Finally got my trail ride in today and it was quite the adventure. I decided to ride Grady and pony Jetta - Grady is a good guy to pony off of and Jetta is a very well behaved pony-er so it all should have gone smoothly, right? Haha, it was funny.
First of all, Grady is quite short strided and Jetta has the longest stride of any horse I've ever met. Not quite the best combination. But they started off doing really well as long as I kept Jetta's lead short so she'd stay at Grady's shoulder instead of charging ahead. Usually on the way up the hill we trot or canter it the whole way. Trotting worked out just fine, but when I tried to canter, Grady tried to gallop in order to keep up with Jetta. We slowed and I reorganized all my rope and pushed Grady into a canter at the same time as holding Jetta in a trot. That worked really well for about half way up the hill until Grady decided he needed to get farther ahead of Jetta, then Jetta has to canter to keep up, but her stride is so long that then Grady has to go faster so that he can keep up and then he decides to ignore me asking for a halt. Naughty boy, but at least I can laugh about it because it's not all bad when it's a 26 year old horse wanting to gallop!
Finally got him back to a walk and we continued on our way. The rest of the top of the hill was nice and peaceful. It was 90 degrees out today so quite hot but the shade was wonderful. We headed downhill and ran into a little spring. I guess the owners tried to gravel it in so there wouldn't be a little water hole in the middle of the path. Grady goes to walk over the gravel and sinks several inches so he jumps out of that and we tiptoe around it.
Then we run into a long tendril of blackberry vine across the path. No way to go around it so we go through it, but I don't have any hands free to move it so we charge past it. First it catches on Grady's ear bonnet so he's holding his head all sideways trying to escape it. Then it catches on my shirt and rips its way off, making quite the noise and both horses spook forward a couple steps and then stop with Grady facing one way and Jetta facing the other and I only have one rein. Oh, I'm lucky I have such good horses.
We made it back to the barn in one piece and not much worse for wear. It was definitely an adventure!