In which Fiddle gets a haircut and ascends the Ice Cream Cone of Doom

It's hard to believe that the first endurance ride of the season is less than a month away...and yet, Home on the Range is scheduled for March 27th, a mere 26 days hence. Fiddle and I have been getting ready!

Today was overcast and warm, with not much wind. Perfect weather to bring out the clippers.

I didn't want to do a full-body clip. Fiddle's hair coat isn't THAT long, and she's finally started shedding. I clipped her throat, the sides of her neck, and a little bit on her tummy. I was prepared for fireworks when I applied the humming, buzzing electric clippers--Hana is convinced that the clippers are really a handful of bumblebees, and she behaves accordingly.

I did a little bit of preventative training with Fiddle: Turned on the clippers. When she moved her head towards the sound, I handed her a cookie and turned them off. Chew. Chew. Chew. Okay, no big deal.

Then I put the back edge of the clippers on her shoulder (blades facing away from her) and turned them on. Again, she turned to look at the sound, and I handed her a cookie. Chew, chew, chew. Still no biggie.

Turned them on, handed her a cookie, and clipped one side of her neck, plus her freezebrand. Now it's legible!

Still no big deal, so I handed out more cookies and finished the job, including a little "extra" clipping on her butt, just for fun:

Yup, there's no question about who owns THIS horse!

With the beauty parlor procedures out of the way, it was time to hit the trail. Today we went to a stretch of the Tree Farm that's north of our usual trails. There weren't any other horses/riders on this tract, but there were plenty of logging rigs!

This (below) was turned off and parked by the side of the road.
Fee wanted to go waaaaay around it, but unfortunately, there was something worse (I thought) on the other side of the road:
Ergh. Look at all that sharp, rusty metal. We compromised, and walked right down the middle of the road, keeping an eye on both sides to make sure we could run away if either object suddenly came to life and decided to attack.
It's been about 4 years since I've visited the road we call the Ice Cream Cone of Doom. It winds around the outside of a steep hill, in roughly the shape of a badly-constructed soft ice cream cone, hence the name.
The hill was being actively logged while we were on it, which would have made it impassible if I'd been riding the Toad. All those beepers and boom cranes bulldozers and falling trees and stuff? Forget it. He only ever agreed to go up this road with me because it was the only place I would let him run as fast as he wanted--he'd always lose steam before he got to the top, and his brains didn't have a chance to fly apart because he was too busy conquering the Cone.

Fiddle, who is allowed to trot or canter as fast as she wants most of the time because her brain doesn't fall out when she accelerates, sized up the grade and length of the road, put her head down and trotted. All. The. Way. Up.

Jim did the math when I got home: the ICCoD is almost exactly a mile long, with an 8% grade incline, from 656 ft elevation to 1066 elevation. It seems steeper than it is, but it is plenty steep. And long.

And there's a heckuva view from the top!

We stopped for a snack when we found a more peaceful spot, away from the loggers.

The deal with the IIC0D is: she trots up to the top. I hop off and walk down to the bottom beside her. If I were a better, stronger, fitter person I would jog or run down this. I'm not. I walked.

I checked my GPS when we were about 2.5 miles away from the truck...we'd only been out for an hour and 45 minutes. Hmmm. We could do another little spur trail up to the top of the Knob!

So, we did. From the top of the Knob, you can see the top of the Ice Cream Cone.
Click to biggify the photo (below)
The road back down the Knob (photo below). Steep, nasty. But not very long. Fiddle was careful with her feet and did just fine.

Here's the route we took today:

12.5 miles in 2.5 hours. Lots of hills, lots of trotting. Not exactly record-breaking time, but it should get us to the finish line at Home on the Range, and that's all we need for now!
End of the trail: bath time.
Life is good!


  1. I have always intended to buy some horse clippers, just so I can clip a daisy or a butterfly on Dixie's butt. She is my animated bad-tempered My Little Pony, after all. The skull and crossbones is a nice touch!

    I have a couple of sloping sandy trails where Dixie gets to run her heart out - we will run out of steam long before we run out of road. I guess if we ever run out of road first, we'll go FEI. ;)

    Such a pretty ride; thanks for sharing it!

  2. Fiddle looks good. Great butt clip :-)

    Neither of my horses are bothered by the clippers. I haven't trimmed anything except their heads & bridle paths this winter. Both could stand some de-yakifying

  3. What kind of saddle is Fiddle wearing?


  4. Funder & Leah Fry: I really didn't expect an "Arabesque" reaction to the clippers--Fiddle isn't normally that volatile. OTOH, she's young and we hope to have many years together in the future, so the clipping exercise was more preparation for the future than it was extensive deyakification! Hana requires two people and a lot of patience...that's just how she is. Sigh.

    EG: that's a Specialized Eurolight saddle. You're getting one too, right? I love this saddle!!!

  5. The Eurolite is my "dream saddle". Have a question though. Can you feel the lump under your leg where the leathers attach under the seat? Stuff like that makes me bonkers, and since you actually ride one of these figured you would know.

    Thanks :)


  6. EG: I've never had an issue with the "bump" of the leather--it slides over a bar of the tree, and the seat attaches above, so the seat doesn't actually touch the leather.

    (also, the stirrup leather is really wide biothane, so it isn't as plump as actual cow leather would be).

    Love, love, love this saddle.

  7. i love her freezebrand, keep it tidy! and i love how you tie her to a boulder for a picture. what a sweetie she is.

    i've finally got baasha doing the proper carrot stretch you showed me with fiddle. he caught on slowly but now it's all good.

    i never realized how fine boned she is until the pic with your helmet hanging from your stirrup.

    your saddle does look really comfy and minimal, what i like.

    did you notice how paradigm farm's mylight looks a bit like fiddle? just a few shots showed the resemblance.

    it's snowing again. oh boy. we are supposed to expect 20 cm this weekend. (10 inches?) no no no. i will not accept that reality.



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