When I got to the barn this afternoon, one of my barn-mates Colleen was loading up her two mares for a quickie trail ride in nearby Ragle Park.
She asked if we wanted to go, I decided not to think too hard about what might go wrong, saddled Bar, and loaded him in behind Maggie and Kya.
He was a little nervous at first but quickly settled down and rode quietly to the park.
Better with other horses, he says.
Ragle isn't very physically challenging, but as a nearby community park with lots of blackberries, we encountered lots of hikers and dogs--all rustling bushes and otherwise appearing in places the horses don't normally expect.
Bar also learned that not all horses will let you follow as closely as Lena lets him tailgate. Kya let fly a couple of good kicks before he figured out the proper following distance--her ears would lay back and he'd stop and let her get far enough ahead so everyone was safe and happy.
We had one challenging spot for him--a dry, narrow, and slightly steep creek bed. He would not follow the girls through, so I got off and led him through. Then led him back. Then hopped on and rode him through.
Colleen was great to ride with. She was patient, not in a hurry, and didn't push us. In fact, it was her suggestion to walk him through the creek bed and let him figure things out.
All in all, a great way to end the week--and start the holiday weekend.
Bar thought so, too.