A friend came over to ride with me Monday and we ended up logging at least 10 miles on the ponies before 10 a.m.
All three of the beasties got to participate in the trail trek: Me on Gabe, Kayleigh on Chief and my friend Jacquie tooled around on Calypso. I loved having someone to ride with, someone I didn't have to constantly remind to shorten up her reins or pay attention to her surroundings or put her heels down. Love riding with my kid, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it sure is nice to ride with an experienced rider I don't have to worry about.
So, out we went, the horses seemed pleased to be going out together and were quite happy to travel along three abreast. We headed down the road and into the bottoms which is all farmland with roads running between the fields.
Gabe was a little looky loo at ditches and rocks and stumps, oh my! But he was good. He tried to pull his "I'm gonna back up because I don't wanna go forward where YOU want me to go forward" crap a few times and he got a couple of good, smart smacks with the whip and it set him straight.
Chief was excellent, as usual. Just plodded along, head down, ears flopping to the side, lip loose and relaxed. I swear I saw him fall asleep a few times.
Calypso...whoo. That little mare needs a few more miles under her belt. She was a handful for Jacquie, spooking at everything, going with her head high and her strides short and choppy. Guess I need to get my butt in gear and put those miles on her before I try to sell her.
We took advantage of some of the long, flat stretches of dirt road and did some extended trotting and a bit of cantering. Gabe loved it so much he had to toss a few good twisty bucks in there! What fun! I laughed at him in his silliness, got him straightened out and gave him a good wither rub for being such a good, albeit silly, boy.
We crossed two wide, quickly flowing creeks. Gabe had no problem at all getting his feet wet. In fact, he stood in the second one and pawed and pawed and pawed, which I let him do, until I felt those knees starting to buckle. OH NO YOU DON'T! I had a pony who used to drop and roll in every puddle and creek we crossed...I wasn't about to let my big Thoroughbred do the same! Nudge to go forward. No reaction. Nudge, Nudge. Nope. He kept pawing and snorting and sticking his nose in the water to blow bubbles. Ugh.
I had to break out the whip again to get that booger OUT of the water. I mean, seriously, how often does that happen? Usually I'm breaking out the whip to get them to move forward into the water!
At least I know water crossings are not an item on his phobia list. Whew!
By the time we got back home we were all pleasantly tired and sweaty. The horses were excellent, the company fantastic. I'm so ready to do it again soon and it definitely made me realize how very much I miss riding with adults.