Saturday, October 17, 2015

quiet fall trail ride (unapologetic photo spam)

Poor Bali has been completely neglected this week. He got a day off after his rock star performance at the CT last Sunday, then I opted to hack him out on Tuesday. And since then? Well... I believe his leaser (who recently started riding him again) hopped on a couple times, and he may have gone in a lesson or two. So he's not exactly sitting idle, but I miss him! Hopefully this coming week will be different!

In any case tho, I took approximately one million pictures on our brief little trail ride so.... enjoy!  

I opted to start out in familiar areas since I didn't know if he'd ever been on the trails alone before. 
We looped around all the lanes and fence lines near the barn. He could still see horses, be in his familiar zone, and I could take him towards and away from the barn repeatedly to see if he cared. Spoiler: he didn't care. 
He did start looking around a little more as we ventured farther out to the big summer pastures and the horses and barn became more distant. 
But was still so good that I figured, what the hell, let's dip into the woods and try the trails too.
He asked a couple times to turn around - but mostly just kinda plodded right along. Well, calling it a 'plod' might be a bit unfair, but it was most definitely nothing even close to Isabel's MARCH haha.
Some things made him a little nervous - like when unseen birds and squirrels would rustle through the brush. And a couple logs and sticks and leaves earned the hairy eye ball from him.
Really tho he was very good.
I love the colors of this pic! (and the fact that it's actually in focus haha. Unlike Isabel, Bali will actually halt in the woods while I try to snap photos lol)
We did one of the shorter loops - one he's probably done with lesson groups before, tho likely never by himself like this before. Tho I steered him off the loop towards a larger water crossing (there had already been one very small rivulet that he crossed just fine) and he got a little more balky. Nothing bad, but just wanted to be verrrrry sure that I knew where we were going.
But once he was convinced that I really did want him to go this way, he actually stepped right on along, towards the bank, and then right into the water.
So obvi I had to let the cute pony play a little bit. 
And he LOVED splashing around!!!!
Part of me was evvvvver so slightly worried about him dropping to roll... but it's a really rocky stream bed so it seemed unlikely. And he was just fine. Obviously fine enough for me to be comfortable taking all these photos with my phone haha.
Then back towards the barn! It's pretty much all downhill from the barn to the water, then all uphill back toward home. Big guy is still very out of shape and was huffing a bit up this last big hill.
But I was very pleased to see him maintain a consistent speed - no rushing home!
And then we emerged from the woods and he almost seemed like, 'wait, we're done?'
'Are you sure you wouldn't like to go for a little romp around the mini xc jumps in that field?' - Bali
'Next time buddy!' - Emma
Hey wait a second - that mare looks miiiiiighty familiar!
It's an Isabel!!
She looks a little unsure - like, yea I hear you Emma, but, erm, what are you doing with that cute bay gelding?!?
So obviously we had to go say hi haha.
Aww, look, they're friends!!! (naturally tho I separated them while they were still playing nice, before Isabel had a chance to try and bite Bali's face off lol)
I was so pleased with him on this ride! We kept it pretty short, as it did seem to be a bit mentally taxing for him. He had moments of being unsure, but was also simultaneously just processing what was going on around him. He's just so quiet!
So I'm looking forward to taking him out farther and farther afield. I think it's important to break up the monotony for our horses - especially a young lesson horse like Bali who has already shown a propensity for getting a little sour. And now that he's getting used again, I have a little more freedom in what I do with him, since I don't have to focus quite so much on fitness and schooling, and can just do whatever might be most beneficial for his mind. Fun times ahead!

28 comments:

  1. What a good guy! I hope that I can do more outdoor exploring at our next farm in TN with Annie. :)

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    1. ooh i hope so too! it's such a nice and refreshing break from arena work

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  2. Replies
    1. yay i'm glad! i just can't seem to stop snapping pics of this pony - he's so adorable all the time!

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  3. Such cuteness! Love his splashing in the water.

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  4. Replies
    1. he's a super good dude - i hope to get more saddle time with him soon!

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  5. So cute. I love the picture of him licking the fence, lol.

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    1. he seriously licks everything. if it's not the fence it's *me* - and he's always so messy about it!

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  6. Adorable! I love seeing where other riders across the country get to ride. It's almost like a virtual trail ride for me! Keep photon spamming.

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    1. Photon. That's an awesome typo. I meant photo.

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    2. Photon. That's an awesome typo. I meant photo.

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    3. our landscape is definitely VERY different from yours - i'm always blown away by trail pics in your area too haha. and yea, if i figure out how to photon spam in addition to my usual pic spam you better believe i'll be all over it ;)

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  7. Adorable! I love seeing where other riders across the country get to ride. It's almost like a virtual trail ride for me! Keep photon spamming.

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  8. What a great pony! And love the pics! I am jealous of your barn and those trails! :)

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    1. the trails are definitely a huge advantage of our farm. they're not as extensive as we might like (there's about 4 miles) but it's more than enough for a quick escape

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  9. Love the trail spam, keep em coming. We don't really have trails here so I will live vicariously through you!

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    1. then don't mind if i do! izzy is over due for a couple trail rides too - tho she's usually moving so fast that everything ends up blurred even worse haha

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  10. I love being able to go out on trails. Our trainer's husband just cleared us a bunch of trails and its so nice to be able to go out there even after a ride in the arena so they can de-stress and do something fun.

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    1. oooh yay for new trails! and i agree - the de-stress factor is huge. some horses take a while to figure out the whole point (that trails are supposed to be relaxing) but i think it's worth the effort

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  11. Replies
    1. he is such a good boy - really a treat to ride around out there!

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  12. What a beautiful farm! The one thing I miss in the farm close to home is trails, but we are constrained to the ring there.

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    1. And why is it red-headed mares always want to eat other pony faces?

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    2. the trails are so nice to get out on, i definitely feel lucky! and yea those red mares... gotta watch out for them! lol

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