PostHeaderIcon Riding Alone

What technology do we have in our lives.  Someone on Facebook recommended that I have someone who knows I’m out there to check on me.  Have a start time and a check in when done time friend.  It’s a little lonely at James A Reed Wildlife Area during the day on weekdays.  I guess non retired people are sequestered at their job.  I remember having a job too.

So there’s this iPhone App called Find Your Friends.  You can allow people to look on a map of where you are at.  My good friend Hope is my emergency tracker.  I tell her when I’m mounting up and estimated time to be done.  I message her when I’m done.  When it comes time, she looks for me on the map.  If I’m somewhere other than near the parking lot, she will check to see if I’m moving.  If my location on the map stays static for a while, she’ll try to call me.  If no answer, she will go into full emergency mode and have the park ranger try to find me.  If it seems really bad, she knows these trails as well as the park ranger and she will come and find me…using the Find My Friends app.  Isn’t that cool.

I didn’t ride Lucky yesterday.  I’m debating on how much ground work to do so that he will recognize me as his leader and be calm when I’m riding him.  He did really well the last time.  I decide to cut the ground work time time in half.  We did go into the field to play, but we didn’t walk all the way to the corn field and back.  He was calm and gave me some effort when I asked him to circle around me.  We yielded hindquarters and backed quite a ways.  He’s good to go!

We do our riding warm up in the parking lot, riding figure eights around the row of trees.  We rode on the road and listened to the magic steps.  I decided we were ready to go on the trail to the dove field.  We get on the trail and Lucky tenses up somewhat.  I go into my calm down defensive moves.  We do hindquarter turns, 180′s, 360′s and bend his head slightly as we move forward.  When I get a brace on the rein, I know he’s not paying any attention to me, so we do our defensive moves unit he is light again and listening to me.

We make it to Dove Field.  Dove Field is like an outdoor arena.  I love outdoor arenas.  Lucky is fairly calm as we walk down the wide dirt oval.  The dove cages are in the middle.  I make it to the end and see a park employee has come in his pickup.  He is out checking each cage.  I decide that Lucky and I will leave the dirt arena at the end and head for the trail.  We walk through horse stomach tall grasses on a faint track left by a vehicle.  Not too long in the grass and Lucky got stuck.  When he gets stuck, his front legs bounce up and down and he can also paw the ground in a furious manner.  I offer him the option of turning around and returning to Dove Field, but he lets me know that he is stuck for that direction too.  I try some hindquarter turns mixed in with offers to stop.  Stopping isn’t an option for Lucky…he paws and offers to bounce up and down again.  Now my options are 1-Get off and walk back or 2-Back Lucky to Dove Field.  Option 2 works.  Lucky becomes unstuck when I ask him to back.  We back nearly all the way to the Dove Field when he calms down and offers to walk forward.

Whew!

I chat with the Park Ranger.  He tells me that they are catching the doves to band them. Oh that is a relief!  I thought they were catching them and keeping them somewhere to use when Dove rifle season starts.  He drives away and Lucky and I head back on the trail.  But I decide to take the real trail out into the park.  Lucky is calm and walking nicely.  He’s a slight bit nervous about something in the bushes so we elect to ride in the weeds beside the trail.  We make it halfway through the field when I decide to quit for the day.  We turn around and walk with great calmness back to the road.  We ride on the side of the road in the grass and hear a big clattering engine noise coming towards us.  Out of the tree line comes a huge garbage truck going at least 100mph.  Good Lord, I’m thinking.  Lucky stays calm.  I’m waiting for the garbage truck to slow down and it doesn’t.  Good double Lordy.  Lucky stays calm and I flag the driver and tell him to slow down.  I sign language that I’m a little worried about my horse reacting.  The driver slows down as he goes past us.  Lucky stays calm the entire time.

Love this horse!

Tomorrow Lucky and I are taking two friends on a trail ride.  One of them has never been on a trail ride.  What an honor this will be!  Lucky will be a great trail leader horse.

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