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Riding, Roman

[Riding] Catching Up...

Apologies for not posting last week. It's been a crazy, hectic, busy busy week in terms of work stuff, and I've fallen sadly behind on LJ, SFF.net newsgroups and, well, most stuff.

Last week was FJ's last week riding at the stable, and my classmate was absent, so the instructor suggested a trail ride. With Roman still lame, I was on Banjo... and Banj is not really the best choice for a trail ride. Banjo is an interesting cross-breed, with little stubby legs; at a walk, he tends to fall behind. Which means he gets freaked out about the group being gone, and suddenly decides he MUST TROT RIGHT NOW... which on that sort of terrain, with the dirt rock-hard and dry, is a bad idea for him.

Still, it was a beautiful day, and I know FJ enjoyed the chance to see Bridle Trails.

This week was the final week of the stable-helper who's been there the whole time I've been riding. She's off to college, so we had a few goodies and said farewell in general. We'll miss her, as she's been a pretty constant presence. Hopefully she can find somewhere to ride off at college!

This week, I was on Chester again for the first time in some time; it looks like I'll be on Chester until Roman's no longer lame. It's been a while since I had needed to put together Chester's tack, and he's just now gotten a bunch of weird new pads. I tried putting it all together, thought 'no, I probably guessed wrong,' and tried another way. Then I discovered I'd done it right with the first guess. Ah, well!

Chester... wow. I'd forgotten his little 'I will veer left' quirk (that leg is kind of arthritic), but I'd also forgotten what it's like to be on a horse who /goes/ when you tell him to go. Since we were back to only two people in the lesson, we spent a fair chunk of the lesson doing an obstacle course. And Chester got /really/ into it. He kept being clearly irritated that we were only trotting.

So I ended up cantering part of the course today. Oh, wow. Chester... he's hugely sway-backed, but has a lovely canter. So it's kind of like riding a rocking horse. Albeit a rocking horse that's going really really fast towards a small cross-bar jump, but still...!

Lots of fun. Walked Chester around after the lesson and grazed him to cool him off, and remembered again how finicky he is about getting his hooves cleaned.

Roman was, as usual, greatly perturbed at the thought that someone else was getting his cookie, and made an Enormous Fuss[tm] until I came to spend some time in his stall, too. He's incredibly restless and bored while waiting for his foot to heal, so he's even more tempermental and attention-hungry than usual, poor guy. :(

Afterwards, went and said goodbye to our departing stable-helper, and then headed home. Tired, but really after the crazy week I've been having, I think the break to ride really, really did me good!
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Hey, do you have any good suggestions for places to go trail riding in the area, and stables that will rent horses out for interested folks? I can't commit to going regularly, but I'd really love to go on the occasional weekend ride. Care to join me?
Most of the casual trail riding places seem to be up in Monroe. Trail riding (in the 'formal' sense) tends to be a Western discipline, and the division seems to be that it's mostly hunter/jumper or dressage in the Lake Washington/Bridle Trails area, while Western stuff can be found in Monroe.