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October 5, 2014: Trail Blazing Fools

Had a wonderful day, one that alerted me to the potential of possibilities. It is true – our horses don’t live in the best of all possible worlds. They live in a paddock and don’t have access to a large pasture; one that would afford them room to roam and to graze for hours on end when the grass is green. We also don’t have immediate access to a heated indoor arena. We compensate for what we lack by getting them all out on a near daily basis, even if only for 45 minute walks.

Last year we made a trail system, this to compensate for not having the pasture

or arena. When completed, we were able to exercise the horses nearly every day, year around. We used it extensively, and our paths became well worn. Lately, I’ve suspected that the horses have gotten a tad bit bored with doing the same old same old – even though we’ve ridden them in opposite directions and also taken divergent paths.

Pete and I had for some time been planning on expanding our existent trail system. But because we’ve had other things to do, we had not yet gotten to it. That is, until today. The timing and conditions were good for this. We’ve only gotten a light dusting of snow; this was in the first part of October. So the ground has been hard and frozen. Today it was overcast and blustery; however, in the woods less so.

So off Pete and Ryder, and I went, Pete and I with handsaws in hand. We began by going off one of the main trails, I think Peach’s Loop – and began hacking away at low hanging spruce branches. But like kids in a candy shop, we soon began checking out this, that, and the other game trail. Most led to brushy, brambly, log strewn sink holes – unsafe terrain for even the most sure footed of trail horses. So, we repeatedly backtracked.

We finally decided to expand upon what we ended up calling the Peach’s Trail Extension. Then we put in what we ended up calling the Tin Can Trail Loop. We called it this because I marked a major turnoff by putting a tin can marker on one of the up ended tree limbs. These trails had firm footing. The terrain was also good – it consisted of moderate ups and downs.

We started out at 11:45 a.m. and were back at home by 4:20 p.m. I was ready to call it good because I was tired, and on the way home, coming down the road, it seemed as though the wind had picked up. However, Pete said that we should go for a ride. I looked for an out, saying, for example, that perhaps we should just take Hrimmi for a walk because I wasn’t up for dealing with horses and wind both. But I didn’t protest for long because I never, ever say no to going for a trail ride. This is because I know that it’s imperative that they all get out. If they lived in a pasture, I’d say otherwise. But they don’t, so I let Pete at times be the motivator.

As I ought to have known, wind be damned, all three horses behaved in an exemplary fashion. And yes, they really seemed to enjoy getting out on the new section. This was evidenced by the fact that their energy level picked up when we turned off Peach’s Trail and onto the Tin Can Loop. And Ryder did equally well. She is becoming a model trail dog. She checks things out, but she never strays far, as did Rainbow, her predecessor.

Raudi had one run out, on a very steep hill. I just hung on and let her go. I’ll practice with her on this in the future, and of course she’ll then do better. Otherwise, it was a wonderful ride. I am really pleased that Pete took the initiative, after spending all that time on the trail, by suggesting that we go and ride it. As he said on the way out, the new trail will now seem more familiar to us, which it will. I can hardly wait until tomorrow – I want to ride it again.

Next: 266.10/6/14: Just Another Day