Boy, it sure has been a long time! Where have y’all been?!
Okay, okay, I know… It’s me who’s been remiss. It’s just that my life is busier and more exciting than it’s ever been… and, according to Mommy, the excitement is going to keep on coming!
Now, I know in my last blog I said I’d tell you all about my first trail ride in California… But since it’s been a couple weeks already, I can actually tell you now about my first two trail rides! Of course, I’ll begin with Trail Ride #1… But first, let me tell you a little bit about my history with trail riding.
Anyone who has known me for a while knows that I love going out on trail rides. When we lived on Long Island, Mommy and I used to go on trail rides in Blydenburgh Park quite often with my Auntie Joyce and my best friend, Cooper. That park was amazing! It had a huge lake and lots of hills – and sometimes there were even fallen trees that I got to jump over!
I did enjoy my trail rides in the park – but I have to admit that I was extremely nervous the first few times. I remember when Mommy and Daddy took me out in Blydenburgh Park for the very first time. They walked with me on the ground so I would feel like I had a “herd,” but I was still so scared! After a few more times being out in the park, however, I calmed down and learned that it was relaxing and a lot of fun to go on trail rides.
When we moved to Tennessee, I got to go out on the trail a few times, too. Even though I was a “seasoned trail horse” by that time, I was still nervous the first time I went out because it was a different property – an entirely different state – and the scenery was all completely new to me.
California Trail Ride Adventure #1
During my first trail ride here in California, it was the same thing: I was nervous because I’d never been out on those trails, I didn’t know where I was or where we were going… and I could feel that Mommy was a bit nervous, as well. (Although, if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she was nervous because she knew that I’d be nervous.) California has scenery that’s like no other place I’ve seen before – and y’all know that I’ve been to quite a few places in my seven years of life!
The only thing that calmed me down on that first California trail ride was the fact that I had company. Recently, I made a new friend named Atlanta, a beautiful Trakehner horse. Atlanta is very comfortable on the trails; she seems like she really enjoys it. Aside from the fact that I was making her a little nervous with how nervous I was, she didn’t seem to mind the new trails or scenery at all.
Some of the trails we traveled went uphill. When we got to the top of those hills, we were on a trail with a steep drop off of one side. Those were the times when I could feel that I was making Mommy (and Atlanta and her mommy, Megan) extremely nervous! I would dance and prance and sometimes even spin or back up – all within a couple feet of what could be called a cliff, for all intents and purposes. I didn’t mean to; it’s just that I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds and smells. And I knew that there must have been rattlesnakes out there somewhere, because I had seen one myself at the ranch not that long before!
Anyway, we didn’t stay out too long before Mommy asked Megan and Atlanta if we could turn back and head for home. Mommy said that I had behaved valiantly – especially considering how long it had been since my last trail ride (which wasn’t even really a trail ride at all), and how new and different everything is in California compared to the other places that I’ve lived.
California Trail Ride Adventure #2
The very next weekend, Mommy and Megan and Atlanta and I went out on another trail ride. Mommy decided that, this time, it would be a good idea for me to get out as much energy as possible before heading out onto the trails. So, after Mommy groomed me and tacked me up, she let me go into the arena and run around to “get my sillies out,” as she likes to say. Then she and I put in a solid workout in the lower arena. We worked on collecting and extending while staying in a frame and did a lot of lateral exercises; Mommy said that she wanted to make sure I was moving off of her leg properly, in case I got any funny ideas about acting silly while atop a cliff out on the trails.
I have to say, I was pretty exhausted when we headed out into the hills… but we only walked on our trail ride, so it turned out to be pretty relaxing. And I actually was able to relax and enjoy myself much more that time! The combination of having been out there once before and having gotten out all of my excess energy made it easy for me to “just chill.”
Okay, I was still a little nervous at times… but I was able to walk calmly most of the way, and Atlanta and I even got to stop and enjoy the view in a couple places!
All in all, our California Trail Ride Adventure #2 was a huge success.
When we got back to the ranch, Mommy gave me a long shower followed by a liniment bath. Although I normally don’t like liniment (due to the fact that I have sensitive skin and liniment makes my skin tingle), I thoroughly enjoyed it this time! I was already sore and completely exhausted from having such a long workout that day; I was probably out and about for a total of 2 hours – maybe even a little bit more! The liniment helped keep the circulation of blood flowing through my body and legs and kept me from getting really, really sore. I even got two days off afterward!
The week after our successful trail ride, Mommy and I did a lot of flatwork and exercises over ground poles to prepare for our next jumping day…
And in my next blog, I’ll tell you all about why I got to jump twice in one week! (Anyone who knows my Mommy knows that jumping twice in one week is a “no-no” in her book… so you know that this is going to be interesting.)
On that note, friends, I’ll catch y’all later!