Riding Dressy in the Ganaraska Forest

Put Diego and Dressy on the trailer yesterday and hauled them over to the Ganaraska Forest to ride with Chrystal and her little whizbang Arab mare, Gracie.

We parked at the end of Porter road in the small parking lot and met Chrystal there. Dressy came off the trailer looking very flat and hadn’t eaten much hay. After last week’s overheating incident at the training ride I was a bit concerned. I pulled out my stethoscope and checked her heart rate… 28. I think maybe she’d been napping on the trailer.

The weather was cool and overcast with a fairly strong wind. Perfect weather for Dressy. She cruised along easily after the galloping Arabs. Grace led most of the day, which is generally best. Gracie is highly competitive. She’s an ex-racehorse off the Arab track in Michigan. When she retired, she held a track record. It’s probably been broken now, but she is very very fast. Small but mighty, that’s Grace.

Dressy is starting to gallop a bit more easily. She still will trot very fast of course. She is a Standardbred after all. But more and more, when the Arabs start to gallop, Dressy breaks into a slightly ungainly looking, but easy to ride gallop. It’s very flat and comfortable once you stop expecting the rocking horse thing. Like riding a gaited horse. Well okay, she IS a gaited horse but it’s like her gallop is one of those special saddle gaits (rack, slow gait, fox trot, etc). Lots of sound and fury (okay… hoofbeats) under you, but no movement up on top. You just sit there easily.

We did around 14 1/2 miles and then went to Chrystal’s for dinner. Diego did more like 17-18 miles since Misha rode back with Chrystal. And Gracie did around 20 or so. I put Dressy on the trailer and drove the rig back. We passed the two horses on the way, and Diego perked up as we passed. “Hey! That’s my trailer!”

Interestingly, he was more willing to load up than usual when we got back to the farm. I don’t think he liked having his boss mare leave him in a strange place like that. He was very happy to see her and stood quietly on the trailer while we ate dinner. It was a very good trailering day all-around for Diego.

Didn’t get home until around 9pm. So after working in the morning, and riding all afternoon, not to mention all the driving… I was done. Passed out as soon as I fed the starving ponies.


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