Archive for June, 2007
It was a Sunday. We had 40 acres of downed trees, water crossings, shrubs, close trees and forest paths to traverse.Sue and I took our first real trail ride with Jenny and her horse on their property in Fair Play, Mo…down in the Ozarks.
Later on, I realized that I forgot to be scared. I wasn’t scared or nervous the entire ride! Sue lowered her head and relaxed before we even took off. What a miracle!
We mounted the horses and off we went. Sue was anxious to go faster than Jenny’s horse, but we did just fine in staying behind. Jenny’s horse had never experience riding on the property, and she was actually more bothered than Sue.
We did our first water crossing. We waited patiently for our turn and then we plodded through the water. We criss-crossed the property and wound around through the various pathways. We stopped at intervals.
Sue was not ever calm enough to stop and stand still for more than 30 seconds, so we spent our time doing hind quarter turns while Jenny’s horse ate grass for a few moments.
At one major point, we went into a hicket of close together trees with branches sticking everywhere. As Sue and I went thru this narrow place, the branches swept back and touched her rear. I could tell that she was a real trail horse at this moment. She did have an internal shudder when the branch touched her rear, but she didn’t startle or flinch. That is success!
We came to a scary place…an aluminium panel lining the bottom of the fence that we were riding next to. It took a few moments for Jenny’s horse to determine that it wasn’t going to eat her and off she went. We passed right by it and merely had the slightest of ear flick towards the “out of place” object.
Sue and I did ride besides Jenny and her horse. That went really well. We also went in front for a short time. That I had been dreading. Jenny stayed more than a horse length behind us and it went well.
We did come to a place where the horses back at the pens nickered and squealed to us. Sue and Jenny’s horse got revved up at this time. Luckily, Tony had set a barrel pattern up in this meadow and Sue and I were able to walk and trot circles around a barrel to bring her left brain fully back to me. We did get so we could stand still at a barrel for at least a minute before the urge came on her to move out again.
At the end of the ride, we came upon another water crossing. Jenny’s horse jumped and I knew Sue would plow right thru the water. What a surprise when she jumped. She is getting light on the forehand to be able to even consider doing such a thing! Our “hill therapy” is paying off.
We came back a triumphant pair-bonded trail ride horse and human!