Siaga and I covered new ground yesterday. A lot of it.
This time, we rode for fifty minutes. I've not been timing it specifically. I've just been deciding it's time to head back when I see his energy start to go down and him lose interest in the goings on around him, which is when he normally tries to force me to let him stop and graze, on the side of 725, no less, with semi's screaming by, which he doesn't even flick an ear at.
Anyway. The farmer who tends the field across the road, aka my normal riding ground, plowed. And soon he'll be planting, and since it's corn this year, I won't be able to ride there, even around the perimeter, as there won't be room for Siaga between the trees and the corn, and won't be room for me between Siaga and the tree branches.
So, we rode the road yesterday. We turned left out of the yard, passed the neighbors pond, where he spooked at the neighbors boat, with a little sideways jitter and a snort. (This is, apparently, how he spooks at things. He does a jig and snorts, realizes its not coming after him, and calms down.) Then walked on by it. We turned and went up and around the big hill at the end of the road, since I didn't want to risk the narrow shoulders of the road going up the hill.
Then we walked into the next corn field, went around part of it, and came back, not wanting to get caught in a place I probably shouldn't be in, crossed 725, headed along the corn field across the road, turned right on Simpson, headed toward Huston woods, and turned around at the house that belongs to a couple who I used to go to church with, who farms most of the land around there.
Siaga then proceeded to spook at their barn, which is big and white and close to the road. He was fine with on his left, but once he turned around and saw it on his right he was all "WOAH WHERE'D THAT BARN COME FROM." *sigh* And he jittered and snorted, and we went on our way, back home.
Cross back over 725, go to the very top of the big hill, and look out over the valley...
It was stunning. I have never felt so on top of the world. On Siaga, on the hill, the whole thing was amazing. There, I did let him put his head down and graze, while I sat there in stunned and awed silence, wishing I had a camera.
The way back down was quickly impeded by the neighbors dogs. *another sigh*
One is a little fuzzy white terrier, and the other is just as small, black and white, very fat, very slow, with long silky hair. The terrier was running along, and Siaga spotted it before it spotted us. He was on high alert.
When it finally noticed us, it came running and barking and I felt all of Siaga's muscle tighten up like a really pushed down spring, and I said to myself, "To hell with this, I'm getting off the roller coaster." And so I hopped down and led Siaga away, with me between him and the dog. I was more afraid of what would happen to the dog, if it tried to get Siaga, and what would happen to me, if Siaga bucked or bolted, than what would happen to Siaga. Anyway, I urged the dogs away with my riding crop, until the neighbor came out and apologized, saying she wasn't aware I was out riding, and I told her it was no problem, that I hadn't known the dogs were out.
After get past the dogs, I remounted in the middle of the road, passed the boat and the pond (with no problem) and then just when I'm about to cut across the road to my drive way, a white van comes up behind us and I get Siaga in the grass, and the idiots don't even slow down. Thankfully, Siaga is road safe, and didn't care that a big white thing pulling a trailer just sped by him, about 4 feet away. He was too busy trying to get his nose in the grass.
So that was our ride. And it was nice. If I don't have to work this evening, we're going to ride out again, this time saving our energy for exploring down Simpson road, rather than exploring corn fields. This way, I can work up to getting him fit enough to ride all the way to houston woods, and ride the trails there.
His muscle tone has already greatly improved since he came home, and he's packed on quite a bit of weight. He still has visible ribs, but there is a layer of fat over them, and he has a slight case of a gutter back. Which confuses me; a sign of being too skinny, paired with a sign of being too fat. Hrm. Well. The way I see it, his coat is normal and shiny and gleaming, he's drinking plenty and eating enough for his level of activity, and getting a decent balance of nutrition, and doesn't at all look unhealthy or too skinny in any other place save for those ribs, while everywhere else looks normal or slightly plump.
Also, I'm saving up my money to buy a car of some sort, preferably a little truck, and then after that, I'm going to be getting him a new saddle. The one I have, I don't know what size it is, but it is pinching on his shoulders and not doing its job properly. I pulled out the ones from the garage, only to discover that the one that I had thought was in good condition had a broken fender strap, on the left, and I wasn't about to risk riding in it, though it was a beautiful saddle. I took all the usable billets and straps and even the stirrups off of that one, and set it and the other one (not the one I use) out for trash, and someone, who wasn't the trash man, picked them up in the middle of the night, so hopefully they will find their way to a saddle repairman.
Also, I'll need a fully leather saddle if I go to Findlay anyway, so I might as well get one that's all leather. I'll have to find someone who offers demo's, though, because I really want one that's going to fit him right. After all, he's a small horse and I'm a bit of a big girl, and I don't want to cause him any problems.