Posts Tagged With: trail ride

Trail Ride Adventures in California

Boy, it sure has been a long time! Where have y’all been?!

Okay, okay, I know… It’s me who’s been remiss. It’s just that my life is busier and more exciting than it’s ever been… and, according to Mommy, the excitement is going to keep on coming!

Now, I know in my last blog I said I’d tell you all about my first trail ride in California… But since it’s been a couple weeks already, I can actually tell you now about my first two trail rides! Of course, I’ll begin with Trail Ride #1… But first, let me tell you a little bit about my history with trail riding.

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Looking at Blydenburgh Lake on Long Island with Mommy.

Anyone who has known me for a while knows that I love going out on trail rides. When we lived on Long Island, Mommy and I used to go on trail rides in Blydenburgh Park quite often with my Auntie Joyce and my best friend, Cooper. That park was amazing! It had a huge lake and lots of hills – and sometimes there were even fallen trees that I got to jump over!

I did enjoy my trail rides in the park – but I have to admit that I was extremely nervous the first few times. I remember when Mommy and Daddy took me out in Blydenburgh Park for the very first time. They walked with me on the ground so I would feel like I had a “herd,” but I was still so scared! After a few more times being out in the park, however, I calmed down and learned that it was relaxing and a lot of fun to go on trail rides.

When we moved to Tennessee, I got to go out on the trail a few times, too. Even though I was a “seasoned trail horse” by that time, I was still nervous the first time I went out because it was a different property – an entirely different state – and the scenery was all completely new to me.

California Trail Ride Adventure #1

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Out on the trail with my new friend, Atlanta.

During my first trail ride here in California, it was the same thing: I was nervous because I’d never been out on those trails, I didn’t know where I was or where we were going… and I could feel that Mommy was a bit nervous, as well. (Although, if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she was nervous because she knew that I’d be nervous.) California has scenery that’s like no other place I’ve seen before – and y’all know that I’ve been to quite a few places in my seven years of life!

The only thing that calmed me down on that first California trail ride was the fact that I had company. Recently, I made a new friend named Atlanta, a beautiful Trakehner horse. Atlanta is very comfortable on the trails; she seems like she really enjoys it. Aside from the fact that I was making her a little nervous with how nervous I was, she didn’t seem to mind the new trails or scenery at all.

Some of the trails we traveled went uphill. When we got to the top of those hills, we were on a trail with a steep drop off of one side. Those were the times when I could feel that I was making Mommy (and Atlanta and her mommy, Megan) extremely nervous! I would dance and prance and sometimes even spin or back up – all within a couple feet of what could be called a cliff, for all intents and purposes. I didn’t mean to; it’s just that I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds and smells. And I knew that there must have been rattlesnakes out there somewhere, because I had seen one myself at the ranch not that long before!

Anyway, we didn’t stay out too long before Mommy asked Megan and Atlanta if we could turn back and head for home. Mommy said that I had behaved valiantly – especially considering how long it had been since my last trail ride (which wasn’t even really a trail ride at all), and how new and different everything is in California compared to the other places that I’ve lived.

California Trail Ride Adventure #2

The very next weekend, Mommy and Megan and Atlanta and I went out on another trail ride. Mommy decided that, this time, it would be a good idea for me to get out as much energy as possible before heading out onto the trails. So, after Mommy groomed me and tacked me up, she let me go into the arena and run around to “get my sillies out,” as she likes to say. Then she and I put in a solid workout in the lower arena. We worked on collecting and extending while staying in a frame and did a lot of lateral exercises; Mommy said that she wanted to make sure I was moving off of her leg properly, in case I got any funny ideas about acting silly while atop a cliff out on the trails.

I have to say, I was pretty exhausted when we headed out into the hills… but we only walked on our trail ride, so it turned out to be pretty relaxing. And I actually was able to relax and enjoy myself much more that time! The combination of having been out there once before and having gotten out all of my excess energy made it easy for me to “just chill.”

Okay, I was still a little nervous at times… but I was able to walk calmly most of the way, and Atlanta and I even got to stop and enjoy the view in a couple places!

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Wow, Atlanta… would you look at those hills? What a view!

All in all, our California Trail Ride Adventure #2 was a huge success.

When we got back to the ranch, Mommy gave me a long shower followed by a liniment bath. Although I normally don’t like liniment (due to the fact that I have sensitive skin and liniment makes my skin tingle), I thoroughly enjoyed it this time! I was already sore and completely exhausted from having such a long workout that day; I was probably out and about for a total of 2 hours – maybe even a little bit more! The liniment helped keep the circulation of blood flowing through my body and legs and kept me from getting really, really sore. I even got two days off afterward!

The week after our successful trail ride, Mommy and I did a lot of flatwork and exercises over ground poles to prepare for our next jumping day…

And in my next blog, I’ll tell you all about why I got to jump twice in one week! (Anyone who knows my Mommy knows that jumping twice in one week is a “no-no” in her book… so you know that this is going to be interesting.)

On that note, friends, I’ll catch y’all later!

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Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A stroll down memory lane

Well, even though it’s chilly today, the sun is warm and I’ve been enjoying a mid-morning snooze in the field with my best friend, Leo. Sometimes he naps along with me, but usually he grazes nearby and keeps a lookout for any predators. (So far, we haven’t encountered any!)

That's me laying down, and my best friend Leo keeping watch nearby.

That’s me laying down, and my best friend Leo keeping watch nearby.

The warm sunshine, the crisp winter air, the little breeze that rustles the last of the leaves on the trees – this pleasant moment actually brings back another memory from my first home in New York, only a couple weeks after my humans adopted me.

The barn where I lived had a long driveway, and at the bottom of the driveway was the entrance to a big park with a lake in the middle. I often saw other horses and their humans walking around in the park, and I have to admit that I was more than just a little curious – but I was also nervous at the same time, because I had no idea what I would find in that park.

Well, on one particularly warm day, after most of the snow had melted from the latest snowstorm, my humans decided they wanted to take me for a walk in the park. Since they obviously understood me very well already, they knew that I would be nervous to walk alone, so my human Mommy tacked me up and got on my back, while my human Daddy walked next to us with a lead rope in his hand (just in case). My friends from my barn whinnied to me as I left, telling me to be careful and not to be gone too long.

It was a lot of fun to look around at the new sights and smell all of the new smells, especially because I could still see my barn behind me.

That is, until we turned a corner, and I realized that I could no longer see my barn, nor hear my friends.

I stopped dead in my tracks, listening as hard as I could, straining my ears to hear their whinnies. But I couldn’t hear them anymore. We were out of earshot, and out of sight. And suddenly, I felt like the trees around me were closing in, and… I panicked. I reared up and spun around, screaming as loud as I could, hoping that my friends could hear me, even though I couldn’t hear them. I completely forgot that both of my humans were there, and I threw a huge buck and tried to take off down the path, back toward my barn. But when I felt the tugging on my reins, pulling against the sweet-iron and copper snaffle bit inside my mouth, I remembered that there was a small human on my back, and another human standing next to me. I stopped and stood trembling, listening to my humans as they spoke softly to me, trying to comfort me. My human Daddy put his hand on my neck, and I felt the calm reassurance that was running through his veins, and it began to calm me down.

My human Mommy asked, “Icchy, do you think we can walk a little farther? We’re both here with you, and I really think that you’ll like the park, when you see a little more of it…”

I thought about it for a moment. I was still extremely tempted to bolt back to the barn, but decided that I would try to trudge on a bit longer, just for the sake of my humans who had always been very nice to me.

So, still trembling a little, I turned and continued walking down the trail. After a while, I began to calm down, but every little sound or rustle in the bushes made me jump a little.

Then, we turned another corner and came to a little stream that ran across our path. There was a bridge over the stream, but for some reason, my human asked me to walk in  the water, instead. I hesitated, knowing that the water would most likely be very cold. But my human Mommy kept urging me forward with her legs (annoyingly), until I finally gave in and put one foot into the stream. I was right: the water was freezing!! I jerked my foot back out, and heard both of my humans laugh. It didn’t sound like they were making fun of me, I think they just thought I was funny. So, taking this as a little bit of encouragement, I decided to try again.

This time, I took two steps forward so that both of my front feet were in the water. I waited for a moment, getting used to the chill of the rushing stream, and finally stepped all four of my feet in and stood for a moment. Both of my humans began gushing praise over me, patting me, kissing me, telling me what a “good baby horse” I was. And then (thankfully!) my human Mommy asked me to turn around and step out of the water.

Here I am, standing in the stream - just like my Mommy asked me to!

Here I am, standing in the stream – just like my Mommy asked me to!

I was pretty proud of myself, and when I realized that we were heading back toward home, I understood that the park could be a fun place to go with my humans. Hopefully someday I would be able to come out with some other horses – but for the time being, I was happy that both of my humans had decided to come with me.

Walking back toward my barn after my first experience in the park.

Walking back toward my barn after my first experience in the park.

Yeah, my humans and I have some pretty fun memories. I can’t believe it’s been two years since they adopted me. It feels like they’ve been mine forever.

My human Mommy told me earlier that we would be jumping later today. I’m so excited! You know how much I love to jump… It’s been about a week since the last time I jumped, and I can’t wait! I’m sure that I’ll have some time this evening to tell you all about it, while I’m eating my hay and waiting for my dinner grain. But for now, I think I’ll lay down and take another nap in the sunshine.

See y’all later…

ZzzzZzzZzz...

ZzzzZzzZzz…

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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