Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Story of a Sad Pad

Yesterday Bill and I took a break from spring cleanup chores and caught the 'boys' to head out for a ride.  I had spent some time with Jesse earlier in the day - we are working on some ground work to correct a few holes I had left in her training - so I thought leaving her behind would not be such a big deal.  Besides, I had used her for my last ride, so ... off we went.

Good horse, good pad.
Today's story is really about my bareback pad, so pay close attention to its location on Washoe's back.
About 20 minutes into the ride we spot the Clarabelle mine.  All that is left of this 1890's gold mine is this bit of a log structure on top of a dirt pile.

After passing the mine, we cross a beautiful grassy area, and ....
... as soon as I turn my head to say something to Bill, Washoe's head comes up, his back hollows out and I KNOW what is coming.  I have taken my attention off him and he just can't ignore all that luscious grass!
Bad horse!!!
He can go from a lovely trot to THIS in under a fraction of a second!  Do I know he is going to do this?  Yes.  Can I stop him?  No.  He is mucho fast; I am not.  If I tighten my rein hold, I get pulled right off over his neck. The human has learned how to stay on top of the horse; the horse has learned that if he grabs fast enough he can get a mouthful before I get him stopped.  He's worse this time of year because that spring grass is soooo good - and it had been a long time since breakfast.
So ... horse gets head yanked around on one rein (usually the right rein as I generally ride with both reins in my left hand) and trots off like nothing happened.  Hmmmm.
Remains of 1930's cabin.
After about three bouts (at least) of this, we come to 'the roof'.  Rumor has it that this was a cabin built in 1933; the same year as our lodge.  Sure glad the lodge looks in better condition!  We had to make a short stop here for a tack adjustment.  Apparently my pad cinch had come undone on the off side and was dangling down by my leg.  I probably snagged the buckle with my calf trying not to fall off the horse.  Bill was gracious enough to climb down and rebuckle it for me.  Of course, Ranger took advantage of the close grass at that time.
Mt. Meeker framed by Ranger's ears.
The views were so great and the weather perfect;  I just couldn't keep my attention on naughty horse.  This time last week Mt. Meeker was completely white with lots of snow.   There are a lot of concerns about flooding this year from all the snow melt.  You can see water in the trail to the left of Ranger's ear.  All the local lakes are over-filled and so are the ones in the valleys below us.
Speaking of lakes, this is our local one.  It currently extends about twice as far back as usual.  We do enjoy seeing it look like this!
We have now traveled around the lake, to discover this trail under water - which NEVER gets this far.  We took a different trail to avoid doing damage and ended up on a bit of a challenge trail - one that had not had much work done on it yet after last year's big flood.  After much grabbing onto the mane and dodging of trees on a very steep downhill trail, we managed to get back to a tamer area.  You notice no pictures taken on this portion!  Bill made the comment, "It wasn't that long ago we couldn't ride something like that in a saddle.  Now we are doing it bareback!"  OK, so now I feel much better about staying aboard, because he had obviously been feeling a little gut-tightening too.
My camera ran out of battery power after just five pictures (my battery is so good it lasts a long time, so I forget to check if it needs charging often enough) so Bill took this picture for me of my favorite springtime flowers up here:  the wild iris.  This means it is truly SPRING, on the first day of June.
OK, we are headed back home.  Check out my saddle pad; shifted more than just a little to the left.  After some deliberation, I decided that all my twisting down to the right, then sitting back up causes it to shift just a little each time, so on rides like this one it gets shifted a LOT.  Also, I carry a first aid kit in the back pocket of the pad, on the left side.  So maybe by relocating that to the opposite pocket, its weight won't help the shifting effect.  I've been meaning to add a breast collar to this pad, like Bill has on Ranger's, but there are no connectors which means I need to sew some D-rings on.  Time to quit procrastinating and just do it.
See, he can be a good horse when I pay attention - but look at that scenery!
The horses know I usually have treats in my pocket, which they get at the end of a ride - even the horse left behind.  Notice Jesse in the background.  Ever felt snubbed by your horse?  She is intentionally ignoring me right now.  As soon as we entered the corral she walked off and turned her back to us, standing by the fence.
Even the boys noticed, looking at Bill as I walk toward 'That Mare'.

Finally, after I hold the treat out in my hand, she looks over her shoulder at me with a 'maybe' on her face.  Sheesh, she hasn't been that irritated at me in a long, long time.  I do love that mare.

Enjoy a ride today - or at least hug your horse.

Bionic Cowgirl

1 comment:

  1. I think the miners back then were just really suited for their job. Apparently very short, or perhaps they liked being underground so much the house is under that roof. Nice ride Juanita. Thanks for the post.


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