We trotted on the trails for the first time today. Okay, it wasn’t our first time ever trotting on trails – not by a long shot. It’s just our first time trotting on trails since her injury and also at the new barn where the trails are distinctly wilderness.
It was incredibly boring.
Horse people know that when training a horse sometimes boring is good. I had to ask her twice because she had a moment of “are you sure that’s what you’re asking?” and then she trotted off at a nice pace. I ended up doing intervals since the flat bit in the trails is fairly windy, and if Deli is going to jump at anything it will be when we round a bend in the road. Also, the quarter sheet I borrowed was not comfortable or even completely waterproof as advertized, so posting her trot was a drag for me.
We are going to do more trotting for short segments more often. I’m still hiking and leading her in-hand for the steep up-and-downhill bits to try and get myself in shape, but I’m riding her on the flat areas so that I can do some schooling as well.
We also did our trails in the rain. I was able to borrow a quarter sheet to keep Deli’s bum dry, since mine has apparently gone missing. Deli wasn’t much bothered by the rain, other than betting annoyed by drips sliding off her forelock and into her eyes (stay tuned — I'm going to invent a horse beanie to keep rain out of there eyes). I got soaked. When I come into some money I’m considering buying a long rain slicker that will cover both my legs and Deli’s rear end. The cover I found for my saddle has been working well at keeping my expensive tack dry, but I haven’t been quite as successful at keeping myself comfortable!
I am now entering the “month of doom” where law school requires the majority of my (unwilling) attention. Final exams are running late this year, but I still expect to have two weeks of vacation with which I can enjoy hanging out with my horse and starting up our more rigorous rehabilitation and conditioning schedule. During the “month of doom” Deli is going to get more time off to socialize and fart around her pasture. I’ll still ride her and come out to check on her, but I’m admitting our normally tight schedule will become loose and flexible – allowing her to become my I can’t take this studying anymore break.
My hope is that after the holidays I may have a little extra money with which I can start taking dressage lessons again. Deli is very close to being ready for them again — and I can’t wait! It has been well over a year since our last lesson together, and I'm looking forward to regaining some of the balance and finesse that getting hit by a car stole from me last September.