Monday, 29 December 2014

More Holiday Fun

I signed up for our local Backcountry Horsemen 'Birthday' trail ride yesterday afternoon. Before you ask, I never did find out whose birthday(s) we were celebrating, only that they didn't actually show up for the ride. Still, any excuse for a few of us to get together for an outing over the holidays.

Once again, the sun was shining (thank you so much Santa!). Ginger really wanted to come along, but I wasn't sure exactly who (or how many) were attending the ride or where we were going, or even how long we were going for, so bypassed her in favor Bridget. Ginger has been out with a group a few times and done fine, but there are a couple of 'bad apples' in this particular club that can keep things interesting, so I didn't want to take a chance they'd be in attendance and Ginger (and I) would have a not so great outing. Midge is pretty good with just about anything and is the safer choice when there's a bit of unknown.
Ginger: Put me in coach, I'm ready! 

The temps were slightly below freezing and our hack up the road to meet the group was interesting - the road is in the shade mostly and was a solid sheet of ice. Poor Bridget was sliding down the hill on all four feet at one point when she ventured from the safety of the grassy shoulder and onto the slick pavement. Lets just call that a training moment - I asked you to stay straight, Midge, you went through my leg, now you are sliding down the hill. Consequences :) Thank goodness she's not the panicky type so essentially was just "OK, you're right, that was dumb, I'll stay on the grass now". No further drama. Funny now, but kind of unnerving at the time, so I did get off and walk her the rest of the way to the trail head.
Winter! (Actually just lots of ice and frost)

 Baby horses crack me up, we walked around the corner where the parking lot is and she saw everyone (4 other horses) and instantly her mind was blown. Luckily for me Bridget's version of that is to act like a giraffe and run away with me....at a walk ;) No one told her there was a horse party, I guess. You can imagine how excited she was when her long lost friend, Arian came up the road too! He's a Section B from the same breeder as her, and she was so happy to see him. The power of facebook at work, since I had met his new owners years ago at a clinic, then she moved, and I moved and life happened. A year or so ago she got in touch because she'd seen my pictures of Ginger on facebook and wondered where I had found her. I put her in touch with the right people, and they took home Arian for their daughter. Fast forward a few months and I bought Bridget from the same breeder. Fast forward a few more months and we've both moved to the same town and brought our ponies with us. Small world.
My really crappy pic of the ride. Sigh. I hope someone else took some!

As for the actual ride, we went for about 3 hours and ended up with 8 riders total. Since the ground is a little tricky this time of year, we ended up walking most of the way, which was a bit of a struggle for overexcited little Bridget. Don't get me wrong, she was pretty good, but burning off a bit of that nervous energy would have made us both a little happier. She seems to think she needs to power walk everywhere and hates waiting when she's 'on', so I made her bring up the rear and keep her distance most of the ride. If you've ever been to one of those trail ride places where the horses just follow one another at whatever pace, nose to tail, ignoring their riders, that's what she's attempting to do. Annoying for the rider to have to constantly ask her to wait, but not bad or disruptive, per say. The bit of trot we did was a high speed giraffe show until she realized that I was right, she needed to slow down and listen since she was trotting way faster than everyone else and the footing was a bit trappy. I think she must have thought it was her big moment to pass everyone on the home stretch and be the leader, sadly for her I wasn't into it and no one was moving out of her way, so the head in the air crazy trot was just making her stumble and trip over everything. Luckily she's smart and the hamsters returned in short order :) Just baby horse stuff and with more miles I'm sure she'll relax and not be so worried about what every one else is doing. I really can't really complain though, for less than four months under saddle and only her second ride with more than one other horse she did really, really well. I'm so grateful to have a horse I can pull out for a ride on short notice, with zero prep, and with only a vague idea of what the day will bring, and still know that we'll likely have a good time.
The one picture I did get sent. Homeward bound, Bridget and Ginger live just across the street where the board fence is. That's why she looks slightly put out at having to stop and pose!

15 comments:

  1. 3 hours, wow! That's a heck of a ride :) Sounds like fun.

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  2. To be fair, I had a half hour hack each direction to get there. But yes, a lot longer than I expected to be out considering most people haven't been riding at all for the past couple of months! You know when your feet are so frozen it's unbelievably painful to jump off? That happened, and someone needs to invent something for that!

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  3. Sounds like a fab day out, poor Bridget giving you the go forward you want but at the wrong time & in the wrong way - giraffe'ing is never the answer ponios.
    Love the last photo ♡

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    1. Exactly what I was thinking about this morning! All that forward...and nowhere to put it, such a waste :(

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    2. At least you know she has it in there, now to find the buttons for arena work and you'll be laughing ☺

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  4. She is sooo cute! And such a good girl - glad you guys had a fun ride!

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  5. Sounds like an amazing ride. So nice to have such a steady and sensible girl to take on your adventures! She is going to grow up to be such an amazing horse.

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    1. I know, I came home and was thanking G for making the whole Bridget/second horse thing possible and got all emotional about it - she's really fabulous and I appreciate her so much!

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  6. You are so incredibly blessed that your baby horse can handle such things with so few issues that you can laugh about it!! "Consequences Bridget!" cracked me up.

    I had no idea the Backcountry Horsemen were up there. "Up" (snicker). One of the best memories I have is the weekend I spent camping with them and experiencing 12 hours of walking-only, scenery-enjoying, including lunch in a cave. Wish they were here so I could subject my problematic horse to their 12 hours of walking. There is something similar to BCH in Germany, sadly, it costs 200 Euros to join them for a weekend. (Cuz they cannot expect German riders to be prepared for roughing it, so they provide food/lodging. I'd rather rough it, and pay nothing, but as far as I know there's no horse camping here.)

    Good girl Bridget. You could teach my horse how to deal.

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    1. I sort of accidentally joined the club, but I'm really enjoying it. Walking only rides, check, roughing it, check, and lots of beer too if that's your thing. You need a German chapter :) Bridget is so good about new things. Ginger, however is very smart indeed, (much like your Mara) and suspicious of the world, which is part of the reason I love your blog so much - Ginger and Mara would be good friends I think!

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  7. P.S. Your package should arrive on January 2. I just checked the tracking info :)

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    1. Yay, thank you, I'm beyond excited for it! Will of course immediately post pictures of Ginger wearing her fabulous sparkly princess halter :)

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  8. sounds like a really fun outing - and perhaps a tad educational for Ms Bridget :) glad you enjoyed yourself!!!

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    1. Ms Bridget learned a lot I think, and fun was had by all. Love when it works out that you've successfully walked the line between an 'educational' experience and disruptive pony meltdown lol.

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