The great thing about not having any obligations during Thanksgiving break was that I had 4.5 days off of work and pretty much nowhere that I had to be. The SO had to work on Friday and Saturday, so the only day that I didn’t go to the barn was Thanksgiving day itself… because, being anti-social, I made my own “turkey trot” 10k through a few neighborhoods (the real Turkey Trot in Austin had more than 20k people, so that’s a NO), then spent 3 hours cooking, then ate so much that I could not move. Thanksgiving success. Otherwise though, I got a lot of riding time in.

Dude, there is literally a castle next door

We did some actual work – like our first full-intensity dressage school (he thought that was stupid) and our first full course of jumps (he thought that was amazing) since Henry’s return from rehab. But we also spent lots of time just ambling around and exploring the property’s 120 acres. I hadn’t really gotten around to doing that yet.

How to make a course with 4 poles, one set of standards, a barrel, and a coop. I need more jumps.

We ambled around the front part of the property, while Henry snorted at… I dunno, whatever Henry felt warranted a good snort. This included, but was not limited to – the trash can, the flag, a round bale, some particularly suspicious-looking grass, and THE COWS.

I finally convinced him to walk up and say hi to one of the baby moo-demons (he’s been over near them but wouldn’t get within 20 feet of the fence, because BIG BRAVE EVENT HORSE) which went really well until it licked him. Good news, Henry can jump 15 feet completely sideways in a single bound. So athletic.

We also wandered over to say hi to Dudley the mini-donk a few times, who Henry is no longer afraid of, but now he’s a little obsessed. He stares intently at Dudley and nickers at him in a fairly creepy way.

Luckily Dudley doesn’t seem to mind the creepy horse

We also discovered a WHOLE ‘NOTHER FIELD! If you walk to the very back corner of our usual field, there’s a gap in the fence. The field next to it is planted with… something… I dunno, not a farmer… and then there’s another planted field next to that, but eventually if you keep going you emerge here:

It’s a smaller field, but still big, and flatter than the other field. I’m thinking I might set up my jumps over in this field and then use the other hilly field for conditioning rides. Omg, so many fields. The footing is just as good in this one too, except for a few random stray rocks that I need to go pick up. We kept walking and found a shortcut to this “new” field from behind the arena, so it’s not such a long walk all the way around. Who even knew that was there? We also found a stock tank that we will never ever get anywhere near, because it looks like an awesome snake habitat, therefore hellsno.

King Henry surveys his lands

Henry still felt great even after a harder dressage ride and jumping day, so I continue to knock on wood that all will remain well. He has an acupuncture/chiro appointment on Thursday, and then maaaaaaaaaaaaaybe we’ll be ready to go back into lessons by mid-Dec?


20 thoughts on “Exploring

  1. very cool place. i think it is nice there are so many options for whatever you want to do. AND it helps the owner is so nice about it all!


  2. lol i love that ‘jump course,’ way to work with what ya got! tho naturally what i really want to know is if you somehow managed to thread a track through those skinny coops as some sort of offset line, or if they were strictly singles (or ridden to the vertical i guess haha)


    1. I rode them as a bending line. Probably hard to tell but the far coop is set on top of a ridge, so there’s a little bit of a drop on the landing if you jump it going away. I do want to set them as offsets though… I thought about it but figured the super skinny barrel was enough of a challenge considering how rusty we are. (not that he gave one single shit about it, because Henny)


      1. ooh yea i definitely see that ridge now haha. it’s awesome that the coops can be put into so many different configurations too (tho i think barrels still rule as my most favorite versatile jump equipment). yay for being able to build all the right questions with minimal equipment!


          1. yea….. we had that problem at my old barn for a while, to the point where i was legit googling around for DIY standards. but… there really isn’t a cheap/easy way to make them aside from, ya know, actually investing in the right lumber and drilling those suckers together. lame. maybe there will be another ‘barn’ sale?


            1. A friend of mine has a few extras that she said I could have, she just lives forever away so I have to find a way to get them from her. Also investigating affixing some keyhole track to plastic drums. They aren’t as tall as I’d prefer but technically they would work, and it’d be cheap/easy.

              Currently I’m masterminding a DIY faux-weldon’s wall. We’ll see if that turns out to not be shit.


  3. Do you have recommendations for a good quality but not fancy sidepull/bitless bridle to use for hacking/conditioning?


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