Gorgeous day here in Ohio yesterday, high 60's to low 70's. Got together with some friends to ride at Hinkley again. Still having trailer problems, she'll load but, not without expressing her opinion a bit and it takes two of us. One to lead and exit escape, the other gently persuading from the rear.
We did 12 miles, which honestly if I'd had any clue that's what was planned I'd have not gone. Only one of the horses is in good enough shape for that lenght of a ride, luckily most of the trail was flat or gradually sloping hills, with a few steeper inclines. Camryn a Spotted Saddle Horse and two Arabians. Is it any wonder we're always bringing up the rear LOL!!! I'd trot to catch up whenever trail was rock-less.
Camryn only had one worry moment when the others turned out of sight, she wanted to hurry but, came right down to me as she did last ride. The others disappeared several more times and it never bothered again. I did notice that Camryn notices every pathway off the main trail even deer trails and wants to investigate. She really enjoys taking in the scenery, especially running water alongside, thanks to her we all got to see a Great Horned Owl napping about 30 feet off the trail on a piece of upright downfall.
At one creek the other horses plunged down the slippery leg sucking clay to go across. Camryn began to veer to the right, as I began to stop her I realized Ms. Mighty Smart Hafy had discovered a small path that went alongside then gradually sloped to the creek. So, that's the way we went :)
Camryn has problems drinking with a bit for some reason? She wears an off set D-ring sweet iron snaffle. Since she can't drink she entertains herself (and us) flapping her lips causing water to splash everywhere, dunks her nose and ...picks up rocks!!! I asked "what the heck is she doing", Danette says "OMG she's picking up rocks, look she's got one now"!! She did this at every water crossing, not sure what is up with that. At one creek she began venturing into deeper water, I vetoed that idea right away. "Jeez girl Mom's afraid of deep water." Had so much fun, hoping for a repeat this weekend. Though we may be joined by a TWH and Thoroughbred, can't any of my friends ride horses with short legs?? LOL
My trainer just back from vacation met us at the trail head. I made sure to let her know that our next lessons would involve trailer loading!!! I've gotten the barging for grass pretty much licked, a reminder or two and she's all about being with me. She will however test anyone new quite readily. As we're getting ready to reload with Barb's (trainer) help, Lori unties Camryn. Camryn makes a bee line for the grass causing Lori to drop the lead. Danette grabs it up, only to nearly have her arm from the socket as well. Now they realize just how strong that Haflinger neck is LOL. Not to worry, they had her back in short order.
I'd been grabbing a paper bag from the truck that Barb wanted for loading. I stood back to watch as Lori led her in. Camryn balked, Barb made noise with the bag, Camryn went forward, Barb stopped the bag. Three times and Camryn had a light bulb moment and in she went. Took all of 5 minutes. She does unload pretty well, she'll wait for me to untie. Her bum will be tight against the butt bar, so I wait till she relaxes and no longer is leaning on it. Once I undo it, I actually have to ask her to back off, which she does slowly. So, I know once she understands something particular is what we want/need, she's game. Hoping in a few lessons (fingers crossed) and practice I'll be able to send her in and not need the extra person. I'm sure part of it is the fact that she travels alone but, that just can't be helped.
Other than minor trailer issues, big thumbs up to my gurl. And yes, I make sure she knows when I'm pleased. I've really noticed particularly when heading up a big hill, "thatta girl, you can do it" and neck pats gives her that extra oomph to crest the top. Love my girl...
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