Sunday, November 13, 2016

finally a trail ride!!

I had originally planned other exciting things for this past week and weekend that should have meant we'd miss the regular lesson at OF. Alas those things have been deferred temporarily - but at least the disappointment was easily pushed aside by the excitement of taking Charlie back out for another lesson!!

horse + holly <3
And naturally, while we were out there (details on the lesson will be coming soon enough), Brita and I opted to hack out around some of the lanes and trails surrounding the somewhat vast property. Finally, a trail ride for Charlie!! (And Emma lol)

i swear he is a happy horse, despite always looking either a little put upon or grumpy lol
It's kinda cool actually - I get to the barn early enough on lesson days to bring Charlie in for his breakfast. Prior to these two weeks, I've really not had to catch him from the field more than once or twice. Seems like a meaningless little tidbit... but idk. I think there's a lot to learn and understand about an individual horse by their turnout behavior.

eager for breakfast!
For instance, Isabel was basically out 24/7 except for mealtimes. So we spent a lot of time going in and out of the pasture together. I always felt like I could glean Isabel's mental state and mood based on how she was to lead in. Sometimes she came in bright and eager. Sometimes slow and plodding. And sometimes she didn't want to be caught at all lol.

hacking to the arena all by himself like a good brave boy
That's not to say that I feel like I'm missing out on something by typically finding Charlie already in his stall when I get to the barn... It's just different. Maybe? Idk haha. All the same, I am enjoying these mornings where I get to bring him in for breakfast. It's nice to be associated with food and mealtimes, and doubly nice to fill that belly up before tossing him on the trailer lol.

trail buddies!!!
Anyway. That's neither here nor there. The whole purpose of this post is to put up some fraction of the zillions of pictures I took to talk about Charlie's first true trail ride with me!

following nicely
Anyway we headed down a nice little path, through a gate and past some ponds before reaching a broad lane with nice footing.

and leading nicely too!
Bella started out in front tho Charlie eventually overtook her with his somewhat, erm, giant stride lol. Both horses were great tho. Neither seemed to really care much about line order, and but were quite happy to just walk along on a loose rein.

the excitement was contagious lol. except charlie, who is maybe immune to most common strains lol
I was especially pleased that Charlie was fine with stopping to wait and let Bella catch up once or twice. After years of Isabel, for whom "whoa" was verboten anyway and especially on the trails, it's a nice change of pace lol.

nothin scary to see here!
We passed some fields with horses, a couple homes with all sorts of visually interesting things going on in the back yards... Some folks were out doing yard work with chain saws or something too. Totes fine. Good horses!

charlie and emma. with trailer for scale. lol
Actually Charlie's only qualm on the trail might have been when I asked him to turn around (since we were on an out-and-back path, not a loop) to head home. He was not initially convinced that I could really be asking him to go back the way we just came - like maybe he would have just kept going forever.

so handsome tho!
Nbd tho. Charlie walked the way back home as happily and relaxed as he had gone out. No rushing or anything. This was especially welcome news to me, since I had been curious about how strong of a homing instinct he would have. He can be a little barn and gate sour in the arena at home. Nothing terrible or naughty, but definitely noticeable. So far so good tho everywhere else!

begrudgingly fitting on the trailer
And the big guy even deigned to stand on the trailer like his chill and relaxed self for a few minutes while I chatted with friends. Good boy! I'm still not at all happy that loading continues to be a two person job with this trailer... but it's what I have right now so we're just gonna keep plugging away.

"heh heh i gots some hay!" - charlie, who oddly seems to prefer his hay net to loose hay. go figure.
Anyway tho. It feels safe to say that this horse travels like a pro. If anything, he's actually better off property than he is at home lol. So I definitely see hauling out to lots of trail rides in our future, since we don't seem to have access at his barn. And. Ya know. Hauling out for lessons and shows and stuff like that too, obviously ;)

Hope you all are having a good weekend too!

28 comments:

  1. Yay Charlie! I'm still jealous of your trailer :)

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    1. lol and it's still for sale ;)

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    2. Pretty sure it would double the cost of the trailer to get it home to me... 😟🐼

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    3. i just asked the google and it said shipping a trailer probably costs between $400-$600 ;)

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    4. Then I just have that little problem of nothing to pull it with, because I'm pretty sure Stinker could pull better than my car πŸ˜‚

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  2. Another milestone passed. I love your trails. Those are fabulous.

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    1. thanks! i only wish i could call them 'min' but alas they are at a different farm. charlie's farm is surrounded by houses. boring.

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  3. I got out for a spin yesterday (working on my no-stirrup stuffs) and should get out for another today. With the time change, it's hard for me to find riding time after work, so I'm hoping to make the most of the weekends through the winter. (Also, I will lose a huge chunk of late-fall riding time to Deer Season *sigh* which totally deserves capital letters in these parts.)

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    1. yea i hear ya. we were SO lucky at isabel's barn to be surrounded by protected state park, so hunting was never an issue. and then the grounds at OF are all private, so again we're pretty safe from wayward shotguns. but yea. this time change is similarly making me want to capitalize on my weekend outdoor daylight opportunities!

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  4. What an awesome experience! It's probably not a secret that trail rides are my favorite, haha. So good for their brains!

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    1. soooooo good for their brains! charlie is obviously a pretty solid guy mentally, but i definitely want to keep it that way! (plus i enjoy the breaks too haha)

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  5. Wow-just like that?! Are you sure he is OTTB? lol! So happy for you!

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    1. Raced for four years up until august!! it's hard for me to believe sometimes too lol

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  6. What a good experience! Looks like it was fun too. Yay Charlie!

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    1. so fun! and definitely a promising sign for future fun times too!

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  7. Soooo handsome with his neat mane and cooler. I'm drooling.

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    1. ha this pleases me bc it's mostly a trick of camera angles to make his thick unruly mane look tidy! BUT. progress has been made there since these photos so you might like his new hairstyle even better lol

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  8. He is such a gem 😍😍😍

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  9. Replies
    1. so good. now i just need to figure out how to make hacking out easier for us to do regularly!

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  10. Love trail rides and glad to see he enjoys them as well!

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    1. me too!! i really love hitting the trails a couple times a month (or more) and hope we can keep that up!

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  11. Beyond jealous of your trailer! And hooray for Charlie and the trails!

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