Rode the pony. What a GOOD boy. I went out with Nicole, and her friend from out of town. Nicole was riding Maize, the pretty red dun paint in one of my pics further back in the blog. She's fairly green; Joyce works full time in addition to doing all the barn work for 20 horses by herself, so that doesn't leave her tons of time to ride the 8 horses she owns. Anyway, apparently Maize had never even been ON the trails, so considering that, she was not bad. A little forward, not terribly spooky, and even went through the water without too much fuss. I was impressed!
We went across the street to the power lines. I've done more trails in the pulp wood forest, so whenever we do the power lines, it makes me happy!:) The tricky part is staying on the trails once you get into the woods. They're not well defined, so it's easy to lose the trail. Went in next to a big pond, which Tiki has never been particularily fond of. It has rained so much in the past month, the pond had overflowed and flooded a low-lying part of the trail. Thank GOODNESS I had gotten Tiki in when Nicole and I rode out by ourselves. Otherwise, I don't think I could have gotten him to go across. It's belly deep water, so it's not just a little splashy puddle. We actually made our way out to the big field, which I had only been to once. Enjoyed a gallop on a nice mowed lane, and found the end of the lane. Meandered back into the pasture, and heard Joyce's voice. She and her friend Debbie had caught up to us, and together, we found a dirt road with all manner of trails off of it. Picked one, rode until it ended, then made our way back to the barn since I had to get going so I could pick up my son and his friend from school. Of course, going back, we lost the trail in the woods, so had to follow the power lines for a bit.
What is a marvel to me is how beautifully my horse rounds his neck and trots forward. For trails, I've decided to go back to the metal "bean" D-ring bit I had determined was "too much" bit for him in the ring. He gets strong once we've been out for an hour or so, and when we gallop, he's started to show his true racehorse more and more.:) I bought a LOVELY new bridle for the task, and didn't bother with the figure-8 because I'm not worried about him being "on the bit". Well, the only time he IS on the bit is when we're on the trail, lol. He carries his back up, he demonstrates LOVELY shoulder-ins going up hills with his s l o w trot, and working up hills, he really tucks his nose down, rounds his neck, and pushes with his hind end. I plan to try and go out in that area alone eventually so I can really focus on getting his neck and back built up so when I can HOPEFULLY get a trailer by the end of the summer, he will be fit enough for me to trailer out to Patchwork and take a lesson once a week. The picture up top is showing off his new bridle today! Good boy, hopefully will ride Sunday on a LONG trail.