Sunday, February 14, 2010
Sammy's first trail ride
Katie has been dying to get Sammy out on the trail since she got her, but the weather here in Northern California has not been as cooperative as one might hope. Not that we in the drought-stricken state are complaining, just noticing that the trail riding opportunities have not been as plentiful so far this year.
We decided to take Lena just because she is the more experienced horse. While Bar actually tends to be calmer, Lena is definitely more confident most of the time, and we thought that would be key for Sammy's first time out.
We were a little worried about too much mare in the mix, but they actually did quite well together. Lena is more dominant, but Sammy holds her own and isn't particularly herd-bound with Lena, which is good. Bar is extremely attached to Lena, and that has lead to him getting very stressed when she gets out of sight. Sammy was content to be by Lena, but didn't need to be. Of course, that backfired on us a little when we came across a terrifying trickle of water. Lena went across fine, but Sammy wanted nothing to do with this mud nonsense and it didn't matter that Lena and I were on the other side--not one little bit. Bar is more afraid of being separated from Lena than of almost any obstacle. Sammy wasn't sure that heading back up the hill away from the water--and Lena--wasn't the better plan but Katie convinced her that going through was way better than facing Katie's wrath.
The ride was only a little bit challenging for Sammy physically--since hills are not a part of arena life--but she wasn't too stressed and did great with both the uphill and downhill. She is definitely a good example of why Quarter Horses have that good, solid, golden retriever reputation--but she is not boring, which is good. Can't have Katie getting bored, after all. That would be bad.
Katie was very proud of Sammy, and we were all glad to get away from the arena today. Bar, on the other hand, was a bit miffed at being left behind. We got a loud whinny and a very sad, soulful look when we got back to the barn and came up the hill leading Sammy and Lena. Someone missed all his girls, but I promised him he'd get to go next time. He was only somewhat mollified, even after several carrots and some tasty grass, but hopefully he'll forgive me eventually. After the next outing, is my guess.
As it was, Valentine's Day appeared to be all about the ladies today and since it's an artificial event (in my opinion, anyway), that's probably okay.