Another Ride in the Vivian Forest… With Cookies

The little creek that feeds the dog pond
Today, I loaded Dressy on the trailer, and picked up Diego on our way to the Vivian Forest to ride. Diego has really started loading on the trailer well in the last little while. It was about 2-3 minutes to load him up this time. I suspect that he’s so happy to see Dressy that he doesn’t think much about resistance.

The weather was beautiful and consequently the forest was very busy. Lots of people, bikes, and dogs. Mostly lots and lots of DOGS. All well-behaved, amiable dogs this time.

There is a big rock along the trail to the dog pond that has a bronze plaque. Dressy has always been sure that big rocks are a really bad thing. Plaques ON rocks are downright evil monsters that stalk and kill horses. But I have finally convinced her that if she could just bring herself to sneak up and touch it, or even pretend to touch it that I will most likely come across with a delicious cookie. So she steels herself and sneaks up on it with quivering legs.

If I touch this evil horse-eating rock, do I get a cookie????

We went to the pond first, where we had our usual splashy bath, then headed out to loop around the trails. Dressy was quite calm and relaxed, and so was Diego. Though of course there were moments of excitement here and there.

Let me go! It’s just WAY easier to gallop wildly up this hill you know…

Dressy knows that I always carry a few cookies in my pommel pack, so she listens carefully for the sound of the zipper. But she’s also figured out that Misha carries cookies in her pack. And that Misha is very easily seduced into handing over the goodies. So sometimes she just reaches out, rests her nose on the pack, and wiggles her upper lip while looking coyly up at Misha. It always works.

Gimme those cookies Misha!
Do NOT feed those to Diego! He has no appreciation for cookies. I should get ALL of the cookies.
Ha! Score! I got all HIS cookies too!!!!
Lots of people at the pond. Dressy watches them carefully, but mostly hopes that they will have treats to hand over, just like Misha. That waiting family did not have goodies but they did admire her extravagantly, which she accepted regally as her due.

Diego was again a very good boy. He did get himself caught up in a stick at one point and came to a very abrupt halt from a canter. Which smashed Misha’s face against his poll with a rather loud “thwack!” It sounded quite uncomfortable. But it really wasn’t bad behaviour, just clumsiness. And at the end of the ride, he walked directly on the trailer without hesitating for even a split second.

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