Trail Ride in Highpoint

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We went for a trail ride! We didn’t really go to Campbell Valley – we just rode around Highpoint. Wasn’t that interesting honestly due to lack of wilderness and speed…we only walked and it kind of felt like some sort of long cool out (less the inclines). The trails were wide and sandy and would be lovely to trot on (or even canter a bit) but didn’t trot (intentionally) or canter (duh). I think trotting a bit on the trails would have been more to my speed. The other horse was slooooow and she couldn’t get him going (I should have ridden him as I have experience with that species lol…) so we didn’t trot.

I can just see me and my regular ride (something  Dory-like or similarly sane) trotting along the trails (maybe with even a bit of canter) and walking over the gates, on inclines  and across the streets.  That’ll be fun. LOL. (Maybe I should be an endurance rider then…haha!). But seriously that trail would be an awesome cool out/do something different trail…just to have a break from ring figures and movements.

I rode a Appy (Appaloosa) that was on autopilot to follow the lead horse….which would be fine for that purpose, except I wanted to talk to Catherine and not the random guide! Surprisingly, I found him a bit strong in his desire to keep up with the other horse! He was fairly responsive though. They were also a bit spooky with the wind although mine only spooked once. My stirrups were also way too long….they were not resting on my foot…not really…my feet were just hovering IN them.

Even though I’ve been riding for now about 11 years (English) and will test for Rider 6 on Monday (so about intermediate I guess…I seem to have too many fear and/or horsepower issues to advance! Hence my 3 step plan of life…starting with get a job!! Which isn’t working right now…ha!), riding that western on that horse I felt like a beginner. Strange horse, strange steering! I had stop, go but no steering or anything else. (With English, I’m to a point that I have buttons for most parts of the horse) I wasn’t sure what I was doing either. My reins were apparently uneven (not normally an issue…I would be told if it was!) probably due to the loose rein (couldn’t feel) and other things…(think my riding mind said: walk break!!). Dude, indeed.

Honestly, I think I’ll stick with dressage. I think trails will be great to unwind and have fun after too many inaccurate circles etc but I’m not sure if I’ll just be happy trail cruising (at a walk at least). I do miss getting out of the ring/off property though (which we did in Southlands but not in Delta). I might have a different review if we got to trot a bit (not sure about canter…never cantered outside a ring).

I don’t remember the names of the horses, really (or how to spell them) lol. I know all horses I’ve ridden in lessons but this, not so much….think my mind turned off without needing to do anything finer! Think the grey is Zack and the Appy…uh starts with P? Pilgrim I think? He was a bit strong actually in his zest for keeping up with the lead horse…I started wondering if I should have worn gloves at some point!

The guide gave us a lecture on keeping your reins at a usable length. Ok. But even if they were longish, shouldn’t you be able to shorten them up quickly? (I’ve had my reins pretty loose before on a walk break yet get them fast enough to control the spooking horse). But maybe I have instincts that non-riders/beginners don’t. My tried to keep my reins about the length of English reins if I was holding them loosely (the guide really didn’t coach much at all other than to tell me that my reins uneven ha! And that Catherine needed to get control of her reins…and kick that horse’s butt.). Also, I my my reins got uneven a lot. I don’t seem to have that issue as much with English (I take lessons and I’m a flat/dressage rider, so I would have been told if that’s the case!). Maybe it’s due to the lack of contact and walking to me = walk break. Then my mind shuts off. Ha! I think I need western rainbow reins….

Another strange thing is the trailering. Now maybe it’s because he’s a cowboy and  we’re a bunch of horsewomen fussing over show horses but even though he’s hauling for a short distance, he uses no boots of any kind and is trailer has no ramp. I’m starting to wonder the distance in which the legs  need to be protected. When we went to Delta Riding Club, a short drive from Greystone, we still used boots on the front (Czar was just in open fronts). I do think that he has a very different relationship to horses then we do. He treats them as livestock, we treat them as pets. His horses ground tie (sort of…well they can be untied and that’s okay…) and even can be tied to the fence with no twine . I cringed at that a bit…yes it’s a quick release knot but there is no twine and there is a leverage bit with huge looking shanks (probably not huge but to me they are when my idea of bits are snaffles and kimberwicks…pelhams also don’t have massive shanks either) attached to the rein…what if the horse spooks and pulls back? Ugh…I guess the leather will snap but that bit!  I was trained to always tie with twine and never tie with the reins. It’s almost like we expect our horses to be more spooky and less patient! Spoiled ponies! Oh and one rider didn’t show up so the horse was left in the trailer, unintended. Assuming there was shavings (there wasn’t any in the main compartment), water and some hay, I think that’ll be okay as long as it’s not Czar. Czar would sooo lose his mind!

(Yes I wore what I wore because I hate jeans and I just figured half chaps wouldn’t hurt in case things rubbed the wrong way…and I always wear a helmet anyway)

Trail ride with an Appy

Can Hermit be an option?

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I have been told to seek volunteer opportunities. So I did. All I found was that the volunteer listings either wanted “strong interpersonal skills” and/or experience. None of which I have.

There is a gulf between me and my peers. As I got older, it got wider and wider and filled with water.  I have not made friends since I was around 10 years old. I have not had close peer-type friends since I was in my early teens.

It’s come to a point in which I just live within myself. My only external joys are horses and perhaps nature. The human world, the social world is completely foreign to me. I have never “hung out” with a group of friends. I’ve never had a group of friends. I don’t particularly need or want a group of friends.

I wish I could say my family is better but it is not. Basically everything I love, they hate and vice versa. I’m as detached to my community as can be…basically, I’m looking for some way out! I have decided I don’t really like the city. I’m a horse freak and I much prefer the woods and fields. I hate mall shopping and I just don’t really do “city things”.

But everyone seems to want social skills. I don’t really have social skills. (I hate going to restaurants too because of the interacting with the person thing!). I kind of want to crawl in a hole and be a hermit! Or even better – be some sort of one person nomadic pony tribe! Are there any hermits with horses?

Ugh!

Should I start horse blogging again?

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From around 2002 to 2011, I wrote about nearly every single ride. It started as a few lines in my then-diary, then moved onto a word document and by around 2007 it was in blog format. I stopped doing that mostly because it felt like nothing really new was happening since I went back to school horses and it was becoming a chore.

However, it was never really public. I wasn’t really comfortable broadcasting that much especially since I don’t own any horses (I’m bad at making fake names…so I won’t do that unless I need to) and for some reason, I was worried that someone would get mad at me. Also at the time since I was on blogger/blogspot, I didn’t have the ability to make passworded posts.

But I like reading back. I smile with I think of the time that Tulla will not bend for the life of her. Or when Tony was super young and um….totally uncollected. Or some of my questionable rides on Dory (they existed) when I probably couldn’t get her to go or turn or anything like that.

I’m still not doing much. I’m a once per week lesson rider. I don’t jump (too chicken). I don’t trail ride (lack of trails at the moment – maybe in the future once I get further out of the city). I don’t really do dressage (lack of a suitable horse).  I don’t show (way too expensive). I don’t lease (can’t afford it at the moment/lack of suitable horse). And I don’t own a friggin horse (waaaay out of my budget). I sometimes ride on my own but I need to work on being more productive with that..for some reason I’m always worried that I’ll overwork the horse and it just ends up being a glorified warm up (any horse…from 5 to 26).

So I’m not that good of a rider. I can’t handle any crazy, “not for beginner” horses. I didn’t last long jumping and probably only jumped about 2 feet. I have been riding school horses for almost all of my entire riding life (I do hope that will change in the next few years). I suck at lunging. I’ve been riding for over 10 years but I swear that anyone who has been in weekly lessons for a year or two instantly becomes a better rider than me.  And on it goes. I feel like I don’t know much, that I didn’t do much.

But maybe that is the point. I LOVE riding blogs that the rider isn’t the greatest rider and she (face it, it’s usually a she) knows that. But there aren’t that many of those blogs.  I too have wondered if there is a point doing something that I seem to suck at. But still without fail, I always manage to make it to my lesson, tacked up.

Most horse blogs are about one particular horse or a training journey towards some sort of real or relative greatness. But mine wouldn’t be. It will basically be the struggles of having limited resources in terms of money, talent (human…and maybe horse too) and such in an urban area. Of being some sort of perpetual beginner (some days worse than others). And always, always feeling out of the loop as it is always the case.

Maybe at some point that will change. Especially the stuck-in-the-city part. I’m hoping it will. Then it can turn into the blog of the Horse Lady Hermit…LOL. (Just kidding. I think.)

I don’t know. I probably won’t write every ride as it becomes too chore like. Like ugh now I have to write that down. I don’t want that relationship with my blog! It may not even be related to my actual ride much of the time. But I’m considering making a horse blog of a struggling rider. Share fun horsy things from across the web and the like, Maybe I’ll even be able to SEO the hell of it and it can get a bit of traffic…from other struggling and resource-limited  riders. Ha!  I’m still not sure if I should use the horses’ real (barn) names or not since they aren’t mine. I probably won’t use real people or stable names though. Almost all horse bloggers own their horse (or at least lease them) so it’s not a huge problem for them….but it is for me.

Hmm. We’ll see. I’ll announce it here if I do.  Or I can get me out of the equation completely. Although then I need to find another niche. Ugh! 

Farmyard Critters [gallery]

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Visit to Maplewood Farm. No I don’t have kids and I’m not 7. But I like farm critters.

I’m increasingly feeling that I don’t belong in the city. I belong in country fields and forest trails. I belong with horses….and maybe other critters too. Yes, the donkeys were on artificial turf…apparently vet recommended since one was eating rocks. And yes, those goats just stood on the tire. People sat there, took photos and they’re still there!

Why, Hello Blog

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My old friend, we meet again.

Sorry it’s been crazy with school the last few weeks. (Want excitement? How about writing an extra 2 pages in an hour because you just realized it was a 12-15 page paper, not a 10-12 page paper. Whoops. Yes, good thing it was online submission that accepted re-submissions…) .

Anyway, self-doubting aside I should be finished my BA.

I’m excited but unsure.

Not sure if anything will go to my plan. At all.

Right now, I’m basking in post-school relief. But that will end soon. Ugh.

More to come.