Claire on Boe, and me on Lucy
Today was the trip to Goddard Park, which is a state park about six miles from the barn. It is a beautiful park with perfectly groomed wide trails, a ring with grass footing, and a beach you can ride on. Claire has a gorgeous new trailer but no truck, and we have a gorgeous new truck but no trailer, so we got very excited when we figured out that together, we had what we needed for an off-farm adventure!
The weather today was absolutely perfect: high 60's, bright clear sunny sky, and we were both really excited to go. The trailer was hitched up without an issue, the horses both loaded well, and we made our way to the park and unloaded them without any problems (YAY OTTB'S!).
Lucy, bless her little GastroGarded soul, was AWESOME. She looked around at everything but not once did she give off the "I'm a freak!" vibe. I lunged her in the little ring that's at the trail head just to be safe, and she didn't even want to canter! She just wanted to trot around and check everything out. I felt totally safe getting on her, and she calmly followed Claire's horse Boe out onto the trail.
And that's how she behaved for the rest of the ride. In fact, I felt good enough to give her some decent time on the buckle, which she gladly accepted. She kept breathing these huge sighs and just seemed really happy!
There is a beach area on this trail and Claire and I were both very excited to ride in the water. Boe had never been to the beach before, but Lucy went in the water last year and loved it, so I was hoping she would be excited to get back in it this year...and she was! She wanted to go deeper and deeper and I had to actually steer her back to the beach to stop her from getting all of my tack wet (this becomes funny later on).
There was a random man with his grandchildren on the beach and he had a Nikon D3 (a very nice camera) and he was snapping away and taking lots of photos of us, so I asked him if he'd email some of the photos to us, and he said he'd love to! Thank you so much if you're reading this, I really appreciate it!
He photographed us walking and trotting in the water, and I also had my compact Nikon camera with me, and I asked some random woman on the beach to take some pictures with it of Claire and I, which she was happy to do. Thank you random woman!
So everything was going smoothly, and we were making our way back to the trail after spending about 20 minutes on the beach. There were a pair of swans right at the water's edge and I tried to give them a wide berth but they chose to expand into horse-eating *flying* swans right as Lucy was coming up on them. She spooked and tried to spin but because she was in about a foot of water, she couldn't get organized enough and the water made it difficult for her. She FELL OVER in the water, which of course meant that I, along with my cute little Nikon digicam, also went into the water. God it was embarassing! It was scary for a moment because I bailed off her left side, and she kept falling and actually fell on top of me but because she was in the water she didn't squish me. She tried to get up several times and kept falling back down on me and I was just trying to get out of her way. At this point we were in water up to my waist, but it was very scary to be pinned under her. I found myself thinking, why does this shit always happen to me?! Anyway, she finally got her feet under herself and stood up, and we both kind of stood there for a minute looking at each other. She looked very sheepish. She had completely forgotten about the swans, given that she was convinced that she almost just drowned. I was like, "Well you shouldn't have been such a moron, Lucy. The funny thing about swans is that they sometimes fly."
And of course, my camera was soaking wet :(
We walked back onto the beach, where literally 50 people were all staring at us. Some people came up to me to make sure I was ok, and I assured them I was fine, just soaking wet. Claire was almost in hysterics and I guess Boe got very upset when Lucy and I disappeared underwater. I checked her over, fixed her boots because they had slipped down on her legs, and got back on her, absolutely soaked. Both of us were soaked. My saddle: completely submerged in salt water...awesome. I am going to have to google how to fix that (any tips?)
And then I rode the rest of the way back to the trailer like that! She was very good, probably exhausted from the events, and got back on the trailer fine to go home. Once we got back to the barn I hosed her off to get all the salt off of her and she had a nice roll in the mud, so she was happy.
And that was my ride!
Overall I am pleased with her. I mean, it's unfortunate that we both had to go swimming today, but other than that she impressed me with her calm attitude and happiness.
As far as my digicam, it's spending the next two days in a bag of rice, but I did manage to get my photos off the memory card, YAY!
Now for the photos. We'll start with the good ones:
And now, the photos of me eating dirt...erm, water:
this was about the time I realised that I wasn't going to be able to sit this one...arghhhh