I was lucky enough on Friday to have a half day, so took the opportunity to take the horses to the ring.
|The view out of my tack room - Annie would have|
preferred to just hang out and eat, thank you.
It's been kind of cool because in the last few years, horses have slowly become more prominent in the area once again. When I had first bought Annie, there were only a handful of riders who rode out more than once a month. I was the only rider from that area who did shows, or hauled for regular lessons/clinics. And kind of an interesting tidbit; the grand total of horses in the area lurked somewhere around 13 (but out of the 13 horses, only 8 were sound and serviceable riding horses). Now, the tally for riding horses is somewhere around 14, which is pretty cool! Lots of young riders who are learning about horses and the magic of riding!
Anyways, the family is really nice and welcoming. I had to hop off Annie because she got a lil bug-eyed at the two mares when they galloped up to the fence. As I approached, Annie decided to have Stallion Syndrome and arch her neck, snort, and tried desperately to visit. She got a smack to the shoulder and reminded to stand quiet while I talked to the family. I did eventually let them say hi, as the girl's mom wanted to let them meet (lol), and of course it ended with both mares screaming at eachother anyways. The poor girls mom was mortified, haha, but I explained its just what horses do. Their young daughter didn't seem phased and kind of rolled her eyes at her mom, which made me laugh a little bit.
|Still some slush and snow in the parts of the trails that don't get much|
sun. Apologies for the blurry photo haha.
Anyways, I'm off track again. After chatting with the girls mom a bit more, I asked if they would mind me riding. They said no, so once they tied up their horses I tied Spud to the rail and wandered in.
Annie was still wide-eyed and huffing, so I joked it was a good thing the girls were there that afternoon, because it's always good to have someone to call 9-1-1. We laughed, I cried on the inside, and clambered aboard.
|No photos of the actual ride, so enjoy some pictures of us|
We did a ton of trot-canter transitions and poked at a few walk-canters but nothing crazy. She was really well behaved and we did a few trot and canter leg yields as well, mixing in some simple changes and those well loved 20m circles. I was pretty proud of her - to go from wide-eyed and flighty to settle right into work.
The canters felt great, and aside from one missed lead (which was across a diagonal), she had no issues whatsoever.
She didn't feel as "meh" as she did the day prior, so I was glad that she felt more normal. We finished off with some 2pt cantering and sitting trot and called it a day. But not before trying out that super cool trail gate the one girl's dad had fashioned with two jump standards and some rope!
|Tired pones heading home.|
It was an eye-opener in a way though, because altho I don't intend to compete western on this mare, it's good to practice! I was glad for the opportunity, and thanked the girls for letting me use their fake gate and school my mare through it for a good 15 minutes. I also mentioned that if they wanted to set up jump courses or trail courses in the future to let me know, as I would love to help and take Annie through the motions!
We headed back home and I was able to give Annie a well-deserved bath. There is something so satisfying in watching months of dirt and grime be uprooted and spiral with the water down her legs and into the ground below. After that, I turned both the ponies out, dumped Annie's mash into her hanging bucket and headed home feeling pretty accomplished.
|One of the many unflattering photos I took. Sorry, Annie.|