Hauling out to local trails was an adventure on Monday, hauling an hour a way for a poker ride was an even larger adventure. Yet again, I was blown away by how good Emi was. She loaded and hauled great, came off the trailer calmly and stood nicely tied while I got her ready.
We were riding with a fellow boarder, Melissa, and her friend Susan. On our way up I asked Melissa if Susan knew Emi was really green...nope. In the interest of full disclosure we did let her know when we arrived. We had opted to ride out at the earliest possibly start time hoping to avoid unnecessary traffic.
Emi was completely calm but to be "safe" I led her out to the first check point. Once I had my cards drawn I mounted up and off we went. She walked right along and kept up with the other two horses in our group. We were nicely spaced out with the other horses on the trail with the group in front and behind us a ways off.
Do you ever have those moments were people you are with (family, friends etc) tell other people stuff about you that you didn't plan to disclose? We got to the second check point and Susan was raving about how good Emi is and telling people that this was only her 16th ride. This happened several times during the ride and many people were impressed and asked what breed she was.
After the second check point the group of horses that were behind us seemed to be catching up a little bit. I could tell that Emi was a little nervous that they were trailing us with her ears back, neck a little tense, taking a few quick steps forward here and there. We continued along for a bit before Melissa got a little close behind us and Emi kicked at Scotty. Naughty naughty! I gave her a kick and we moved her to the back of the pack.
|Naughty pony had to travel at the back of the pack|
We had been riding around the edge of the field but at this point we moved to a wooded trail with several very muddy patches. Emi was again getting a little nervous so we put her back in the middle with Susan being careful to not ride too close. The first big muddy spot we came to found Scotty scrambling along the edge of the trail to avoid going through the mud. He was slipping and sliding. Emi made a move to follow him but I directed her more towards the middle of the trail and she slogged through the mud. Each spot we encountered she willing crossed.
|Muddy feet at the third stop|
|Same water, a year earlier.|
I was clearly not thrilled with Emi kicking at her trail buddy and that is something I'll need to keep an eye on for the future. But...that was the only "bad" part of a 2 hour (6 mile) ride. Not only did she handle encountering several groups of horses on the trail but she also worked well through all of the muddy and slippery spots and she stood nicely at every check point. We continue to build our partnership and I'm counting the day as a success!
|My best girl|
|Thrilled to hang out at the trail snacking with her buddy|