Tuesday, 24 September 2019

More (Unexpected) Firsts

Baby horses are just so fun. Some days it feels like everything we do is some big first or big goal accomplished.

My husband was free to act as spotter today, so Sophie got tacked up once again and I thought we'd take ourselves down the road to the club grounds and do some longeing and groundwork. The stretch goal there was to maybe hop on in the round pen and walk around solo for a lap or two. Steering and whoa/go from the saddle are very sluggish and murky and there a few more distractions there so that seemed a reasonable stretch. 

Sadly, we got there and there were a number of trucks and trailers and activity and the round pen was in use. To be quite honest, I had every faith in Sophie being fine but I wasn't all that keen on an audience or distraction for myself and opted out of going. I was pretty disappointed.

G, being awesome, was like "Dont worry about it. Let's just go for a hike on the trail. You can get on if you want to, or not. It'll be more fun for all of us to get out for a walk, and trail miles for Sophie are always a win." 

Walking trails in a XC vest and tall boots isn't something I'd recommend, tho

This guy, he maybe missed a calling as a riding coach/horse trainer, lol. Or he's just pro level at talking me off the ledge ;)

Long story shorter, we walked up towards the gravel pit, about a 45 minute loop back to the barn. And...apparently the trucks were working late. Guess whose horse is fine with dump trucks and engine brakes? Mine :) What a good girl! 

Since she was so happy and chill, I hopped on while G continued to walk beside us (with a lead rope attached just in case!) Sophie was a star. She didn't even blink at carrying me along and the lead ended up just being a security blanket - my steering and whoa/go were adequate enough. G set us free for a little bit before I hopped off and gave her all the hugs and treats.


Pics again to prove it happened and everyone was happy ;)

Honestly, I probably only sat on her for 10 or 15 minutes total, before getting off and walking the rest of the way home. I'm a big believer in keeping it easy and fun (and ending while it still seems too good to be true!) I kind of feel like in some ways this was a pretty huge step from sitting on her earlier in the week in a stall and taking a few steps in the round pen a couple of days ago - she's a VERY good girl.

In other ways, well, I have been quite diligent about getting her out on the trail. She's confident and comfortable there, so I guess why not hop on? 

Anyway, first kind of sort of trail ride is in the books and was perfectly uneventful. First dump trucks drove past us. First awkward mountings from sketchy stumps and rocks - (probably the most important win and skill for a pony with a very short owner, lol) And she was absolutely fantastic for it all. I think she just loves getting out and doing stuff with us.

We'll keep playing for a couple more weeks, then Sophie is going to get time off to grow up a bit more.

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23 comments

  1. This is amazing and how it should be done. Your guy is a treasure.

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  2. Woohoo! This is awesome. I totally agree with your philosophy of short/happy sessions. With all the groundwork you did, plus her own pleasing attitude, you will be able to make quick strides in these early days. Trusting yourself, and her, is the hardest step. Congrats!

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    1. It's funny, for the first time ever with a youngster I don't feel nervous at all about the actual riding, but I am SO worried about messing the training up and giving her a bad experience!

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  3. Yes! How awesome! The last pic is lovely!

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    1. Thank you. I still don't like posting pictures of myself, but it seemed like of all the blog posts this one needed to have at least a picture of me riding!

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  4. This is awesome!! The last photo of you guys is so beautiful <3

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    1. I kind of like it. I have an idea of recreating it next year so we can see the changes in us both!

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  5. Ahhh...that's so fun! I took Emi on a similar trail ride for ride #3 and it was so cool to be riding her out on the trails. You two look great. ♥

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    1. I wasn't sure Sophie was ready (like my steering and brakes can be quite sketchy still, lol), but she was wonderful and I foresee a few more trail rides instead of arena rides before we give her a vacation this winter.

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  6. This is so cool and since she’s comfortable on the trail it seems like the ideal place to start :)

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    1. I actually feel safer there. The trails are basically just a straight line towards home or away, and she's a lot more focused on where she's putting her feet, lol.

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  7. so happy! I squealed with delight at your insta post!! YAY SOPHIE she is adorable under saddle btw! what a good kid!!

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    1. I love that everyone here gets why I am so excited this week!:D

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  8. You are a far braver woman than I to do such an early trail ride! But such a good pony to make you feel that it would be no biggie.

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    1. I took her for about a 2 hour hike yesterday while others rode. She happily led most of the way, but was fine in the middle and behind. She's happy alone too. I have hopes she's going to be an excellent trail horse. The arena tho, that's the challenge right now...:D

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