Went on a lovely 3 hour trail ride today. Joyce was off work, so we had tentative plans to go out today on the trails. We were planning on a few other people, but as I cleaned stalls, the phone calls came and people fell off the grid. Finished up early, and got a text from Nicole saying she was coming out, yay! So, I tacked up Chester to ride him for a bit before we headed out. Rode him up in the still incomplete ring. That thing is going to be AMAZING when the footing's in! It is huge and level and has a great view of the farm. The weather has been so great that riding on it isn't killing it. I *think* footing will be in soon, yay, yay!! Walked Chester up to it, and he did NOT want to go up there. He'd never been up there. He kept trying to stop and spin around, and I dug my spurs in. He'd then attempt to crowhop and spin again. I just stayed patient, kept my hands up, and squeezed with the spurs. Finally got him up to it, and he was SPOOKY. The "footing" is red GA fill dirt, so it does look a little freaky. As I said, the view is great, so it gave him a ton of stuff to look at. It took me a GOOD 2 laps around before he quit trying to put his head between his knees and drag me down to the barn. He's such a baby, lol! Finished with a lovely trot both directions; forward, straight, and willing. Trail time!:)
It was me, Nicole on her gelding, Joyce, and Wayne. Wayne rode Reley, the other baby I ride. That boy was quite the superstar! We went into the pulpwood forest, and I was so happy that Tiki wasn't spooky at either the flags hanging on a realestate sign, or the new road that has been cut in. Took our usual trail until we got to the turn; we went straight instead. It was a real trailblazing trail. Lots of dodging branches, tripping over logs, and charging through briars. I had a little hissy fit when Wayne chose to go through a little sapling forest that tore us to pieces instead of walking next to the road where it was free and clear, lol. I got turned around, Tiki was getting scratched to hell, and I got smacked in the face with a tree, so I hollered "THIS SUCKS"! I didn't mean it, ha ha, but DANG! That part did suck for about a minute or so. Joyce said I'm not allowed on that trail with them anymore, whoops!:) I was so proud of my boy. The ONLY thing he spooked at was a little dog that appeared out of the underbrush and acted all ferocious. He did so well dodging trees, climbing over rocks and stumps, and pushing aside branches. He is so wonderful.
One afternoon on the trail is worth 5 rides in the ring. My horse drops his head, uses his back, and bends through his shoulders and hocks. He loves it out there, and so do I; I just feel like it's so good for his brain; can't wait for the ring so I can set up a little course and get him a little more balanced and well rounded. Plus, once deer season starts, we'll be "grounded" again unless I get a trailer sometime soon. In the meantime, I will ride in the back pasture when possible, trail ride at every opportunity, ride in the little arena, and take him to PWF whenever I can beg a trailer.:) (pic up top is from my last "solo" ride when we got rained on; used the blue ear bonnet since I was riding alone and it was turkey season.)