Mr G got called in for a night shift last night, which means he needed peace and quiet this morning while he slept. The perfect excuse to head up to the barn!
I love this sign above the barn door, it's like they knew we were coming :)
Ginny was still picking away at her breakfast when I arrived. Silly girl has been a bit off her food the last few days. I'm thinking it's partly because we transitioned her back to hay for winter and partly the stress of the move. She's never been super food oriented and this is the first time I've had her in her own paddock, so her leaving hay may not even be that unusual - I wouldn't have noticed with the Lainey vacuum hanging around. Something to keep an eye on, though, since she is due for her teeth to be done/checked. They feel fine to me, but it's been a little over a year since they were done last. Shes quite happy to eat her treats so it can't be too bad ;)
I gave her a good grooming and took her for a walk down the road to the club grounds and ring. She was a bit upset to leave her new friends and was calling a little bit. On the plus side she barely paid attention to the scrap metal dealer and the multiple cars that passed us on the way.
She was a bit 'up' by the time we got to the ring - the horses in the neighbouring barn were calling back to her a bit and she was desperate to go meet them. We had to have a little discussion about who's in charge and a reminder to listen to me a bit more carefully. She lunged fairly quietly, partly because she was unsure in the new place and I really had to ask for forward, and partly because I suspect she's still a bit tired from the trip. I kept it very easy for her and gave her lots of praise, trying to give her a positive first experience there. All in all, not bad at all for her first adventure to a new arena.
Looking worried at the ring -also check out the fabulous part mohawk :(
We then made our way back to the barn via an old logging road that parallels the actual road to the barn, only up on a side hill. We had to go up a super steep and narrow trail to get up there and we were both puffing by the time we made it up. Its uneven and rocky as well, and poor Ginger had no clue where to put those big feet. I think in a way I was making it a bit more difficult, because after our discussion at the ring she was trying very hard to be a good girl and match her pace to mine.
I was pleased with her because she did figure out very quickly how to put her head down and pay attention to the ground. It sounds so simple, but I've ridden more than one greenie on those trails that don't really 'get it' for a long time - they're too busy checking out their surroundings, and as a result, trip and stumble every time the ground changes. I was also very happy that those big Ginger feet tackled the rocks and stones without any soreness. Yay welsh cob feet!
I'm glad I chose to take her out for a walk today rather than ride - it worked out really really well and I think it was a good way to introduce her to everything. I've also committed to getting out for a good hike every day and there is a ton of bear poop on the trails, so for me it's quite nice to have Ginger along for added security. Fingers crossed, the bears here are usually pretty timid and run away. I used to work as a park ranger and was responsible for monitoring all the bears in a park up north, so I'm usually a little more confident about keeping safe around them than most. There are so many around here it's kind of accepted you're going to see them in the more rural areas on a regular basis - and you'd better pick your fruit trees, otherwise they'll come visit you at home too! A couple of years ago I was out riding Lainey and one crossed our path and was a bit curious about us. I yelled at it, and it ran away, but the best part was Lainey pinned her ears and tossed her head at it too - I guess all the times it ran away before made her brave!
I've been offered rides in another young, but quiet horse at the barn as well as an older, been there, done that type. There's also Sadie, who I rode previously. She just had time off to have a foal, and is also young and green, but super quiet and sweet. So, if I want I can ride every day and the option to pony Ginger on the trails is there too. Based on today, though, I think we'll be fine - she handled all the new experiences better than most and seemed especially content once we got on the trail.