Field Trip to the Vivian Forest

Today was the first time I’ve driven the new (old) truck with the new (old) trailer with the horses loaded up. Dressy loaded like a pro. And King was pretty good too. But Diego had a little bit of a backslide today. He got himself a little wound up and it took some time and work to get him on. But eventually Misha worked through his issues and got it done.

We took the herd over to the Vivian Forest to ride. They all seemed to be very happy to be there, and to explore some different trails. It’s gotten pretty boring to go around and around the same trails at home. King was very boingy (I know… it’s not a real word) for quite a few miles. His trot was springy and he did lots of zigzag spooking at all the logs and rocks beside the trails. No stops hard enough to bend my helmet visor today though (always a good day when he doesn’t break my nose). He felt fast and forward for the entire ride.

Diego was very nervous when we first arrived. And there were a lot of people around, which he doesn’t like. He’s very shy of strangers. Going down the trail with all the families out hiking on Good Friday was funny. King would march up to anyone to say hello. Dressy would follow, especially if it was a small child. Diego would stand behind the other two horses and look distant and unapproachable. He looked fresh the whole ride though, and seems to be quite fit. It looks like he’s quite ready for the 25 mile ride next weekend.

But Dressy was the big star. She hasn’t been ridden very much over the last year or so. Brooke just started riding her at the beginning of January. So I didn’t really think she’d be very fit. But she just seemed to get stronger through the day. We did 16 miles in 3 hours, and Dressy was going faster at the end than at the beginning. No sign of fatigue at all. And she’s as bright eyed as can be this evening. Pleased with herself I think. And Brooke was VERY pleased with herself and with Dressy. She was bubbling with enthusiasm the entire ride, and all the way home in the truck too.

I had sent an entry form for Brooke and Dressy to do the 12 mile intro ride at Aprilfest (on May 1). But so far I haven’t been able to find a sponsor for them (junior riders need an adult sponsor). Today I realized that Dressy was quite capable of doing a slow 25 mile mileage ride. We’ve decided to upgrade Brooke and Dressy to the 25, and send her out with Misha as her sponsor.

I am feeling a lot more confident in King’s ability to finish the upcoming 50. All that work plowing through snowdrifts this winter really seems to have paid off. He’s cruising along very easily. Hills and deep sand are not affecting him much. I will still have to go slow, but he feels really good right now, so I think that as long as we are conservative, he should do just fine.

And the truck/trailer were great. The truck pulls easily. Has a 7.5L engine, and you can feel the power when it tows. The trailer travels well. Tracks very straight, and seems to ride smoothly. Misha rode down the driveway in it to get a sense of the ride, and she said it was very easy to stand in without even having to hold on. I think King and Dressy both liked it. They looked happy enough and ate lots of hay in transit. Diego was a bit more concerned, but he always is. And he didn’t work up a sweat, so that’s actually pretty positive.

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