Tuesday didn’t have a promising start. I overslept, which meant that my carefully scheduled morning, which involved hitching my trailer and pulling it when I drove my daughter to school, was derailed. By the time I’d dropped her off, hitched it, driven to the barn, fed the horses and loaded my horse, I knew that hunting was out of the question.
So there I was, all dressed up and nowhere to go. I’d decided to take Freedom to the hunt because I wanted to see how he felt. We’d done a 7-mile ride a few days earlier and he felt pretty good at the walk and trot. I’d asked him for a few short canters and I was optimistic.
I decided to take him “home” to Lincoln where we could hack the old trails and ride in the fields. He’s still barefoot and the footing there was soft.
I parked over by the ring and figured I’d start there. I needed to see if he was sound at the canter on good footing — and I also thought it might be safer to be contained. He felt great! What a huge relief it was to have him cantering calmly and soundly on both leads. I’d worried that the abscess had just been part of the problem; that he might have an underlying issue that would be harder to diagnose.
There was a very inviting course of jumps set up in the ring, so once I’d warmed him up. I thought I’d jump a few and see how he felt. What a good boy he is! We haven’t jumped anything in months and he just cantered around the course like a show hunter.
Next we went out for a hack. I’ve been driving through town missing my old trails and I was determined to ride on as many as possible. The cloudy day started to clear and Freedom was eager to move out. He’s never been a fan of ring work — he will get fussy after awhile — but he loves exploring. He’s a great trail partner. He’s bold, he’s curious and has a ground covering stride. I’d forgotten how lightly he stays in your hand and how he can roll along effortlessly at a canter. It was nice to have my horse back feeling so good.
The trails were just as beautiful as I remembered with the new fall colors just starting to shine through. Even the poison ivy looks pretty when it’s bright red and orange.
The best part about the ride was the fields. While I love riding on wooded trails, Lincoln has the most amazing open fields with right of ways around the edges. When you look at fields likes these you just want to gallop. And we did!