We were very lucky to have sunny 70 degree weather yesterday, for today it is rainy and getting colder by the second. Booooo.
So let's focus on YESTERDAY! We got to go on a trail ride! Zip and his partner, B, invited us to go to our nearby park to enjoy the 5 miles of easy trails. Junior, as you may remember, is not a seasoned trail horse...YET... but he gets more confident each time we go out. I was expecting a challenge as we were experiencing 10-20 mph winds! But we were brave and it paid off. The park was busy and we encountered countless strollers, bikes, loud kids, dogs, joggers, and frisbee golfers. The bridle trail skirts the boundary of the park but comes near the other trails a few times.
Junior loaded/unloaded like a grown-up horse with zero issues. He was on high alert as usual and had a moment of panic when Zip was led to the other side of the trailer so we tied them both to the back. Zip isn't super fond of Junior, but they seemed to be enjoying each other and were gently lipping each other's faces....remember that image for later...
The trail was pretty uneventful - YAY! Junior and I still doesn't agree on a safe following distance so I let him lead sometimes rather than continuously pulling him off of Zip's tail. He seems to want to get through the scary stuff faster. We had a few quick rideable spooks, once to figure out what a group of teenage frisbee golfers was up to, and once when we came around a corner and there was a light grey patch of fine crushed rock and we found ourselves facing the wrong direction... so Junior let Zip go first.
There were lovely long moments when Junior dropped his head and plodded along at a safe distance like he might have actually been enjoying it. He remained very watchful the whole time but I was able to keep him on a very loose rein and it was a great way to end the outdoor riding season.
When we finished the ride, the boys were licking eachother's faces again. B took a phone call and we hand grazing the boys. Before I could intervene, Junior took a big step towards Zip and got too close, Zip responded with a wild stallion moment and Junior came away with a scrape around his eye, but no real damage. Oh yeah, that's whey they aren't turned out together.... Zip does not have the patience for Junior's cuddliness. Ah well. Boys.