That title just turned into a catchy song in my head..but honestly, this afternoon I WAS pulling in the driveway with a smile on the face. For oh so many reasons.
1. First time trailering out in two months–I know, where did the time go?! Last time I hauled out was the purse robbery incident..happy to say my truck and purse are unmolested and still in my possession after today’s ride.
2. First time trailering Desire anywhere— She hadn’t been in a trailer in just shy of a year and I wasn’t sure she would get in my straight load anyway, so I
practiced yesterday to make sure left myself 15 extra minutes this morning to load her. Hey, I’m optomistic.
3. First time riding Desire w/ others— Again, no clue how she would be arriving to the lake alone, being joined by a strange horse, encountering others on the trail (there were plenty)
4. First trail ride w/ new buddy— I met N at the Patriot’s Day at Lake Almanor ride this past July and we actually started the ride and did the few first miles together. We had since met up for her to take and try out my Equipedic pad but today was our first trail ride together!
Oh, and the REAL reason I was smiling away? All of the above worked out fabulously and we had a blast!
A few details. I booted and groomed Desire at home and then left the cross ties to go see what sort of trailer loading escapade this was going to be. I honestly wasn’t that worried about it. As N and I discussed today, sometimes you can/should/might go into things just assuming things will work out as needed–while of course being prepared, alert, and aware. I operate this way with my horse’s out of a sort of necessity. After my accident when I was fearful to even get back on a horse there were all sorts of fantastic images whirling around in my head of just how I would get bucked off as soon as I got up on that horse (even though said horse was good ole little Blaze). I had to stop the madness in the brain. So I concluded that I just had to be prepared, alert, and aware, behave as safely as possible, and get on the damn horse. Things would be well. They just would. I told myself that as the boot went back in the stirrup for the first time and was still telling myself that when I finally settled into the saddle, the crucial point where previously the horse (not Blaze!) had exploded out from under me and shattered my leg. So anyhoo, I approach things with as much awareness and safety as possible, but with a positive assumption nestled in my heart. I think it prevents self-defeating prophecies and useless mental whirling. SO preparation maybe didn’t figure so much into the 15 minutes I left myself to see if my horse loaded into my
scary dark coffin 2 horse straight, but my positive thinking did figure in and Desire took a couple sniffs, some slow hesitant steps, then popped up into the trailer. Ta da! She was definitely antsy and was tap dancing around in the trailer quite a bit but I can’t blame her since good ole Sheza and Blaze were galloping around and Sheza was screaming like a banshee. It was a first for her too of course, first time mommy loaded up and left her! All was well once I got the rig moving and I cruised slooowwww to the lake, not breaking 40. Its windy back roads anyway but most people fly on it. I wanted to make sure Desire had the most comfortable, quiet trailer ride to the lake as possible so I just took my time. I also hadn’t used up all my 15 extra minutes I left for loading so I could afford to cruise! Desire came out of the trailer sweaty on her neck and chest despite the slow ride but she didn’t seem too perturbed about being at the trail head alone, I walked her around and let her sniff and graze and was just starting to tack up when N pulled in.
The trail ride itself went really well, Desire led the whole way and was in total power walk mode. I am in love with her walk, it reminds me of my dear old mare Angel’s giant walk only Desire is bigger in all ways so its even more powerful and fun! I think 14.3 is my definite height of choice in a horse. Hopefully Sheza sticks around there, I swear if she goes 16 hands like her grandpa I will have a heart attack. Desire is just right. What’s that fairy tale? Goldilocks I think it is, where one is too big and one is too small and one is just right. Well my Foxtrotter was too big, Blaze is too small (though treasured and ridden plenty), and Desire is just right. She had a couple of spooky moments, mostly at logs, but nothing beyond reason. We encountered 3 other groups of riders and passed them all without incident. Also saw this beauty, chasing girls:
We did the shorter loop around the horse camp but it was a perfect length for the day and the horses, we did some nice stretches of trotting but only went about 7 miles and had lots of good chatting time. We also ran into a mutual horse friend who has a gorgeous house right ON the lake trails (jealous!) and stopped and chatted with her and her riding buddy. Desire wouldn’t stand still for the first few minutes but she settled eventually. Our friend’s mare had a filly about a week after Sheza was born and she and her friend were headed out the opposite direction but she told us to stop by her house and take a look at the filly. We headed out and took the little shortcut trail over and spied on her horses; her filly is very dark, born a smokey grey as I recall but I’m not sure what her technical color is. Her dam is a Mustang and sire an Arabian and it’s quite a nice cross! She’s a pretty little filly, very leggy. It was hard to tell how she compared to Sheza size-wise since we were on a little hill above the paddocks looking down, but she looked about the same general height. Sheza is MUCH thicker built, that’s for sure. After admiring the baby we were back to the trailers in no time and then just a short drive home.
It was a great ride, a beautiful day, a blast on Desire, and fun to ride with a new friend. I look forward to riding more with N and hopefully we will be seeing each other at some endurance rides next season too!