With the recent riding, we have realized that Gambler is just not going to be able to do the longer rides like he used to do. He had hard endurance miles before we got him, with some fast 50's and 100 mile rides. He has been sound, but his hocks give him some trouble, and then he trips a bunch, as he shifts he weight off the hind legs some, on to the front. He is 17 this year, and it is not fair to ask him to continue with the riding we would like to do. So, we started looking again for a new horse for the hubby to ride. I had mentioned this to my good friend out in CA, and she suggested we come take one of hers home to use, as she has many, and some need "jobs" where they get used to their full potential. Not sure she realized that we were going to hop in the rig, and head west with the trailer while we were both available to do so. The drive is 1400 miles, and by tag team driving, we could do it with few stops. So, on Friday evening, around 6PM, we headed west. I prefer the northern route along I-40. I know all the stops, truck stops, rest areas, and good places to eat. The radar and weather reports showed some mild weather for the next few days. I usually make this drive alone, and this was the first time hubby got to do the trip with me. SO nice to have him doing some driving, and 26 hours later, we pulled in the driveway at my friends place. After diner, we headed to bed, so we could get up and check out the horses, and see if one would work well for us. We had about 4 to choose from.
Now, I was bad, and forgot to take photos during the visit of the different horses, or our trail ride. Bad me...Oops.
We looked at the horses, groomed, and checked ground manners, personality, then lunged them. We decided to take two fr a trail ride. Dash, a chestnut mare is one I remember from when she was born. Bred very well for doing endurance, with some old, awesome blood lines. Her mom was difficult at times, but tough as nails, and her sire I also know, and is very sweet, and also a proven endurance horse. The other, Flag, is a mostly pure Arab gelding, that is black and white pinto. I remember him as a yearling. Bred in Montana, he is related to the horse I did the driving event with in October.
These two are different as can be. Dash was laid back, a tad green, but very willing. Had to motivate her to move along. Flag just wants to go, go, go. Very upright, almost "parade horse" like. Well broke, but somewhat tense and excited. We each rode both, swapping 1/2 way through the ride. I'd take either of them home. My worries with the mare were related to her being in the pasture with 4 geldings. Usually not the best mix to have just one mare with a group of boys. Kicking and fussing usually get someone hurt. Also, we found out she was just coming 5, and I'd prefer to have something not that young, as she still needs to grow up some more. So, after little discussion, Flag was heading t live with us in Texas. We decided to sleep some, and get up before sun up, and head home. The northern route along 40 was having some weather, so we had to take I-10. I really hate this drive. Unattractive, boring, and not as many good places to stop. Because the last time Flag had been hauled was 8 years ago when he came down from Montana, we decided not to unload him, and just stop once and awhile for 30 min, to an hour and let him stand and rest. he really was a good boy, loaded right in the trailer, and only had a pawing fit the first 15 - 30 min. It got chilly, and we got a day sheet on him. The trip home was longer, and about 30 hours later, we arrived. He was glad to get out of the trailer, and see he had horses at his new location. They of course were very curious, and came to the fence to check him out. Hank was jealous, and pinned his ears at him, and wanted to bite him. We will intro him into the herd slow, with each one getting one and one time starting in a few days. Meanwhile, he is in the 30x30 pen. Looking forward to getting out on the trail with hubby able to ride further / faster than he had been with Gambler. Gambler will have a home here, and get light riding, just not like we used to do with him.
Here are photos from the trip. I was not very good at getting photos of Flag, but amused myself shooting out the window as hubby drove along. Oh, and stereos with Ipod hook ups ROCK!!!
In Parts of NM, and AZ along I-40 we had areas with a bunch of snow from a recent storm. But roads were dry and clear
Heading into the High Desert, North of L.A. with the snow covered mountians in the background
Sunrise over the wind-farm in Palm Springs CA
The AZ desert and some Saguero catus.
Modern travel technology.
*Garmin Nuvi GPS to help find our way, and to find foof, fuel etc. (hiding behind horse hanging from mirror, which Hank won at a ride, and I keep in truck)
*Laptop with wireless aircard to be ab le to go on line as we travel down the road.
*Stero with USB to be able to play Ipod. No more CD's scattered everywhere!
*Radar detector (not shown) Great reminder when it goes off to "check my speed".
We had Flag riding backwards. More comfy, and easier for us to feed and water without unloading him.
Flag meeting "The Boys" after being unloaded from the trailer.
Flag going for a little walk in the pasture after arrival. He is a handsome boy. Many more photos and blogs to follow, as he and hubby start to get to know each other, and he becomes part of our horse family