Sunday, March 18, 2012

Out and About

Things have been going very well in terms of getting Bear to come to me in the pasture.  We aren't quite to the stage where he will see me and then just come up to me.  But the last few days have been great, usually taking less than a minute and only involving one or two moments where I push him off with my eyes and body language.  Today, though, was the easiest yet.  He wasn't on the bale (which definitely helps).  We stared at each other for a couple seconds, he looked away, I marched toward him ready to move him and he just yielded his hindquarters to face me, dropped his head and walked right up to me. It was great.

Today was the 8th ride in 9 days, and we were all tired.  It was even a little hard for me to get out to the barn today.  But we've got rain coming in the future, and I will be traveling a little bit this week for work, so I knew it was best to get out there.

We ended up having a wonderful ride walking through a lot of the grass paths and drainages that connect all the farm fields.  Bear and Steen were totally cool with it, too.  There were no spooks and almost no shying at anything.  The only part that caused them a little trouble was a narrow double-track road that goes by a shed full of cats, a big rottweiler, and has a yard strewn with broken cars and tractors.  Truth be told, it give me the heebie-jeebies, too.  But they just slowed down and looked around at everything.  I did my best to stay relaxed and keep urging Bear forward, and everything was totally fine.

After a short road section we ventured to the west and over to a big area known as the "salad bowl."  I have heard of the place, but it was the first time I got to see it. The name is an apt descriptor, it is a big area in between farmable fields.  It has steep sides the run down into a big, flat bottom.  Like a bowl. We did not spend a whole lot of time there, but I know in the past Robin has used the area to work the horses, so perhaps next time. 

This time we just kept it nice and relaxed.  I walked the whole time except when I needed to catch up to Steen and his faster walk. In the beginning Bear was the one trucking along, but he must have burned up all his matches in the first 20 minutes, because we just kept falling behind for the rest of the ride.

It was not a very exciting ride, but it was the perfect ride to end the week. And hopefully it will get me thinking more and more about exploring our surroundings.  There are a few places I know of from riding my bike around there that I would love to check out.

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