|Hitting the trails|
I finally decided to stop waiting around for a riding buddy to go with me - everyone seems to be too busy or just plain doesn't want to go trail riding - and went by myself. I have to say that I much prefer it! It's always nice to have another person to talk with and help out in case you get bucked off or lead if your horse decides they don't want to do something, but being by yourself means you can go whenever you want, leave whenever you want and ride for as long as you want at your own pace. Bliss!
Queenie was very good. I was expecting her to not be as good honestly. She loaded up perfectly (first time I have trailered her) and I squeezed her into my little trailer. It was a long drive because the closest trails I could find were a half hour away and I already know I don't like those trails (very, very rocky and dark forested creepy trails) and all other trails were 40 minutes away so I decided I'd just go to my favorite state park that's an hour away because I know the trails well, they're perfectly maintained and set up for horses and it would be perfect for Queenie because it's flat and there are bridges and water to cross.
I lunged Queenie briefly in the round pen (love that they have this!) then got on and made sure she was going to pay attention to me, then started off! She felt tense and was doing her best llama impression with her neck up as high as it would go but she wasn't spooky, just excited.
|Deer in the background. Queenie didn't care.|
In fact, she was LOVING it - striding out, looking around and she wanted to trot so I let her. She's definitely not lazy. We started out along one trail and went to look out over the river, then turned around and went back on the maintained trail loop that crosses the large creek (or small river, whatever it is!).
|In the water|
We only had two "big" spooks. I say big in quotation marks because she was over it in about 2 seconds. The first was when we came up on our first horse eating log. They are called horse eating for a reason after all. Queenie saw it from about thirty feet away and stopped to stare at it. When I pushed her to walk forward she flew backwards into a blackberry bush and then I prompted her to go forward again and she almost pranced up to sniff it. Then she was fine, no big deal. On the way back when we passed it again she barely looked at it. The next was when we came around a corner to one of the bridges and some very startled wood ducks took off out of the water quacking which gave me a heart attack almost so I can't really blame Queenie for taking a couple of side steps at that.
|The long bridge back to the parking lot|
She crossed all the water with no problems, same with the two bridges. We even had a fairly nice canter! I was just thinking about what a perfect trail horse she was when we came up to an open meadow and all the way on the other side, a long, long ways away she saw two people walking their two dogs (BIG dogs). Seriously, she must have been a guard llama in a past life. Head went up, she snorted a challenge at them and if she could have talked, probably would have been saying "OHMYGOSH we have to go meet them! We have to go meet them!!" She was prancing around in place and trying to race across the meadow to go say hi. Not ok. So we worked on standing for a little while until she decided the danger had passed and walked back to the parking lot on a loose rein.
|The sun came out on the ride back|
So basically, she was really good, but she's not going to make a beginner's horse. I don't think she needs an experienced rider because she was very easy to manage despite her two spooks and the drama llama incident, but the rider would have to be confident. I really enjoyed riding her on the trails though because she was forward but listened to me, didn't have any qualms about charging through the mud or water. It was fun!
|Some well deserved grazing for the tired pony|