Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Andre's First Trail Ride

We had a minor 'adventure' the other day.  Monica and I took 3 Teke boys up to the Pilchuck Tree Farm for a short ride.  I rode Galen (of course), she rode Andre in his 2nd real trail ride and we brought Ari for a horseless visitor, Maddy. 

Now, this was a bit of a big deal, as Andre hasn't been out in company before, much less on busy trails.  Ari has been on the back burner for quite some time and his last trail ride was last year with Julie.  This was my second ride and the plan was to ride a little farther than an hour, but only at a walk, as we had two green horses in the group.

The Pilchuck Tree Farm at the Bracken parking lot is great for youngsters - reasonably good footing, tons of different loops, mild to major challenges (you just pick which ones you want).

Two of our party through Galen's ears.
So, we met up with the rest of our party and headed out, 7 horses strong.  Andre was slightly nervous to begin with, but Monica did a great job of letting him know it's no big deal.  Ari thought that all these horses meant an endurance ride and Galen was right there with him.  Maddy did a great job of keeping Ari on track and Galen got to do lots of shoulder-in, halfpass and leg yielding.  They aren't used to just walking on a trail ride - usually we warm up and head right into a trot.  But, after a hill or two, they got with the program.  Andre was such a gem!  He had a ton of firsts:  first hoof boots, first group trail ride, first hills, first loose dogs, first bridges, first tripod experience and he was perfect.  This boy is really turning out nicely.  Monica kept exclaiming about his comfortableness - very smooth boy!

We didn't stay out very long as I had to wimp out.  My ankle (NOT the one that had surgery!) really started hurting at about an hour and 15 minutes.  Everyone else was good sports and we headed back to the trailers, where Katie took a group photo of us (except for her- but she and her horse were on the trail with us).

From left to right:  Aarene Storms on Fiddle, Duana Kolouskova on Hana, Monica Bretherton on Andre, Madeline Smart on Ari, ? on Horus and Cathy on Galen. 

Then, we all met back at Fish Creek Farm and had a lovely potluck dinner/lunch, complete with homemade wine from Aarene and Jim. 

Such a nice day!