Thursday, May 28, 2009

St Maries Weekend!

We took the horses to St Maries over the weekend - about 80 miles south of my house where my husband's brother lives in the mountains. We took the horses down on Friday. Saturday morning we got up to go ride and Haley wanted to go. Haley is 13 and in the past has been terrified of the horses but there was another 13 year old girl there and she was going. I could not believe how well Haley did - not only was it her first trail ride - her first ride out of a pen of some kind. She was walking over logs (not by her choice if she said she didn't want to do something our lead person headed in that direction) crossed creeks (Autumn even jumped some of them) and she took it all in stride (for the most part :)). Willow learned how to cross water on this trip. The first thing going out of the ranch we were staying at is a creek - when our leader saw how Willow wouldn't go - we crossed the creek 7 more times before we got to the top of the hill. All in all a great ride about 3 1/2 hours.
The next day there were only 3 of us. Kylie went with and she did really well also. Autumn jumped a few creeks and Kylie stayed on like a pro. We didn't ride as long (it was a little warmer). Unfortunately Monday morning we did not get to go on a ride. I was feeling a little under the weather (although self induced) so we loaded the horses and headed home. It was great to get to go on some more rides and Willow is doing really well. Not sure why I was so chicken before. She does need some work on going out by herself but should be great.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More and more riding! Tuesday I took Autumn for a short ride and when I got back Kylie had her boots on and ready to go. Our front yard to the side is not mowed (couldn't mow it if we wanted to as the neighbors dogs have recently dug holes) with trees on it. I had Kylie do some circles around the trees and stuff. Haley came out and actually wanted to ride - so I let her ride for a little while. Haley did really well - was not nervous - which is good with her history or being so scared to come near the horses. After she was done Kylie hopped back on and asked if she could trot. I let her trot some figure 8's and she did great! It is really fun to watch her grow - she just looks like a natural on a horse.

Next outing was Saturday - one of the guys from work Brian - his wife had not ridden in seven years and wanted to go. I was nervous at first not knowing what kind of experience she had but she hopped on like a pro and we had about a 4 hour ride at Farragut. I really like the trails there and look forward to going on more. We actually found a few hills on the Sheriff Posse ride. Willow did really well on the ride too.

This weekend we are planning on taking the horses to St Maries for the whole weekend. I am hoping to get to ride at least once a day. We are also taking the four wheelers but my main focus will be the horses. Dwane's brother hates to ride (won't go near the horses) but he can just stay on the wheelers. His fiance' wants to ride with me and her dad has horses and wants to go too. I am hoping Dwane will finally go on a ride and see if we can get him riding with us.
I was also talking to the gal that I was keeping my horses at and I think we are going to start trailering to Farragut and using the arena with some barrels and poles, different obstacles to work with Kylie and for me to work with Willow. She wants to ride Willow so that someone else other then me has ridden her. I hate to say it is a good idea but makes me all nervous :). I remember when I was young I had a black thoroughbred mare that no one had ever ridden but me - I think she was about 5 the first time someone else hopped on her (I had had her since she was 2). It happened to be my step brother who thought he was a horseman - let's just say he didn't have a clue and it drove me nuts watching him yank her around because she didn't steer the way he thought she should. But I know she will listen to how I tell her to ride so I need to get over it :) Other then that just looking forward to more riding yeah!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lots of horsey activity in the last week! Thursday night I rode Willow for about a 1/2 hour. She did well. We worked on stopping and turning. I also worked on riding up and down the fence line and turning with her hind end. It was interesting as she was not impressed with the fence line work. I have really been trying to feel more (I don't know if that makes sense) but be more tuned to her movement. I have not done this in the past as I was just a rider - riding my horse. I have been reading the Mugwump Chronicles blog and really like how she talks about tuning into your horse.

Then Sunday we went on the Sheriff Posse's ride at Farragut. Sam and Katie went with me. Katie rode Autumn and Sam rode Ken's horse (a friend of hers). We had a good time. Willow did great. She only got nervous when some people on gaited horses came up behind us and would not back off. Crowding up behind her even when she was noticeably uncomfortable, so we let them pass. She also did not like the big mud puddle. Of course Sam had to turn around and watch (waiting for me to bite it or for Willow to leap for China) we got her front feet in the middle of the puddle and the back on the edge (went through it sideways) we will have to work on water :). All in all a great ride and I am excited to go there more. The trails are nice they all circle back into each other and mostly flat. Not alot of hill climbing for my out of shape horses! Although I know they were tired when we got back.