I wrote earlier about My New Relationship with Fear, I described my strategy of slowly, but surely expanding our circle of distance and experience.
Last week, I took Freedom on his first off-site trip since before the accident. This poor horse has been relegated to riding mostly in the ring because he’s just not as steady as Zelda. However, we were invited to go back to our old stomping grounds and ride with a friend. I knew he’d enjoy a trip. He’s always enjoyed going new places and he hopped onto the trailer with enthusiasm.
We had a very nice ride on a not spectacular day. It didn’t rain, But it was gloomy and a bit chilly. Freedom didn’t mind. He strode along with purpose and we enjoyed some good trots and a bit of a canter.
Our route took us around Flint’s Pond, near the DeCordova Museum. Since 1874, the pond has been our town’s major water supply. It was also Henry David Thoreau’s first choice for the location of his cabin, but the Flint family denied him permission because he had set an accidental fire near Fairhaven Bay (near Walden pond) which destroyed 300 acres. To think that our small pond in Lincoln could have been immortalized instead of Walden! Interestingly, the Flint family is still very prominent in Lincoln and have been great supporters of using the trails for equestrian pursuits.
The main trail around Flint’s Pond is wide and inviting — when I lived in Lincoln it was one of my main conditioning trails because traffic on it is low and you can really move along on it. From there, we crossed over to Pine Hill. The drumlin is reportedly one of Thoreau’s favorite Huckleberry picking spots. It was too late for berries but there was still a little color on the trees.
Pine Hill is a rabbits warren of trails where I’ve gotten lost several times. It’s particularly difficult when the leaves have come down because it makes all the trails look the same. We chose to go out and back the way we came as my friend was riding an older horse and didn’t want to over tax him.
Freedom never admits to being tired, but when we got back to the trailer he did look content. I’d hoped to take him on another adventure and may to take him to a local foxhunt, where I could ride the first half and then go home if I got tired. Sadly, the weather hasn’t cooperated. We’ve had a very rainy fall and it’s kept me from riding as much as I feel I need to do to be ready. There are still a few weeks left of the season so, finger crossed we’ll have a day when the footing is good, the sun is shining and he and I are both ready.