Trail Report: Tom’s Park, Old Man Run 1117

April 26, 2019

After work on Thursday I rushed out to get some mountain riding in. Daisy and I Loaded up Possum and zipped out to Little Dry River Rd in Fulks Run to Tom’s Park. It started to drizzle right as I pulled over to park. But it was warm enough to handle a little drizzle.

I hopped on Possum and off we went. It appears they have been working on the first section of this fire road and it was quite a bit smoother and certainly an improvement.

At the split there was a very large culvert that appears to have been freshly replaced, with the old bent up one sitting on the side of the fire road, presumably for future removal. It was shaped like a pony eating monster, and was quite a bit taller, wider, and longer than Possum. He was weary of it but he did push on past and we took the right hand branch of the fire road. The road improvements appear to have ended at the culvert replacement.

We rode on a bit longer before turning around and starting back. The ride out was primarily on an incline and therefore the return ride was mostly down hill. I rode for about two hours. It drizzled until the last thirty minutes or so, which is when it started to down pour. By the time we got back to the trailer all three of us were soaked.

Notable, this was Possum’s first solo trail ride and I was very happy with him. He marched along confidently and he happily splashed through water. He did look at oddly placed rocks with a weary eye but he didn’t spook or bulk at anything.

We did a lot of walking and some cardio trotting. Possum was a bit concerned about trotting. It didn’t feel like laziness, more like he has always walked on trail and was unsure why we would break the usual protocol. After a little encouragement he agreed trotting was acceptable. Cantering on the other hand was a different story. I felt like he was sure only bad ponies canter on trails and he was not going to be a bad pony. Unfortunately I didn’t have on spurs or a crop with me. I kicked quite a bit to get him into a canter which he kept breaking. I did manage a short but nice canter with me asking him to slow back down rather than him choosing to. After that I decided to stick with just walking and trotting for this ride and work on the canter when I have spurs on. You know, pick your battles.

It was a really nice ride and I plan to keep trying to get him out about once a week if possible. I feel the diversity is good for him (and all horses) and he really seems to enjoy and to be extremely comfortable on trails. Plus the mountains can kick a pony into shape mighty quick.

I just wish my trail saddle fit him. It is quite a bit more comfortable than my English saddle.

* I have not been using my Trail app to track my rides because it doesn’t work while I listen to podcasts. And recently listening to podcasts has been winning over mapping my tracks.

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