Our new plan is to trailer up to Rancheria Road tomorrow. We love this "trail head" because it is a wide dirt road that winds up to several thousand feet in elevation. If you climb long enough, which we used to do regularly but won't do tomorrow, you hit pine trees and much cooler weather.
Instead of RR, we chose to go back to the same staging area that we've been using for the last several weeks. But to make it a new adventure for Izzy, we rode the trails in a counter clockwise direction. You know what they say, different eye, different brain. Izzy proved the adage true.
He was doing so well in fact that we rode to the end of the trail on the north side of the river. To continue on, you have to cross over the weir which takes you to the south side of the river.
A weir is a essentially a mini dam. It holds back the river until the city or county (or whoever) needs the water. The weir is then opened up and the water flows underneath. When the weir is completely open, the water rushes really loudly.
This weir is covered with an access road which is part of the designated trail system. What makes it scary is that you can hear the water pouring out from underneath, and the machinery that operates the weir hums along immediately to the side. The whole things is surrounded by a chain link fence, so once you start crossing, you're effectively in a long chute. Some of the horses find the hollow sound beneath their feet a bit disconcerting.
Although Taz is not a fan of this crossing, he obediently marched forward. Izzy didn't have much choice but to follow. We made a small lollipop loop and then came back to re-cross the weir again. Taz was no more eager to cross the second time, but he knows his job. Since Izzy was seeing it from a new perspective, he still clung closely to Taz's side as he crossed, but he did it without any resistance.
For this trip, we came up on a pair of ladies riding two very handsome horses. I stopped and asked if they would mind taking some pictures of us. While they weren't able to figure out my iphone, they were willing to stand and chat with us a moment. To my delight, Izzy was totally comfortable standing with them. He did give them an initial I don't know as they approached us, but once we were all grouped together, he was happy to stand and listen.
Since this particular ride was about challenging Izzy a bit, I decided to load him up first while Taz was still tied to his own trailer. Izzy thought about it a moment, but then he hopped in. He did give a whinny or two, but then he settled down and waited for me to pull away.
Everything about the trailering part of going places is getting much better. Each time he unloads, he gets more and more careful about it. For this trip, he actually reached for the ground without so many panicky steps. I was also able to start saddling him before KG pulled up. And once we got home, he unloaded happily and looked around for some grass to eat.
I am really looking forward to tomorrow's adventure!