Monday, August 11, 2008

Trail Notes from Cuneo Creek August 9th, 2008

One of the reasons I purchased Red was his experience on the trail. Like everything, if you don't use it, you lose it. At the beginning of summer he was, excuse me Red, a ninny - hypervigilant, snorty, expecting a bear to pop out from behind each tree. We have logged quite a few miles now, and he has settled into his "trailness" - steady with surprises, great over all bridges, water crossings, and any position I gave him in our group.

Our last trip was a blast but several incidents made me appreciate the critical need for preparedness. Being on the trail is excruciating fun, it is also puts you and your horse on the line where oversights and oopsies and become serious, soundess or even life threatening situations. I had a couple of oopsies that had only small consequences. I forgot Red's bitless bridle - even though I carefully packed all horse gear the day before. FORGOT HIS BRIDLE. Tried riding him in his rope halter, no way with so many strange horses. Had to borrow a bridle and while Red does fine with a snaffle, two days of trail rides was not the setting to reintroduce one into his mouth.

My other oopsie was failing to check the condiditon of his Easyboot Epics - on our last day, on our last mile the stitching holding the gaiter to its base came apart and the entire boot came off Red's hoof and flopped around his hoof for several steps. No problem on the broad, cushy trail one mile from camp. A potential disaster on one of the sharp switchbacks on steeper parts of the trail.

Notes to self:
1. Be triply prepared
2. Make a packing list and check it thrice
3. Check and recheck all gear
4. Oh, and replenish trail 1st aid kit - which I had fortunately thoroughly stocked as Red got pretty dinged up battling the wall in the 1st spot in my friend's gorgeous new Cicrle J aluminum 3 horse slant load trailer. Lesson learned - Red needs the middle or last spot. And if ever possible he needs the training opportunity to become comfortable in the 1st spot.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

Looks so pretty. Now the DOR will want to take me on a trail ride...wait I heard rumors of a poker ride this fall.

One Red Horse said...

Well Jack, check my face in the 2nd pic from the end - think she got it? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I'm thinking, "are we having fun yet?" "Lets go on a trail ride", she said. "It will be fun", she said. Not only did I have to haul her butt 8 miles UPHILL. There was not ONE blade of grass to graze on. Just stupid ferns. Poker run? Does that mean you get to poke your DOR when she turns around and she has to let you? Coooool.