Wednesday, November 12, 2014
A Real Trail Horse
Then I got Junior who was terrified of trees... and water... and geese. We did manage a small handful of trail rides but they were always a bit tetchy. The one barn we were at had a few miles of trails attached that I tried to go on as much as possible, but I don't think there was ever a trip without at least one spook, scramble, or spin. There was one, after a Cowboy Challenge that Junior followed along behind Rio like a teenager in love and didn't spook or stumble once, but the norm was a snorty nervous horse who may spin around at any moment. We never had any real disasters, but it usually didn't make for an overly pleasant experience. My few attempts at getting him into/through water were usually a scrambly jumpy mess.
At B's barn, she is keeping a paint mare named Lexi for a good friend of hers who had a stroke last spring. I'd ridden her a few times, and with Kevin out lame for most of a month, I ended up riding her in our Ranch Horse Pleasure clinic. More on both of those topics later.
A few days before the clinic, B and I were riding in the arena and she asked if I wanted to take the horses down to where she found we could get into the creek. They've only lived there about a year so they're still exploring the 80 acres of trails. I said "Sure!" but in my head I was picturing trail riding on a strange horse... and all the potential disasters that lay ahead.
But I was on Lexi.
And it was amazing.
Not once did she hesitate, look at something, or even act like we were out of the arena. When we got to the creek there was a slighty steep bank down and it was a little muddy. I asked her to go down and she didn't hesitate but took incredible care to make sure she placed each foot carefully and took us right into the creek. She pawed in the water a little but mostly just stood and looked around until I asked her to turn around and head back up the bank, which she did just as calmly and carefully as she went in.
I am growing rather fond of this mare.