Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hitting the Trails with a Good Friend

I think it might be safe to say that Spring is here in the Pacific Northwest. While rainy days will still be upon us, its been pretty consistent to have days above 50 degrees, and some sunshine. I'm taking a word of advice from Boyfriend, and trying to enjoy my "time off" as something like a vacation. It is nice to be home with the sunshine out! As said before, Milo is naked now, at least until the flies get worse, then his fly sheet will go on. I hosed and scrubbed last year's fly mask in preparation for this years' use - he's already getting a little more pink on his nose.

Yesterday my friend from WSU, who is home for the summer now, picked me up from my house and brought me to the barn. She works for the county in the summer, and it's Central Kitsap location is only a few minutes from my house. Bless her for helping me out! But lord knows how many times I drove her to school back in High School! :)

Anyways, we decided with the beautiful weather, and her horse back from Pullman, to hit the trails for a short ride. Her horse is overcoming some sort of ailment, but is not out-right lame. She has been walking him only, and increasing the time spent in the saddle each day. I knew of a good loop we could take on the trail that avoided hills and rocky surfaces. We headed out, and had a fabulous time. Milo, when even in the rear, was not very tense and upset about succumbing the lead position, but walked nicely behind, albeit closely behind. But Major and Milo have what we call a "Bro-mance", so Major didnt mind.

We had a fantastic relaxed ride, and Milo was relaxed through his topline, and I even was able to pick up the outside rein and he met my contact. We arced back and forth on the trail, and I did some torso twisting, reinforcing softness through both our bodies. The trail ride was short, but lovely.

Clara seems a little challenged when finding center in the camera... :P
Clara and Major (Pookie-man)
The best part of the trails, are the trails themselves. Coming to and from those trails is the challenging part. Tense and distracted was Milo as we walked past the last house on the long dirt-road driveways leading to the trail head. He must have feared the God-awful pogo-stick awaiting him for his demise. Theres no other way to describe it as definitely not fun and not relaxed. This same scenario played out as we exited the trails, Milo immedietly went onto red-alert, side-stepping away from the evil house, head in the air and ignoring all aids. We made it past the house though, and Milo let out a sigh. We were upon the large pasture with barking running dogs now, and Milo could care less. The rest of the walk home was relaxed, and forward as his anticipation grew for dinner. I instead directed him to the outdoor arena for a little work for two reasons: a. Milo hadnt been worked more then maybe 40 minutes at the walk, and b. I want to reinforce to him that home from the trails doesnt mean tune out Mom and get ready for dinner. He did alright in the arena, a bit distracted and not wanting to work. But we got a bit of nice, basic work in and called it an evening.

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