We suspected it all along...
Boomer is an out of shape, fat-ass.
The CTR we were going to volunteer at was cancelled due to the EHV-1 outbreak.
John and I hauled out to Pomona Lake for the afternoon to ride. He, Paisley, and Charley played in the lake and hung out in the air conditioning while Boomer and I explored the trails. I do have to say that Boomer loaded into the trailer perfectly both times with not even a moment of hesitation! Pretty good for not being hauled in over 7 months!
We ended up doing exactly 4 miles in an hour and 20 minutes. It was about half walking and half trotting. The trails were single track, lots of mild climbs with areas of mud and rocks. There is a total of 16 miles, 32 miles out and back. It was about 90 degrees and very humid. By the end of it, Boomer was sweating and panting. I think he could have done another 4-5 miles if we had walked the rest of the way.
We had a good time. Boomer did try to be an ass a few times. Once we had just gone over a log and had to go through an opening in an old rock fence. He boogered at it and started backing up, rather than back into the log, I spun him around. My saddle slipped a little, so I hopped off to adjust and tighten my girth. I then had him straddle the log to let me mount back up easier. We headed back towards the rock wall and he boogered again and spun around. He was acting a fool and I ended up just going back instead of pushing through. Bad, I know. But, I was frustrated. I got over it and the next time he boogered at something and spun around, I jerked him back around and spurred him several times. He spun again, and I jerked him around harder, spurred him HARD and he went though the 'scary spot' just fine. We did eventually go back through where I had given up earlier and he put up his 'helicopter ears', but kept moving. Same for the big boulder that was spray painted glitter orange (yay for spooky trail markers).
I was pretty proud of both of us. I had a realization while I was riding that I just don't care about his shit anymore. My priorities have changed and he is no longer a top priority, so his bad self doesn't get me riled up anymore. I have a lot less of an emotional reaction and can ride him better and more aggressively.
I do have to brag about how good he can be. He allowed me to mount while he was straddling a log. He crossed several streams with no hesitation. He picked his way carefully through rocky sections. He slowed down for downhill climbs. He never once knocked me into tree trunks. He completely ignored me while I flailed about wildly trying to get spiderwebs off of my face. He is quite a solid little trail horse. I was very pleased with him.
As we were headed back, we encountered a tree stump. Those have always been scary for Boomer. I joke that he is afraid of the tree-hating, chainsaw-wielding, horse-eating monster that must be lurking about. It was on the side of a gravel road and I wasn't sure he was going to pass it. He kept spinning away and I kept jerking him around and spurring him past it. On the third time, he faced it and walked bravely up to it and sniffed it. He took a bite of it, a piece of bark fell off and he skittered back. Then he approached it again and we walked around it and moved on like nothing ever happened. Good Pony!
Now we just need to get him into shape!
Chillin' in the AC with dad!
Headed for the trailer
A little cheek-shoulder interference on the chubby baby.
Yay Boomer! We made it FOUR whole miles!!!
Best husband ever!
Obligatory 'ear shot'!
Can you believe that this horse was doing back to back 50 milers just one year ago? Jeesh. Now he looks like a quarter horse from behind!
Grillin' burgers with the fam!