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Wizard Session 372: Lake of Fire

June 24, 2012

Saturday, 6/23/12

After Friday’s thunderstorms, the heat wave cooled off and we had a really nice weekend here in New Jersey. I took Wizard out for a hike in the Assunpink and met up with some friends from another barn who were riding Zeke and Lily. We met up near the Horse Park and went out onto the trails. I was hand walking Wizard, and it’s easier to do so in open fields than it is on wooded trails. But when we got close to Stone Tavern Lake, I got curious and we ended up on a trail I had never been on before. The trail snaked alongside the lake, up and down little hills, and eventually led us to the lake. Wizard immediately stepped in the lake and began pawing and playing. We asked a fisherman which trails took us back out, and he pointed out a trail that ran alongside the wooded trail we took in, up on higher ground. We tried the trail, but it was super steep, and narrow, and a little slick from the rain. Wizard did a really good job of keeping his cool as we backed halfway back down it and then turned around as soon as we had the space.

We went up another trail (also steep!) and got back out to a clearing (whew!). Those steep trails are quite a workout on foot- I had to ask everyone to stop once so I could catch my breath. We winded our way back to the field with the big mulberry bush and then found the road and parted company. By the time I got back to the barn (video above of Wizard’s animated walk back home), I estimate that we hiked between 2 and 3 miles. I was really worried that I overdid it on my back. When I got home, I babied my back, stretching it carefully and giving it plenty of rest. When I woke up on Sunday, I was muscle sore, but I did not feel anything scary or painful. I must be getting stronger. My physical therapist gave me clearance to start riding a little bit this week. Hooray! She stressed that I need to keep the rides short and sweet and that I should not overdo it. As long as I’m back in the saddle, I’ll be happy!

Wizard was a bit of the turkey while we were grooming and on the way home on the trail hike. He was pretty focused on Sunny, his pasture buddy. Hopefully, the increase in work will give him something else to focus on next week.

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