Thursday, October 10, 2019

Trail Riding Hooky Day

So... this week has been pleasantly lovely! I've worked long days, but also had some nice free time to ride. Today I was supposed to be at one barn all day but they cancelled, so I decided to ride!! And it was a great choice!

The weather was gorgeous. Well, it was overcast and cool and almost looked like it might rain, but it didn't, and that meant the weather was fairly cool. We ended up picking up Kelli and Arwyn and headed to Watson Mill. What a great place to ride. I will definitely go back. Especially now that I know how to get there. We found the park, but were on the wrong side of the covered bridge for the equestrian trails. So we took a 15 minute detour and found the equestrian trails, but not the check in/registration place. So we went to try and find it and couldn't. So... we decided to go back and just ride because... we had no clue where to go. But on the way back we saw a little calf on the wrong side of the fence. So I stopped to rescue it. Luckily it jumped back through the fence (while getting shocked repeatedly... oops, sorry little buddy) and was fine. 

So then we finally got to the trail head and headed out. The map was a little confusing but Kelli did a great job reading it. The only down side was that we probably should have gone the opposite direction. We started on the perimeter trail and it was great! Nice and wide and fairly straight. (Ie... great for trotting and cantering). Then we ended up doing the middle part of the trail which was twistier (and prettier) but harder to trot and canter on. We kept to a walk in the beginning to let Arwyn breathe. Dan was in power walk mode but brave and good. Towards the end, where it got twistier, we ended up trotting some. I tried my best to keep Dan to a super small trot and Arwyn did okay, but after a little bit we switched so Kelli could lead. Dan was super good and tried very hard to be a good boy. He started out okay but she was just so slow and he kept having to go sideways to avoid running her over. He did about 5 minutes without much shenanigans but then he started to get frustrated. It also didn't help that the terrain kept changing so Arwyn kept slowing down or falling down to walk because of it, so neither of them could get in stride. She finally cantered a bit and then Dan really got frustrated because he really couldn't slow himself down enough. So then, he started to get bouncy. It started as a simple bowing up and bouncing. Which was fun and made me giggle. But then it escalated and he started flinging his head around and pulling the reins out of my hands and bucking. Finally though, Arwyn busted out into a power trot and was going fast enough that Dan could ball himself up into a tight little collected canter and at least stay in the canter, so that made him happier. :) And then we kind of ran out of trail. She offered to let us go back and have a gallop, but... we were running out of time and I didn't know the trail enough. And he had settled again. We explored the campground area and it's nice. 
After we dropped her off I let him have a little bit of alone time to chill and decompress and then I gave him a quick bath and then I fed him. I lfet him with a little bit of hay, ate my dinner, and then went and clipped him. Man is he SHINY!!! So shiny!! I think he'll feel better now too. It's getting chillier but it's still warm and his coat was coming in. 

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