Monday, April 16, 2007

Our first outing

On Saturday, Mandy and I loaded up Lakota and Whinney, and took them to the bridle trails for a walk. I figured Whinney is so calm and non-spooky, she would be a good "rock" for Lakota to get guidance from, and easy for Mandy to handle (even though Whinney has been off the property about 3 times in the 5+ years I've had her). She is an awesome pony.

So Vic helped me hook up the new truck this am (it tows great, btw), had breakfast, then loaded up the girls down in the driveway. Its very steep, and tough for them to balance going down the hill, its pretty washed out now from some heavy rains we had, so decided to load up at the roadside and lead down the driveway. Poor Lakota, she was literally shaking she was so nervous, but she never acted up/out at all. Lots of wide-eyes, snorting, head-up, but never did she get silly. Her muscles were just shaking, poor girl. Of course, it didn't help that Red Boy and the Midget (a/k/a Joe and April) were racing around the paddock at full speed SCREAMING like idiots.

Lakota loaded up great after looking around, snorting and sniffing, Whinney jumped right in (there was hay in there, ya know). Took them about 2 miles down the road to a trailhead with a moving company tractor-trailer parking lot, no need for maneuvering. Unloaded, and they were pretty up and excited. Lakota did her best Ayrab impression, head up as far as it would go, eyes wide, snorting, but again, no racing around, no acting up. Whinney just wanted her nose in the grass, and was yanking Mandy around a bit so she could eat . We checked out the parking lot for awhile, stopping to graze often (relaxing). Trucks went by, cars, wind, airplanes overhead (the airport is *right there* behind us, so these were LOUD and low, just taking off). Lakota barely gave them a glance, until two people were walking down the road. Now THAT was interesting! She just stared and stared at them, snorting, so we just watched them walk on by, said "Hello". Then we had to cross the street, no problem, down along the side of the road (lots of wide grassy patch, so had to stop and have a bit of that). Walked by a couple of big signs, right next to each other. Whinney walked between them (they are just about a horse width), Lakota didn't even give them a glance. The big white moving company boxes (the trailers from the truck with no truck attached) were a little scary and interesting, so we stared at them for awhile until they weren't scary anymore.

Continued on into the trailhead, and had to cross MUD! Uh-oh, Miss Lakota does NOT like to get her pretty little tootsies muddy. We snorted at it, skirted it, but sorta walked in the edge. I didn't push it, we were just entering the trail so didn't want to push things right off the bat.

Lakota was very, very interested, in this place! So much to see and check out! We walked about the first half mile like this:

Head down, sniffing the whole way. There was so much to see and smell, poop piles from other horses (had to stop and sniff each one, am I walking a horse, or a dog?)

After about a half mile, we started to walk with our head up, looking around.

"What could be down there?" "Lets go see!"

So we continued along, sniffing poop piles, checking out fields. We passed big huge deep water/puddles from the rain the other day, big rocks, plastic bags blowing in tree branches, the bucket from a backhoe perched on top of a hill in a field (that was interesting), but none of it grabbed her interest like the HUGE WHITE building up head! We must have stared at that building forever. We even passed the gigantic mounds of dirt piled up from the constructionof said huge white building, the huge blue tarp covering one of those gigantic mounds that was blowing in the wind and making a heck of a racket. Nope, not nearly as interesting as that huge WHITE building (lol). She was just fascinated by it!

So we made it to the end, we had to walk through some deep rutted tracks where something drove through in the mud, and it was muddy, she walked right through that no problem, got to the end and rather than continuing on to the next trail, we turned around and headed back. I think this trail is around a mile or so. We had to stare at the big white building AGAIN on the way back, and still ignored the huge (and I mean, it was a huge sucker, I've never seen a tarp this big) blue blowing tarp, and there were now guys working in the huge white building, banging around.

We were settled into a nice, relaxed walk now, and stopped to take a couple of pictures (oh look, there's the huge white building in the background):

Sorry about the pic -- my photographer is 10 years old.

As I was putting the camera away, not paying attention, a jogger came by. Lakota (nor Whinney of course, who was constantly eating) could care less about him. He slowed down and walked by us, which was great and very nice. So we continued on. When we came into sight of the trailhead, Lakota was just staring at this car that was parked there (the same car that was parked when we went in). Something with light colors at a distance really grabbed her attention. We could see the jogger to, he went to the trailhead then turned around and came back, again walking by us and saying hello, which was good.

Near the end of the trail, the town department had geared up, apparently there is an area there they park their vehicles, and they had "stuff" running, back-up signals (that beep-beep noise), they were loading and dropping stuff, diesel vehicles running, guys yelling, all sorts of racket, oh, and the HUGE plane that took off while we were standing there too, so loud that Mandy and I couldn't even talk standing right next to us. Lakota stared at that car, while all this was going on right next to her, then decided this was a good place for a snack. What a good girl! She really didn't get scared at all, she was just sooo interested! So now we worked on walking back over that puddle, at first she jumped it, so we went back and this time we tip-toed through it, so I decided that was fine. We went back out to the street and walked along the side of the road, LOTS of yummy grass, and had a nice graze. There were all sorts of traffic, cars, trucks etc., going by, and neither of the girls were worried about them. Until a car came by with a little trailer that was empty, and bounced and rattled over the bumps. That elicited a little scoot, all of about 3 steps to get her butt further from the roadside.

We continued along the side of the road, then we walked between the two big signs (just the width of a horse), crossed the road, and had some more grass while I picked up broken glass and threw it in the woods. More cars, trucks, even a dump truck was coming down the hill, downshifting and was VERY loud, so I warned Mandy to pay attention in case the horses spooked, but the driver was very polite, and slowed way down and crawled by, rather than blasting around through that area like they usually do. I gave him a big "thank you" wave, then we loaded the girls up and brought them home. Where they had a HUGE welcome home Whinney from Joe and Lakota, who sniffed them all over, and of course Joe had to nibble at them and "tease" them . So much for a gelding, eh?

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