Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

Wolfie the Wonder Horse!
Wolfie, 24/02/08

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Forest Adventure

I had an amazing ride on Wolfie today.  I got up to the yard early (Wolfie was still lying down sleeping in the field), got him in, tacked up and set off.

This is where we were headed.  The forestry (Just to the right of the tree, you can see the top of Lennox Castle).

We headed down onto the line.  Just as we came into sight of the bridge, 4 people approached with a dog.  They took the dog down into the river, maybe the dog wasn't good with horses, but to distract it, they started throwing sticks into the river.  Brilliant.  I got off Wolfie and led him to the end of the bridge.  He could see the people and the dog, but as noise echoes around that area, I don't think he could associate the noise with the people.  I managed to lead him across the bridge and made a huge fuss of him at the other side.  He had that petrified look again and he was poised for flight, but he stayed with me and relaxed at the other side.

We continued on and headed up towards the Castle.  It's a long, windy track on a hill.  Great for power walking and working Wolfie's hindquarters.

Lennox Castle.  It used to be a mental hospital.  It lay derelict and was set on fire by vandals.  Shame as it is an amazing building. 
  We passed the castle and headed up into the forestry.  There are main tracks throughout the forestry or various paths throughout the trees.  It's vast and you could be up there walking for days without retracing your steps.

A view from one of the tracks
I wanted to do a bit of exploring.  We followed the main tracks and then deviated through the forest.  You have to be very careful with the footing off the main tracks.  Very often, it can look like firm ground, but turns out to be very boggy or wet.  Wolfie was fantastic.  He was clearly loving it and was more than game for everything.  You cover every sort of terrain, from soft, rocky, tree roots.  He took it all in his stride.  He seemed to love getting onto the softish ground which is covered in pine needles from the trees.  He just wanted to go.  We were negotiating bankings, streams, fallen logs, low branches.  We came to a dropped banking.  I checked it out and figured he could carefully step down it.  Wolfie had other ideas and just jumped down it.  We came to another one, it looked safe and the footing and ground was good at the bottom, so I asked him to jump it as a dropped fence, and he did beautifully.  He was so bold and forward.  I often think Wolfie was born in the wrong country.  He should have been an American trail horse.  I also think he would be great as a horse working cows.  But he has the makings of being a very good Trec horse.

Look at his ears

The branch ahead was actually really low and both of us had to duck to get under it.

We saw some interesting things.  It's amazing what you see up there.  People are terrible for fly tipping.  It makes you wonder how they get the stuff up there as cars can't get into the actual forestry.

This was hidden deep amongst the trees.

Giant mushroom.  Wolfie was very interested

A bath - of course

And you can't have a bath, without a toilet, obviously!

Wolfie and I have a story involving the bath and jumping from last year. But I'll save that for another day.  It still makes me come out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

We stopped for a break.  I really wish I had some saddle bags.  I could have brought some juice and a piece and cheese and jam.

Wolfie having a break and enjoying some thistles
Wolfie felt as though he would have kept going all day.  We headed for home and came to the bridge again.  Wolfie completely tensed up, so I just got off.  3 horses were approaching us from the other side of the bridge.  I waited for them to cross and as they passed us I heard "Hello gorgeous" and "Oh aren't you beautiful",............directed at Wolfie.  Oh well.  I led him across the bridge and got back on and we set off for home.  Wolfie didn't feel tired at all.  I was feeling shattered!  Not riding fit at all.

Nearly home and his ears are still pricked

We were out for 3 hours.  Once we got back I fed Wolfie and turned him out in the field (stopping for some brambles on the way to the field).  I really thought he would be feeling a bit tired, but he cantered off to his rolling spot had a good roll, got up and took off galloping and bucking.  Obviously feeling pleased with himself.  He was so much fun today.  He just gives you the feeling that you're totally in it together and he's up for anything.  He really enjoyed it.  I really hope we can try some Trec next year.  Loving my little horse and my saddle.

Having some brambles

My special little horse

Buttons doing some gardening

Buttons winter coat is coming through thick and fast.


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