Another Ride in the Forest

This afternoon it was so hot that I gave Dressy a bath before I took her to the forest to ride. Not that it really did that much good. She was already sweaty before I got her tacked up. She looks glossy and sleek in pictures, but she does still have enough winter coat to be very overheated in this weather.

We did another 13 miles today, after the 10 we did yesterday. We went over to meet a lady with a nice little Quarter Horse named Duke. She is thinking of trying to do some distance rides. Maybe a 12 mile Set Speed ride. Or a ride n tie. She saw my name on the mentors list on the OCTRA website and emailed me. So I rode over to her stable from the parking lot and did a few loops with her and Duke while she asked me questions. I hope I managed to answer reasonably coherently. I was interrupting myself with loud growls at my horse whenever she thought of spooking at anything. Dressy hates that, and generally straightens out and slides on by whatever she was looking at if I growl loud enough. But it is a bit distracting for everyone if I’m in the middle of answering a question.

After I said goodbye to our riding buddies, I rode back to the trailer. Almost at the parking lot, a little dog came running, no owner in sight, barking madly. I didn’t much like the look of that dog and stopped the mare to wait for the owner to show up. The couple ambled down the hill, chatting to each other and rather ineffectually calling the dog. I tried to get them to show some urgency by suggesting they needed to get the dog away from the mare’s hind end. “Yeah, I know… she might get kicked in the head. She’s dumb. Serve her right.” I realized that they were thinking that would be a good lesson for their dog. “Um… no, see, not only will the mare kick the dog in the head, she’s going to bolt and leave me on my ASS IN THE GRAVEL!!!” These people seemed to have no idea that a horse spinning in circles with a dog barking at her heels was bad for more than just the dog. My raised and angry voice finally seemed to light a bit of a fire under them and they grabbed the dog. I rode the mare back to the parking lot, and had just reached the trailer when, sure enough, the damn dog reappeared. Barking madly. I managed to get off the mare, though she was edging sideways in alarm, and started yelling “BAD DOG!!! You GET!” The dog cowered a bit and ran away. Around the trailer to the other side and started all over again, now darting in at Dressy’s heels. By now I was getting pretty mad. And if those stupid people had gotten anywhere within shouting distance I’d really have ripped a strip off them. There is a reason for leash laws and they are it. I finally managed to intimidate the dog enough that she slunk off, with me encouraging her every time she thought of returning for another round.

The Vivian Forest is lovely. Beautiful trails, well maintained. Way too many freaking PEOPLE.