Friday, January 20, 2012

Hittin' the trails

Typically I am able to ride on the weekend, thanks to the full time job that allows me to afford my horse. Whenever I can ride, I do. Since he is a young horse who is on hoof/hair supplements, he has a ton of energy. He gets turned out daily and goes out with the "bad boys" to the pasture, a group of geldings that annoy the daylights out of all of the "normal" horses, but to really get him to think and move he needs to be worked. I am hoping to get him into a training program for a couple of months, but for now it's all me and the occasional training session. He's smart and picks up on things quickly, but is very lazy; so lazy that he spends more time thinking how to get out of something than just doing it and moving on. 

One of two moments I rode on our first outing

We love to trail ride. Or, at least, I thought I would love to trail ride my new horse. The first time we went trail riding he was amped up and I was unprepared, so for the safety of us and our companions that day, we had a very nice hike. I wasn't thrown and he didn't buck, but he wanted to GO and I did not. He rushed and pushed and made a general spectacle, and it was my first time on a trail without the dependability of a dude string horse so I was scared, especially of all of the cholla and prickly pear cacti he almost ran into. He got a D- for the day, he didn't fail (mostly because we survived) but hadn't exactly made me want to go again anytime soon.

So a few months later my trainer invited me to go on a trail ride, just me and her with her trail-wise mare. It was on a wider trail and during the warmer months and we hoped it would be a good experience for the both of us. We unloaded and I could already tell he was in a much better state of mind. He wasn't dancing for one, and I could lunge him without issue for two, and I was able to easily saddle him for three. Already a vast improvement from the last time! He had one small spook from a silent mountain biker, and got a little testy about an hour into the ride, but other than that he was a perfect gentleman. I did notice that when I asked him to trot, he goes into full-out extended "lets get there and get there now" fast pace that isn't very comfortable to ride, and a little intimidating. The trainer's mare had a very nice slow, itsy-bitsy pace that Indy just couldn't suffer through. So we needed to work on that, but all-in-all it was an exciting day and it made me want to do it more! He received an A- that day, I was so proud!

Indy and me on the second trail ride.

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