Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Ride

Isn't it a cute little rig?
For our first ride since moving the boys to Gesa's, we headed out to Lester, a mere 5 minutes away.  We met early at the barn, loaded up our tack into the new trailer, and tried to determine what the best option for Cricket would be while we were gone.  He does not like to be alone.  He really does not like to be alone.  He has not yet been introduced to the rest of the herd, so there would be no horses he could be left with (Rhio & Paco, the two he knows, are the two that we ride...).  We settled on putting the pony Belle in the round pen, which is within the pasture Cricket was in, and putting his hay near it so he could stand by her.  I removed Rhio to the front paddock, along with Paco, and Cricket immediately started screaming and pacing the fenceline.  He wasn't being "stupid" about it, meaning he didn't seem to be in any danger of injuring himself, but it certainly doesn't help his weight situation to be A) not eating (while he's pacing and upset) and B) expending all those calories pacing. I am now glad to be riding a friend's horse this coming weekend at the Charity Cup ride and leaving Rhio at home.  I need to devise a plan for Cricket when I take Rhio away overnight, and I need to give Cricket some more time to get settled in to the new farm, and hopefully be introduced to the rest of the herd so that they can be his buddies too.
Worried Cricket
Knowing we weren't going to be gone too long, and satisfied that Cricket at least wasn't going to get into trouble while we were gone, we loaded the horses (Rhio did much better for his second time loading in the new trailer - I think he likes it!) and mere moments later were unloading.  It was early enough, even on a holiday-weekend Sunday, that there was only one vehicle in the parking area and we saw only one dog-walker while we were tacking up.
Seven Bridges Road

Trails (still green, though fall is upon us and the intense green of summer has given way to the faded green of early fall just on the cusp of brilliant fall colors)
Setting off across the top bridge of Seven Bridges Road, Kelso was our companion for the first time since the cool weather of spring and we were both in jackets.  Fall is here!  I love, love, love fall riding - it is the best.  The horses seemed eager, and we covered the trails with ease for the most part.  One large culvert has been totally washed out, and the cavernous ditch left behind seemed impassable, but a trail leads around that portion via the gravel road, so we were able to make a loop of it without having to turn around.  We mutually surprised and were surprised by a runner on an obscure, little used ski trail loop, but she was extremely polite and praised our horses' beauty (always music to our ears!) and we each continued on our way.  After completing the loop once, we determined that we had enough time to do it again, so turned around and retraced our steps, modifying the route slightly.  Our second time around was in the direction that skiers traverse the trails in winter, so it seemed much more familiar to me, and we could see the lettered loop markers.  Coming to the nude beach overlook (yes, really - an informal nude beach on Lester River.  I have been lucky enough to find it deserted almost every time I'm at this spot.), we decided to stop for a photo and came upon a mountain biker also stopped.  He seemed quite happy to meet us, and we chatted for a bit before he took a photo of us, and we were on our way.  He reassured Rhio that his bike was as scared of him as he was of it.  That is pretty funny as Rhio was actually not at all scared of the bike.
thank you Mr. Friendly Mountain Biker for this shot
Finishing our 8 miles the horses were quite sweaty despite the cool temperatures and nice breeze;  we threw light coolers over them for the first time in months, and let them relax a little at the trailer before loading up for the extremely short trip back to the farm.  Cricket was indeed pacing when we returned, and I can only assume he paced the entire time we were gone.  He was not sweaty, though, so maybe he only resumed the behavior when we pulled in the driveway (I hope that is the case).  Belle did not prove to be a useful companion, however, as she threatened him every time he came near the round pen fence by the hay.  Oops.  I guess we won't try that again.
Chatting with the friendly lady and her huskies while the boys chill out for a bit.
With my horses living at Gesa's, we are actually able to do these short rides together without requiring an entire day, basically, of coordinating schedules.  It gets harder and harder to find a long enough and mutually free block of time to schedule to ride, and hopefully the new housing arrangement will make it easier.  
Going home

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