Sunday, June 29, 2008

So today? Did the arena work get started?

Nope. That's just about all I can say.

Since Mr. K told me that the arena would be easier to work on if the footing wasn't wet, I haven't been watering the arena. So the footing was super dry today and there's no way I wanted to ride in that dust storm. I decided to ride him down the road instead. Susan was already out with Albert and another friend at one of the Metroparks so this would be a solo ride.

Not like it matters. Kaswyn really doesn't care if we go out alone. He's a little more cautious, but he's not spooky or nervous, thankfully. Once we got off of the main street we met little traffic and had a nice ride down the street. There are areas on the side of the road where we have to walk because the shoulder is either too narrow or makes a bit of a ditch. However there are areas that are wider and flatter and that's were we were able to do a little trotting. It was quite enjoyable.

About ten minutes into the ride I noticed that the sky was getting dark, but I couldn't see rain yet, so I figured we'd be okay and just kept on truckin' along. The street we were on dead-ends into another street, and off to the right there is a wide, long, flat grassy area on the side of the road that's about 200 yards long. It's well groomed and perfect for cantering, so I asked Kaswyn for the canter and got a very nice ground covering canter with lots of jump. When we got to the end of the flat area I went to turn around, and then it started raining.

When I say raining, I mean it POURED. I rode Kaswyn a little bit into the woods and we huddled under some trees. He wasn't very happy about it, and kept shaking his head when the drops would hit him in the ears. I assured him that we'd be getting much wetter if we were out from under the trees, but that didn't seem to make him feel any better. The trees gave us some really good protection - that is until it really started to rain. Then we did get wet. Very wet.

My first thought was for my saddle. Kaswyn and I can dry off, but getting that saddle soaking wet would not be a good thing. I tried to shield it the best I could, but how was I going to cover the whole saddle? I mean, I was covering most of it with my butt and legs, but what about the other parts? It was warm out so I didn't have a jacket or sweatshirt with me. I just crossed my fingers that the shower would pass quickly.

Which it did. As soon as it let up we headed back down the flat area, cantering nicely on the other lead. It's the best canter I've felt from him in months. It's a feeling that I sorely miss.

Going home the road looked very different. You can see the wet pavement and the grey sky in the distance, the evidence of the storm. I really hate riding on black tar roads to begin with, but when it's wet it's even worse. Luckily Kaswyn isn't the spooky type, because I hate that "blacktop scramble" that horses do when trying to get their feet under themselves as they slide on the asphalt.

We were gone for a total of an hour. It was really wonderful. Although I only had a few short bursts of trot and two passes of canter, I'm really jazzed about how Kaswyn felt. I'm anxious to see what the massage lady has to say on Tuesday. I hope she can do something about the swelling in that left front, or even make it so that he's 100% sound.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That looks like a great road to ride on. The road closest to my home is too dangerous for even joggers and bicyclists, none-the-less horses. It is very narrow with no shoulder and is in the shape of an S. For some reason, drivers always drift into the oncoming lane while taking those curves. I guess they think they are the only ones on the road, so other drivers are constantly honking and there are memorial crosses on one of the curves for all the people who died in head-on collisions there. So, if I ride off my property, I have to trailer out.

Rising Rainbow said...

Sorry about the arena footing but it sounds like you had a nice ride. I can imagine Kaswyn shaking his head at the raindrops on his ears......poor guy.

Jen Travers said...

Sorry to hear about the footing-situation not getting straightened out (again). But from the sounds of the great canter you got today, something seems to be working. Maybe it's the new farrier work, or the solid field footing, or maybe just getting out and seeing new surroundings (seems to make my horse feel better)--but all around it seems like good news.

Katee said...

I love those photos taken from horseback. I'm glad you two survived the downpour and had a great ride. Keep us posted on the saddle.

SolitaireMare said...

Hi Dressage Mom!

Hittin' the trail - good for you! Sounds like it was a nice uplift for the soul!

I laughed when I read your part of the post about rain + saddle + nothing to cover the exposed parts with = panic! I took the plunge and bought a Wintec 2000 off Ebay last year so if I got caught on trail in the rain or even riding at home, I would feel less like my saddle would be ruined. It was a worthy investment! I really like the Wintec and it takes whatever abuse it gets very well.

I have to do road riding to get to the trails closest to my barn. You're fortunate to have a grassy shoulder in places to ride on! The roads I have to travel are fairly narrow with no shoulder and the drivers around here drive WAY too fast.

I know what you mean about the "blacktop scramble", the barn driveway has been sealcoated enough times that it is very smooth and if it's a little wet, the horses have to take the smallest steps to just leave the driveway without slipping. I'm considering having my horses' front shoes done with the caulk holes so I can put road studs in and he'll have a little better grip on the pavement.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr