We Go on Our First Trail Ride of the Year
Well, my second, but my sister’s first. She had to work on the one nice weekend day during the January thaw. From then on, the river has been too high or the river, hill or driveway was too icy. The last time we rode together was some time in December. Each weekend we hoped the conditions are right, only to be disappointed.
Well, Saturday didn’t disappoint us. The river was low with no ice, and just a couple days before, the hill thawed out. We were in business.
We thought we would ride in the indoor arena first to settle them down, but at the last moment, we changed our minds. We couldn’t bear to go in there after all these weeks. We decided to go straight to the park.
It was very cold, but there was no wind and the sun was shining. This time of year, it actually gives off some heat.
Our biggest concern was crossing the river. Cole is pretty good, but as you have read in the past, Ranger can be funny if he hasn’t crossed in a while. That happened back in November after he was laid up with an injury for a few months. When we tried the next day, he crossed, but the first day he panicked, spun and simply refused as I rode off down the trail, alone. We didn’t know when we would get another chance, so we wanted him to cross so much on his first try.
I rode Cole down the river bank, first. Ranger followed right behind. Whenever Cole hasn’t crossed for a while, I click him for his willingness to step into the water. He took one step in; I clicked him and gave him his treat. I heard Ellen saying, “I don’t think Ranger is going to cross.” At that moment, I saw Ranger approach the river.
I asked Cole to proceed. When he had his two front hooves in the water, I clicked him, he stopped and I fed him his treat. I saw through the corner of my eye that Ranger stepped into the water. I then heard Ellen say, “He’s going to spin.” She was wrong. He just kept going; passing up Cole and getting to the other side long before we did.
The best part was that Ellen never told him to cross. He just did.
Since the ground was frozen, we kept the horses to a walk. We knew as long as we were leaving home, they would be fine. The big question was what would they be like on the way home? Cole has a tendency to want to trot home if he hasn’t done much on a ride. Ranger is usually fine. He will just walk fast. This is where Cole’s spirited personality sometimes gets the better of him.
Just like with Ranger and the river, Cole surprised us. They both walked home at a good speed, but in a sensible manner. About halfway home, we found Kevin on Starry and he joined us.
We didn’t have a single problem with any of the horses on the ride. this ride wasn’t much different than if the ride way in July. In fact, the only difference is that we were really cold. Once we crossed the river on the way back, we dismounted and led them up the hill.
We were in a state of shock that the ride went so perfectly
To top off the ride, when we dismounted, Cole went into a bow.