Monday, October 5, 2015

Back on Track

The imminent threat of Hurricane Joaquin kept the entire east coast wondering and waiting for the storm aniticpated to be of Sandy-proportions this past weekend. Fortunately the weather system didn't make landfall anywhere near NJ but we got TONS of rain and wind. With moving Quest almost an hour away and my current work schedule, I can only see her on weekends. I was checking radar every chance I could hoping for at least a couple hours for anything less than a deluge so I could snag some mareface time and maybe even get my baseline time for 2pointober. Saturday's forecast predicted a couple hours in the morning with 35% I chanced it and headed out to the barn.

It was a steady drizzle/mist and I was quite damp by the time I fetched mareface from pasture and sheltered us under the main overhang attached to the barn. I took advantage of the wet conditions to check and trim Quest's feet. Her feet look so much better since she's been able to move 24/7; I didn't have much asides from smoothing things out a bit. The rain had subsided to a fine mist by the time I finished so I got her tacked up and we did some riding in the pasture-arena. I didn't want to chance cantering on the wet grass so we stuck to only walk/trot. The wind was gusting the entire time and the rain was misting on and off but we stuck it out for almost 90 minutes. Not too shabby for a meh riding-weather day.

In stark contrast, Sunday was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the air was autumn crisp = perfect trail riding weather. I headed out to the barn after church and saddled up Quest for another ride. We started out in the pasture arena with a walk and trot warm up to see how my homemade DIY running martingale worked out (so far, so good!) and then moved into cantering.

It was our first canter with the treeless saddle + Skito pad combination; it took some adjusting on my end to get used to how differently Quest moved out in it but she felt great and I quickly got comfortable again. Satisfied that the saddle and martingale would work out, I checked my watch for the time. Only 10 minutes had passed. I groaned internally. This was going to be a long ride if Quest and I were already bored out of our minds.

I was hoping that J and B would show up to ride that afteroon but there was still no sign of them after almost an hour. Quest had been on her best behavior and totally in tune with me.....The trails were calling.

After making sure the gates were shut behind us, I used the fence to hop back on and we set off down the road. As much as I wanted to go out and immediately do a full trail, I made a point to temper down my excitement to be fair to Quest- it was her first time ever going out alone and second time leaving the property. I didn't want to expect too much, but of course mareface eagerly motored past the end of the road and up the street to the trailhead. Well then, a full trail ride it is!

I decided to take the route that J and B had showed me the first time I visited WSS. That was almost two months ago but I have a decent memory/sense of direction and was pretty sure I could recall it. It was nice 3.5-mile loop with diverse terrain; first a forest straightaway, then a country road through open fields, finishing up with a single track through the woods with a creek crossing at the very end. Speed was not a priority but Quest willingly gave me her power trot and we flew down the trail surrounded by a forest in the beginnings of autumn. I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time.

The trails were rather empty which was surprising for a beautiful day. We only encountered two ladies walking their dogs and a group of 3 trail riders. Other than that we had the whole trail to ourselves. The path was easy to follow for the most part though it was more difficult when single track faded out into nothing and the ground was covered with fallen leaves in every direction. I did secondguess myself and thought we missed a turn at one point but thankfully we were on trail the whole time.

After getting back to the barn, I hopped off and immediately gave Quest a huge hug. I was giddy with happiness. Absolutely thrilled.

Mid-yawn and one foot cocked. Completely bored by our achievement.
This ride was exactly what I wanted but didn't want to expect too soon. The best part about it was that Quest arrived back at the barn even more relaxed than we left. An honest testament to a truely happy trail horse. I'm a little sad I didn't take pictures on trail but I was more preoccupied with how Quest was faring rather than documenting for posterity, but the pictures will come later! Perhaps when we're into autumn and surrounded by colors.

Being able to only see her twice a week is definitely tough and gives me yet another reason to wish weekends arrived faster, but Quest is much happier at WSS and I feel it was a good move to make for us. There will be hiccups here and there as we figure things out but it's all part of the bigger adventure.


  1. Replies
    1. So so grateful about that- don't know what I'd do if we had another storm like Sandy ):

  2. sunday was SO gorgeous out! definitely a treat after all that rain... bummer you can't get out to see Quest as much but glad she loves the new farm!

    1. It was amazing, I hope you got to enjoy some of the nice weather too!

  3. I'm glad that the weather was good for your trail ride and that Quest was such a good girl! It sounds like you made a good choice moving her. I have nothing but respect for someone that puts their horse's happiness first, so kudos to you for taking such great care of her.

    1. Granted I spent almost half a year searching for new barns, then hemming and hawing about moving her! Though it's mostly because I did want her close by that first full year while we got to know each other. Now that she's been here almost a full month, the move is looking more and more like the right decision for both of us.

  4. Riding in the rain is always fun. I say that now...but then the freezing rain will come and I'll change my tune haha