Monday, July 21, 2008

More trail riding

My daughter Katie and I took Bar and Lena back out to Shiloh on Sunday and had a great time. Bar did great and Lena was less spooky about branches and benches, though she was still a little snorty about the bridge. You can see how high she lifted those big feet of hers. Katie says she just likes to make noise. Bar paid attention as he went across, but with quite a bit less drama than Lena Rey.

Bar did a lot more trotting and even a tiny bit of loping this time to keep up with Lena, and even handled running into other horses and hikers with curiosity and calmness instead of being worried. (He even stuck his big, brown nose in someone's face - much to my embarrassment! "No, Bar, I'm sure he doesn't have treats for you.") He gets tired going downhill and sometimes tries to rush it, but he's working on it and I'm working on helping him and also trusting him to watch his feet. He still makes me (and Steve, too) a little nervous when he starts acting like he's in a hurry and not necessarily like he's really paying attention to where his feet are on the trail. Though the fact that he did trot more seems to indicate he's gaining confidence on the trail, so that's something to consider.

He and Lena did some dual sloshing in the water trough at the end of the ride and both of them got back in the trailer with much less resistance than last week. Bar likes to look out over the vineyards and would stop to stare out over the valley whenever we'd come to a place he could do that. I thought I'd take a picture of my handsome Thoroughbred looking regal and calm after our ride. Little did I know he was sticking his silly tongue out! That's kind of the epitome of Bar, though. Beautiful, curious, and totally goofy.

All in all, it was a really nice ride and I think it was good to go back there and face some of the same challenges. Katie called me a Bar-hog (we were supposed to switch horses), but she had fun with Lena, and Bar and I worked on challenging and trusting each other a little bit more.

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