Painting the Trails

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mother Nature cut us some slack this weekend and doled out two gorgeous days. So out of character. But I'll take it! Saturday I went to Bill's where Jackie was watching him in the ring doing more Liberty work with Ruby. You can see he has a tiny "pen" set up with rope. Ruby is doing great. When you are able to work with a horse every day, you really see positive change. I watched for a few minutes and then headed out on the trail.

The woods look totally different after all the leaves have fallen. For one thing, the trail doesn't even look familiar, even though I've been on it a zillion times. I had been riding for 10 minutes when I realized I had taken a wrong turn! Whooops. But luckily, there were a few snowmobile trailmarkers out in the wilds of Bill's property so I found my way back to where I wanted to be.

The sun shining into the woods was so pretty, I felt like a million bucks out there. Lilly, however, took a while getting started. She was moving so slow (sometimes deciding not to move at all) that I had to get her up in a canter down a stretch of the trail I call Toad Road to create a little forward motion. Have I mentioned how much I love to canter in the woods? Sometimes Lilly takes it too far and starts to gallop. Sometimes I do not mind galloping up a hill. Some of the hills on the trail are too rocky to do anything but poke along carefully.

Another great thing about riding in the fall is that you get to see the actual lay of the land. You know when you are surrounded by little valleys for example, or how twisty the trail is since you can see it through the trees in front of you. Sometimes with all the new visibility, I think there are more chances to see bears and bobcats. Or for them to spy on me.

Back at the barn, Bill helped us do some test runs for this year's holiday card. As you can see, we have not gotten the perfect shot yet!

Sunday it was time for more work in the ring. I got out the scrub again, and another scary training tool: the plastic grocery bag tied to the end of a crop. Lilly was spooked by them, but let me touch her with both. She looks scared at times, but then yawns. What? Talk about mixed signals! Then we went into the new pen.

Oh hi, Ruby! Looks like the cameraman got distracted by his own horse!

Being with horses is so much fun. Everything about them is interesting to me. Later this week, Bill will put a new pair of shoes on Lilly. She'll get turbo winter shoes, probably with rim pads. Now, Mother Nature, just because Lilly will have snowshoes on, there is no need for it to snow! Or a blanket of ice, for crying out loud.

I tried to get Lilly's tongue here because it kept coming out after I gave her a small carrot. But it proved elusive!!

Does anyone watch that show Mantracker? I am in love with Mantracker! He is so awesome!


Once Upon an Equine said...

Looks like nice fall riding. I love that last photo of Lilly. Even though her tongue was camera shy, the picture is so cute with those two little hooves poking out under her sweet muzzle.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Tiny tiny little feet :)

You do get the feeling that Mantracker could get you out of a jam... and his horse is awesome too!

lmel said...

I love fall woods riding for the same reason--you can see everything! Except the elusive deer, which are watching us! Lovely pictures, lovely ride.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Great picture especially the sun streaming on that trail. The yawning your brave brumby is doing is a release and her processing that it's ok and not scary. Laz does that too when we do something new or he is learning something new. Also followed by head shaking and blinking or rubbing his nose on his front inside knee. Did Lilly do any of that? It's fun to see those signs!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

ManTracker is one of my favorite shows. I never miss a new episode. So exciting...and he's just so intense and handsome! And the prey trying to evade capture bushwacking across rough land...I could never do it, I'd have a heart attack knowing ManTracker and the horses were barreling down on me! Could you?

Your trail ride through the barren forest looks relaxing. We have green trails all year because most of our forests are filled with pinon, juniper and ponderosa. I'd love to ride through a colorful Autumn forest someday. I bet its beautiful as seen on horseback.

I bet Lilly yawns to relieve tension. Horses do that when the are trying to relax. :) I, too find horses fascinating!

Love the songs on your Que today: Pony Man and Wagon Wheel

Love it!


Paint Girl said...

Wow, the woods do look so different now that it is fall!! I actually like it this time of year when all the leaves fall, even tho it is cold. I kinda like less brush for some reason!!
You guys always are having fun! That is so great!

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