Brag, brag, brag! My boy was awesome today!!! I'd been dying to go to the barn and ride since our last bad ride, but the weather has NOT cooperated. I'd planned to ride both Thursday and Friday to prepare for the anticipated trail ride of Today, but we went to Tennessee on Thursday, and it rained ALL day Friday. Rained most of yesterday as well. Anyway, went out the barn with the knowledge that it may rain, and the anticipated big group of people riding did not happen, so I was afraid the ride would be scrapped. Fortunately, it was a go, so I groomed Tiki, tacked him up, and led him down to our usual pasture to spin around on the longe line for a few minutes. He was a total dead head. The saddle I borrowed definitely fit him much better; I still used my big felt pad because the saddle was a teeny bit wide on his naked back, but he looked great on the longe.
Got on, and got one of the ladies to take a pic of us, and then we headed out! It was me, the BO Joyce, and a girl named Kyle on her big gelding, Gelder. We left the pasture, crossed the road, and entered the 1000 acres of pulpwood forest we'd planned to ride in. He was good; starting to understand this whole walking in the woods with other horses thing. Then came the big water puddle you couldn't go around. EEEKK!! Joyce and Kyle tried to walk off to encourage Tiki to want to go with them, but he really doesn't care about staying with the other horses so much. I kicked, smacked, kicked, broke off a little stick, used the stick, all to no avail. Joyce crossed back over and got the rein. Chico's steady eddy personality allowed him to drag us through the water, and all was right with the world again. We met up with some nearby neighbors at a crossroads in the woods, then deeper into the woods we went. There really wasn't any sort of smooth, defined trail. We walked through, but it was around stumps, over rocks and sticks, and dodging lots of tree branches. Then came the hill. The steep, tree covered, stick covered hill. I could NOT believe they were planning on going up that thing. I wish I'd gotten pictures. It was crazy to even think about going up that hill. Well, I grabbed mane, closed my eyes, and by golly, Tiki and I made it up that hill in one piece. We made it up, wandered around a bit, dilly dalleyed about which way to go, got it figured out, and made our way back to the barn. This time, Tiki went through the water all by himself, without a beating or a pony.
We're coming along. We have our bad days, sure, but the good ones like today totally make up for the not so good ones. Can't wait to go again!