Rode Gilly again yesterday for over 2 hours. We went down the road and farther than we had gone before, probably about 4 and a half miles. Not far by others standards but far for us. There were some pretty scary things along the way, Lucy decided to scare out two cats at a place that looks like a place that would put Sanford and Son to shame! So much junk you can just barely see the front of the house. I didn't take any pictures on this ride, forgot the camera. Gilly did well.
Today we started out, I wasn't sure about going because we had some wind. Gilly seemed alright at first. I didn't get any pictures of when we first started out, things were a little hairy so I needed both hands.
We weren't very far from home when I caught sight of the neighbor moving a round bale of hay with his tractor. I could hear the tractor but couldn't see it. Gilly saw the round bale moving, then the cows in the neighbors field moving and trotting up a hill. From our vantage point it looked like the round bale was after the cows. (we were quite a way from all of this) To Gilly it might have looked like a predator after the cows. My mind went to a cougar, hay was about that color. Who knows what Gilly thought but he stopped dead in his tracks and let out a snort. Head up and legs locked! I kept trying to make him move, NO WAY!!! I could feel him tightening up and ready to bolt for home.
Soooo, I got off. We walked up the road and I was hoping to see the neighbor so Gilly would see it was a tractor and bale of hay. But he had gone up the road and around to come up behind the field where the cows were to drop off the bale. He then came back down the hill in his field, got another one and came back up the road; making a circle.
These first three pictures are taken after I got back in the saddle and started up the hill. The neighbor passed us on two of his trips with more round bales. Gilly wasn't concerned when he saw the tractor go by and tried to reach out and grab a mouth full of hay as it passed. Still he is looking for that thing that scared him in the first place. Then he saw another field with more cows, they are up in the trees, black specks. He was looking and making little snorts at tree stumps, rocks anything that looked like it might eat a horse!!
The photo above is at the top of our road, Gilly is watching the tractor and round bale disappear around the bend.
This is a picture of the sky that was looking like it could open up and rain at any moment. I decided to turn around and head back home. It took me an hour to ride a mile and a half! He had to stop look around and really check everything out. We have ridden up this road many, many times. Today the wind and the scary hay-backed critter that was after the cows made him really on high alert!
Now turning to head back home, hoping that the rain doesn't start before we make it to the house.
Starting back down the road; more cows to the left and a farmer pitching manure into a manure spreader. He is being very watchful of that too. As we steadily head down the road is dropping below the field where the cows are. Now they are above us and one of them starts bucking and running toward the fence. Gilly stopped to watch, he didn't seem too concerned, he likes cows. He had to stop and watch them though.
Now we are coming to a tree that broke off and laying in a heap over the edge of the road. He looked at it like it was going to jump out of there and eat him alive. We did some good side passes here!!! But this time he hardly at it, lefty was afraid of it and righty wasn't! LOL Horses are funny.
Had to scratch an itch here. See this time I didn't forget his bells! I think they helped keep him a little calmer than if they weren't on him. Yesterday he would start to walk or trot faster to hear them. I do need to find some better bells though, I want to hear a little more jingle.
Heading to a bridge and getting closer to home, at least we are past the muttly dogs that come out at the bottom of the hill barking and making all kinds of noise. Gilly doesn't pay much attention to any of them. Lucy didn't come with me today, I don't trust the dogs, three of them might gang up on her.
Gilly always checks out the bridge because last year while on a ride a Blue Heron flew out from under the bridge! That caused a stiff legged jump and snort!!!
Home isn't far away now! Gilly can hear the neighbors dogs barking. And oh, listen it's the donkey calling! Mad about being left at home.
Neighbors house and ours farther back. Pokey will be in sight shortly. I'm not sure if he just stands at the end of the field or just happens to be there when we come into sight.
Crossing the last bridge, now we can see home; more dogs to pass. One came out, one of the big dogs and was smelling around Gilly's legs. He stopped and stood, then tried to reach down to smell the dog or bit it, not sure. He was watching it, he kicked on of the dogs into the creek last year when he felt it didn't need to be back there. He sent the dog flying with one well placed hoof. That particular dog stays away.
There he is the Pokey! He let out a loud bray and started trotting along as we headed for the barn. Then he took off bucking and kicking to let me know that he was NOT happy with me. He wanted his turn out. (maybe tomorrow Poke)
Gilly doesn't look too alert now. "Just get this stuff off my back, will ya?" I love my Abetta synthetic saddle, comfortable for both of us. He also has on his bitless noseband attached to his dressage bridle.
Closer look at the bitless. He was a good boy and just stood there while I took some pictures of him. He's no dummy, he knows the food is close by and won't go anywhere; he will walk right over to the building where I keep his tack to be unsaddled.
We road for two house but only went 3 miles from home. I wonder how many miles we went backward and sideways! When he would try his back up tricks, I would make him go sideways then turn him in the direction I wanted to go. He finally gave up going backward after he had to travel sideways, that was harder work.
All in all though it was good to ride and he did well for being a bit spooky.