Joy and I took our first trail ride together last week. I was very, very nervous. I still don’t have a saddle that fits Joy (lack of money), so I was riding her in the bareback pad. I’m not confident in my stick-ability even with a saddle, let alone without a saddle. I didn’t know what to expect from Joy. And I’m not confident that if she decided to bolt that I could stop her (or stay on).
She did freaking amazing! I went with my neighbors on their two geldings. At one point we passed a house where the husband was mowing and their dog was ferociously barking. Joy didn’t care. She was very intrigued by the scene, but wasn’t scared.
We walked around the outside of the field behind the houses, and then through a grove of pine tree’s. The only time Joy spooked was when the lead gelding spooked, but she came right back and proceeded on like nothing happened. We even led for a very short bit.
I was so proud of her!
That was a week ago. Today I jumped on her for the first time in a week, and rode her in the side yard for a bit. Then I rode her over to the neighbors house alone to see if the neighbor wanted to go trail riding tonight. Joy was a little trooper. I’ve only hand walked Joy down this path three or four times, and every time I get to the edge of our property she gets really nervous and balks about going over the sandy spot that separates my property from the neighbors. Today, I was riding her, and she balked at the sandy spot. It was at that moment a cat crashed through the brushes next to us and scared the crap out of Joy – who jumped sideways and then stood stone still.
I was sitting there wondering how I was still on the pony, just catching my breath a moment, when Joy decided that she really wanted to walk over to the neighbors house. It was like she made up her mind that we were heading over there, and she marched off over the sandy area like she was on a mission.
She walked past the scary dark hole, the really weird looking manure pile, the metal hay rack, etc. Not one issue the entire ride over. All by ourselves!!
Once we got to the neighbors barn I walked her around (I was trying to get my neighbor to come outside). She didn’t care about the horse trailer, wagon, or anything else… she just wanted to see her new boyfriend (who she is madly in love with).
I finally tracked down my neighbor, who I then bombarded with “Let’s go trail riding!!!!”
I feel like Anna on Frozen.
“Do you wanna go riding?
Come on, lets ride the trails!
I never see you anymore
saddle up your horse
ride the trails with me”
She said she’d go with me later tonight… I probably drive that poor woman nuts.
The only problem came when I tried to get Joy to leave. She wouldn’t. I had to get off and lead her home because no amount of kicking was getting her to budge from her new man.
Anyway… the neighbors horses ran, bucking and jumping, next to us as I led Joy home and Joy didn’t care. Once I got home, I jumped back on and rode her around the side yard for a short bit just to re-solidify that putting my leg on means forward.
I’m not sure she’s convinced that “leg on” means forward. She still thinks she has a say in that.
Now I’m waiting until it’s time to meet up with the neighbors to trail ride….
I can’t believe how lucky I am to have a pony like Joy. She makes everything so easy.