Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Let's Go Fellow 2013 RACers; Curlies Rock!
Hello Fellow 2013 RACers! For those of you who have not participated in the RAC in past years, let me introduce myself (Susan Lejonhud) and my Curly partner. My 11-year-old Curly gelding *RCR Ah-D-Das (pronounced "Adidas" but affectionately known as Ah-D or Didder) and I live in a small town in Maine, and we enjoy trail riding on the many back roads and trails near our home, as well as occasionally going to the ocean beach or camping out at the scenic Acadia National Park. In years past, we virtually always ventured out on the trails alone, but now we are blessed with many horse and human friends and family with which to ride. We head out to enjoy Mother Nature twelve months out of the year.
Didder and I have quite the history together. He needs a strong and confident leader and is extremely personable, quirky and challenging; thus I have worked harder for him and learned more from him than any other horse I have ever owned.
Last weekend, we had very unusual weather for January in Maine, warmth and fog! Saturday at dusk, when I was done with my work, I tacked up Didder and then skipped across the road to invite my 2nd grade neighbor Megan to join me on a ride. Yep, she was all for it! We rode in the fog and mist until it was dark. Megan is a beginner rider, and she is working on her hands and seat and posting, not to mention keeping her butt in the saddle. Didder's buddy Allie takes good care of her, and a week or two ago he treated her to her first ever canter! Wow, was it ever fun to share in her excitement! I planned the whole thing out of course, picking the right spots on the trail and getting Didder at just the right speed to egg on Allie (who has much more whoa than go), and my Curly cooperated fully. What a good boy he is!
On Sunday afternoon, I rode Allie down the road in more fog to meet up with my neighbor and riding buddy Kate and her horse Jax. We came back to our barn, where I exchanged Allie for Ah-D, and proceeded to explore the snow-laden trails behind my house. Kate has only been riding for about a year and never in the winter, so it was her very first ride in the snow. We had such a good time. My Didder was a doll. He has so much personality, that one, and he did an excellent job of containing his energy and behaving himself. We took every trail open and available to us, avoiding any spots where there might be hidden ice under the snow. We also avoided a really steep hill in the interest of safety because the snow was so wet and heavy with all the melting that we may have just slipped and slid all the way to the bottom, on or off our horses. Not something we wanted to do...although, at one point when I was fiddling with my camera timer to set up a picture of us together, Jax thought that the snow looked so inviting that he laid down with Kate still in the saddle. For once the shoe was on the other foot, and it wasn't me who was stepping off onto the ground and flailing my arms to get my horse to get the heck up! Kate didn't step off, though, she just yelled at Jax to knock it off and he stood right back up. Pretty funny!
We rode around here and there until dark, observing the evidence of deer highways and other wildlife out in the woods. My Labs joined us, and all of them were very good girls and a joy to watch as they played and tumbled about in the snow. After our ride, when each and every one of us was tired and happy, Didder and Allie were surprised to learn they had a sleepover! Yep, Jax spent the night at our house because all three horses had a dentist appointment yesterday. Didder had a wolf tooth removed, so next weekend's riding will be sans bit. Now THAT should be interesting. I'll have to scrounge around in my tackroom and see if I can find either that old hackamore or bosal I have hanging around. (I am a packrat).