Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Taylor Mountain Hill Work 9/8/19

Now it's been over a week ago, but Cortney and I planned a weekend outing to give Gwyn's butt a nice workout. Taylor Mountain is Tiger Mountain's neighbor with far FAR less mountain bikes and much friendlier to horses in general.
It almost felt like getting together to ride wasn't going to happen. For some reason one of my truck tires was low on air and Cortney had hit a pothole the previous day and the entire frame of her trailer broke from the impact. Thankfully, adding air to the tire was the solution though I've been keeping an eye on my pressures ever since. I loaded Gwyn then drove to Cortney's house to pick her up.

Good news too, Cortney now has a brand new trailer and it's so pretty :D

It was a beautifully cool day with on/off drizzling rain. The colors were just starting to turn and really it was the start of the PNW fall season, I think. Perfect to kick off.

This is a popular spot for local endurance riders to condition. Cortney recognized trailers, lol. By the time we returned, these three trailers were gone and three more had arrived. 
Today was my Scoot Boot stress test. We were planning on a lot of elevation and about the length of an LD loop. We weren't necessarily aiming for speed either. The goal was to get Gwyn just climbing and Taylor offers several options depending on how gradual you want your climb to be. We took an easier route. Haha.

Stress testing did not go as smoothly as I hoped it would. The previous rides didn't show any issues but this was both longer and harder. Plus Gwyn now has scratches from standing in bog water all day (I'm looking for a new spot to board her which is a whole other post) and her pasterns are a fungusy mess.

The first section where we opened up into a ground eating trot I lost a boot and never knew. We crossed a stream not long after, I looked down to check feet and boom, needed to backtrack. We did find the boot and lost the second as we were heading back. I stuck her boots back on and snugged the pastern straps up a bit more. They proceeded to mostly stay on the rest of the ride but I was paranoid.

Gwyn's appy nature shines through a lot on rides like these. We started with the hill climb pretty much off the bat and she will take breaks when she gets tired. Amira is pretty much 100 mile fit, and easily 50 mile fit and couldn't understand the breaks. She got her comeuppance a week later when Cortney went camping and rode the PCT. Amira had to take breaks, haha.
"Why Mom, why?"

The trails were gorgeous though, and as we climbed we entered the cloud ceiling so everything was softly lit, misty and green. It felt like we were riding through a fantasy novel. It's my favorite kind of trail riding weather.

Must outrun the Nazgul and bring the ringbearer to Rivendell! 

It was funny because Amira has Opinions about what trail rides are like. They are either lots of trotting at speed (her favorite) or slow poke walking with quarter horses. Gwyn fit neither. We were doing good speedy trotting but also needing walk breaks. That picture is her confused face.

Beaver Pond and sneak peeks of fall color through the clouds

We opened up and had a nice canter on a slower gradient and when I asked for a half halt I lost a boot again. When I went to put them back on I noticed some HUGE rub wounds from the heel straps. After that I was torn on getting Gwyn back to the trailer (we still had several miles to go) or going slow to minimize further injury to her heel bulbs. We theorize that she clips herself during half halts and pulls the boots off. They fully came off, with everything still attached. It was weird.
"Mom.. really, WHY?"

The day started to warm up and the sun even made a bit of an appearance. We tied up our rain coats with glee.

Then back to the trailer where I could make more assessments on the feet situation.

She's since healed completely and I've ordered gaiters and am talking to a rep about the fit.

Amira was perplexed by the GIANT trailer she had so much room in. 😂
As we drove back to Cortney's house, the skies opened up and it POURED on us as we unloaded. Fun weather for the day! As I was driving back to the farm the classical radio station was playing music from the Goonies and paired with the weather, it was just... perfect. Definitely have your sound on ;)


  1. Boots frustrated me to no end with Gem that I eventually shod her for competitions and went bare between. I really think they can be great if the hooves are trimmed to fit them or naturally are shaped that way but if the hooves are shapes different at all they don’t work. I hope the rep can help you with the fit and you get a solution that works for you both.

    1. I think if I add gaiters and heat fit the bulb area they'll work. There's a lot of room in the toe so I really don't want to go bigger in that direction.

  2. What a pretty place to ride, sounds like an awesome day despite the boot shenanigans. Sorry to hear about the boarding issues tho :(

    1. It is what it is. For the area, it's SUPER cheap, and I'm definitely getting what I pay for and I knew that going in. Thankfully it seems that our Michigan house is on its way to being sold so I can bump up my budget for horse board now that we don't have to pay rent, a mortgage AND board.