We pick a place to ride with easy terrain, and make plans to grill for lunch so we can double the riding fun and head out for a second ride. We carefully watch the weather as the day slowly approaches. Darn! Looks like rain is predicted. Not one day before, or after, just on the chosen day. Go figure. Weather patterns can and do change, so we hold tight to our plans. The forecast did change, for the worse. Not just rain, but now "violent storms" are possible. I don't mind riding in the rain, but violent storms... We try to reschedule the group trail ride, but things just don't match up. So what do you do? You come up with Plan B. If the storm front doesn't blow over, we'll ride in the indoor arena, grill out, and try to make it fun/different.
The "trail" day came, and so did the rain. We hauled our trailer up, just incase. Complete with roping dummy (no, not me - the plastic steer head mounted kind) and our equine soccer ball. As to be expected, several riders cancel. Oh well, we can't change the weather. The girls working at the barn were excited to ride regardless of the rain, and that makes anything fun!!
Several horses got introduced to the equine ball, and a little soccer happened with those that liked it. Koda learned to share, altho he never took his eye off his, 'er the, soccer ball. Of course nothing ever goes as planned at a busy barn, phones ring, people drop in, and needs are met, but we take it all in stride. Riding happened, fun happened, and lunch happened...mmmm the smell of charcoal grilled brats!!
In the afternoon between rain showers, six of us headed out for a make-shift trail ride on the property. Including a new girl who helps clean stalls, and has done limited riding. I am thrilled she got to join us. I remember how special those rare rides are. She rode old Skip the lesson horse, who doesn't leave the ranch.
The two young horses learned to cross water with a large hoof covering driveway puddle, the rest of us practiced. Cierra didn't want to get her pretty little feet wet, but with our trainers redirections it didn't take long for her to walk right in.
Since the ranch doesn't have trails, we rode in the pastures. After we rode the perimeter of an empty one, horses were cleared out of another. I regret not having my camera for that second pasture ride! There was some fun terrain. A large deep muddy water hole, a swampy grass area, and even a fallen tree in the swamp to ride low (or high) over. We took turns trying to help young horse # 2 learn that the water hole wasn't going to swallow her. Nemo was a trooper, and did the not so fun job of being the wall on the edge of the water hole. Apprentice Sammy did an amazing job riding one stubborn young horse, while being coached by our trainer. She eventually rode in and through the water calmly.
We rode separate, together, over, and through anything we could find - no single file riding. We laughed, and then laughed some more! I am pretty sure the horses had fun too, even the young ones. What a great group to spend the day with! In many ways, this turned out to be much more fun then the planned trail ride. It went so fast, before I knew it we ran out of time and never did rope. Something to look forward to, rain or shine.
Young people have such a bright spirit, they light up with the smallest of things. Things we too often take for granted. It was such a refreshing, memorable rainy day!
Nemo & Koda, on a recent sunny day