Friday, October 14, 2011

Concepcion Trail Ride Part 2...

Joey and me...Here I'm texting and riding a horse.

I'm not trying to be coy with the reader by breaking up this post in two parts. It's been busy at work, and haven't had time to finish this story!

When last I left you, I was preparing to ride Joey, my 4 year old grullo gelding, in a 13 mile trail ride with a LOT of other horses. How did he handle it all?

He was a champ. He loaded well, with only slight encouragement needed. He was understandably anxious during tack up, but so was every other horse. Even my trusty mount Woody was lifting his head in excitement. There were all manner of new horses around, calling to every horse, and the vibe was strong with nervous energy.

I mounted, and I could feel his energy. I spent time flexing him from the saddle, and making him yield hindquarters often and vigorously. I could feel him connect up. We also did a little longeing. It helped him to go ahead and release the energy he was carrying.

I felt good. But the hardest part of this trail ride is the start. Horses buck, sidepass, crow hop, kick, bite, and do all kinds of general nastiness until they get some miles under their feet. The riders are all bunched up, and the spacing is terrible. Herd mates get lost in the shuffle, inciting panic in the little herds that have just joined to become a large herd of chaos.
You could tell Joey was not immune to the excitement, but he stayed steady under saddle, and we had no ill events.

The rest of the ride was a dream. Once we had some spacing, I was able to walk, trot, and do some nice sidepassing on the trail at a trot. I received THREE compliments on his looks! He never acted up. My only complaint is that his short stride made it hard to keep up with the longer striding horses at the walk. But we just did walk/trot to keep up.

He was a fabulous water drinker at the halfway point, guzzling up gallons of water. He has always been a good water drinker, and I felt like a proud Papa watching my boy drink water eagerly, while other riders were reduced to saying"Well, you can lead 'em to water, but you can't make 'em drink".

He maintained good effort in the last part of the ride, but you could tell he wasn't as fresh as he was at the beginning. He stumbled some, and I know it was because he was dragging his feet. But his good attitude prevailed.

It was a hell of a first trail ride for this young horse. I'm VERY proud of him. I've ridden him some since our return, and he has been steady, and he and I are connecting on every level. I can't wait for more adventures.

Getting down to stretch my legs.

Talk about a challenge! Look at all the riders!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should be proud - that's a big achievement for a young horse!