Monday, July 11, 2011

Down the Trail with Lucy

Lucy and I save our most adventurous and longest trail rides for Sundays. We like to go someplace new every week. 
Yesterday, I decided to take my good camera with us so you could come along for the ride today.

I've been teaching Lucy that when I drop the rein across the top of her shoulders, she must stop and not move her feet until I pick up the rein. We've got this working for us about 95% of the time on the way out. On the way home is another story, but she's getting better all the time. I call this cue my "parking brake." I can sit up there and take as many pictures as I want, knowing she won't move anything but those beautiful ears. Yes, I love Lucy.

This picture is significant only for what is not in it. Hank is snoozing in the barn with George and Alan, not running around the corral looking for Lucy. The big baby has finally figured out that we always return eventually and he need not work himself into a lather while we're gone.

I've been meaning to show you Lucy's new headstall with the snap crown browband. These are made for mules and donkeys so that you don't have to fold their ears while putting on the bridle. Even though Lucy has no problem with me folding her ears, 
using the snap just seems more polite. This one is Amish-made and we love it.

Lucy is also wearing protective boots on her front legs these days. These prevent her 
from nicking the insides of her pasterns and also keep out any cactus needles we might run into.

You: I thought we were going for a ride. Why are you taking all these pictures from the ground?

Every long trail ride out here includes at least three or four barbed-wire gates at which you've got to dismount and stab yourself a few times while you try to open them. You've got to slide the top wire loop off the post, then lift the post out of the bottom loop, then carry it out of the way as you walk through. I used to hate these things when I was riding horses for fear they'd spook at the wrong time and tangle themselves up while I wrestled with the gate. Now? Piece of cake. Say it with me...I love Lucy.

You know we're talking about you, don't you, Lucy?

When we got home, I went on Google Earth to see where'd we been and how far we'd gone (6.5 miles)
I love technology. But not as much as I love Lucy.


  1. Very interesting post, and what a joy it must be to ride Lucy, who is such a good girl.

    I love Lucy too!

  2. Riding on a Sunday morning has to be the world's best tranquilizer.

    I can see why you love Lucy.

  3. I never really *got* the thrill of riding equines, but if you enjoy it, it's gotta be great to have an animal who trusts you enough to do what you want her to.
    Lucy looks real purty in her special get-up.

  4. That was fun! I remember those old loop barb wired gates as we had them as kids riding around. You had to put muscle into them to get the top loop back on and sometimes we could barely do it if it was on really tight.

    I'll have to look into the google earth gps thing. That was neat!

  5. Love the view of the mountains, the sky, and Lucy's sweet ears! The parking brake is very impressive. I can see why you love her. :)

  6. I can see why you love Lucy. She's a real doll!

  7. She looks like one of the most gentle and kind creatures ever born. Definitely an old soul and you are so fortunate to have found her.

  8. Probably not as much as I love and miss those blue southwestern skies either. I will never get over leaving them behind to move east.


  9. Estella from Co.7/11/11, 7:10 AM

    Job well done, Lucy (I'm at peace). Went to Mini Donkey Auction in Castle Rock, Co. this week end and told a number of people about you and Lucy and how wonderful riding donkeys can be. Actually, one couple was leaving to go pick one up in Ok. for the wife. Hurray for donkeys :) P.S. Lucy is looking REALLY GOOD

  10. What a perfect Sunday ride. I bet you don't miss riding horses now that Miss Lucy is proving to be such a treasure.

  11. I just know that Bernard is going to read this post and tell Ellsworth about the snap crown browband... :)

    We can't wait to be out there with you and Lucy.

    And good for Hank!

  12. What a fabulous ride and I'm so glad you and Lucy took us along for the ride! I love love the snap browband and wish I'd had that when I was mule riding. Thanks for the wonderful photos too you live in a lovely spot.

  13. We all love Lucy too. Such a serene girl. Great pics.

  14. Lucy is also very pretty. I love her color and her beautiful long ears.

  15. Awww, hiiiiiii Lucy!!! I love your new ankle boots. You may just start a new donkey trend with those nifty things. I love that your mama's always looking out for you! :-)
    Won't be long before Lucy and Ellsworth from Morning Bray Farm are out hitting the trail together, will it?!

  16. Looked like a nice ride - good to see you enjoying Lucy so much! LOVE those ears. :)

  17. I would love to have a saddle donkey.

  18. All of your guys are such characters. Each day I get to know them just a little bit better. Have a great week!

  19. It looks like you are having the time of your life with Lucy! I love the whole snap bridle thing! What a great idee!
    And we call those gates- Portagee gates- I hate em! They are difficult to negotiate for sure and mostly they are heavy to pull across. Some times I have seen them with big sticks as levers to help jimmy them back into place!
    You sure live in arid country- but it sure is pretty from the ground!

  20. Great pictures and so informative!
    Love the snap (no bending ears) bridle. I hate those barbed wire gates......... Only had horses and cattle when dealing with them.