Man, I'm awful at coming up with good titles for my posts! Ha! Oh well, I guess it's a tribute to the journal-like nature of the blog.
On Saturday I trimmed Arabee's feet with the electric grinder in the early afternoon. I really wish I'd taken before and after pictures, but I didn't even take the camera outside - the snow had been melting off and it was s-l-o-p-p-y! I'd been letting her self-trim since we'd been spending so much time on the roads, but she finally chipped off a chunk of hoof on the quarter, so I figured I'd help her out with the mustang roll. I did all 4 hooves, fronts first, then hinds, and MAN I was sore, especially my right arm since I am not used to gripping that heavy grinder! But without it I would have never had the stamina to do all 4 at once - too much bending over with the slower rasping. So I ended up not riding on Saturday.
Still too sore on Sunday to ride, so I just went out with the hoof pick and picked both horses' hooves.
On Monday I got out and rode, in the S-hack, but since the snow had been melting and melting fast all weekend it was way too sloppy to get in the fields so I stuck to the road and farm lanes and woods. Started South, past the Polly bridge, ventured down a farm lane just a little ways, back past the driveway, out into the hog woods, then down Harlan's lane until the electric pole, then trotted east down the road. Was going to stop and turn around when we crested the hill, but it felt good so we kept going to the ditch just before we got to the red barn. Alternately trotted and walked back. My phone rang in my pocket, and I stopped at the hill by the new tool shed to see who it was, and a car started coming, so I turned off the road and waited for the car to come by. Then we headed home, but I still had almost 15 minutes of time left, so we walked around the barn lot, around the driveway here and there until I was in the saddle for 55 minutes.
Tuesday evening we rode for 1 hour! Rode in the riding halter this time, headed South, then turned off down Foster's lane by the pasture gate, went down about halfway. There was still snow, as the lane is on the north side of the fenceline with plenty of trees to shade. Then headed towards the Polly bridge again, but did not cross it today. Our neighbor runs nearly every day, and that afternoon had just started his run and his dog had followed him a ways and was barking. For whatever reason it really spooks Arabee to see him running, maybe because he's quiet. He will say hello but anyway she was really just spazzing out between the runner, the dog, and then an SUV came by all at the same time. It was all right, but I don't know how it'd have turned out if I'd have had her cross the bridge and THEN head back...she isn't too sure of the culverts anyway, and with all the other ruckus things may not have turned out too well.
We walked and trotted back up, and at one point she broke into a canter, then sort of mini-bucking....more like just jamming her back legs down rather than popping up, anyway, I managed to pull her head to the left and got that stopped (deep breaths...relax!!) and we then walked back a little ways then headed back towards home. Turned off on Foster's lane again, only going 1/4 of the way down, but this time she was jiggy and antsy.....we gotta go back now! kind of thing. Got her calmed down, thankfully,and we mostly walked down the hill, across the culvert over the ditch, then trotted uphill and up the driveway, (our driveway Y's at the road) then turned back out towards the road. Boy she was sticky heading north! Must have been a mean trick to turn her into the drive and then ask her to leave again!
Got back and meandered through the woods, then off north, trotted east this time all the way to the red barn (and on the way had some imaginary dragons in the ditches that she was "protecting" us from), then down Harlan's lane to the electric pole, then trotted out until she got too speedy, then I made her come down to a walk. Basically we just went back home but stopped at every puddle available on the way and she drank up!
I've been alternating between the s-hack and the riding halter, and will continue to do so until an obvious favorite comes up. I may even throw the Dr. Cook's into the rotation again. But right now, I like the s-hack for rating, and the riding halter for when I need directional control (in the woods, if she's being looky/spooky) It'd be nice if I could switch back and forth during rides, without having to get off!