Monday, May 24, 2021

Eeyore the Trail Horse

 Sunday morning I hit up my favorite trail system. There were only two other trailers in the lot when I pulled in. Eeyore unloaded like a pro, stood nicely to get groomed and tacked up and then walked away to hit the woods. 

The hardest part of the ride was convincing the Chubster he didn't need to eat every since green thing he saw

None of that above paragraph was possible when I first got him. He really has grown up nicely. 


Eeyore loves being out and about and went down the trail with ears forward almost the entire way


It was hot, nearing the 90s, but thankfully most of the trail was in the shade. My favorite green trail has been recently destroyed by logging which re routed a good 2 miles to a paved road instead of single track in the woods. My last outing I had tried to take the grey trail, but ended up lost only a mile into it. 

I've had Eeyore for 3 years now and have never cut his mane. I've given up hope that he will ever have anything except a floppy, thin mohawk. 

This time I decided to hit the grey trail backwards, keeping the markers on my right instead of the left, which would hopefully show me where I had gone wrong the last time. I don't think I have ever been on the grey trail. Green was always perfect for conditioning Gem - it was 6 miles and ran into the 9 mile red trail near the end so for my longer conditioning rides I could add that too.  I'm glad I tried out grey though - it was a lovely trail.

When I saw this meadow I knew there was no way I'd get Chubby through it without stopping for lunch. 


Eeyore handled pretty much everything I threw at him perfectly. We went over bridges, across creeks, past a sail boat, covered single track twisting through the woods and open access roads. He even passed other horses coming his way without batting an eye. The first time I rode him on trail solo he threw such a tantrum about not being allowed to join another horse that I got off for safety and he broke my toe. Such a big improvement!

This was the only spot I got off to navigate. The entire creek crossing was stone and he hesitated. I was worried that with his shoes on he would slip and we'd both fall, so I led him across by hand. 


He wanted to canter and trot quite a bit and I let him as long as we were in the shade and his breathing was normal. Fat Boy isn't in good enough shape cardiovascularly to handle more than long slow miles at this point. I want trails to be fun, not a punishment so we mostly walked with some short burst of trotting and cantering when the trail was right. 

I also opted to switch out to his Wonder Bit this ride. He is so responsive to it that it allowed me to ride mostly on the buckle versus being in his mouth and him still blowing through me in the single joint full cheek snaffle.


Everything was going swimmingly until near the end. We popped out on a gravel access road which I knew was close to the end. In theory all we needed to do was go down the hill, cross the road and a creek and we would be back at the trailer. Except somehow I ended up at the dead end road crossing by a dove research area exactly where I ended up the last time coming from the opposite direction. It takes skill to get lost the same place from both directions folks. 

The look you get 8 miles into a 6 mile trail ride 


I turned us around, with a big sigh from Eeyore who apparently remembered that we did this the last time in the same spot, and tried to figure out where I went wrong. The last time I saw that red crossed over this road, so I went back to that and took that trail a ways. Red is 9 miles though and we were already pushing 8. I had no clue if I was heading in the right direction down red or not, so I turned us around again determined to figure out where I lost grey. 


Not a happy pony. The only time his ears weren't forward all day


Eventually I found grey again, in a tiny off shoot trail that I missed the first time, however I could go right or left and couldn't for the life of me remember if I was traveling with the markers on my right or left. I had a mini panic attack thinking we might be heading back the way we came which would be another 8 miles before we were done. Thank goodness for the All Trails App on my phone that I use for hiking. I pulled that up, found the interactive map and where I was, turned around to go the correct way and made it back to the trailer in one piece. 

Eeyore was tired at the end, but looking sharp. We walked and puttered around so much at the end that he was mostly dry at the trailer. I hosed him off and we made the 40 minute drive back home without incident.  





7 comments:

  1. How lovely! The wonderbit ... is it an elevator/gag bit?

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    1. Yeah. Trainer had recommended I use a pessoa 3 ring gag for cross country and jumping. Eeyore went super well in it but he has a wide mouth and fleshy lips and the 5 1/2" was too close to pinching for me. We spent a long time and even made a bet about finding one in a true 6" and never found one. I have three now all supposed to be 6" but were 5 1/2" when they came. This was the closest we could find and he likes it enough.

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  2. What a great ride. You and Eeyore have come such a long way.

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    1. It was a really lovely ride. He is a brave boy out and about. I have yet to find something he truly spooks about.

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  3. Sounds like an enjoyable ride with lots of great pix taken to remember the day by. Nice!

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  4. Trail rides are good for the soul (both human and horse) <3

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