Friday, September 11, 2009

Nice Weather, Good Neighbors, Let's Ride!

The weather was beautiful through the first week of September, so I've been absent from the Blogosphere in favor of spending more time in the saddle. I know you will all understand. Misty and I have been doing some arena riding and have gone on a couple more trail rides.

On Labor Day, a few of us neighbors got together for a ride in our community. We had a wonderful time and it was great fun to get to know some of the other equestrians in the neighborhood.

From left to right we had a Spotted Saddle Horse, Haflinger, Norwegian Fjord (Marley), Percheron (Misty), and a Paint (Andy who has been Misty's trail buddy this summer). Andy's owner let one of our horseless neighbors ride Andy while she rode Marley. (Thank-you Neighbors! Marley enjoyed being included this time.)

This was only my 3rd trail ride with Misty and we both did well, with one nerve-racking point on the ride.

We crossed a small dam that doesn't look intimidating at all in this picture taken from the ground. But atop a horse, the path is narrower and the sides of the dam are much steeper.

We started along the path at the top of the dam with no problems, but half way across there is this cage-like structure where water runs through the dam. It makes weird gurgling noises and Misty is sensitive to strange and unfamiliar sounds. As we approached this point she became very worried and nervous about this odd burbling object below to our left.

She went on high alert and began to shy to the right, the problem being, there is nowhere to go to the right but down the side of the dam to where the water dumps out on the other side:

Misty was freaking out a little and I was getting terrified that if she exploded, we'd both go tumbling down the right side of the dam.

My own fear is an issue I'm trying to conquer as an older equestrian returning to the sport of horseback riding. It annoys me to feel fear and insecurity that I did not experience as a younger rider, especially now that I have a young mare who particularly needs me to be confident and relaxed.

I talked to her and applied my right leg to say "no girlie, do not go that way!", and fortunately she responded and remained on the trail and we quickly passed by the rackety monster and all was well. Whew.

We had an enjoyable time and look forward to more rides with our equestrian neighbors. I'm sure we'll be confronting the monster in the dam again.

Alas, our perfect riding weather is coming to an end, so I'm hoping to catch up on blog reading this weekend...and maybe do some housework too.

P.S. On this day I would be remiss if I didn't share my appreciation for my country and the men and women who have made huge sacrifices, some the ultimate sacrifice, to allow me the freedom to enjoy a beautiful ride with friends like the one on Monday. Thank you to all good people around the world who strive for peace and freedom. Ride on in good health!


  1. I love this post!!!!! I am so happy you had such a nice ride. That dam was scary for you and Misty, but you did it - hooray for you! Your photos of where you rode are so wonderful. I love your part of the country. I also liked seeing your whole group in the first picture with the landscape stretching out behind you. Marley is very cute and little in that picture. Happy for you and thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Sounds like you had a great week riding and having adventures. I'm sure you feel the dam adventure could have been excluded, but look how well you got Misty under control. I'll bet the next time you guys confront the 'dam' monster she won't even notice the gurgling, bubbling belly of the beast and she'll just march right over it.

  3. What a lovely party you look like, with all kinds of breeds!
    And your countryside is beautiful.
    I understand that the tricky passing was a bit awkward, but now you know that she will listen to you, and that makes it easier next time you get to something scary. Good girl Misty!

  4. Thank-you Juliette. I do like living on the prairie. Marley does look like a little shrimp. My co-worker, who doesn't appreciate the variety of horse breeds and thinks if it isn't a Quarter horse, it isn't a horse, saw the picture and asked if people laugh at Marley. Awww, they don't laugh; he's adorable.

    Grey Horse, it was good to face "the beast" and I'll be more prepared next time.

    HorseOfCourse, thanks, it does give me confidence that she listened. We'll get better the more rides we have together.

  5. Sounds like you had an awesome time! I'm so glad you were able to get Misty past the unseen monster. I completely understand what you mean about not having the confidence we had when we were kids. I just keep thinking "It's going to hurt BAD if I end up on the ground!"