October 1st. Riding season is finally here!
This week I had Traveler trimmed. In other words, I had the farrier/shoer out to trim his long unkempt hoofs. It was way beyond time for this to be done, and something I can not do myself. Horses hoofs grow like our fingernails and if they're not cared for by someone who knows what they are doing, it can be devastating not only for the horse, but for the owner as well.
Anyway, the farrier says his hoofs are in excellent shape and in a few weeks we can trim again and shoe. This farrier is new to me and to Traveler. He comes recommended and I was impressed how he handled himself around Traveler. He took his time and didn't in anyway abuse my horse. For that I am very thankful, and Traveler seemed to like him too. A big plus in my book.
I haven't been riding in nearly two years. Traveler has been standing in his pen, always ready to go, or in the pasture with the other horses. I wouldn't take him off property right now without another rider with me. This is just common sense, and also I don't need to get hurt.
There are no good excuses why I haven't been riding, though I can think of a couple....Maybe because there's been no one to ride with? Maybe because I've had a myraid of health issues?...In truth, my laziness accounts for most of why I've not been riding. But for whatever reason(s) I haven't been riding all this time, it's time to get my butt in gear and get ready to ride!
Safety first. It's going to take some work on my part to get Traveler ready to leave the confines of the property where I board him. I'm not fooling myself that he isn't going to be a handful and unruly when we do go off site....But we can start in the pasture and work there until I feel comfortable and relatively secure that we can leave the site without unjury to myself, to him or someone else. It's just common sense. He needs some muscle tone and I need the sore muscles before we can head for the trails in South Mountain Park. I figure it's going to take about four weeks of work, three to four times a week to get him and myself ready, so the timing is good. He will have new 'nike's' by that time and we'll be ready to go.
It's finally starting to cool down in Arizona. I don't ride during the heat of the summer. It's too hot for the horse and too hot for me. Some like to ride at night during the summer months. I stopped doing that a few years ago, when I couldn't get a good handle on things in the dark. Traveler has excellent eyesight in the dark and he would never allow me to get hurt, but you never know what is lurking out there.
Am I a wus? Probably. I'm getting older and so is he. Neither of us needs to get hurt, me especially, and I'd be horribly upset if he did. We are a team and have been since he was three years old. There is complete trust between us.
So, I'm gong to storage today. My saddle and other tack for Traveler have been there since I moved earlier this summer. It needs to be cleaned and checked out. Again safety first. Heading out on the trails with tack that is in disrepair is a recipe for disaster. I suppose one could liken it to ski season. You wouldn't head out for a day of skiing without first checking your equipment. The same applies here. Hopefully, there won't be any accidents or incidents on the trails this season.
Wish me luck! 'Cause I'm getting ready to ride!