Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to work

Dixie was pretty sure she'd retired. I mean, look at what's happened: she did an endurance ride. Then she was left to her own devices for two weeks in Nevada. Then I loaded her up, took her on a long trailer ride, dropped her off in a green pasture with some amenable buddies, and left her alone. I mean, I did ride once last week, but surely that was a fluke, right? She's clearly retired.

When I turned up in smiley tights to catch her, she was, to put it mildly, unhappy. I got THIS face:
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And I got ridiculous behavior. For 30 minutes, she acted like she'd never been on a trail ride before in her entire life, culminating in a showdown with a large stump. She walked up to the stump, froze, tried to spin, and threw it in reverse for about 50' of backing up. I talked to her about the physical characteristics and ecological importance of stumps on nature trails while I coaxed her back up to it. She got to the exact same spot and did the exact same thing - vrooom backwards down the trail. I let her shake and snort and stare at the stump for a while, then I asked her one more time to walk past it - and she made it. After that, she gave up on the silly behavior and was generally her usual solid self.

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We plonked around on the trails in the park for an hour and a half and managed to get 8 miles in. I was more focused on exploring (and helping Dixie recover her brains) than on hitting speed or mileage metrics. I had Dixie slow-trot up hills and on flats and walk down hills.

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When we got back, it was rinse time. Sulky Dixie was unhappy again.
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Back at the trailer, with a pan of mush, she was slightly happier.
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When I got home, I sent in my entry for Hat Creek Hustle on June 16 and 17. Yep, we're gonna try a two-day. HC isn't supposed to be a terribly hard ride, so I'll just see how she feels at the finish Saturday - if she feels good, we'll ride again Sunday!

That means that I need a long ride this weekend. I'm planning on going to Quicksilver Park, south of San Jose, on Thursday - I can avoid the weekend crowd that way. I've got GPS tracks for an 11 mile loop, quite hilly, and if we run that loop twice I'll be happy.

20 comments:

  1. LMAO at Dixie's antics.

    Have fun exploring the new neighborhood!

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  2. Poor Dixie... Applejack & Smudge understand how she feels lol

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  3. I get such a kick out of your blog, and hearing about the horsey-antics!

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  4. One day I want to go on a trail ride with you and Dixie!

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  5. Ya just gotta love opininated mares! Poor Poor Dixie with her short lived retirement.

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  6. Haha! Dixie looks SO put out in that first picture. Too bad she didn't get the memo about this not being retirement!

    Also, your new barn is just lovely!

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  7. I think Dixie borrowed Gabe's brain for your ride! Horses...you never know what they'll take exception to, even the ones who have been around the block a few times. Your new riding area looks absolutely beautiful!

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  8. I love how you cope with Dixie and her antics. You guys make a great team. Can't wait to hear what Quicksilver is like. People have talked about riding there, but I've never been there.

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  9. laughing my butt off, poor Dixie! No sympathy, honey.

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  10. Poor Dixie - she looks so insulted in that first pic! lol Glad you got through her antics and out for a ride. The scenery is quite different from your past posts! Hope you get out for a good long ride on the weekend.

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  11. Love the "I don't think so" face. Of course it's all new, there are actual trees and green grass, Dixie is very confused! The trails being so different than Nevada, it will be interesting to see how your mileage/speed works out. I know I read about riders from other areas and am amazed at the average speeds, most of my technical trails don't allow for it. I think you have some great open spaces to explore, how lucky!

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  12. Haha...love the tree stump story.
    Griffin and I had to have a similar "discussion" a couple weeks ago about a large rock that had been moved alongside one of the pastures. It took me 20 minutes or better to convince him that just because it wasn't there yesterday did not mean that it was going to grow legs and jump up to grab him. He finally did walk past it with that "hard, side ways look."
    I think if had been in another place he doesn't routinely walk past, I think he would have been fine, he just doesn't seem to like things moved about in his little world LOL...

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  13. She was just trying to convince you that she really IS retired! Humans never listen...

    Looks like the ride will be beautiful if it's anything like the picture on the website!

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  14. Pissy look, check! Tight mouth, check! Oh hey! I know that look! That's the look I get when I want to DO SOMETHING with my pasture ornaments! Well, that's what they believe they are anyways!

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  15. Well - what did you expect her to think?!

    Enjoy your ride this weekend - you two will be back on track in no time. Agreed that you are a great team! :)

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  16. Looks like a nice new area to ride! Pissy mare face, eh, we all do it sometimes.

    Looking forward to Hat Creek!

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  17. Oh , that was a sour face.. she clearly wanted you to rethink your decision to ride that day... glad it all came out okay!

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  18. I've got a lot of reading to do to catch-up with you! LOVE the photo of Dixie's expression! Again - after seeing Fiddle on Aarene's blog & now Dixie... I think you two are giving both your mares a very hard time & Bad wrap! :-) I would think Dixie would be more than pleased to move to the "Land of Milk & Honey"! At least that's the way I'd describe it from NV! Hope I will find how much you're liking it there!
    Good Luck on the Two-day!

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  19. Stumps are known as " crouching cougars" around our neck of the woods...but they have become over populated of late, so a little less scarey!

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