Friday, August 06, 2010

The One?

Today I finally went to the barn again. Steen's feet were trimmed on Saturday, but we were out of town half of Friday and all weekend, and the insanity of a few rush jobs coinciding with our trip kept me chained to the computer all week.

However, this morning I woke up to see a cool, sunny day out the window. I ate breakfast and got in my car.

Since our last long ride I've been playing more with the idea of a route that involves two large loops instead of one big one. The main reason is there is simply no way to do a loop around the barn without riding on gravel more than I want to. So today I implemented a new experiment - something sort of like a gigantic, lopsided figure eight.

Steen was nervous setting out again, and reluctant to leave, as usual. I ignored his antics. I must admit after our grand adventure on Monday I trust him more. If he didn't come apart that day, I doubt anything in familiar territory is going to put him over the edge. So, I nudged him past the farm equipment (it rearranges itself slightly every time!) and up and down our familiar strip, then I crossed the road and went into the margin of another field I rode once before with a group, almost a year ago.

And here, we really started to have fun. Steen was a bit fixated with the fact that he could see the barn, so I decided to do some trotting and loping to give him something else to think about. I wasn't sure how he'd handle running all alone in a mostly unfamiliar space, but he went great. He did get pretty excited and was inclined to prance on the way home, but I took the indirect way back and by the time we reached the barn he was walking again.

So, I am hopeful. The ride took 45 minutes, was almost entirely on grass and good footing. I could even extend the route some if I wanted to. Best of all, I think it will be really relaxing, easy and fun once Steen gets used to it. So, perhaps I've finally found my groove here in Iowa.


  1. When I ride at home it is almost always road riding. Even the field roads don't provide enough mileage & the farmers get nervous. I've got a few diff routes I take; always looking for minimum maintenance roads to get off the gravel. The good thing about gravel is it makes her feet strong. ANd most of the farmers are very considerate when they come upon me.

    Good idea googling for routes.

  2. Well, maybe I just need to get more used to gravel. There aren't many dirt roads in my area. Luckily the people who own my barn are the ones farming most of the surrounding fields, so they are pretty horse-friendly, too. Thanks for the tips!


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