Sunday, September 16, 2007

Serts Gets to Ride

With Tanna out from an abscess, I took the opportunity to take Serts out for a ride.

Angie invited me to ride with her and a new-to-Tennessee endurance rider, Jean, at the Natchez Trace parkway trail system. Since I figured Tanna should be left at home, I decided to take 18-year-old Serts with me.

I loaded him up in surprising little time. Serts rarely gets trailered, but he's a good boy with a good memory. After a couple of false starts, he was in the trailer with his head sticking out. I hung a hay bag in his reach and let him hang out in the trailer for a few minutes before removing the hay, closing the trailer head door and leaving for the trailhead.

At the trailhead, I found Angie and Jean already arrived and grooming their horses. I unloaded Serts and proceeded to clean out his hoofs, wrap the fronts in vet wrap, and put Old Mac boots on his front hoofs. Since I don't ride Serts much, he's not shod on a regular basis.

I altered Tanna's Little S hack bridle for Serts, grabbed my helmet, ran a brush over Serts and hopped on bareback. Ready for a saunter with my friends.

We had a leisurely 12 mile ride. It was perfect weather. 70s, some clouds, just perfect. We saw lots of riders on trail. I enjoyed getting to know Jean and sounding her out on several endurance-related topics. Serts did wonderfully. He tripped a couple times over the clunky boots, but did alright. He was happy and alert and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Angie's gelding and Jean's mare.

After the ride, I sponged Serts some to get dirt off him and trotted him out. After getting the boots off, Serts trotted nicely and willingly. He looked very good for an out-of-shape pasture ornament. Of course, our average speed was just over 4 mph, so not too taxing, but I was happy he wasn't exhausted.

I'm toying with the idea of shoeing him next time Tony comes out. If we can have some nice rides together, Serts would be happier and in a lot better shape.

I did ride with a crop, but only needed it a few times. Once was to get him out of a bucking spell. A smart rap to his shoulder brought him out of that. This was about 9 miles into the ride. I was thinking what a poor old man he was and how tired he must be getting when he goes into bucking. Silly boy. I really enjoyed riding him and think I shall try that again soon.

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