The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Friday, March 12, 2010

More rides!!

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.


Dusty Devoe said...

Sounds like you had a nice ride. The first few are always kind of scary. We went for our first of the season and both Dusty spooked twice, and King got real snorty coming home.

Kate said...

Nice that you got in a good ride - great pictures!

dexmangoldens said...

You are such a good narrator!! Glad you didn't get rained on. Love the saddle too.

Jacque. said...

oh Jane. How awesome it is for you and Gilly to be spending time together. Every day is a learning experience for both of you, hey? He's really a good boy, though, and you know him well. Hugs for Gilly!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Isn't it crazy how they look for things to spook at and then forever after they get scared in the same place expecting the same scary things to still be there.
It sounds like although Gilly was a bit shaky at times, things went well for you. Just, do be careful!!!

Sydney said...

Sounds like a fun ride. I am bringing Indigo to one of my barns for a week tomorrow. Should be interesting.
Woo hoo, go Gilly, bitless rocks!

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

I didn't know horses were that 'nosey' ~ that they would be interested in all that was going on around them! He really is handsome guy, Jane!

Leah Fry said...

Every time we go down our road, Jaz is on high alert for the same things. Sometime it's old hat and sometimes you'd swear they morph into horse-eating whatevers.

Thistlebrooms said...

Had to be one of the BEST post Jane!!! Loved traveling along with you and gives a better look at the area you live in.

Boy, if your ever in a rush to go anywhere with Gilly, think Twice. Loved how he just HAD to check everything out and sending the DOG flying, what a hoot. Guess he won't bother Gilly again...

Good to know you remember 'Sanford and Son', lots of those places around.

Thanks for the Ride with you, GREAT PHOTO'S...

My Best~Marilyn

small farm girl said...

Your pictures of Gilly make me miss my most beloved horse Rhett. They could have been twins. Thanks for the memories! Good riding, and be safe.

jane augenstein said...

Dusty Devoe, horses seem to be just full of all kinds of energy this time of year.

Kate, three good rides in and now the rain is here. Chance of flooding too; but more ride days will come.

Julie, it didn't start raining until later in the evening. Thanks I do love the little saddle, it looks small because of the small rounded skirts.

Jacque, yes, Gil is a good boy in a lot of ways. He can do some silly things from time to time though.

Val, this was one of the days the Gilly was a nervous-nelly normally he doesn't stay that way for long. I think the gusty wind had a lot to do with it too. I kept talking to him and blowing out air to relax and hope it helped him too. helped me feel better! LOL

Sydney, it was a ride that kept me on my toes that's for sure. I was on the lookout for deer too or anything else that might pop out of nowhere! The bitless worked great!!!

Alice, horses are always on the lookout for anything that they perceive as a predator. When they think it's something to fear they try to run. That why the rider has to be a good leader, if the leader can keep them calm then things will usually go smoothly.

Leah, Gilly is usually pretty calm but yesterday too much wind and too much movement around.

Marilyn, I wanted to get more photos but in the beginning I couldn't hold him and shoot too. I do have a long strap that I got off my GPS and used it; I could hang it round my neck. Felt better about that cause then I couldn't drop the camera.
No, Gil doesn't get in much of a hurry to get anywhere, well, except when it's feeding time; he can fly then! LOL
Gilly is usually not bothered by dogs, he just ignores them. But if they get too aggressive he will kick them, he doesn't get excited just puts them in their place.
Actually the place I was speaking of would make Sanford and Son look like a palace!! It's a mess, I might take a shot of it at a later time.

small farm girl, you are welcome!

Rising Rainbow said...

Geez, I haven't heard of Sanford and Sons in years. That brings back memories.

allhorsestuff said...

Yea Jane dear and Gilly..You go TEAM!
What an excellent ride(s)!!!
I like your roads..they almost look like soft packed, small gravel. But they are long..good for looking ahead for vehicles.
Gilly...funny man..I can't even imagine what the mare would do with the sight of a large round bale under those circumstances!! When In doubt..jump on off, is my motto as well...but I have to be careful..sometimes it cues Wa to be flighty, if I do not time it right.

Really a great ride..and yea, get your instructions for that Garmin...I fiddled and figured out how to set the fields to what I wanted to know...but need to figure out how to make markers and tracks.

It is nice to know the direction and also the'll have fun with that and the miles.

I laughed pretty heartily seeing Pokey donk at the fence!!

Well, we did a ride today...after having several off and some being corralled for bad weather. Her other horses ALL left today, for a ride somehwere she was a bit nerved out...thought maybe I should have put the bit on...but braved it with the bitless-though-she did test me!

Cheers to spring riding Jane, and louder bells for your Rhythm beads!
I really want to make me one of those!!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Such a great post, Jane! I enjoyed your ride. It's great that you have such flat (mostly) quiet roads to travel down, too.
I love the rhythm bells. I have a clip on string, but not the necklace. I can't wait to use it with Apache. I also can't wait to use the bitless bridle on Apache, too. Gilly looks relaxed and handsome wearing his.

I also like the Abetta saddle, too. I don't feel as secure in my Amish made plantation saddle now as it is way too big for me, but I can't affor to buy another custom saddle, so I'm looking to buy a Cordura saddle. My eye has been on the Abetta and the Big Horn.

The trouble is that Apache is difficult to fit with her high withers and flat, short back. I'm even considering getting an Arabian saddle for that reason.

Oh! I laughed when you totally saw the activities going around you, like the hay bale moving 'after' the cows and compared it to a mountain lion. Good for you relating to what a horse sees.

And I giggled, too when you said, "lefty was afraid of it and righty wasn't". Ain't that the truth! It's like we have two horses, like Clinton Anderson says. lol!

I'm glad you had a great ride!Here's to many more. And a nice walk for Pokey, too. hehe!


Grey Horse Matters said...

He looks so calm waiting for his tack to come off. They really can give us pause to stop and think while we're riding though. You just never know what will spook them. Glad you got a decent ride in anyway.

jane augenstein said...

Raising Rainbow, Sanford and Son is still on TV, we watch it from time to time, funny!

Kacy, some of the gravel is small then some if large and sharp but Gilly's strong feet travel over it well. Thursday I rode down the creek road and was on a lot of flat. Friday I was on some flat then steep hill road. I was planning on going over the hill and down the other side but we didn't get there. Next time! LOL The stone on the other side of the hill will probably be hard going. It will be a good test for those big feet of his!
Yes, to the Garmin! It will be good to see how fast we go and how far.
Yes, will have to start a hunt for better bells!

Lisa, yes, our roads are pretty quiet. Gilly is used to tractors going past us, big UPS trucks or even oil trucks. Just hairy round bales are scary! LOL Actually a neighbor went by one time with 3 round bales on a trailer and when he slowed down, Gilly reached out and grabbed a mouthful of hay!!!
Little Pokey is due out for his walk, he gets mad when I put Gilly away and he doesn't get to come out. He stomps, snorts and farts to show his displeasure! LOL

Grey Horse Matters, Gilly is a good boy, just has his flighty moments, he does stand good for me. I have even had to run into the house for something and just threw the reins down, left him only to come back to find him standing right where I left him! He's a good horse.

GoldieLoo Woodworks said...

Jane, I sure enjoy your pictures. Now Im so in the mood to ride my horsey. Hugs~~Pam

Oz Girl said...

Sounds like a good ride all in all Jane! I have an Abetta saddle too... hubby got it for me last year, for our anniversary as his saddles were too long in the stirrup for me. The Abetta is also lightweight which is easier for me to carry around. :-)

Great pics, and wonderful story of your ride.


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