Tuesday, November 28, 2017

rollin with it

True to my promise, Charlie and I had a really quiet and relaxing weekend riding-wise. As much as I would prefer to focus on regaining lost ground after all the time off.... it's pretty hard to argue with taking advantage of gorgeous fall weather by hacking out all across the property and woods.

entering into the woods!
So poor sourpuss Charlie got his wishes granted and earned a reprieve from the sandbox. Tho I did make him just canter around the jump ring a couple times in a freewheeling lope, for funsies. While it took a minute to achieve the canter, and then another moment to convince him that, yes we would canter past the gate plz, he more or less just rolled with it. Sigh.

surprisingly deep little stream really makes charlie use his noggin lol
That's cool tho. At least Charlie is a pretty freakin wonderful horse to hack out - and is surprisingly not at all barn sour (or at least, hasn't shown that inclination yet lol) considering how gate sour he is in our arenas. This makes him a nice pleasant horse to stroll out around the property with, either alone or with company.

galloping lane! or.... canter-pretty-fast lane lol
He gets pretty distracted by seeing horses out in the fields and has to stare very intently at them even as we keep on walking. But that's fine. So long as he doesn't fall on his face lol. Tho when we trail ride with friends he doesn't seem quite so forlorn about horses in the pastures haha.

sooooo many leaves on the ground - they create quite the sound track to our travels - esp with all the nearby squirrels who crash through the leaves like elephants
I don't really know the trails through the woods super well yet, and it's kinda hard this time of year when everything looks the same and trails are covered by leaves. Mostly tho it's not so extensive of a property that it's hard to get lost. There are only a few main trails -- a shorter path that skirts the pastures and a longer loop that goes all the way around the woods.

the open fields provide a quiet and serene counterpoint to all that noise lol
There's only really one stream crossing, if you don't count all the little rivulets that separate the various cross country fields from each other. Charlie's gotten pretty reliable about the stream but is still funny about the rivulets. Two out of three times, he'll just walk right on through. That third time tho? He's gotta jump it. #horselogic #keepsmeguessing #grabmanenomatterwhat

tho naturally the dogs did their part by entertaining us with a splashfest
The trails themselves are very simple. Typically relatively broad - can fit two horses side by side in places. Mostly smooth, with the occasional eroded or rocky spot. Not particularly challenging nor hilly - tho there are some fun spots with a little extra technicality. Mostly they're well suited to a somewhat clumsy and inattentive horse like Charlie, haha.

these dogs have way too much fun lol
There are even a couple places perfect for a little speed! Like a nice lane in between pastures that we "galloped" as a group during one recent ride. I say "gallop" bc it was more like just a canter for Charlie, but that's fine haha. He was very polite about it all the same tho.

It's just crazy sometimes running him bc his head and neck are SO LONG and being a career race horse, he's very quick to settle into that form of really using his head and neck at speed - the oscillation is intense. I'm honestly still kinda figuring out what length rein I need and where to keep my hands and body to stay in a more effective position. Actually it was during this ride that I realized that must be my main issue with maintaining a solid galloping position while riding this horse xc. Given my t-rex arms, I probably need to keep my whole body farther forward than I have really wanted to. Good food for thought!

i think the horses enjoyed themselves too tho ;)
Anyway tho, there's enough trails and lanes and paths back to the barn that you can easily squeak in a 15-20min hack or a 2hr ride, whatever suits your mood. Esp with all the cross country fields it's easy to just loop and wander all around.

When I'm riding alone I still have to dismount for basically all the gates. Charlie has finally learned how to ace one important gate - the one we use most often. It's easier bc there's no latch, it just rests on the ground and doesn't swing very much. So he's got it figured out how to open and close that one.

Another couple I can open from his back, but can't close. Either bc the gate swings too far or the latch is too fussy. And some I can't do at all bc the latch is too low to even reach. Luckily Charlie proves again and again that he's polite to sidle up to an xc jump or random log for me to remount.

So ya know. All this hacking out has been productive in its own right. Especially just by nature of being a really pleasant way to engage my horse's mind and body. Hopefully tho we can get to the bottom of some of his recent sourness and figure out a sustainable schooling schedule. Methinks everything will be much more fun when he can jump again lol. Soon, buddy!

38 comments:

  1. Enjoy the downtime. It still builds muscle and is good for the brain. Your trails are lovely.

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    1. That are very nice trails - for which I'm grateful. Tho we've been on downtime for a few months now so yea, I'm a little tired of it haha

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  2. I am so glad you got to hack out and enjoy the colors and weather!! There will be plenty of time for ring work :) That is why i went on Sunday. I was like pretty day i gotta go ride outside somewhere :) And Remus was totally gate bound when I started getting him going. I forgot about it until you wrote about Charlie. I dont know when he got over it but boy was that annoying!!

    I love the farm you board at. I wish I was closer :) Such a pretty venue!!

    Is it Friday yet? LOL have a great week!

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    1. Oh man I wish it was Friday! And you should come down to our farm one day - we have great schooling and Sally comes regularly too ;) it's always nice to get out and about - the hunter pace you went on sounded so fun!

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  3. It's good for the mind and body to get out and about, though, and the weather was delightful. I'm on "stay in high-visibility areas" restrictions for the next two weeks (rifle deer season) with the occasional thirty-aught-six or whatever thundering off in the distance. (Rifle fire in the distance does not bother the horses as we're all rednecks over here.) Zipper, bless his heart, is a solidly steel grey dappled bugger, but we would prefer not to be confused with deer, so...

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    1. Yea the hunters are out in full force here too. Luckily the property is fairly well enclosed but still, you can't be too careful - esp with the dogs!

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  4. Aww the trail system is the thing I miss most about the farm Ruby used to be at. Your trails sound perfect 🙂 glad you and Charlie were able to take advantage of some nice weather to mix it up out of the arena a little!

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    1. The trails are such a nice change of pace haha. I wish there weren't so many gates tho. Actually I miss the trails from Isabel's barn the most - they were the most fun IMO. Maybe Charlie will take a little trip over there one day?

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    2. Yeah I can see how gates would be a bummer on such a tall horse! Our tail system didn't have any gates thankfully. I think a trip to Isabel's barn sounds like it would be a lovely outing :) hopefully you can make that happen at some point!

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    3. Ugh yea well the farm is optimized to have as much turnout and pasture as possible, so basically everything but the woods gets used for turnout. Thus. Gates errywhere! But yes I'm actively trying to get that trip scheduled. Charlie could use a field trip anyway lol

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  5. P's the same way when it comes to hacking out- he just kind of wanders...tripping while he swings his head around to take in all the sights. He's made me think more than once that I need to get him chiro'd or injections based on all the tripping. XC though? Not a hint of it.

    I love the trails at your barn! It's so nice to have a place to ride other than in an arena.

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    1. true story: charlie's first race trainers got him a very extensive (and very expensive) neuro workup at a prestigious equine hospital bc he trips so much. and turns out? he's not neuro. just..... careless lol.

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    2. Amber does that too and usually has me freaking out since she did injure her knee. She just trips up a storm when we hack out, and sometimes walking in the arena. Good thing is it happens on both legs. But trot/canter and the jumping we've done so far? Nothing. I mean really horses lol

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    3. ha i wish i could say the same for charlie -- he can and will trip during literally any activity lol

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  6. I'm so jealous of your trails! I also am jealous of your sane horse... because I don't think I'd get very far or have very much fun with my horses. They need to learn to hack!

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    1. well in fairness i shopped specifically for a sane horse haha - that was criteria #1. bc...... yea, it's really nice to hack around peacefully!

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  7. I have trailenvy. And hillenvy. And nothotenvy. #dammithouston

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    1. ha yea, that whole "not hot" thing is greatly appreciated. the weather right now is prettttttty close to perfect and for that i'm grateful. tho the cold is coming. i can feel it....

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  8. I need to get Moiya out of the ring more this time of year. I'm just such a chicken, hah

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    1. yea i hear ya on that. the more you do it tho the easier it gets!! i find that it actually makes me braver to habitually ride my horse in more open spaces!

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  9. I’ve been trying to work on gates with Chimi but I don’t run across them all that often :( Eve though they can be a pain in the ass all the gate practice is really going to help your dressage!!! Think of it as cross training :)

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    1. uhhhh i'm not sure i follow that logic but i guess anything that helps the horse accept pressure and be patient is useful? lol

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  10. Ooh, I miss ground. Snow has been here for weeks now. How long until the Sir gets to jump?

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    1. ughhhh boo snow :( i'm hopeful we won't see any of that for a while yet. charlie should ideally be able to start jumping in a week, i think. we are both definitely very ready haha

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  11. Hooray for awesome hacking! We added in some reward hacking this week as Scout is getting real tired of this whole dressage thing!

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    1. tis the season for sourpuss ponies, i think. ah well, reward hacking is fun too!

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  12. Hacking out really is such a good mental reset for everyone! I'm so happy Charlie is mending so well!

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    1. definitely a good mental reset. hopefully. lol.

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  13. This sounds absolutely lovely! Jealous of the property, it sounds awesome!

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    1. yea this property definitely has a lot to offer - a huge part of the reason i decided to move charlie here. it's a lot farther from home for me, but the amenities help make up for that!

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  14. Haha yes I know what you mean, my last lesson TrT mentioned me closing my hip angle a bit more so my dinosaur arms would be more forward. I'm jealous of all your trails! So Festive!

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    1. i think the thing i don't like about being that far forward with charlie is just how much his head and neck move - there's a lot of up and down motion, which can make it feel like the bottom could fall out (literally, bc.... sometimes big guy stumbles lol). it's something i'm thinking more about now tho!

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  15. Lovely trails! It's cold and snowy here, these pics make me want to fast forward winter!

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    1. ugh yea, boo snow! i'm hoping we'll get another mild winter here tho the season is still ahead of us so we'll see!

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  16. A good hacking horse makes the world go round. So glad you've able to take advantage of that gorgeous farm with him. :-)

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  17. All of your riding facilities sound so wonderful. Trails. Arenas. XC field. I want to visit and playyyy. Also. Those dogs. They look like they're having so much fun. But man... This is why I'll never own a water sport dog. Just no to all the wet dog smell.

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  18. Those are some beautiful trails you have by your barn, I'm jealous!

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  19. Nothing like a good trail ride outside for both brains - jealous!

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