Weekend Adventures

So I have a lot to blog about, including trying to put my 19 year old thoroughbred back into work after a cold winter and super wet May, but I’m just going to focus on the incredible Batthorse this post.

A friend of mine came down from NY to visit me and Batt so we decided that Sunday would be a day spent at Marsh Creek State Park. Of course, after being in the 50s last weekend, this past weekend had temperatures up near 90 with lots of lovely humidity. Teaching Saturday was pretty awful and the heat really got to me before I had to lead out a trail ride in the afternoon. That said, it all went well but the day in the heat really hit me Sunday.

So we left around 9 on Sunday morning after my “OMG trailer! I’ll die!” Batthorse walked on the trailer without batting an eye. Actually, Sandra was throwing the brushed in the trailer tack/storage while I loaded and managed to miss the entire thing. ::knock on wood:: but he seems to be mostly over his issues and rather comfortable with our trailering arrangements (aka riding backwards and not being tied). We actually stopped at Wawa on our way down to pick up lunch (something I wouldn’t have dared to do before) and Batt happily watched all the commotion around him. He seemed quite entertained.

Anyway, once off the trailer at HSF, again, it was as if he was there every day of his life. Now that we’re actually going places, I just cannot get over this horse’s brain. He doesn’t even look around, he just acclimates instantly. It’s pretty insane. Those of you who know Subi know that showing for us always meant riding my horse for about 4+ hours until he was quiet enough to go into the ring without having a meltdown. Batt is just the complete opposite.

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“Hi Mom!”

After I gave Sandra a lesson on Boston and we all died in the heat, I hopped on Batt and we headed down to water to explore/splash along. While Boston wanted NOTHING to do with the water (though he was happy to stand at the edge and watch), Batt splashed right in (no hesitation today!) and considered laying down… We instead moved around before heading back to the farm to hack in the ring.

In the ring I had  a super happy and super sound horse. Truly amazing. He was probably sounder than he’s been in years. After all of his hoof issues and resulting soundness issues the last couple of years, it’s nice to have my real horse back. We’ve been taking it easy which sucks for me since I’d like to and need to ride more, but it’s been the best thing for Batty. Anyway, we hacked around, worked on our corners at the canter, especially the dreaded right lead, but he was great, picked up all his leads immediately (this horse has NEVER had perfect upward transitions ever) and even managed a nice right lead canter. After popping over a few crossrails (suddenly he sees his spots too?), I hopped off (the head was starting to get me me again) and let Sandra ride.  She jumped him a little bit more and he had fun.

After the “I want to lay down and roll” in the water incident, I decided to take him back down to the lake bareback to play. Of course, there were more people at our little “beach” including some random guy laying in the later and 2 people with kayaks and a dog. Of course, this time, without tack, Batt felt no need to roll/lay down. Of course not. Which means that next time he’ll roll while tacked up because that’s just what will happen. Anyway, Batt pretty much thinks that water is the Best.  Thing. Ever. and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He tends to make strange noises when he’s happy (moaning and humming) which he did a good part of the time we were in the water. Though we did have a kayak come right up to us to take a picture which was interesting. After commenting that he’d never seen a kayak before, the people on the shore ask if that was because he was a baby. Um, yeah, OK.

After lunch and grazing and offers from a boarder to trade horses (nope, not happening!), we headed home and I pretty much crashed from 2 long days in the sun.

In which the Batthorse takes on Fair Hill

Batt and I finally had our second off property field trip on Sunday. I finally got to meet a friend of mine out at Fair Hill for a nice little trail ride. And it actually happened even though we’ve had to cancel and reschedule thanks to the lovely amount of rain the mid atlantic region has been “blessed” with lately. Actually, we had already cancelled Sunday’s ride on Saturday fearing the trails would be too muddy. But, things looked better on Sunday morning and people were out riding so we uncancelled (good thing because our rescheduled date of the 22nd is showing rain right now).

It was a short ride, but it was pretty successful. Due to the weather, I have NOT worked much with Batt on loading. In fact, I don’t think we’ve loaded in a couple of weeks. Nonetheless, Batt loaded pretty quickly (we had about 25 seconds of hesitation) and then we were off!

What I love about Fair Hill is it’s super close (20 minutes without a trailer). What I hate about Fair Hill is that the trip is filled with tight, twisty, hilly country roads. This is fine day in and day out when I go to work, but less fine with a trailer. So, I decided that I was going to go the longer route. Of course, I wasn’t exactly sure how to get to the covered bridge lot by vehicle (I pretty much only walk to the covered bridge) and my GPS did not like my alternate route. So I ended up on different twisty country roads. I should have just stuck to the ones I know. But, I didn’t have to pass any amish buggies so success?

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Anyway, we met up with my friend Terry and her horse Bailey (they lease a barn in Fair Hill) at the parking lot and once I was tacked up, off we went. Tacking up was surprisingly easy considering Batt doesn’t currently tie. The mounting block was a little less successful since he was convinced that the piece of wood attached to it was going to eat him and there was NO WAY WE COULD STAND CLOSER THAN 2 FEET FROM IT. I ended up using the second step and leaping on. Elegant, no, successful yes. Once on, I almost look my leg on on the wood post since it’s only scary when I’m not mounted?

13177127_10100114204760095_6424462441061312462_nWe stuck with most of the paved trails since it was still muddy, but we had a good time. Batt initially thought that the lady next to the covered bridge messing with her fishing pole was going to kill him once he walked onto the bridge, but after a short fight and a brave Bailey, we walked over as if our argument hadn’t happened. It was a short ride since Bailey’s 28, but a nice introduction to riding at Fair Hill. Hopefully we’ll make this a regular thing.

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Loading after our ride was making me nervous (first time I’d actually load completely by myself) but he walked right on and all was right in the world. Hopefully the more trips we take, the more he realizes that he gets to go to fun places. That horse loves to explore, is brave, and doesn’t spook (unless it’s the second time you pass a tarp, then it’s time to spook). All in all, it was a nice, easy afternoon. It’s sort of nice to haul out for an hour and a half ride and be gone for only about 2.5 hours.

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Now I just need to plan our next adventure and find people to ride with!