I like the work and progress part of riding, but now and then just really want to putter around on horseback, take my time exploring with a horse, relax, etc. I love to trail ride! So it's tough that I can't do it consistently with Brumby, I never know what he will be like. I have some ideas for helping this, but that's another story.
This time of year is touch and go with weather and footing but I thought it would be a good idea to get to know Rusty and the barn before an opportunity comes up to actually ride him. It happened that Laura and I were both off work for the day, so we arranged to meet at her barn in the afternoon.
It was a nice day but somewhat windy. I had a good ride on Brumby and made it across the road, only a little late. Well within "barn-time" expectations, I'd say!
You know, Laura and I haven't met up many time before...maybe once or twice (?) and otherwise our communications have been via email or blog. I have to say, it's really nice to meet someone who is so easy to be around, even when you don't know each other all that well. I do regret not having the chance to talk about some other topics we have in common. Oh well, there's always next time!
So I got the tour of her barn and we groomed and tacked up Rusty. I felt a bit like I had two left arms when it came to cinching a western girth. I've ridden in western tack before, but it's been awhile and cinching is just one of those things I'm not fully comfortable with. Laura showed me how and I think I'm feeling more confident about getting it right. Rusty was, of course, a perfect gentleman.
I climbed on the mounting block and had to smile at how high above Rusty's back I was. That's fine by me! Off we went, and Rusty felt like he was pretty forward and happy to move out.
I have no idea why I look so unimpressed!
I must have been just pre-or-post smile, I certainly wasn't as sour as I look!
Look at Rusty's adorable ears, doesn't he look ready to head out?
We went along a little way, Laura and I chatting about this, that, and the other thing. I was relaxed and enjoying myself. Suddenly, Rusty did a little spook/spin/buck/bolt like thing. None of these were very severe or anything, it's mostly that I didn't really realize what was happening until we were in the middle of it.
We had a couple other instances of "Are you sure you want to go that way?? I really think you'll find the barn much nicer"so we just went a short way up the trail and called it good. I didn't want to force the issue if he wasn't comfortable and I guess I don't know him well enough yet to push him past it. If the footing was better I might have been more firm, and he did go forward when I insisted. I was happy to call it a day on my terms and have a nice intro ride.
We really are lucky to have nice areas to hack.
It's beautiful even with the winter starkness.
I got tired just watching Gypsy the border collie
run around. She is tireless!
In our area, winter riding outside is sporadic at best, so he might just have been reluctant to head down the trail. It was also pretty windy and the footing ranged from quite good, to deep snow, to crunchy snow, to icy. I joked that maybe it was me making the horses bonkers on the trail. Laura laughed that she offered her nice quiet boy for me to trail ride and I got a little drama off the top, lol.
Personally, I think Rusty heard all this talk about him being so reliable, calm, and enjoyable, that he thought he'd better show us he has some spunk!
Happily heading home.
All-in-all a great day off filled with dogs and horses, finished off with friends and wine. A good day indeed!