This past weekend, my husband Larry, went with me on a trail ride. This was his first trail ride in many years and he has been working diligently (kind of) towards it. I told him that when he could ride around the arena off the lunge at the trot and be fairly comfortable doing it, we could go. He's been taking lessons now for about 6-7 months, once a week, from a good friend of mine. NO WAY would I teach him - that's a recipe for divorce. He had finally gotten to the point where he was trotting reasonably well and feeling pretty confident. So, I had the weekend off from my parttime job and we were set!
Saturday morning it was spitting rain, but that is ok as I planned on going to a fairly popular park and that would help keep the strollers, dogs and bicycles at home. Also, a lot of it is under big trees, so unless it's pouring, we wouldn't get that wet. And hey, we DO live in Seattle, so a little rain is no big deal. We got tacked up and I realized that after bugging poor Larry several times to make sure he had all his tack, I had forgotten my helmet! I couldn't believe it, this is the first time I've ever forgotten such an important piece of gear. But, we were there and I planned on a fairly short, very slow ride, so I rode without it. Bad me!
Larry rode Mazzie, our 15 year old purebred gelding, who has been mainly a school horse for the past several years, although he did go to Celebrate the Horse with me this summer. Maz is very experienced and really likes Larry. Larry started out a bit nervous and tense and I had to keep telling him to breathe and try and enjoy the gorgeous woods. After about an hour, he finally did. We probably only did 5 or 6 miles, but some was hills, so Maz certainly got a workout. Galen, who I was riding, thought all this slow stuff was boring and spooked more than he ever has. While his spooks are pretty minor (usually a little bounce in place) he did let me know he had PLENTY of energy to spare. I think he was a bit put out that we had to walk the entire way. Too bad! Mazzie appeared to really enjoy getting out of the arena and off the lunge, where he does a lot of his lessons and was a perfect gentleman the entire time. We did meet up with a few dogs (Galen chased them back to their owners) and one bicycle, but in general it was a very quiet trip, with only the dripping of rain off the trees to accompany us.
We arrived back at the trailer, with Larry all smiles and Galen ready to do about 40 more miles. Now we're planning our next ride, although as I have to work the next several weekends, we might have to plan a bit harder!
I think Maz slept very well that night.