August 2, 2010

Trail Riding

Gillette and I have been doing a lot of riding lately. OK, in truth, Gillette is doing the walking, I am doing the riding. He truly seems to enjoy our time alone together, a new hobby for this 20 year old Percheron, since we have retired him as a commercial carriage horse. We go through the trails with hardly a complaint on his part, with just a loud whinny now and then, calling to the other horses a half hour away in their pasture. Sometimes, so far from home, I think he whinnies just to hear his own voice bounce around through the trees like thunder. His voice is so guttural, and carries like a baritone through an opera house.

Gillette is a trooper. He goes wherever I ask him to, stopping only to peer through the woods at the deer, not paying much mind to the squirrels underfoot. Like a good carriage horse, he trots uphill and eases up on the downslope. He picks his way over rocks quite carefully, but without hesitation. On the way home, he hollers at the other horses as we pass them in their pasture, as they run and buck and snort and carry on. He keeps walking, and would likely walk to the end's of the earth for me if I so wished. Gillette is my definition of a "good horse".

Photos: Top: Terry trimming Gillette's feet on Friday.
Middle: On the trail, we find ourselves in a beautiful stand of Aspen.
Bottom: After unsaddling, what better way to wipe off the sweat than to roll in the dirt?


  1. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! I'm quite envious! If you'd like someone to come up and exercise him don't hesitate to call!

  2. I used to ride Cotton a lot. He was a riding horse before I trained him to commercial carriage. After pulling a carriage he too would hump it up the hills and baby step holding back the carriage that wasnt there down hills. Cracked me up!