We had three riders available this morning to take our horses for a trail ride. P.S. rode Gabbrielle, as always. My husband rode Rock. The trainer has ridden Rock twice now and feels that he doesn't have many issues beyond being slow to move out, hard to stop on the way home, and he eats excessively on the trail -- all stuff we're aware of and have been working on. Rock didn't spin and dump him, so we are concluding that the change in bridle did fix the problem. He was getting poked in the eye by the buckle of his old side pull. Thanks again, Christine, for the bitless bridle. I still owe you and your horses (and doggies too, if you want) a photo shoot.
I was going to ride Bombay, but thought better of it. His nervousness influences the other horses and he gets them spooking. With this being my husband's first time out on the trails since his accident, I wanted to concentrate on him and not be dealing with Bombay's fears. Also, P.S. was under time constraints and I didn't want to ruin her ride by having to be constantly training Bombay.
I rode Lostine, figuring it would be good to leave Bombay behind. Maybe he'll learn that it's more fun going out with the other horses than being left alone at home. I heard him calling out to us a few times. I hope he wasn't too obnoxious because my neighbor had his farrier over, and I worried that Bombay was running around and getting the neighbor's horses riled up.
I was glad to not be riding Bombay, because he would have made a big deal about it and convinced the other two horses that it was time to run for home. I know that I've got to have more confidence in Bombay and ride him like I ride Lostine, but we have a history together that is hard to forget. The next challenge was getting down into a little ditch with a log off to the side. Gabbrielle balked at that, but got past it after a couple of tries. However, I suddenly remembered that Lostine's old knees can't handle inclines anymore, so I asked the others to stay on the flat trails.
At one point Gabbrielle snatched a branch up into her mouth and got it stuck on her bit, so I reached over and pulled it out. Yucky. I got horse spit and half chewed food all over my hand and on my jeans.
I think all those years of Gabbrielle and Lostine eating in a pasture by a busy road helped. I already knew that Rock could handle traffic. But it was also sweet that all three stood there just a few yards away from home and didn't try to rush out into the road. It probably helped that they had just finished breakfast and were not anxious for their next meal. I try not to feed them right after a ride anyway.