They say change is inevitable. It’s a very good thing that I adapt easily because the past few months have been a blurry of change. I left my job in Toronto to take one closer to home in Kitchener, I moved in with my (amazing!) boyfriend and I moved Splash to a new barn. Out of everything, I think that leaving my barn was the hardest. For the past 5 years, I’ve always been just down the road and able to ride almost every day. The care was impeccable and the people were fantastic. It’s only downside: very limited trail riding (and it is very, very flat) which makes training for endurance difficult. Although I have a truck and trailer and am able to pack up my horse and travel to a variety of trails, this hasn’t been very practical in terms of both time and money. I have been making due but when the opportunity to board in Mansfield, just a short ride away from the Dufferin and Simcoe County Forests (where many of the OCTRA rides are held), came up and I jumped on it. I now have ESRR team member Sarah to train with and the mentorship of Carol Lewin, a very accomplished and experienced endurance rider. We have also gotten back into taking lessons, this time with eventer Karen Briggs. Wits End is just a short ride away from the new barn as well so hopefully once the weather decides to co-operate, we will be able to go schooling over there as well.
The trails up here are to die for! The scenery is stunning and hills will no longer be our nemesis as they are everywhere, even in Splash’s paddock. We can go for hours and not cross the same trail twice. I am now logging roughly 10-12 miles on average per ride instead of my usual 6. Time just flies when the visuals keep changing vs. riding laps around fields.
Although she seems to have settled back into being on 24/7 turnout, Splash seems to have taken up a weird obsession with her pasture buddy, Bucky, an “aged” miniature donkey. She has always seemed to have a fondness for small creatures (ponies, minis, small children) so perhaps this is her way of telling me she would love to have a foal (although I’m not planning on breeding her anytime soon!)
Sidenote: Sarah and I went for our first ride of the year in the Dufferin this past weekend. We were shocked at the ice still on some of the lower trails but we were even more shocked to see the mess left behind by the loggers. Stay tuned to the Eat Sleep Ride Repeat Facebook page for details on a date for trail clean up. Anyone who rides in the Dufferin should make an effort to come out for at least a little bit to help maintain the trail. This is one of the few trail systems that does not charge a fee to ride in the forest and it is because of awesome volunteers that this is possible! We wouldn’t be able to have the gorgeous trails available to us without them!