her head is down and I may relax...I quickly say aloud, "This is my petfect trail horse~" And actually, she is perfect in the lead too!

  16. I love it and feel so inspired to ride in this beautiful spring weather. Your pics are so great too!

  17. A good experience for all. Love the new trailer for Maddy. Great choice.

  18. The horses loaded well in the new trailer and you all made it through the ride without a major mishap. That's pretty good for a first ride of Spring.

    The pics are lovely. The scenery is so green and lush. Thanks for taking us along.

  19. That first picture is awesome. Some candid! Glad the maiden voyage was successful! Beautiful scenery.

  20. I WAS AT THE TACK SALE and could have met you!!!! I probably passed you without knowing. What a missed opportunity to meet a mentor!

  21. Oooohhhhh Im in love with your new header picture. That gorgeous set of ears just made for looking between.
    So glad you had a good ride out despite the wind .....stoney ground and slightly unsettled Wa mare. Am keen to hear more about the tack sale and any bargains you made .....happy days ....and lovely times spent with special riding buddies

  22. OOOHHWA..you're kidding me Heather! So sorry we missed too! And another OHWA! you're kidding Heather, how cold I be a mentor??

    She has cute ears! Thanks...I love all the ponds we ride near now..they are dreamy and reflective.
    Working on the post now on the sale..wish I were a clever writier!


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