dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, January 6, 2017

In Which Ed and I Go For a Walk in the Woods and d'Arcy finds a Treasure

The day I had the saddle fitter in was the last warm day- the ground is frozen and my ring is not useable. It's snowing out my window right now but I hope that we might get enough so I can ride. Fortunately I dragged the ring on Wednesday so there wouldn't be any ruts.

However I digress.

It is a good time to think about my goals for 2017 (I swear that there's a post coming). One of my main goals is to do more hacking with Carmen and make more use of my property. Today Ed and I headed into the woods to mark out trails to cut.
part of my woods, not all is this 'open'
I have about 10 acres of woodland and I want to cut out numerous paths that loop back on themselves so that I can use them as part of my regular training. Today seemed like a good day- the ground was hard and the leaves were off so it was easier to see paths.

d'Arcy, of course accompanied us. As we were in part of the trees I spied something that shouldn't be part of the woodland landscape. It turned out to be a jolly ball. When Steele was young I bought this in a desperate attempt to keep him from getting into trouble and eating all my fence posts. At some point it disappeared. What I think happened was that Belle stole it (she was notorious for taking and hiding toys) and hid it in the woods. There likely is whole cache of balls in these woods too. d'Arcy was thrilled.
this dog is so easy to make happy
Ed and I managed to get some trails mapped out so that he can start to cut them down. We might rent a woodchopper and use it to make some footing. I'm kind of excited about the whole idea. 

On the way back to barn the  horses were outside eating hay and I decided to see what Carmen thought of the ball. I know that I have been doing lots of work to get her to be more relaxed about new things. When Rachael was here Carmen wanted to play with her paper and stuff so I know she's getting less worried about stuff. I stood outside the fence and slowly lobbed the ball into the paddock but not at the horses. 

Carmen looked at it and took a step towards it and then stopped. Irish gave a sigh and went over to check it out while she watched. 


He gave it a good sniff and then went back to his hay. He does take his job seriously. 

Carmen came up and gave it her inspection. 


This seems so mundane but in the past her response to anything new was always 'no'. I like to see her gain in confidence. 



20 comments:

  1. Oh how wonderful to have all those trees to ride in! How do you cut them down so there are no stumps?
    And Carmen looks at you like she just checked out the ball for you, "are you happy I touched it" lol

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    1. most of what we marked to take out are smaller, weedy trees so we can cut very close to the ground. we will pull out stumps that are in the way with the ATV.

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  2. It's great that Carmen is more relaxed about new things. I've been trying to expose my babies to as much new things as possible but I've learned that they aren't as confident as they pretend to be. Haha.
    Your woods are lovely. Color me jealous.

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    1. I love my woods and am excited to carve out more trails.

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  3. Hacking is a good goal. You do have a lot of trees there--looks like a lot of work removing them, but worth it in the end if clears a nice big path for you. That is so funny she found that ball and you were able to use it again. It appears in great shape!

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    1. It will take a few years I think to get it all done but it's good to have a plan.

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  4. Beautiful woods. The trails will be so nice in the summer to cool off. It might be different where you are but I think I should tell you that I once boarded at a barn that took wood chippings from trees. They put them in the courtyard, it seemed nice at first but after rain and humid weather in the summer they became infested with all kinds of insects and had to be removed. Might not happen by you in the woods though.

    And Carmen is adorable. Hey, girls just wanna have fun and jolly balls are fun things right. It's great she's getting more relaxed and checking new things out.

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    1. The woods will be full of bugs anyway so I don't think we're adding. But it's good to know because i was thinking of putting some in the small paddock outside the barn!

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  5. Makes me miss our old place. Neighbor had trails I could use. Here, I was told there were bridle trails behind the cornfield. There are but, only for boarders down the road.

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    1. it's too bad that you can't use the trails as well. it would be fun to drive the ponies on them!

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  6. Makes me miss our old place. Neighbor had trails I could use. Here, I was told there were bridle trails behind the cornfield. There are but, only for boarders down the road.

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  7. Super exciting about cutting new trails!!!! And even better that Carmen is learning to be more confidently curious!!

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  8. That is so crazy you found the ball! Love the horses checking it out

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    1. I know! it was kind of weird and neat at the same time.

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  9. Ha ha! You find jolly balls in the woods while I find them out in the desert.

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    1. Ha! I thought of you when we found it!

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  10. Cutting trails will be one of the best things you could ever do for your horsey self.
    We used a cat to build new trails, adding to already established ones to make up a system of 17 separate trails, with each trail leading to another, all over our quarter.
    Grooming trails is just once yearly maintenance because we use them all the time; and every day is different because of the wildlife (wild hare ran across the trail right in front of us the other day), foliage, season,etc.
    Can be done without a cat though too - this past summer, Mr Shoes & his 2 brothers cleared a strip out of the bush the width of a country road (with a chainsaw & a tractor to pull stumps & haul trees away). It took them 3 loooonggg days, because they wanted to golf & fish on the 4th day.

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    1. It's all very exciting! Can I borrow Mr. Shoes for a couple months this spring? :)

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  11. I now have a vision in my head of a stock pile of balls and toys lurking in the woods lol

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