Friday, August 12, 2011

Trail Ride!

I'm just in a western mood lately. What can I say? Izzy got her first pair of front shoes in a year yesterday, so she's finally sound. I liked having her barefoot, but if you combine pasture irrigation with rocky gravel roads and a drama queen princess pony, you do not have a happy sound horse. Such is life.

Anyways. We had a nice little arena ride this morning. Since we're back to playing western pleasure pony, we worked on trotting forward and stretching down on the longsides of the arena, then coming back to a nice little collected jog for a 20 meter circle in the corners. When she did one long side staying completely soft and came back without me even touching the reins, I decided it was time to go ride outside the arena.

Off we went. We walked around the indoor arena, across the road, and then made a few laps around the track. When I felt settled, we marched out into the hay field. I'd say our trail walks definitely paid off--Izzy was as relaxed as I've ever seen her out in the open. She did really well right up until we had to cross from the hayfield through a shallow ditch and up a steep bank. Problem? Mud. Apparently it was irrigated recently and she was apprehensive about the footing. I felt like if I pushed it, she would have gone, but I wasn't comfortable enough with the depth of the mud to ask for it.

Plus she was wearing bellboots and there was cheat at the top of the bank.

We did a small circle. I asked her to go one step closer to the bank than she did before, then I asked her to halt. She was nervous, but obedient. I petted her and we followed our tracks home.

Brave western trail pony.


  1. What a good Izzy girl!

    I'm debating front shoes for Miles too. I love him barefoot, but he just doesn't deal well with any kind of rocks or gravel. Surprisingly, on grass and the trails (where we just walk anyway) he's fine. Unfortunately, our arena is not...maintained very often, and he just doesn't move out like I know he can. feels like giving up. Did you notice a big difference with Izzy when you put shoes on her?

  2. Sarah--yes. She was even yawning, licking and chewing as he put the shoes on because she was so much more comfortable. She moves freely forward on all terrain (that we go on). She's a much happier horse right now. She does great barefoot IF IT'S DRY, but the wetness just turns her feet to mush.

  3. My Tucker simply does not stay sound without front shoes. Barefoot sounds lovely--and my Chance is--but it just doesn't work for every horse.

    I don't blame you for not crossing the ditch. I am always wary of mud or mud puddles unless I am 100% certain of the terrain since I've been there before. No point in taking chances.

  4. Pardon my ignorance... is cheat a type of gravel, or what exactly?

  5. Sorry Bif--cheat means cheat grass, which is short, uniformly dry and scratchy, and has stickers on the end that get into absolutely everything. It's mostly an inconvenience (it's also non-native and HIGHLY invasive), but it can be dangerous if it is let on/in you because it can work it's way into your bloodstream.

    Wow. I made it sound like horror movie quality weeds. I guess it is.


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