Wednesday, January 6, 2016

trail riding with Austen, Jen + Brita!! (complete photo spam)

Perhaps you already saw this on Jen's blog, but Brita and I got to go on the most wonderful New Years Eve trail ride with her and Austen while she was in town for the holidays!!!! Thanks so much Austen for inviting us!

It turned into pretty much an all-chestnuts trail ride too, with Pig and Wick holding down the 'matching OTTB gelding' gig. Tho of course Wick wore his xc gear, and Pig was decked out as a dressage superstar (complete with double bridle). But still, it's like they recognized each other lol.

Jen's mount Teddy looked like a lot of fun too - rounding out the 'matching geldings with stars' gig with Wick (while Isabel and Pig held the 'matching blazes' role). Of course I think Isabel was still the smallest member of the party but eh, her big walk makes up for short legs. 

And obvi the huskies were there too - much to poor Wick's chagrin. He kept an eye on them pretty much at all times, and threw these adorable little sideways leaps every time the dogs came running up behind him. Poor baby! Tho he got better as the ride wore on :)

The trails by Austen's barn are incredible and are maintained by an organization called EPIC (Equestrian Partners in Conservation). Most of our route included broad lanes bordering hay fields - almost all of which looked ripe for galloping in the right ground conditions. Tho as evidenced by this somewhat boggy crossing through the treeline from one field to another, the ground was a tad soft for our ride lol.

That didn't stop us from trying in a few spots tho!! Lots of trotting and cantering up hills (and hilariously Isabel actually threw in a small buck during one early canter stint), and jumping a log here or there through tree line. But then we were cantering up another seemingly never ending hill and Isabel just felt so good that I couldn't resist letting her open all the way up into gallop. Ahhhhh what a feeling! :D

Isabel is typically indifferent to whatever nearby horses are doing and has incredibly reliable brakes, so it took me a moment to realize that the other horses were experiencing fits of feelings. Like Wick, who decided Pig was challenging him to a race. Or Teddy who decided that tho he be tiny, he be fast (and strong).

All was well tho - and Austen led us into a more sedate section of wooded trails, where Jen and Austen did some unintentional jumping of their own over various water obstacles lol. 

And the huskies got to swim too!!! Really tho this whole area was so gorgeous! 

Plus this section was perfect for lots of chatting and getting to know each other. Especially interesting was hearing all about how Connor is doing, and how Jen is envisioning how 2016 might play out for them. Sounds like there are some exciting plans on the docket! 

Oh and meanwhile I tried to catch snaps of Austen putting Pig through his fancy dressage moves on the trail (bc obvi he still has to be fancy no matter the venue) but they all came out blurry so instead enjoy this pic of Austen doing the exact opposite and just chillin haha. (While Wick keeps watch on the huskies ahead lol).

Poor guy - he was so deeply skeptical of these two little dogs, who really did nothing but ignore him completely. Eh. He was better by the end :)

Isabel was definitely tiring toward the end of the ride - but not so much that she and Wick didn't noticeably perk up when a line of log jumps presented themselves haha. Really I probably shouldn't jump Isabel in the hackamore since she has very little patience for the curb chain... but whatever, who can resist all those logs?!? Just grab mane and GO! So we hopped over a few, and watched while Wick and Brita hit up this field above to jump around a little more. What fun!

Then suddenly we were all back at the farm! Where I gotta be honest - I got a HUGE kick out of seeing my tiny little stock trailer, exactly the opposite of fancy (and visible in the top left of this pic), at this uber fancy and gorgeous and sprawling dressage farm. 

Tho that 'kick' slowly morphed to mild mortification when Isabel straight up refused, then threatened a melt down about going into the wash stall to get the mud rinsed off her legs. Lol.

Emma: C'mon mare, watch out or they'll all figure out that we're impostors here!!
Isabel: NO.
{Pig: hehehe I found a mare!}

Seriously tho, look at those wash stalls, aren't they gorgeous?!? Warm water and everything, and Wick certainly looked like a gentleman in there. Ugh Isabel. 

Isabel: Can you believe they tried to make me go in there? There was WATER in there for chrissakes!!
Wick: Uh ok whatever, I'm just eating here...

Really tho, wow what a fun ride. Every single second of it! I just wish the farm was closer to home for us and we would go out there all the time!! (Especially bc their arena use fee is actually incredibly reasonable compared to some of the indoors near us...).


It was the perfect outing tho - both our horses were super happy. Especially Izzy, who hadn't really been out for a true trail ride since late summer. But omg they were both SO TIRED by the end. Pretty sure they both fell asleep immediately upon loading into the trailer lol.

Thanks again Austen for inviting us - and it was great meeting you Jen!! And any other bloggers in the area that are ever interested in group trail rides definitely let me know!

54 comments:

  1. I was so jealous of the epic chestnut meet up when I saw the sneak peak insta pic, so glad you guys got to meet up and have such an awesome time playing on the trails ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it was really such a treat - too bad you aren't closer bc you could have brought your ladies along too!!!

      Delete
    2. Gosh i wish I were closer and had access to all the awesome meet ups, clinics and lessons you guys get up to. What a treat that would be!
      Maybe I should look into a transfer to Washington lolz!

      Delete
    3. ha now wouldn't that be something!!!!

      Delete
  2. I think my favorite part is that the red Arabian *mare* was the calmest on trail lol. So much for people calling red horses, mares, and Arabians nutso. Looks like it was a freaking blast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol right? i was just about to write 'well she was the oldest of the group' bc that's our typical excuse for bucking the bad rap... tho that was definitely not the case on this ride lol. really tho all the horses were *so* good, just a couple wild and woolly moments ;)

      Delete
  3. Soooo many chestnuts! haha! Looks like it was a lot of fun! That is a super nice facility. It must be a dressage thing, every one I go in is super nice.
    I don't think I've stalked you enough to know precisely where you are, but I'm just going to throw out there that I'm sort of local, and I love trail rides!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so i'm not allllll that close to you (baltimore) but meeting up for a trail ride isn't entirely out of the question one of these days :) and yes this facility was super nice and isabel and i felt totally out of place with our stock trailer and nylon hackamore lol

      Delete
  4. So much fun! I think you were short a couple of redheads tho ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha you gotta hike on up and join us!!

      Delete
  5. So fun!! And those trails look simply amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they were REALLY nice! all the trails at our home barn are pretty technical with steep hills and rocks and twists and downed logs etc, but these were just wide open and inviting - loved it!

      Delete
  6. SO. MUCH. FUN. Can't imagine a better group to ride with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg so much fun! woulda been better if you were there tho ;) next time!

      Delete
  7. Ahhhh that was a blast, and you both are fantastic. I'm so glad we got to do this! Now come to Rolex!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yaasssssss!!! ok i'm officially gonna start looking at making plans :)

      Delete
  8. wow so much chestnut! Ooh, and step for your trailer-good idea. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha you saw that ? yea it's our new big idea to keep me from stupidly breaking any other limbs lol

      Delete
  9. Mounting block as a trailer step, works every time :) Looks like you guys had a great ride :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. such a great ride! and yea the block is helping out so far, tho it feels more awkward than just stepping down... but i guess that's kind of the point that i pay attention rather than just breaking myself haha

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. it really was :) i pretty much love trail riding with friends

      Delete
  11. awesome!!! that looked like SO MUCH FUN. i am still really nervous on hacks... probably b/c i've had a consistent history of ending up on the ground. well, someone ending up on the ground. so i have been wary. that said, i am excited and nervous about going out, all at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know exactly what you mean - isabel and i were grounded from solo trail rides for almost a year bc we had so many nasty and unpleasant experiences. but i love hacking out, so we worked on it. fortunately she likes it too and has turned into a pretty reliable horse (but the hackamore and martingale are present in case things get hairy). going out with experienced and quiet horses helps too!

      Delete
    2. Probably good that the ground was so soggy, because my trail rides are usually the opposite of quiet and sedate strolls. ;) Think wild gallops on the border of full speed and lots of practicing the extended trot!!

      Delete
    3. ariel has always been too dominant to go out on hacks with... she's the one who has caused me the most grief out there, unfortunately. and from what others say, they won't take her out either :( but maybe eventually i'll have enough time to work on that... probably not this year though :\ eep!

      Delete
    4. hm yea i can definitely see how that could lead to less-than-fun rides... what a shame too bc she's such a cool horse! maybe one day?

      Delete
  12. Oooh, that sounds really fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That looks like so much fun! Violet would have fit right in, but would have jogged the whole way to keep up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha Violet would have been a perfect match! and that's ok - she could have jogged with Teddy to keep up too :)

      Delete
  14. It's like the Secret Meeting of Chestnuts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's a society lol. #needsmoremarestho

      Delete
  15. Replies
    1. it was such a treat getting to spend that time with everyone!

      Delete
  16. Wick really was super good with the dogs. I've gone with some people where I have to be really careful about where the dogs are and keeping them close. Wick just wasn't sure about them, though by the end he was pretty certain they weren't going to kill him anytime soon!

    And my bad, guys. I'm terrible about letting my dressage horse remember his racing roots when in company!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha but racing is sooooooo fun! and yea i was pretty impressed with how Wick handled himself around the dogs too - he's just such a sweet honest horse!

      Delete
  17. I can only imagine what a fun ride that was with all you awesome ladies! Totally jealous :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you'll just have to come closer lol (tho actually, i bet you have some pretttttty incredible trails out where you are

      Delete
  18. Emma- I laughed out loud a few times at this post! What a blast!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha glad you enjoyed it! the ride was definitely a blast :)

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. trail rides with friends are pretty much the best. i think the horses would agree too :)

      Delete
  20. Gorgeous trails! Sounds like a fun outing... other than the wash stall part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha so actually we have a bit of history with wash stalls - including an actual full-on melt down at the fancy dressage barn where we take lessons. and when i went there again after this trail ride, isabel cam *very* close to refusing to even walk PAST the wash stall... le sigh.

      Delete
  21. Jealous of the ride and the barn! And your little stock trailer, better than my non-existent one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha that is very true - i might make fun of my trailer every now and then, but remain immensely grateful that it even exists!

      Delete