Monday, April 19, 2010

A Busy Weekend

Friday evening I got home in time for a short ride - which was perfect. We worked on riding out by ourselves. Everything is always scarier when we are alone. One of the houses along the canal we ride had goats tethered to keep the weeds and grass down. They were a very scary looking bunch. Jessie did well and as soon as she relaxed we turned around and headed back.

Saturday the weather was perfect and we decided to trailer out to the river. We hooked up the trailer in the yard and left it there parked as we finished some chores and got loaded up. The horses have a fit when they see us moving the trailer so we used it as an approach-and-retreat exercise. The first time I walked near Jessie's paddock she kicked up. I had my stick and string and quickly went in and did some lungeing for respect and some desensitizing. Once she relaxed, I left. Then about every five minutes or so I would walk over to her paddock and she would move to the farthest corner. The first time I waited until she walked up to me, I petted her then left. The subsequent times as soon as she moved toward me, I walked away. When it was time to actually load her in the trailer, she walked right in.

The drive to the river is about twenty minutes. We tacked up and headed out. It was a beautiful day. We crossed paths when quite a few other people riding. We ambled up the river trail and crossed a bridge and then back down the other side. The only thing left to do was a river crossing. The Kern river is peaceful right here this time of year. We had to cross about 40 yards of water that was two to two-and-a-half feet deep. The three horses stopped at the bank, Jessie put her head down and took a drink. When she lifted her head I urged her in and we were splashing around. One of the horses at the bank stopped to take another drink so we circled in the middle of the river to wait, before going all the way across. The bank was a little slippery coming out, but it was pretty cool just having them cross.

We had got back to the trailers and had lunch, then headed back home to do yard work. Sunday's ride was just down the canal bank and out to the development where there are some hard packed dirt roads. My wife's horse, Dusty, was showing some tenderness from the farrier's visit five days before, so we took it easy on them.

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