Tag Archives: adventure

Never A Dull Moment

If you’re a regular follower of the blog, you will know that Sarah and I can never have just a “normal” ride together. This past weekend, despite the forecast, our goal was to do a long training ride of 40km (25 miles). Fortunately the rain held off on Sunday and we had a dry ride.

mario
Mario Kart on horseback?

Unfortunately though, the ride did not really start off well. Bentley decided that there were invisible monsters everywhere and would periodically throw Sarah a very jarring spook to the side, as well as forget how to travel in a straight line.  Splash had no ambition to go forward and also forgot how to go in a straight line as she was mesmerized by everything  happening in (empty) fields beside her rather than watch straight ahead. About 20 km in, Splash found her brain and we started having quite the pleasant ride.  Bentley, however, had decided that the water running through the ditch beside us was terrifying and wanted nothing to do with it.

Feeling a little frustrated, we decided to start heading back towards home. We had just been doing road riding and thought maybe a shortcut through one of our usual road allowances would be more stimulating for the horses. At the very least, the scenery is much nicer.  This particular allowance happens to go right through a cattle pasture so occasionally the farmer has electric fencing up, making the road allowance unpassable. If we could not get through, at the very least there was a river where the horses could get a good drink.

At the river, the horses have a drink and we start to cross. Only a few steps in., Splash comes to an abrupt halt.  A few seconds later, I feel her lift her back end and start to pee.  As I’m asking her why she couldn’t have done this a few minutes earlier when we were on land, I hear Sarah laugh and pull out her phone to take a picture. Clearly no one told Splash she’s not supposed to pee in the pool.

pee
At least her pee is a nice colour!

Carrying on our way, we do find that the farmer has put up electric fencing across the path that we need so we continue on down the creek to loop back to the road. Our loop takes us through a back field which always seems to be riddled with bones (most, if not all, belonging to cattle as I am assuming the farmer buries his deadstock back here). I have stopped to retrieve neat looking bones in the past but I made the comment that I’d only stop today if I found a skull. We went for a trot around the field and as I was nearing a corner, I saw a large white object ahead.  I assumed it was garbage of some sort but because of its size, I went to go investigate. I was quite delighted to see that it was full, completely intact cow skull. I called Sarah over as I was going to have to hand it to her so I could get back on my horse. To my surprise, it was heavier than I had expected and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get it back as we were still about 10-15km from home.

skull

 

Carrying it under my arm was going to have to do. Luckily Splash was absolutely perfect all the way home (which made up for the first part of our ride!) and now I have to decide what I want to do with this skull.  I’m open to suggestions!

carryingskull

Next weekend probably won’t see any riding as Sarah and I are at the Can Am Horse Expo in Markham and Splash will be moving to her temporary home closer to me until we get everything set up for her to move to our new house in May! If anyone knows of any good trail systems in the Listowel area, let me know! I’m always up for exploring and making new trail riding friends!

Be Careful what You Wish For

The winter time is a bit slow for us as the weather sometimes prohibits us from riding as much as we would like to and there just aren’t as many events going on.  This lack of excitement makes for some pretty boring blog posts (or quite interesting ones, as we desperately try to create content that you guys want to read). Well, knowing I had an upcoming post today, I told Sarah that something epic had to happen on our ride this weekend so that I’d have something good to write about.  We decided to ride up to the Mansfield ski hill to watch the skiers thinking if nothing out of the ordinary happened, it would at least make for something different. Little did we know….

It started off innocently enough. After not being able to ride Splash for about a week and half due to weather and my schedule not cooperating, I figured she’d be a little hot to trot (which she was), which lead to a bit of handwalking and ground work until she regained her brain back.  Dealing with anxious horses on footing which was slippery in spots was not something I wanted to be on her back for.

mansfield ski hill
The cute colourful herd we passed

Luckily up ahead was the massive uphill climb we’d have to do to get to the top of the ski hill. If you have never walked up this hill, you’d still appreciate its steepness if you drove up it.  Both Splash and Bentley were quite eager to get to the top, trotting away furiously.  Splash currently looks like she’s pregnant with twins and this caught up to her about halfway up the hill, where she slowed to a walk and calmly strolled up the rest of the way. When we reached the top, Sarah was chatting away with a driver who had pulled over to the side. As that driver pulled away, another was coming up the hill.

We waited for her to turn the corner into the cute little subdivision before we continued on our adventure.  As Sarah and I are chatting about the conversation between Sarah and the driver, we hear a loud CRASH! We look over and the car that had just turned the corner had rammed her little hatchback into the snow bank. Sarah and I looked at each other trying to figure out what we could do to help. As the driver got out of the car, we rode over and asked if we could call anyone for her.  She said not to worry. This was the second time she had done this today. (Who does that!?)  She had been distracted looking at our horses and just kept turning the wheel.  The nose of the little car was jammed in the snow bank really well and there was no way we were going to be able to push her out.  Once we established everyone was ok and that there wasn’t anything we could do, we continued on our ride.

mansfield ski hill
My stealthy attempt at getting a picture of the car in the snow

We reached a spot on the hill where we could see the skiers and at first the horses were quite content and interested to watch these human-like things glide by. Eventually Bentley had had enough and we continued on our trek. As we passed by the scene of the earlier accident, there were a number of people with shovels and trucks attempting to help get the car unstuck.  After some groundwork and leaving the excitement behind, Bentley came back to earth and the rest of our ride was pretty uneventful.

Some lovely views and a little boogie around the fields made for a great way to end the ride.  Sarah and I were both excited to see the current baseline of fitness that our horses have despite not really being able to work much this winter.  Long walks in the deep snow have really helped that. The horses are shedding so here’s hoping spring is on the way shortly!

mansfield ski hill