Well, somebody is feeling better after her hock injections last week. We made it six months since the last injection on the right hock, and almost a year since the left hock! And the vet thinks her right hock, which is the really bad one, is starting to fuse already, because he had a really hard time finding a gap to stick the needle in between the bones.
That was Wednesday, and after being jailed in her stall for two days as a consequence, Mimi was more than ready to ride on Saturday. And so much for our theory that she kicks the trailer because her hocks hurt. No, she kicks the trailer because she’s ansty and impatient and pissed-off at Beamer. However, I hung what started off life as an extra rump rug I was making (large chunk of lime green fleece) from the bottom of the divider between their heads. Theoretically, if either puts their head down, they can’t see the other now, and maybe she won’t get so mad. In practice, well, it kinda worked.
Both days were really good rides. Beamer was a little bit up on Saturday, but he was nowhere near as bad as last week. We actually got some good forward motion and trotting going. He wa a bit spooky, especially when a large Harris Hawk took flight from atop a cactus we were trotting under. The bird took off, his shadow came over the ground right in front of us, and both ponies sort of veered/stopped.
Coming back, there is an area where park personnel are (once again) trying to convince us they know better than we do about how to put in a Proper Trail (they don’t) and have flags up marking what will become an alternate route. Mimi saw these flags and veered off the trail. It was a generally clear, safe area, so I let her go to see what she would do. She followed the flags is what she did! She would zero in on one, walk at it, look around for the next one, go at it, look for the next, and so on and so forth until she got us down the hill. Good girl!!! She was so proud of herself at the bottom. It felt like she had grown another couple inches. And this is on top of finding an alternate game trail around a very steep in-and-0ut ravine earlier in the ride. So she was a happy girl, having done all of this off-trail exploring and trail blazing.
Sunday was Beamer’s day. He voluntarily chose a trail the headed away from home, and into a rougher area we don’t ride a whole ton. We again had to trailblaze, as rains had washed away most traces of a trail we’ve been working on putting in. It might not have been obvious to us, but the ponies knew where they were going, and got quite disgusted if we tried to (mis)direct them.
Well, this trail he took us on is one that has some good climing involved, to the saddle of one of the mountain passes around the park. Normally, we run this trail the opposite direction, because there is a very short, very steep section that is easier to go up than down. Well, I was glad we did the opposite today. The trail we normally take down the side of the mountain was very washed out and rocky, and obviously hadn’t been traversed since the last rains. It was much better going up, and even that involved a bit of scrambling and darting around rocks.
The other side of the moutain was much better, and the ponies did beautifully on the steep section. They both planted their haunches and inches down with their front feet. I was so proud of both of them. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as that feeling you get on a safe, sane trail horse that has just negotiated a potentially dangerous obstacle.
We’ve got four weeks until Man Against Horse. I need to send entries in. I need money first. And I need to buy two new pairs of Rengades. And board is due this week. Um, ouch? I think my pony is bound and determined that I will not have money in my bank account. Blast, she heard me say I wanted to take a trip out to San Diego after the ride…