I had a no good, very bad, rotten day yesterday with Jetta.
I was feeling kind of down so I decided that I needed a trail ride and a good gallop to lift my spirits. I still want to do an endurance ride so I need to get back to conditioning Jetta so I decided to take her to Silver Creek Falls for a ride since there are some hills (we've only been doing flat trails so far) plus it is almost all in the shade which is nice when it's 90 degrees out!
Loaded Jetta up and got there without incident. There were a ton of trailers in the parking lot. The one time I had been there with Queenie, we were the only ones there.
I started off on the trails and near the very beginning you have to cross a creek. I figured it would be no big deal since it's a fairly big stream (only small puddles are scary, ponds and large creeks are okay in Jetta's mind). But, there are a bunch of logs and a large stump off to one side so Jetta thought those were too scary to approach and wouldn't go in the water. Sigh. So I had to get off and walk her through the stream. As soon as I was off she was perfectly happy to follow me across. Luckily I wore my Dubarry's which are waterproof. Unfortunately they are not Jetta-proof as she gave an enthusiastic splash into the water, making my legs all wet and filling one boot with water. Ugh.
I got back on in the middle of the stream, emptied my boots and then continued on. The first part of the trail is really rocky so I had her new renegade hoof boots on for their first trial run. I've tried them in the arena to make sure they fit and they stayed on so this was their first trail ride. They squeaked awfully at first but once they went through the water they quieted down. Unfortunately Jetta got one twisted all the way around, how I have no idea, so I had to get off and fix it.
We continued on and trotted. Jetta snorted and spooked at every log, branch and large rock she came upon which was quite irritating. We came to the first bridge and she stubbornly refused to go near it so I had to get off yet again and lead her across. I got back on and we cantered down a long flat stretch that doesn't have any rocks. Then her other boot got twisted and I had to fix it. But after fixing each boot once, they were good for the rest of the ride.
The hills came and I let Jetta power trot up them. I lost my crop somewhere along the way. We came upon a couple riders and passed them and then had a great gallop. We came up to a large rock in the middle of the path which Jetta thought was impassable so I had to get off for a third time to lead her past. This was the point in which I should have taken a hint and gone back to the trailer. But I kept riding. We walked for a while and had to go under a low hanging branch so I shortened my reins so that I could make Jetta walk slowly underneath it so I wouldn't get hurt by it. Best laid plans... she instead raced underneath it and the branch caught me in the shoulder and then scraped its way down my back. Owwww. And now I have a lovely scrape mark down my back, even through my shirt.
We continued to trot up the hill and then I heard a funky noise from her hooves and looked down to see only one hoof boot, her left one was missing. How it came off her hoof I have no idea. When I went back down the trial it was no where to be found. I went all the way back to the scary rock in the middle of the road because that was the last time I was absolutely sure the boot was still on her hoof. We walked back and forth, back and forth. I even got off and walked it on foot but the boot was no where in sight. I looked in the underbrush and beneath the bushes. We walked that section of the trail 5 times and I could not find the boot for the life of me. Now I know why I should have gotten them in bright red or orange... I was beyond bummed. My first actual trail ride with the boots and I lose one. And they're really expensive too.
We walked all the way back down the hill instead of continuing on the loop. I was kind of done with our ride. Jetta was a pain in the butt about walking back at a reasonable speed. She was most certainly not done with our ride, despite being quite sweaty. Luckily I found my crop on the way down, but still no boot. Jetta crossed the bridge and the water with only slight hesitation which was good, because by that time I'd about had it with her spooky obnoxious self.
Untacked her and put her in the trailer with no treats and took her back to the barn. Upon unloading her from the trailer, I simultaneously slammed/pinched my elbow into the divider and now it hurts to bend it.
I'm still really upset about the boot. I don't know how it came off her hoof since it has two straps, one to actually hold it on her hoof and the other around her pastern as a back up. I can only think that when we were trotting it got flung off into the forest. I don't think I'll be buying another set of Renegades since they're just too expensive to lose. I'll probably put the other set I bought (for her hinds) which are slightly smaller on her front feet and she'll just go bare behind, then maybe I can sell the one larger hoof boot. Apparently it was too large, even though I tested it out in the arena. I'm still bummed.
Overall, a really rotten ride.