Friday, April 24, 2009

Ruby's First Trail Ride (in New Hampshire)

Because it was supposed to be beautiful, and because I have a new horse to ride, I scheduled a vacation day for today. I just love these Spring days where you just start to get a taste of Summer, I love to take advantage of them if I can. And what better way to enjoy a sunny, lovely 70-degree day than to go on a long trail ride with my new horse?

Marilyn (one of my friends from horse camp, who also boards at the barn) kindly agreed to go with me today. This is especially good because, besides for the company, she also knows the trail system really well! One of the ways to hook into the nearby trails is to ride through some of the apple orchards down the road (which is very generous of the local farmers). There were some people working on the trees as we passed by that the horses took a few spooky looks at, but there were no major freak outs. We also managed to pass a tractor underway that both horses passed by without any major issue and then we were into the woods on the trails. I was very pleased to see that the trail network seems pretty extensive. We took a loop that is about an hour and a half long. It wound through the woods, over and through water, up and down hills (even down some steep banks). There were sections for trotting and some good canter opportunities. Through it all Ruby was a star, I was thrilled with her, really thrilled. There were a couple of minor spooks, but other than that she was steady and sensible, went through water without issue, up and down the steep sections with no problem, on trails and banks over water, without a blink. She didn't mind when Marilyn's horse led and didn't mind if she led. Even during the canter bits she was quiet and responsive and stayed in the position I asked of her -- she didn't try to run away with me or think of it as an opportunity for a horse race. And all of this in a very mild, loose-ring snaffle bit too. So all-in-all a very fun and successful riding day.

After the ride I put Ruby up on the wash stall and hosed her off. She was also very good about that, stood calmly and let me spray the water as I wanted. She really is a very sensible girl.

What a wonderful way to spend an impromptu vacation day!

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