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Wizard Rides 385 & 386: Hollow Hills

July 22, 2012

Emo Wizard

Friday, 7/20/12

I tried to get Cathy and Miss Tuesday to head out on the trails with us, but it was raining. I was in denial.

“Sarah, it’s RAINING,” said Cathy.
“But, but, but…” I whined.

We ended up riding indoors for the first time in weeks. I didn’t ride very long- it was mostly just to get on and see if I felt any uneven gait. I could see it in his trot the other day when I free longed him in the indoor. Oddly, I saw it more than I felt it. Usually, it’s the other way around. We just did a little walk-trot work, walking in corners and trotting the sides. During tackup and riding, he behaved very well. The calling to Sunny is gone, thank goodness. He is gaining weight very slowly. He is cribbing more than he did when he was turned out with Sunny, but as the days go on, he spends less time moping in the corner and more time integrating with his herd.

Saturday, 7/21/12

With temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s, it felt more like June than July. We endured some wicked heat and some wild storms last week, and got a really lovely Saturday in return.

Wizard and I went out on a trail ride with Christie and Brigid in the Assunpink. We were out for about an hour and 20 minutes. The ground was yielding but not too boggy, so we set out at a good trot as soon as we hit the main trail. We covered a good amount of ground since we trotted through many of the fields. We went past the lake, through a tiny stream, and up and down some hills. The hill work is very good for both horses, and the conditioning will do them a lot of good. Wizard was a little trippy at the walk- he does not actually trip as much as it feels like he steps in a little hole from time to time. I felt it less when we were warmed up more. He did not do it at all at the trot.

We ended up at the edge of the Assunpink near Rt 524 on a ridge where there were signs for an old cemetery. We did NOT visit the cemetery, but we did a little bushwhacking as we made our way through some ungroomed trails. Both horses handled their slightly rugged ride very well. The borium that I was not loving on Wizard’s shoes in the fields felt pretty fantastic when we were climbing rocky hills. There were a few baby logs that were set into the hill like mini cross country bank jumps. Both horses climbed and hopped up them like champs. Once we looped back around the ridge, we headed back past the lake, up the “bowling pin” hill, and down a hill with two downed trees- I imagined how Phillip Dutton feels as he rides down a steep hill over huge four-star jumps. Our trees were small enough to walk over, but it was fun to pretend.

Once we hit the midway point of our ride and Wizard could feel that we were headed home, it was difficult to keep him in a trot. He wanted to break into a canter. I patiently slowed down my posting and did a lot of give-and-take with my hands. I was pretty satisfied with most of our work. He was a little bit prancy on the way home, but maintained his flat-footed walk for a good majority of the ride.

It was one of the best rides I’ve had in months. Finally, my back is cooperating enough to let me enjoy the 6,500 acres of trails next door to the barn. We got back to the barn and I gave him a good bath- the air was dry enough that he dried fully in a short amount of time, even in the setting sun.

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