About a month ago, Brett and I signed up to go on a group trail ride near Wilton. The weather forecast for Sunday said 96F. No way, Jose. The ride would be mostly meadow, very few trees, and in the middle of the day. Not my idea of a good time. Instead, I asked our neighbor, Cindy, if she wanted to go out with us and she said yes. We decided to head further up into the Sierras, where its cooler, and to go in the morning right after chores.
I bought Pistol some trail boots a few weeks back and I've been riding her in the arena with them. They fit well and she didn't mind them at all. In fact, on Saturday I asked her to trot and she offered canter. I had to laugh; she only went about three strides and said "that's enough." She's overweight and out of shape; I feel her pain. We did some arena riding and then wandered around the property, through the trees and down to the front gate.
I got her a new fly mask the other day. The velcro closure on her pink mask was barely hanging on. I also wanted to give her some sun protection on her nose -- it was getting a little sunburned. I know she looks like a cow in this picture. Don't tell her. I don't want her feelings hurt.
Pistol was solid gold on the trail. She is a sturdy little mare; trucking up the hills with no trouble at all. The scent of pines filled the air and wildflowers carpeted the ground. We rode about two hours with no drama from any of the horses, even when mountain bikers passed us (they were all courteous). Pistol has a neurological tick that causes her to flip her head occasionally, usually in sunlight, so I rode her with a fly mask to provide her with the equivalent of sunglasses. It worked well. The trail was shady with just a few patches of sun so the head flipping was minimal.
She was very sweaty when we finished so I gave her a bath when we got home. I don't like to use shampoo often since it takes the oils out of their skin but she needed it. My Western saddle is a rich mahogany color and the leather had bled onto her sides. It looked like gashes on her side; poor thing. Fortunately, the red washed right off and I was able to put her back out in her pasture with a glistening white coat. I thought she would roll. Haha. I forgot; this is Pistol; she has a two track mind -- boys and food; she dropped her head immediately and started grazing.