Our first trail ride on Koda & Nemo was one to remember, and went way better then we ever expected! I am still in complete awe of how well our boys behaved for allll the firsts they encountered. We are very proud of them! I borrowed my daughters point-n-shoot (hence the quality) and took a few pics to share.
It was a hot 90 degree muggy day, typical August weather. Apparently Ma Nature forgot to check her calendar, it’s only May!! Koda & Nemo loaded right up, along with Sweetie (a 6 year old mare in training), into Patty’s 3-horse slant load. It has a high entry and none of them had ever loaded into her trailer, but they did fine. The only trailer struggle we had was getting Sweetie to back out when we got home, she is used to turning around and walking out. Nothing major. We traveled about an hour to some private land, where Patty's long-time clients welcomed us. What nice people. Deb and Julie have been Iron Horse clients for 20 years, that’s a long working relationship. While they got themselves ready, we tacked up by the trailer and led our horses through the new busy environment to the outdoor arena to warm up. There were a lot of new things to look at along the way, and we weren’t sure how the boys would handle it all.
Brad & Nemo backing up during warm-up
Our trail group was Brad, Patty, Deb, Julie (Deb’s daughter) and her two young daughters, and I. Julie ponied one daughter, and the other rode double with her on their trusty horses - both trained by Patty. That seemed like a lot for Julie to handle, but she did it with flying colors and the horses were stellar. Into the woods we went, and quickly found many new experiences for the young horses along the trail. We passed white geese, maneuvered over and around fallen logs and large branches, had little dogs weaving in and out, saw a deer running near-by, hunting huts etc.
Deb leading on her paint mare Crocus
What impressed us most about Koda & Nemo was that they listened to our lead as they picked their way through the fallen logs & twisting branches. We ran into several "how are we going to get around that" areas. It could have easily been an issue for any horse, let alone young ones experiencing it for the first time. Our many years of Colorado trail riding experience came in handy, as well as those early training sessions desensitizing their legs.
Our trail group, minus Deb who is taking the picture
The ride was sooo relaxing, it wasn’t even hot in the woods. I'm happy to share I have nothing exciting to add to my previous "look at it/look away" post. The only place Koda did anything that resembled a spook, was during warm-up in the arena. He spied something that made him think he should step to the side, and not be as close to whatever. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. We simply spent a little more time down at that end, he was over it with the next pass and one simple leg/rein pressure correction asking him to stay in line.
When we got back from the trail, we all rode down to their barn before heading to the arena again. The horses watched chickens, a four wheeler backing out, ponies and more close-by. They also practiced waiting as a group, as well as separate. Deb & Julie brought their yearling into the arena so Patty could see it’s movement. I’m guessing it will be in training with her in the future. After a little more arena riding, it was time to head out. It didn't take long to get hot and thirsty, cold water never tasted so good. We were a happy-tired bunch, it was a wonderful first trail trip to treasure!!
Million Dollar Donkey
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