"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

I trimmed Lily's feet before riding yesterday, and Charles took some photos.

After the ride in the indoor, I changed Lily's dressage boots for SMBs (front) and polo wraps (hinds), and switched her black leather bridle with the rubber pelham for our biothane halter/bridle with the low port pelham. And off we went on the trail. Charles followed on foot, and took these pics. I know some people think winter is depressing, but I think the forest looks stunning. I'm curious to see how it will look in the summer, but I still find it beautiful now, nonetheless.


Lily in a moment of insecurity-she tried to turn around and I spun her around, bringing her back to face the route we were going.

We went on the same trail as last time, crossing the bridge (Charles had to lead Lily across) and then we rode up the hill and came up onto a sloping meadow.

 It was beautiful. We followed the trail around, along the trees and the river, and it disappeared into the water, continuing on the other side of the river. However, the water level was high, and the path going down was very muddy, even frozen over in parts. I was not going to ask Lily to cross it, not when I wasn't willing to attempt it myself. She was being weird about the sound of the rushing stream, so I had Charles lead us over to the water's edge, where I had her stand for a minute to allow her to get used to it. We then turned around and found a spot where the trail continued, following a barbed wire fence, then disappearing altogether. By then, the sun was starting to set fast, so we turned around and headed back.

You can really tell Charles has a degree in film with this one...I'm not sure how he did that awesome panning with the camera. This is a Canon Powershot, not a professional video camera, and he was walking along the grass, not gliding on a cart like they use in the movies...

I had this idea of doing hillwork with Lily in the meadow, but it didn't work out. She was getting friskier and friskier with every loop downwards, and the more excited she got, the more nervous I got, which in turn got her more worked up.

Going up the slope

She looks like she was being a perfect angel in these photos. I have a good photographer. ;)

You can see what she does when she is starting to get worked up in this video. It doesn't look as bad as it feels-when she starts swinging around and flinging her head, she gets very tense and it feels like she is going to explode at any minute. Half of the turns to the right as seen in the video were initiated by her and finished by me-she kept trying to turn around towards home, so I would make us wander over to the other side of the hill. You can see where I quietly have her loop in the other direction, sometimes with some urging-she stops in protest at one point. Towards the end of the video you can see that she has settled down and stopped tossing her head.

Eventually I got her to settle somewhat, and only then did I allow her to head home. We found the trail and I had her walk all the way up the hill, back to where the trail meets the road, and when she stood still for more than a minute, I dismounted: I didn't want to argue with her on the steep way back down the tarmac about whether she should trot or not!

The minute I was off, both of us relaxed significantly. Like I said-we feed off of each other. She was happy to walk along next to me on the way down.

As we went over the bridge, I took the reins as if I were still riding her, and walked next to her onto the bridge. She wanted to rush to the other side, but I stopped her and made her wait. Lily was nervous about the sound of the rushing water from the stream underneath. This frustrated her-she kept trying to look behind herself, to step forward, and a couple of times she stretched down to sniff at the bridge. Each time, I brought her back to the same spot. (I did let her sniff, as long as she didn't try to swing around right after.)

When she stood still for a minute, I let her walk forwards. 

Afterwards, I got back on, and we made our way quietly back to the barn.

It ended up being a 40 minute ride. Between that and the arena, we had worked an hour and 15 minutes. I turned Lily out with the herd for a little bit, since the guys hadn't started bringing anyone in, and we hung around watching the dynamics between the horses.

Jezebel, Sally's sweet little girl, came over and asked to be petted.

Lily is in the middle of the totem pole. When the dominant horses are by the fence, they won't let her get close. Today it was all of her buddies by the fence, so she was able to come when I called.

After about 15 minutes, they showed up to start leading horses to their stalls for the night, so I brought Lily in along with everyone else. She had been so anxious to go back out, and now after just 15 minutes, she was VERY happy to go back into her stall! *lol* Mares!


  1. I'm glad someone thinks the dullness of the ground is pretty this time of year. I'm happy when snow covers it all. When snow goes away...poooo.

    Additionally, the photo of you trimming really shows how huge Lily is in comparison. My guys would be dwarfed by her!

  2. Lol It's totally the angle of the photo-she's barely 15.1 hh at the withers (per measuring tape; I don't have access to a proper stick). I'm 5'4"-not very big myself. (My 6'1" husband likes to call me Frodo...funny guy...*lol*) I've always had the impression that she's about the same size as Q. And man, Griffin is getting BIG!!