As soon as I got to her house, I checked the tack room quickly to make sure she'd grabbed everything (though I was pretty sure she would have, as I keep the hanging stuff all on one hook, the saddle and pad on one rack, and all the grooming stuff in one tote--three areas to grab). She had. So we loaded up the dog and took off within two minutes of me pulling in the driveway. Our soon-to-be-new-friend arrived at the trailhead (just a few minutes from Shar's house) shortly after we did, and we introduced ourselves, found out she lived only a few minutes from Shar, and on our night ride route, and in fact she'd found one of our lost reflective tail wraps!
We all tacked up and set off. I wanted to keep my mare separate from this new mare, just in case, so I started off in the lead. But Arya didn't feel too excited about leaving the trailer, or being in the lead, or just going on a trail ride, or something, and was VERY pokey and kept stopping. So Shar led, and I followed behind Gina and her mare, keeping a safe distance (and since it wasn't Flash, Arya didn't seem in any hurry to ride up her butt, either, so that was good).
We walked a while, trotted a while, walked (and chatted!) some more, etc. After a while, I pulled Arya into the front (she walks pretty fast, so this works better for me than having to hold her back to maintain spacing, and is good for her brain, too, to be in the lead). She was a little "looky," but did pretty well. We went up the steep rocky non-trail again up onto the plateau Shar had taken me up a few weeks ago, and snapped some pictures.
|Gina on her cute mare, Dot, on the left, Shar and Flash on the right. I told them I couldn't really get them both in the same photo, so Gina was moving over closer to Shar.|
|Not sure what Shar's doing in this photo. :-)|
|And now it's Gina captured in a weird moment. What can ya do?|
On the way back down the (still steep, still very rocky, still not a real trail) hill, Arya kept putting her head down to snag a bite. Mind you, we're pointed quite downhill, and of course to even reach the food, she has to stick her head between her own feet, and of course this pulls on the reins. One time, I truly actually felt like I would just sail right over the spot where her neck usually is and keep on going, tumbling down the hill and likely landing at Flash's feet. The rest of the times, it "merely" freaked me out, but I didn't actually feel like I was moments from becoming a rolling stone, but still. Highly unpleasant.
We made it down safely, though, and Arya was probably quite proud of how much snacking she accomplished on that little stretch.
We moseyed on back to the trailer, and made plans to friend each other on Facebook and definitely ride together again sometime soon. In fact, Gina might come to the mock ride on Saturday.
So yeah, that's the next planned ride--marking trail on Friday, picking up trail markers on Saturday, and taking photos and helping out at the ride in the meantime on Saturday. Fun times!