We had a nice ride today, almost felt like I had my old dependable horse back :)
Lara picked me up on her scooter and we rode out to the barn about 10 am. It took us awhile to get ready today because of tack adjustments and getting the boots on Imaginn. Lara had Ima's shoes pulled yesterday to help her with hoof growth and recovery and since we would be riding on a lot of gravel roads she would need protection. There was some question about what size boot she needed, we tried on both the size 0 and 1 and finally settled on using the 0 (Sinwaan's red boots). I made more adjustments on Sinwaan's breastcollar with the Abetta saddle and also put the crupper back on him today. He didn't seem real happy about it in the barn and tried to sidle away from me.
Emily is another boarder out there and she joined us today on her lovely bay Arab mare 'Stormy' who is a beautiful show horse.
Finally we were mounted up and riding out about 11 am. We headed up Elliot road and just walked for Ima's sake. Lara showed us a new little loop she had found along the edge, and then through, an alfalfa field. We trotted most of that loop but did slow down to a walk for one stretch where there were numerous gopher holes. Back onto Elliot and at the 90 degree left we saw the farmer out in the field on his tractor, fertilizing. We did not trot again until we got up to the other dirt road bordering the wheat field. Then Sinwaan kicked into a nice big trot and then I heard "you lost a boot" and Emily who was pulling up the rear told Lara that Ima had tossed one off. So Lara dismounted and took off the other one since she didn't want her horse to be unbalanced and she didn't need them in the dirt anyway. It looked like the farmer had just graded the road so it was level and a bit wider this time. Perfect for riding. Well after that we picked up the big trot again and Sinwaan felt real good and even tried cantering a few times. Since Stormy is a show horse she is used to doing slower, collected gaits, and was not moving as fast. After we walked through past the 'junkyard' the mares took the lead and Sinwaan had to try and collect himself and move much slower. He did ok (considering) but soon took the lead again. Not long after we hit some rocks and Ima limped a few steps so we all walked again to the end of that dirt road.
Just before we hit the other gravel road at the end, we turned around and headed back down the dirt road the way we came in. We were walking along chatting and having a nice time. All of a sudden I heard Lara growl at Ima and make her really start working, walking in circles and trotting and then she cantered her away from us back the way we came. I asked Emily what happened and she said they had been riding next to each other when Ima just reached over and tried to bite Emily's knee. So Lara was discliplining her by making her work for being so bad. Earlier when Lara had been cinching Ima up, she had reached around and bit Lara on the thigh (which Lara said really hurt bad!) so enough was enough and she was putting her back in line. After that Ima was very good.
We had a bit of a canter and I could head Ima coming up beside us on the left. She got ahead of us and then Sinwaan put out a surge of power and tried to run into her from behind so I was trying to pull him up, or over to the side and then I felt his hindquarters come up and I wasn't sure what was going on with him. I think he was trying to be a little competitive and then got upset or maybe at the faster speed the crupper was bothering him, I am not sure. But I growled at him to get him back in line then also. By then we were about back to the point where Lara had left the boots so we stopped for a couple of minutes to put them back on Ima before the long walk home. Sinwaan happily munched on green wheat while we rested.
The mile and a half back home on the gravel went by slowly at the walk, but it was such a gorgeous day. Weather.com reports high of 71 degrees and partly cloudy. Perfect riding weather! Other than the one instance at a gallop, Sinwaan had been his usual well-behaved self although he does seem to have more energy when I ask for more speed.
Just as we were cresting the last little hill on the way home I heard a throaty engine and I suspected it was Matt. Then I caught a glimpse of it as the car took Stateline onto the gravel section. I told Lara and Emily that I was going to try and catch him. Lara was worried about me trotting off until she realized Emily would keep riding with her. So off we went. By the time we got to the gravel on Stateline Rd, Matt was turning around a ways up the road. I got Sinwaan to canter towards the car with a slight hesitation about going away from his horsey friends AND the barn. Matt pulled up and I talked to him a little and then he asked me "want to race?" And I said "no, when we hit the pavement again it will be too slippery to be running, and the car may scare Sinwaan." And Matt said "well that's good because you only have one horsepower and I have two hundred and twenty!" Ha ha. So he drove on ahead of me to the barn and we trotted back until we hit the pavement again and then I slowed him to a walk. By now his horsey friends had gone out of sight, and he was headed home. So out came the evil horse. Well, not so much evil as antsy to get home. He started again with the head tossing and dancing, tail swishing and asking to go faster. He sort of walk-trotted the rest of the way back to the barn. When the footing was safe I did let him trot. He is better behaved at the trot than a walk (hmmm maybe because he thinks he is getting his own way and getting home faster)?
I untacked him and fed him carrots and he tried a peppermint from Lara but after biting it into many pieces, spit them all out on the barn floor. Ok so he's not a fan. Seems to be an acquired taste. Matt had come to pick me up because he found out his family's post-graduation picnic was at 1, not 2 like we discussed. Sinwaan had gotten hung up on something a couple days ago and Lara's opinion was that it needed to be soaked and cleaned and flushed to be sure there wasn't any debris under the scab. I had planned to do that but with Matt there didn't really have time, so Lara offered to do it for me. I tied Sinwaan in the wash rack, thanked Lara and headed out.
We will probably be out again tonight to get more video footage of Ima so I plan to check on his neck again then.
I was happy to log about 2 hours of riding time today. Our next ride is planned for Tuesday at the race track.