This morning I hauled Grace and my blue heeler "Belle" out for a trail ride. There is 8,000 acres of private forest land about 20 minutes from our house. Even in the middle of our muddy winter, the wide logging roads are very rideable. Every time I get out there, I always say I need to get out there more often.
One winter a friend and I were out there almost every weekend. We would meet early for breakfast and then head out to the parking lot at the trail head. I will always remember one morning looking out the window of the restaurant at the horse trailers in the parking lot. There was rain mixed with snow coming down. I think we were both hoping the other would back out on the trail ride, but neither of us were willing to be the chicken. We ended up having the place all to ourselves, from what I remember once we got out there, it wasn't that bad.
This morning it was raining, but it was a light rain. I put on my best rain gear, loaded up the horse and dog and headed out.
We were early enough to get a good parking spot at the trail head. Getting a good parking spot is easier when its raining.
Belle is saying "Hurry up! Let's go!
Belle and Grace have somewhat of a love/hate relationship. Grace will act like she can't stand the dog, but when Belle gets distracted and falls behind on the ride, Grace will stop and look back for her. I think Grace prefers to have Belle in front, that way if we run into any predators, they will eat Belle first! Grace very rarely spooks at anything. Every once in a while we will come across something that she just can't figure out, so she will stop to look at it before going past. If I want her to keep going all I have to do is send the dog out in front. Grace will then walk past the horse eating bolder, bush or turned over leaf, like "I never had a problem with it, jeez!" She will not be one upped by a mere dog.
Belle never got the memo that she is not a water dog. She loves to wallow in mud puddles like a little pig. Today there were tons of puddles out there for her to play in.
Grace wanted you to see that she had no problem crossing mud puddles either.
Here she is crossing a creek. No hesitation, she jogged up to it the second time we crossed. I had to tell her to slow down.
There's my happy dog in the water again!
Today was Belle's first big trail ride since she went blind a few weeks ago.
She can see today, her vision is 100%. I had paste wormed Grace with Ivermectin and Belle got into it the next morning. I'm still not sure if she got it from eating fresh poop, or if there was a small about of Ivermectin on the ground that I did not see. That afternoon she was blind and was having trouble walking. I rushed her off to the vet. I was told she would regain her vision in a few weeks. It only took 3 days. Even when she couldn't see, she was a happy dog.
"Who's Blog is this??"
Oh, sorry Grace! Back to you!
Grace loves going out on the trails. It's a nice break from all the arena work we do. She has no idea that I actually get some training done while we are out there. I use the wide roads for side passing and moving her shoulders and hips. I use the trails for building her wind up so she can run barrels. Today we took it easy, Grace is pretty fit for February, but Belle is still a little portly.
We did lope a little and as we were coming around a corner we found this:
I fully expect to see areas of cleaning in a private forest land. Grace seemed really surprised. She kept stopping and looking at the piles of brush and trees. She may have been a little disorientated, I know I was. I had to keep checking that we were on the correct trail. The surroundings had completely changed since I was on that same trail last summer.
We found our way out of the cleared land and headed back towards the trailer.
Just in time for the rain to stop and the sun to come out!