PostHeaderIcon First Trail Ride in 2014

March 15, 2014 turned into a 70 degree afternoon.  A good friend with a fabulous young horse invited Lucky and I to ride at Holden Lake.  I didn’t ask Lucky and said YES!  I was excited about the ride.  We’ve not been on a trail ride since, wait…sometime last year before all my 2013 foot problems started.  I bet that I’ve not rode on a trail ride since last June or so.

Lucky had developed a fear of wind last year.  He went into training with Nichole Copple and Paul Hack to get him over that, but I didn’t get to ride him on the trail after that.

Holden Lake trailer parking is out in the middle of no-where.  There are no buildings or trees to block the wind.  It was a windy day out in the middle of nowhere.  Lucky and Louie, Chas’ horse got warmed up and we got on.  Lucky was his usual low energy guy with no frizz to him until I got on.  We walked a few steps and Lucky became “frizzed up”.  We managed to walk a few steps and the frizz started.  Lucky became a horse with an arched neck, pointy ears and decided to toss his head up and down and do a slow speed hip hop dance.  Riders like me don’t like hip hop horseback riding.  Lucky and I hip hopped around for a few more minutes and then the decision was clear that I needed to get off.  Lucky and I had another session of ground warm up.  This time, he showed some energy during the warm up.  I didn’t have to convince him to canter and fox trot.  He was more than willing.  After about 7-8 minutes, he appeared to have lost most of the hip hop dance routine and settled down into fox trotting.

I mounted up again and with Chas’ and Louie’s help, we managed to follow them at a  bit of a high energy trail walk.  The open field windy area was about two blocks long but we made it into the forest.  There’s hardly any wind in a forest and our great ride was on.  Lucky is a “YES” horse on the trail.  We tried being in the lead for a while, but Lucky likes to burn a fast gait when his position is in front of another gelding.  The lead horse is the dominant horse is Lucky’s philosophy.  So, I asked Chas if she and Louie could lead and that worked out well.  Lucky was under good control and stayed his mandatory horse length behind Louie and he even relaxed a little bit.  That was after we had words about him not getting to close to Louie.  Lucky wants to be the lead horse and he takes just a little bit of convincing that can’t pass the lead horse.

The trail was just a little “sloggy” making our horses put forth some effort in our smooth ride through the forest.  We came upon a place on the trail where two thin trees had fallen across the trail.  Louie stepped over the trees and Lucky jumped like a deer.  Whoowee…never let Lucky convince you that he can’t jump!

Our forest path has a great stream crossing.  It’s a wide stream crossing.  The water level is down and we could see the big rocks in the stream.  Horses have to walk on rocks and into water to get across this stream.  Chas had to get off Louie and lead him across.  Once she took the lead across the stream, he relaxed and followed right behind her.  Now it’s Lucky’s turn.  We pawed, one front foot at a time.  I’ve never been on a horse that pawed like he was mad at the ground.  So we pawed and then we made it across the first portion of the stream crossing.  We poised on the edge of the dirt ready to either leap across or walk across.  I was expecting a giant leap when Lucky decided to take a step into the water and walked right across it.  What a great horse!

We walked on and turned around after a short distance.  We managed another stream crossing.  This time Louie took Chas across.  She didn’t have to get off.  Lucky pawed again and made the two stages across the stream.

We made it to the open field portion to discover the wind had disappeared.  We had a good flat foot walk going and made it back to the trailers.  A good trail ride is one where you are alive at the end.

Lucky was worn and wet at the end of the ride.

One Response to “First Trail Ride in 2014”

  • Judy Meadows says:

    Friday and Saturday were both good days to ride down here if you were in the woods out of the wind. Rudy and I scared up a flock of 30+ turkeys–twice!:) Saturday Choco and had had a good ride as well. He was full of energy like Lucky, so we went up and down hills. ;)