Friday, June 10, 2011

successful trail ride!!

I'll admit, I've been a bit haunted by the thought of going on another trail ride because Lucy has developed a tendency to act like a complete idiot when we're out in the woods. Claire cautiously suggested we try to go on one before leaving our barn at the end of the month, and I thought that a) it was an excellent idea and b) we needed to get it over with ASAP ;)

Today was muggy but not too hot so we tacked up, donned our FITS breeches (seriously the most grippy and comfortable breeches my thighs have ever had the pleasure of being covered with) and off we went!! I was nervous but excited.

I hand-walked Lucy all the way down the road to the trail head and I was glad I did. We encountered trucks with big trailers, landscaping companies that were leaf-blowing along the road, and the scariest thing ever: a humongous moving truck. The first time we passed the moving truck, Lucy seemed not to care until we were about 3/4 of the way past it, and then she tried to spook sideways. I told her to knock it off and continued forward. She didn't care at all about the landscaping trailers, which is great because last year she HATED them.

There were a few rude drivers but overall the horses behaved very well and didn't react to any of the normal traffic, even motorcycles!

Once at the trail, I hopped up and we set right off into the woods. Lu was great. She was feeling brave and had her ears pricked forward, but not in that maniacal "we're gonna get EATEN!" way, more like, "hey this is really fun and that tree looks delicious [chomp]!".

She had a few small spooks, where she didn't try to go anywhere but did a little jump in place, and then when we were edging a field she had a big sideways spook. Thanks to my heels being jammed down like you wouldn't believe and the magic of my FITS breeches, though, my heinie did not even leave the saddle, not one little bit. I was really pleased!

Claire's horse Boe didn't want to be behind Lucy, but he didn't want to lead either (as soon as he'd get in front, he'd panic and start backing up) so he was not happy the entire ride. Poor boy :( We did manage to ride side-by-side for part of the ride and both horses were happy with that.

We were happy after our ride! Though I couldn't wait to get all my gear off...
I was wearing a t-shirt, my Tipperary vest, and a high-vis reflective vest
and I was HOT.

I am casually shopping around for a bit that will provide a bit more stopping power than the snaffle she's in now but won't be too much. Any ideas? Something not too bulky - she has a dainty mouth.

Also, tomorrow is Lucy's weighing. Any guesses on what she'll be? It has been over a year since her last weighing, where she came in at 1053. I suspect she's gained around 50 lbs or so since then, but that may be a stretch. We'll find out tomorrow!


  1. Hooray for a sticky butt!! Glad this ride was less dramatic than last time (and the time before that...)

  2. Mollie absolutely loves being ridden in a little broken Pelham. I find that I can be clear with it (which she likes, as every request must be made perfectly before she even considers obeying). What I love about it is that if she's being good I can ride her off the "snaffle" part of it and let the curb rein be loose, but should I need the added "stoppage" I can shorten up on the curb and get some leverage. It's what I rode her in when I did cross country, for that reason.

  3. Have you ever thought of something bitless? I've never ridden with one but I'm intrigued. I stumbled on this blog a while back and found it interesting.

  4. So glad you had a great trail ride! I second the suggestion to try a Pelham bit. They are super because you can use the snaffle rein until you need more. Much more versatile than it's single reined counterparts. I hunt in one and swear by it. :)

  5. I third a pelham, but I recommend a straight bar rubber one. Sometime the break in the bit is too much for a sensitive horse. I thought it would be too much and back my horse off but it actually gave me more control with less fight. I am loving it. You can also try using a flash if she is opening her mouth at all.


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