a ride in the woods

Drum role please...we went on our first trail ride of the season!! It really does deserve a drum role, I honestly didn't think we would get out on the trail this year! After our visit with Cierra's breeder, we wanted to do something together again before her intern from Australia leaves the States. I suggested a trail ride, and who'da thunk - it actually happened! 

We drove from opposite directions, and somehow pulled into the park one right after the other. Couldn't do that again if we tried! The weather was perfect, flies a bit pesky in spots - but over all not too bad. We've never ridden together, and it was sweet how everything worked out so very nice! 

On the trail: Brad (riding Cierra) Ashley (riding Prince, a 3 year old from her breeding program. The grulla colts stud, now gelded from my recent post) her 8 year old adorable daughter, Natalie (riding Smoky, an amazing pony) Brandi (riding King, a retired Outrider) and new (to us) a college intern from France, Mat (riding Dixie, Natalie's buckskin horse). Enjoy a combination of Brad/my phone pics taken throughout our 3 hour ride:

Koda's view of us heading out
(Prince, Smokey, Dixie, King, Cierra)
(Smokey, King, Prince, Dixie)

water break
(Me, Koda, King, Cierra, Dixie, Prince, Smokey)

after a long climb, the terrain opened up to beautiful prairie
(Koda's ears, Cierra, King, Dixie)

Koda led across the bridge at the first mud water crossing
while the group watched Cierra try. Koda & I were also unsuccessful.
Only two horses braved the downhill deep mudslide,
King followed by Prince

Prince in the thick of the mud water crossing
Prince trying to help Cierra at the second water crossing,
after she had jumped it in hand. It was a no go.

Koda had crossed multiple times with no problem and
helped his sister ride through it a couple times.
Brad did a great job, and ended successfully.

(Smokey, Dixie, King, Prince)
nothing beats a peaceful ride with good company
(King, Dixie, Koda, Prince, Smokey)
Brad & I do not normally ride with a group, it is usually the two of us. We were pleasantly surprised how well our horses did with their new friends, especially the pony. A first for us. You know how little kids are, they ride all over the place and break "rules" about space without fear. She learned a lot, and took guidance in stride. That adorable little duo was our favorite thing about the trail ride. They can ride with us anytime.

It was such a refreshing change of pace. Reminded us, we need to stop and smell the woods more often. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch together before heading out, and made hopeful plans for one more future trail ride before the interns head back to their respective countries. 


Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun! What an adorable pony!

Grey Horse Matters said...

That looks like a beautiful place to ride. What a great day. I'm so happy for you and Brad. I hope you get to do it more often. We all need to stop and smell the woods more often...

Shirley said...

Sounds like fun! Water crossings are a good place to test your connection with your horse.

Linda said...

What a beautiful place to ride. You came across some good obstacles, too--and still took pictures! I'm glad it was all good. Groups can be challenging in their own right. Are you staying strong about not taking the baby?

aurora said...

Thanks all, Governor Dodge State Park is very scenic!! It's among my local favs. Brad & I have ridden there multiple times, but never with anyone else. The most unique part of the trail system is a high ridge you ride across that overlooks a dam. Unless you are an endurance rider, it takes 5-6 hours to do that outer loop. Under the circumstances, we opted out - but there were plenty of other nice vistas & fun obstacles! I was really happy with how Koda listened, he was such a good boy!

Linda, we are trying to stay strong...this ride added fuel to the fire. Prince is only three, this was his fifth ride. He has a remarkable disposition!! We rode with him for 3 hours under scenarios that would make many three year olds come apart, especially green ones. We also know the dam well, she is worth her weight in gold. Our circumstances haven't changed, so probably not? Let's just say we are still entertaining the idea.