Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby's first off-ranch trail ride!

The weather was perfect for a trail ride today. Karlin and I decided that after a couple of good rides on Jasper and Porsche last week that they were probably ready for their first trail ride involving a horse trailer. Porsche just turned 5 and has been off the ranch once in her life, and Jasper who just turned 4 has been to 3 little shows.

Everything is still really green!

We thought we'd make a day of it and invited Pam and Sandy to meet us there (hmm... moral support?). Yesterday 2 of the boys from the ranch decided they wanted to come too which was perfect because they ride the steady trusted 20-something-something-year-old horses.

Sandy on Cowboy and Pam on Bronnze

Slavin Ranch is a great area to ride in. It has winding trails through meadows and woods that surround a wetlands sanctuary where lots of birds live. Mostly ducks there today although we've seen cranes, owls, hawks, and strange water birds I don't know anything about. Today we saw an owl in flight.

This was the section of the trail I was most worried about. It is narrow and elevated and cuts between 2 ponds, so you either stay on the trail or fall off into a pond on either side. The breeze was blowing the tall grass around into the horses' sides too, but the most that went off the trail was one hoof. Obviously this part of the trail doesn't faze Sandy or Cowboy as Sandy took this picture.

Letting Jasper eat was the only way to get him to stand still for a fraction of a second.
Me & Jasper, Karlin & Porsche, Bailey, and Moose.
No, I'm not wearing a snorkel.

Porsche was great. She was a little worried and a little nervous the whole time but kept it together and had a really successful ride. Jasper calmed down after the first 10 or 15 minutes and was super. My goal on trail rides is that my horse goes along on a loose rein at the walk. So unless they're really flipping out I give them a loose rein and when they jig or trot I pull them back to a walk. Repeat. Sometimes 2 million times, but today only for 10 or 15 minutes. He walked on a loose rein, somewhat followed the trail and did some trail blazing. He tripped a lot as he doesn't quite know where his feet are yet. They're a looooooooong way down there. He couldn't/wouldn't stand still and had mini baby fits when we needed to stop but that will go away with time. Right now I don't expect him to be able to stand still, especially with all the stimulation.

AND he stood still at the trailer when we got back. He had to stand with his front feet in the giant hole he had dug before the ride, but he was pooped. He didn't pull back once even though I had him tied with the Tie Blocker ring for safety. A beautiful day, beautiful horses, and good friends. What could be better?

Moose, Jasper, Porsche, and Bailey ready to go home.



BritnieAnn said...

I love Jaspers cute little face! The last pic is great!! Glad yall had a good ride! (love Porsche too, so pretty!) Thanks for taking us 'along'! :)

allhorsestuff said...

Oh Yea!!! That is the best..that trail ride with the experienced horses!
I now what you mean aout the blowing grasses...we have a few of those places..even though Wa mare is not green to the outdoor trails..but those blowing places..invite thoughts of grabby monsters beneath...she always has her eye on them!

Great time! LOVE the trailer picture of those contented horsefaces!

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of the four horse heads sticking out of the trailer! Great ride and great experience for them!

allhorsestuff said...

Welll thinking of the differance between a farrier,that does shoes normally, or a barefoot trimmer.
This spring I had a shoer trim my mare and he thought hse needed more hoof..so he barely did anything but her took the clippers and took tons of heal off.
2 wks after she was terribly "flarred" and her hooved were stating to crack irregulaly. I had to break out the Rasp and take them down.

I have my barefoot guy come out and
he has never used the clippers...only the rasp and she looks totally even when he gets done. So moral here to me is:
The shoer trims for the shoe size to fit right..the barefoot trimmer..trims according to how the horse will travel NOW-balanced on it's own hooves and for proper, even,concussion.
Kacy, I notice everything

Jenn said...

Woo hoo! That looks like an absolutely BEAUTIFUL place to spend the day! Luck you!

And double lucky to have two good old steady eddy's along for the ride to give the "kids" some confidence.