Sunday, February 15, 2015

Three in a row!

Today was the third day in a row of riding for me.  Right on the heels of working out with a trainer, so I am BEAT.  But with a day this gorgeous and sunny, how could I NOT ride?

Shar and I  met at her house, but loaded up the horses for a short trailer ride.  We parked where Arya and I had seen a lady tacking up her horse yesterday--the point where we turned around.  We forgot to bring the mounting block, but luckily there are a bunch of rocks there, so we were able to mount up, no problem.

We took off down some single track, walking quite a bit, trotting when we could (it seemed every time we started trotting, we arrived at a rocky spot).  We ended up back on some double track (but still relatively untraveled and nice footing), and came upon a puddle.  Oh, good--a training opportunity.  It took quite a bit of effort still, but we got her to walk through it.  Shar had to pull on her halter a bit, but she did it.

We started to do some leapfrogging on the trail, but then Shar realized she'd gone off course from where she intended us to be.  So we started trekking cross-country.  Arya was loving it--she'd gotten confident (compared to when we first set off) and was happy to be leading, and being a mustang, she seems to love tromping around through the rocks and bushes.  We went up and down over some rocky stuff, and she did awesome.

We found our way back to the road we wanted to be on, then Shar started looking for a trail up the nearby cliff.  Well, up it in a spot where it wasn't actually a cliff.  She found it, and we went UP a rather big, rather steep, rather rocky hill.  Arya did great, though.  We reached the plateau, took in the views of the mountains to the west (and each snapped a few pics of the other)...

...then crossed it, seeing a couple people out walking while we went, then took in THOSE views, of Smith Rock to the east.

We retraced our steps across the plateau again, and this time met up with the people we'd seen earlier at the top of the trail back down the hill.  (Oh yeah, Shar didn't tell me we'd have to go back DOWN the way we'd come up--I'd assumed we'd loop back to the trailer a different way, I wasn't too thrilled about that.)  We chatted with them a bit--they recently moved there and were curious about the trails.  Then we proceeded DOWN the big, steep, rocky hill.  I was worried about my poor horse, who's heavy all on her own, carrying my fat butt down the hill and possibly losing her balance, or even just losing control of her momentum, but she did absolutely FINE, even stopping for a bite to eat now and then, which is disconcerting when you're already aimed down a steep hill, then the head and neck of the horse you're on just disappears.  But she really did do awesome on the way down, didn't rush at all.  We made it to the bottom, and headed back toward the trailer.

On the way, we passed another couple puddles, and I figured I'd give it a shot.  She resisted and resisted.  I kept working on getting her to step into the water, when all of a sudden, I felt her front end rise up and she LEAPED over the puddle.  Shar and I had JUST been talking about how she wasn't ever going to be a good jumper, and while she disproved it with her attitude, she proved it with her grace, or rather lack thereof.  Her hind feet still landed in the water, even though it was only about a foot wide or so.  :-)  Luckily, I was relatively prepared for it and stayed on through the leap.

After that, we headed back to the trailer without further incident.  Overall, I think it was a positive ride, and of course the combination of weather, fellow human, and both horses made it a wondeful day.

But it wasn't over quite yet.  When we got back and put the horses away (Arya is doing SO great at backing out of the trailer), Shar got Goodwin out and worked with him in the arena, with the obstacles she's set up there.  He did great--I wasn't there for his prior lessons, but it really did seem like he remembered them and built on them from what Shar said.  Good boy!

When we got back to the trailer, guess who was waiting in the tack area?

We let Goodwin graze for a few minutes, then Shar and I went and picked up pizza and enjoyed it, along with R, in front of some interesting TV--something about auctions.

I was sorely tempted to go soak in the pool at McMenamins, but once I got home, I didn't feel like leaving again.  I'm perfectly happy to sit on my couch in my comfy clothes.  I think I'll be taking a break from exercise tomorrow.  :-)

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