Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. Warm, sunny, and Spring-like. It got up to something like +16C, which is more like May than March.
I got home from the morning chores at about 11 am and immediately tacked up Dressy and headed down the road. Misha and Diego came along too.
Dressy tried out her new Easyboot Gloves. They are quite tight, and it took a bit of muscle to get them on. But once on and seated really well, they fit fine. And the boots should stretch a little bit from wearing too, so I expect they will get easier. She tends to grow more heel than toe, thus she has rather boxy front feet. I was a bit worried about that, since it’s not ideal for boots. But I’ve been working on her heels over the winter to try to sort them out a little, and it looks like the gaiters are a decent fit.
I led Dressy up the road past the tight curve around the ravine. There is no shoulder in that section, so I find it rather unnerving on a horse. But after the curve we turned right onto the quiet sideroad and got back on the horses. There was still traffic, but not nearly so much. Quite a few bicycles though. And they are dead silent until they swish past. Especially the really serious cyclists who don’t chat to each other and are moving at high speed. It’s enough to spook a rider right off a horse, never mind the horse. We crossed the overpass over the Highway 404. It was the first time for both horses. Both have been over the 115 overpass. Though I must say this one is narrower and the highway is busier. Dressy was a little leery of stepping on the expansion joints, but otherwise didn’t turn a hair.
A car passed us with a mother driving and gesticulating wildly at the horses while her toddler son looked on impassively. She pulled into a driveway ahead of us and ran into the house, apparently to grab a bag of carrots from her fridge. She and her son, and her neighbours were all waiting for us when we rode up. Dressy marched directly up to them of course. Happy to do her duty as a goodwill ambassador for the equine community. She regally accepted carrots while the little boy agreed to touch her with one finger. His mother insisting that he LOVED horses. Maybe. He just looked intimidated to me. I think his mother loves horses actually. Diego, who is afraid of strangers, but likes carrots, was a bit torn. He snuck up close enough to take one carrot, then waffled and took so long advancing for another that his benefactors lost interest and fed them to Dressy, who knows how to work a crowd.
We made it all the way to the closest tract of the Vivian Forest. The Robinson Tract. But it was pretty clear that we were not going to be riding in there. The entrance was a sheet of ice. I managed to sneak Dressy around the edge of it to the trail and had a bit of a look. But there was ice visible for a good distance so there was no possibility of exploring. At least I know where it is though, and how to get to it now.
Diego was a bit rude coming home. Quite intent on being in front, and in a hurry. So he was rather crowhoppy. It was mild, but still not acceptable. And he tried to kick Dressy when she came up beside him. Tried to bite her when she was in front too. Whereupon she took a shot at him. So she had to have some anti-boss mare instructions again.
Total distance was about 9 miles. We were out for just under two hours. I kept Dressy’s rump rug on, in the hopes that this will contribute to her heat training. It’s definitely contributing to her shedding anyway… big clumps of black hair came out in the currycomb afterwards. She’s going to be very sleek, very early this year from the looks of her.
I went back to work for the afternoon once we were done. By the time I got home last night, and fed my own horses, my back was kind of seized again. It’s just a bit stiff this morning, but not desperate. So I think it’s still on the mend.