Lucy, Dreamer, Dreamer's girl "C", and I went to Goddard Park (the site of the unfortunate run-in
with swans this past Spring, if you remember that) on Saturday for an organized trail ride.
It was about 2.5 hours and C did great. I think that's the longest she's ever ridden, and we went on the beach, galloped down the trails, etc. It was a great time. We did have one incident (and again, it was on the beach! I think that beach may be cursed) where Dreamer dumped C right in the sand and ran away, but he didn't plan his escape very well because he found himself caught in a bush about 20' away from where he deposited his rider. Lu was excellent about the whole thing and I swear, she went into Search & Rescue mode. We had been galloping down the beach with C and Dreamer behind us, and I heard a faint "Kaaaate!". I shot a quick look behind me and there was C, standing sans pony with a stirrup in her hand. Of course I muttered many bad words and spun Lucy around and set off back down the beach to assess the situation. C was thankfully unhurt, though she was very shaken, because her foot had gotten caught in the stirrup and she had been dragged a short distance before the stirrup leather came off the saddle. I said a silent "thank you" to whomever taught me that the end of the stirrup bar NEVER gets locked in the upright position so that the leather can come off the saddle if your foot gets stuck in there. I passed that knowledge onto C sometime over the summer and it very certainly saved her some major injuries.
Once I was sure that C was ok, I pushed Lucy on to find the Naughty White Pony. NWP had disappeared up a 4' embankment according to C, so I asked Lucy to go up said embankment, which she easily could have just walked/run up, but NO, she was in S&R mode as I said above, so she opted to take care of business and like any budding eventer would, she jumped the embankment in one smooth and terrifying leap that was positively effortless for her. I mentally checked "jump 4ft" off my bucket list. We went a few strides into the forest and then I spotted a very sheepish looking NWP, tangled up in a group of bushes.
I'm sure he will plan his escape better next time.
Lucy was locked and loaded on the pony and she was like, "MOM! MOM! MOMMMM! I FOUND HIM! HE'S THERE!"
Me: Ok, excellent work, I see him.
Lu: BUT HE'S RIGHT THERE! NWP RIGHT AHEAD!
M: Ok, really, I've got it from here.
L: HE MIGHT ESCAPE AGAIN! LET'S HERD HIM RIGHT NOW!
M: Lucy, he's going to kick you square in the face if you get any closer, so just stand here and relax.
L: *glares at NWP daring him to move*
The good news is that neither NWP or his rider were injured, and I dusted C off and gave her a hug and some words of encouragement, re-attached her stirrup, and put her right back in the saddle. At that point we were about 6 miles from the trailer so I told her to put a brave face on and try her best to enjoy the rest of the ride...well before I knew it, she was asking to trot and canter through the woods again. Needless to say it was a scary experience but a good thing for her confidence, because she learned that life does go on even when you fall off, and she just needs to wipe the dirt (sand?) off her butt and get back on the horse.
|happy horse on the beach...the swans were nowhere to be found, thank god.|
|Lu went in the water and we even persuaded NWP to |
get his tootsies wet.
|One of the beautiful views at the park.|
And here is a short video of us running down the beach: