Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Nevada fall ride

Yesterday I rode over to D & B's house and we trailered out to Red Rocks. D is an endurance rider who had to take this year off - life gets in the way. She took a cute bay Arab mare. Her husband B just likes to ride, and he took a super cute dark bay Anglo-Arab mare, pretty green. We rolled along at a good clip and had a great time.

Here's the Garmin. You can tell that Dixie got hot and tired in the last couple of miles - she was drenched in sweat by the time we got back. Not really blowing hard, just totally sweaty. (I did remember to bring her cooler!) She is hairy like a damn yak. I think she's in fantastic shape for a normal horse and mediocre shape for an endurance horse, but I'm ok with that. It's the end of our season - I'm not doing any SW or PS rides this year.

(I'd love to do Desert Gold or Death Valley Experience some year! I don't know if I will, at least not on Dixie - I would absolutely have to clip her, and then I'd have to blanket her, and ugh. It seems like a lot of responsibility. She has amazing hair that keeps her perfectly content in the sleet and snow, and if I fuck with it, I'm going to have to keep her equally comfortable.)

I was extremely pleased with how well our three mares got along. D's mare really wanted to be in front, and she made nonstop nasty faces at the other two when they dared to pass or get too close. B's mare is green, and she would periodically break into a canter (with that little happy-horse half-buck) and zoom past us. Dixie - yall, I can't believe this. Dixie did not make faces. She didn't fight to pass. She didn't velcro her nose to another horse's butt and refuse to pass. She stood tied to the trailer IN BETWEEN the other two mares and didn't squeal or glare, even when B's mare was eating out of her hay net. She did bite B's mare on the nose, very calmly, for trying to shove her nose into the same square of the haynet that Dixie was eating out of.

Both my friends wore Renegades - D's mare had them on the fronts and B's mare had them on all four. D lost a boot pretty catastrophically about 8 miles in. The cable broke, so the boot part flapped loose and the captivator held it on her ankle. Everybody freaked out and took off in a canter for a couple strides but came right back down to us. I had the most carabiners and D rings, so I got to carry the boots back after that :)

Dixie went barefoot, because I know the trails out there and I'm just so pleased with her feet right now. It's funny how even booted-barefoot people keep a close eye on bare-barefoot people. We were walking up a sand road and Dixie wandered off into the ditch and kept walking. D said "are her feet sore?" I said I didn't think so, she didn't feel off or unconfident. I let her keep walking up the ditch, and not 30 seconds later she stopped to pee, then scrambled back up onto the road.

Stuff we saw: four birds fighting. They were too far away to really see colors, but I think it was two crows/ravens harassing a pair of golden eagles - it sounded like creaky crow voices, and the bigger birds were HUGE. We saw cows - everybody had to stop and stare for several minutes, then sneak past them. We saw snow - it spit snow on us all day. And on my ride over to D & B's, Dixie and I faced down the deadliest of enemies, the llama.

There are two houses in that subdivision with llamas/alpacas, but I never can remember where they are, so I keep stumbling upon them. At least this time I saw the llama first, so I could slow Dixie down and start talking to her. When she spotted it, she froze and started snorting hard. The llama was making that hack-up-a-lugey sound and it had its ears pinned at us. There was a tense faceoff for probably a minute before Dixie unfroze and I could ask her to keep walking. When we got even with the llama, she saw two donkeys behind it and thought about freaking out again, but I yelled at her about how they're just damn donkeys and she likes donkeys. She kept going, then a dog charged us from its yard on the other side of the road and she skittered a bit, then gave one of those incredibly loud snorts and got over it. Such a good girl these days!

I am thinking about Rides of March already. Should I clip for that? She had a thick coat for it this year, and the weather was super warm and she sweated a ton. Winter will be mostly over by then, at least the kind of winter I worry about. I'm ok with blanketing through a couple of freak snowstorms in March/April.


  1. Llamas creep me out and Lilly always agrees. I especially don't like ones that spit!!

    I wish Lilly's feet would do ok barefoot. She is often questionable without shoes on her hind feet, but seems better these days. Her front feet would fall apart and frankly I think she'd rather die than go barefoot.

    Sounds like a nice ride!

  2. I love the Garmin link. I'm a retired cartographer, and I still enjoy mapping and linked data.

    Paj agrees with Dixie on the llama issue. He thinks all cloven hooved creatures are the devil's children.

  3. Bring Dixie to live with me for a week. We have two llamas across the street and donkeys next door. She'll love it here! ;)

  4. Thanks for the ride report--I'm housebound until tomorrow...and then, I'm going out even if I have to snorkle down the trails!

    @in2paints, my horse can't barefoot either. My spouse's horse can, but Fiddle has tender soles, and she is uncomfortable and bitchy(-er) the entire time she goes without shoes. I may try Renegades for a month or two this winter (when I don't ride much), or I may just say "screw it" and leave the shoes on.

    Llamas are evil. But chipmunks are demonic. Just so you know.

    @Funder, I want to do Death Valley someday, too. Not this year, though. Sigh.

    WV: "persum"
    the stripey, whiskery, meowing citizen currently perched on the back of my chair.


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