6.17.2016

things can easily change

With the first horse show behind us, we focused on our next adventure - camping with the horses!! A long awaited horse trip, that almost didn't happen... 

I had an awesome weekend ride on Koda, even at the lope. Monday we rode out in the pasture, and I thought Koda was short striding. Nah, I thought to myself, it must just be the lumpy ground. The second half of our ride was in the arena and at first trot, I got off. This time I was sure, he was limping!! Again. Just days before we were to leave for our trail trip. 

Brad thought I was exaggerating. But I could feel that Koda was off. He was sore on the foot that wasn't recently lame, his right front. The other foot. How can this even be happening so soon...things were just starting to get good again!! I was reminded how easily things can change.

The following night I tagged along for Brads lesson on Cierra, needing to see for myself how my boy was doing. I walked Koda around, and didn't see any favoritism. So I tacked up and headed out to the arena. Koda was fine at the walk, but at first trot - once again I got off. Our trainer saw it too, his right front was indeed sore. It appeared like another horseless trail riding trip was in our immediate future. I was not happy, more so for the thought of poor Koda having to potentially be stalled again. I had barely started regular riding, and feeling connected. I can't do another loooong lameness, making my horse crazy, disconnected recovery phase, so soon...

We changed our departure time in order to see the vet, and waited until early afternoon to leave. Before heading to the barn, we packed everything we needed for a horse, and a horse-less, trail riding trip. Who knew which one we would be taking? 

Koda's 
lameness exam showed no soreness on his (recently lame) left front, and slight soreness in the front area of his right hoof. Key word slight. The vet felt it was okay to take Koda up north trail riding, and recommended giving some bute. We all know it can just mask things, but he assured me I wouldn't cause any further injury by riding him because of where the soreness was located.

Our thought was if Koda did end up proving too sore to ride, as long as he can comfortably haul 3.5 hours, he can hang out with us just as easily as he can hang out at the barn. We had already planned on shorter trail rides anyways, to ease our way back into trail riding. 

It had been close to two years since the boys have been camping with us, but they seem to remember the place. We let them settle in over night and headed out in the morning...




Koda was up and on fast forward. The bugs were pretty bad, wish I had put Koda's fly mask on. I found myself riding a high headed, non-stop tail swishing, irritated horse on high alert. At some point we started leading, the longer we rode the more his energy grew. He became prancy. We came across a lot of down trees and branches from the high winds and storms earlier in the week. We rode around, over, ducked and blasted through them. 




It was shortly after we stopped and turned around to watch Brad & Nemo move a large branch from the path, that we rode into a swarm of mosquitos and saw multiple even larger branches blocking the trail ahead. At that point Koda felt so tight, I said "my horse is about to come apart, I think he's had enough". I was going to get off and walk him through it, but instead we turned around to head back to the ranch and switched horses. Sometimes all it takes is a change. 

They know when they are heading home, that alone somewhat eased Koda. But he continued leading on fast forward, spooking several times at what appeared to be nothing. Brad did a good job redirecting his energy. Nemo on the other hand was as cool as a cucumber the entire 1.5-ish hour ride. Overall Koda did good and listened to both of us, even through his edginess. 

We woke up the next day to this...







It took a little convincing that we weren't just here to relax! Our second ride was in the opposite direction, and turned out to be much less buggy. I put Koda's fly mask on, there were spots where I was really glad I did. Guess who was still on fast forward, altho much less edgy...




Everything is really lush and overgrown this year! We rode up the rocky boulders on one of our favorite rides! The Lookout, where you can see across the top of the Nicolet National Forest for what looks like infinity and beyond... 




Someday I would like to explore riding across the top a little further, without getting too close to the drop-off!!


video


We noticed a lot of changes in the forest, in just a couple years. The ride up/down to the look out rocks is still steep, but now it's all sand and kinda slickery...



We had a great second ride, about 2.5 hours - the boys were sweaty and glad to get back to the cabin! We passed several deer in the woods and a few four wheelers on the multi use trail, they took them both in stride. 

Our last night up north we got hit with a storm and lost power. A first for us. We tucked the boys into covered stalls, and when it blew over the four of us enjoyed more of this...



7 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like an interesting trip. Now that the boys have it under their belts I bet the next trip is a lot smoother.

Karol Ayne said...

I'm glad to hear you were able to go. The pics are beautiful & the Nicolet Forest has now been added to my bucket list! :-D. It sounds like Koda had a good first trail outing! :-)

Karol Ayne said...

I'm glad to hear you were able to go. The pics are beautiful & the Nicolet Forest has now been added to my bucket list! :-D. It sounds like Koda had a good first trail outing! :-)

aurora said...

It was an interesting trip, each one seems to have it's own unique "flavor". We always have so much fun up north, it's our home away from home!!

C-ingspots said...

Oh Aurora, it looks like overall it was a lovely trip! So happy for you and Brad that you got to take your ponies. First trip out always seems to have "bugs" to work out, but you've done it. Glad to hear that Koda's sore foot seems to be just a bruise or something fairly simple. Whew! Thank you for your comment on my "pity pot" post last week. I appreciate your thoughts and kindness so much.

fernvalley01 said...

So glad you were able to go! so just a stone bruise? or did you ever figure out the ouchiness?

aurora said...

Yes, appeared to be a stone bruise. I've ridden him at home multiple times at all gaits since the trip and he has been fine. Hoping he stays sound for a long time!