Great horse, actually.
Red and I haven’t been off the property for a ride since…well..I don’t even know when. It’s been about 3 months, and while he was good for that ride, he still had his little moments of wanting to bolt back home, spooking while we were in the trails and not wanting to be in the middle of the ride and deciding it’d be okay to crowhop a few times. Y’all know we’ve had an interesting few months working out some of that stuff, but I feel like at this point, I officially have my good horse back. In fact, he’s doing better than he ever has with us. I’ve discovered that he does best when he’s being ridden 3-4 times a week. Even if a couple of those rides are just me sitting on him bareback and walking him around the barn a couple times, he goes into work mode and is so much calmer. I can’t remember the last time we went on trails or outside of our property and I was able to hack him on a loose rein (on the buckle, as loose and relaxed as they could get) for more than a few steps, let alone the entire ride. Even when we jogged up the hills, he stayed 100% controlled and perfect. I planned on cantering him again, but AM brought Mouse out with us and she hadn’t been ridden in awhile so we kept things slow to make sure she didn’t get too carried away.
I realized that it’s time that I start riding like I have a well trained, seasoned and broke horse. Because while he wasn’t there a few months ago, he’s showing me that he’s there now. And it’s time to step up and ride him with the confidence that he deserves. No need to be defensive.
We fed them first, then took our time grooming and tacking up. Red had managed to get his tail in a total mess so I brushed it out, adjusted my stirrups some because somehow one was uneven. We were the slowest at the beginning but somehow, as usual, we ended up tacking up first and had to hang out for a few minutes while we waited, which I like because it makes him stand patiently and gives me a few minutes to work on flexing and mounting if he decided to be a pickle.
We headed out towards the gate, which he kind of balked at slightly until he realized that the horses were behind him and he wasn’t by himself. That was honestly his only “bad” moment of the entire ride, and even that wasn’t bad. I expected a fight to get him out since he hadn’t gone out in so long. We got ahead of everyone, I wanted to see how he’d do leading. He’s always been more of a follower on rides but he did great yesterday with being in the front for the majority of the ride.
We passed a few people who wanted to stop and ask about the horses, including one extremely loud truck which Stormie was a little bugged by. In our previous rides we had never run into anyone and at least 5 cars stopped us yesterday, and a few people came out of their houses to see the horses when we rode by the neighborhood.
We rode up the more narrow road towards where Cowboy, our old miniature, lives now. We always like to ride up and see him, it’s adorable to see his reaction to the big horses. I’m not sure if Mouse had ever seen a pony so small because she was super hesitant around him, Stormie, on the other hand, was totally in love with him and Red wasn’t bothered, just looked at him with ears pricked and nickered a little. He’s been there and done that with mini’s. 😉
We rode on, jogged for a few minutes up the hills to take advantage of the grassy area on the sides. I’m seriously super impressed with Red’s jog up the hills, so easy to ride and smooth, and he never pushed me to go any faster or to lag behind with the others. By then we were in the more popular area. We passed the house with the ducks but they weren’t out when we rode by the first time, all of the horses were on high alert for them though, haha. We saw them on the way back home and they tried following us. Stormie spooked a bit over a Golden Retriever and another dog in a lot, as she always does. She doesn’t have much trust in dogs.
We rode for about 30 minutes then decided to turn back around once we got to a steeper hill, Mouse is shod and we were worried about her slipping when we went back down. Stormie definitely knew she was going back home and had a nice little pep in her step but she was well behaved – no bucking attempts this time around, lol. Red, on the other hand, continued on at a nice walk and a totally loose rein and a nice low headset. I let him jog a few times when we hit some hills and he enjoyed it.
We passed a house and a guy saw us and retrieved a girl from the house to see our horses, lol.
We rode to the Apple Orchard and took some photos by the sign, we found out that a friend of ours knows the owner so we’re going to try and get in touch with them to ask if we could ride up there.
I let Red jog towards our gate since he was doing so well and slowed him back down to a walk when he crossed through and mom and I trotted Stormie and him side by side for a few minutes to let them get a bit more energy out.
If the rain holds back for a bit longer we’re taking my nephew A to the barn this evening to hop on Red for a bit in the round pen, then Red will get a couple days off while we have some rainy weather. Then, the farrier will be due to come out and our vet is coming next week for sure.
I’m hoping I can squeeze in some good rides in early December but with my family coming in it’s going to be hectic! I may be stuck with some short bareback hacks until mid-December!