It’s been a month or so since the last blog and as usual, grass isn’t growing under my feet! I’ve been zipping from Valley to Coast and back again, north to south and repeat: fitting boots, seeing family, and riding my butt off. There have been some exciting developments, too.
Everyone’s favorite snarky Morgan/Welsh pony is getting quite fit and has his name on an upcoming 50 miler entry! He’s been climbing hills, fording creeks, jumping logs, carrying friends, and most recently, night riding. After last years rebalancing attempt/shoeing fiasco, I’ve essentially stopped trimming his hooves, and he’s sounder and landing more evenly than ever, maintaining his own wonky angles as he likes them and conditioning barefoot like a BAMF. He is consistently Kenny, that is, slow to warm up like a diesel engine, but 5 or 6 miles in when he decides this is happening, a really fun, smooth ride who just gets better as the miles go by. He’ll be getting a trace clip again when the wild weather cooperates and I’m really looking forward to his first 50!
In their roles as the youngest and eldest of my herd, these two get the most Being a Horse in Pasture time, while still enjoying quality time with me here and there. An ideal life I like to think.
The New Guy:
In late December I received an email from a Facebook friend regarding my Next Step Program and a 14 year old gelding looking for placement. I was just heading out for Death Valley XP at the time and had a boarder arriving when I got back, so we agreed that we’d discuss it more in January when things had settled down a bit. Death Valley was amazing, Mel‘s mare arrived for boarding, and suddenly it was late January and I was driving out to a beautiful area I’d never been to to meet the gelding, Oh Yours Truly (a pedigree worth looking at!), barn name Scout. His kind eye caught my attention immediately, putting me in mind of my dear Blaze, a gently snarky fellow with a heart of gold. Let me tell you that after two rides on him and bringing Scout home, I feel that my initial impression is right on! We’ve had a few discussions already (Yes, you WILL cross the big stream in the lead, Yes you will Load into a new trailer without your Buddy, No you will Not unload Yourself At Your own Whim), but he has been entirely reasonable and shown a quality brain to go with his stellar pedigree and substantial body (15.1 hh stick and level, BIG bones). He came with hives and some hair loss but the hives have already dissipated and the hairless areas are less irritated; I still plan to do a round of Ivermectin on him, as well as having a dental and chiro check on him next week. Once he settles in we’ll be working on conditioning miles and hopefully have some fun at a ride camp by the end of the year 🙂
A Big Goal
Not long after crossing off one big goal, namely riding all 4 days of a Multiday, another huge opportunity came my way. While out on the trail one day, my good friend W asked if I would like to ride her stellar Arabian stallion Aur Aquavit in his upcoming first 100 miler at the 20 Mule Team ride. I’ve harbored both a 100 mile goal and a desire to ride a stallion in endurance for years now, and coupled with the fantastic fellow that Aqua is, I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity! I had leaped off Kenny and was handing W his reins and adjusting up Aqua’s stirrups to my length almost before her mouth had closed from the offer, so needless to say that was a YES, and we’re now just a week away from leaving! There is much time and many “vet checks” to get through before we even reach the start line yet, so please send us good juju on this hugely exciting endeavor. 😀
Phew! I think that’s all the news for now, and that’s without regaling you with tales of the Crumbling Oroville Dam Spillway in my town, or the horrendous case of Pinkeye I came down with while retrieving Scout. The road rolls ever on and on, Keep your wits about you and keep on trotting, folks!