Monday, October 19, 2009

Queen of the world!

Yesterday we rode over the mountain north of the ranch, down the Palomino Valley side, and back around. The view from the top of the mountain makes me feel like the queen of the world! It's a fantastic ride, but quite long - about 9 miles. I did it once before, right when Dixie got here, and I got SO sunburned and she was SO ouchy on the rocks. Yesterday was much better for both of us!

Headed up the mountain

We took Cersei, who is sacked out on the couch snoring right now. Almost all of the ride is on the road, but they're very low-traffic gravel roads, and I'm pretty confident that Cersei will heel to me and not dart off into traffic. We only saw two cars, at the very beginning of the ride. Cersei ran circles around us for the first mile or two, then realized we weren't turning around anytime soon and trotted beside Dixie for the rest of the trip. I brought water for her, and she didn't get too hot or tired - she never laid down when Dixie and I would stop and wait for Summer to catch up.


The climb up and down the mountain is the roughest, terrain-wise. It's more of a jeep trail than a proper gravel road, and there's not much sand. Mainly rocks, from small boulders down to pebbles. Dixie was not crunching gravel per se, but she was MUCH more confident this time, and I didn't feel obligated to get off and walk her. I still think I'd like to get some boots in the spring, but I'm going to wait until her hooves look better. She's got a bit of flaring still, and they're not quite balanced laterally, and they're not quite as concave as I'd like to see. (Her next trim is in a week - she's still walking around with her first Nevada trim.)

I don't have any pictures of the really rocky stuff! This area was really hardpacked gravel, but Dixie went quite well over it.

A little tired

Once we were over the mountain, the "gravel" road turned into a sand road. Straight as an arrow and about as flat as anything in this state. We did a little gaiting. Dixie still wants to trot when trying to gait downhill, but that's really common. She had plenty of go til the last couple miles, when she just couldn't hold a rack or RW together and she'd trot every time she sped up. Oh well - we just walked. Her trot is huge and sproingy and not at all easy for me to sit.

Headed home

I took some confo shots when we got back. Dixie did Not Approve and pawed like mad to get me to untie her. That horse cracks me up!

Dixie condition shot 2

In this one she's not pawing, but she has her ears pinned at Sydney, the black and tan dog behind her.
Dixie condition shot 4

Here she is when I first got her. She looks exactly the same to me, except with more roan and much better feet. Oh well, I am terrible at horse conformation.


  1. That looks like a great ride. What fascinating bleak terrain. It's nice to have a dog along too, they make riding all the more fun. Your horse looks good too, what pretty colouring. I am glad that the new place where you live offers decent riding.

  2. Nice pictures. I love the southwest. Thanx for visiting my blog.
    I rode a rocky mountain horse in Sante Fe once. Wonderful gaits to ride. I know it's not the same as a TW, but man she was smooooth!

  3. Looks like some fun trails to ride- looking good! I ride with a friend who has two dogs that always come along- the longer I obersved them, the more it seemed that they (the dogs and the horses) were almost working as a team with the dogs scouting up ahead in different directions and then circling the horses, passing each other by. Sort of a 360 degree early warning system.

    I love the wide-open spaces. :-)

  4. WHP - the bleakness grows on you, it really does! You give up the green lushness, but you gain so much - sparse population, no mosquitos, few flies, no mud, no overhanging limbs to clothesline you off your horse...

    Jill - I enjoy your writing so much! You and Kate are my new favorite bloggers.

    Adam - very cool. I will keep an eye out to see if Cersei starts "working with" S's dogs. I love watching her range ahead of us.


Feel free to comment!