I took a chance on the weather again and won, again. I’ve noticed that Tarma is much more agreeable if she’s had some turnout before I ride, which means I don’t have to be an early bird. This is fine by me, though something we’ll have to deal with for both the John Wayne ride and endurance riding, which usually starts before 8, which means you’ve got to be up and feeding two hours beforehand.
I decided to head back to Port Blakeley and explore a bit more, they’ve logged recently and there’s new trails to figure out. For the first time in a while, Tarma let me walk right up to her in the pasture and halter her, without walking away or asking me to wait before entering her bubble. I was so damn happy, it’s a bit disheartening to have a horse who walks away. But today she was ready to head out and happy to do so, much calmer for booting and she self loaded like a dream.
The clouds were coming in so I tossed on her tack and we got moving. Yesterday was speed, today was slow distance. We only did seven miles (in two hours and 15 minutes) but it was some tricky trail, through recent clear cuts where the trail was barely there, and through young groves where the trail bobbed and weaved and snuck it’s way between short trees and old stumps. It required concentration and work for me to move with her and stay centered and keep an eye out for leg stabbing branches. Halfway through I took my new stirrup cages off to test the “are they too small” theory. We trotted and cantered a bit and nope, my leg strength is just not where it needs to be, and I definitely need the cages! As my trainer says, much more crunches!
Aside from at the trailer, we didn’t see anyone else out there. Tarma was foot perfect, alert and moving out steadily but carefully in the tricky bits. The only thing she gave the stink eye to were piles of brush that were covered with black plastic (to trap heat and help them compost faster) which with the way the wind started to blow I don’t blame her. I asked her to touch them and she did after a moment’s contemplation, so carrot and on we went. I’m grateful every ride we’re able to access such areas, and I spent a few moments while Tarma chilled at the trailer to pick up some trash at the parking area. Technically its just the side of the road but still. Seven solid miles with a happy mare, what could be better?