Just Enjoying the Morning with My Horse Buddies

We don’t get to do much trail riding lately, but this morning, Sara and I both had time to do it.

These guys wanted to come, too.

I was really happy with how well Apache and I did. First, I mounted from the fence after getting out of our pasture walking. The cows made it a little challenging by their curiosity. They kept bopping Apache on the butt until I showed them away.

Look how far I am from home and I’m fine!

Sara is always challenging herself, and today was no exception. She ponied Sully along with Aragorn. They both did pretty darn well. Aragorn is just doing great these days.

Here they come!

We rode over to the bottom pasture and when we got to the gate, I realized that one of the clever twin calves had snuck into the wrong pasture and was NOT happy where she was. So, Sara gave me Sully, and went with Aragorn to escort the calf home. They were on foot, crashing through trees, but they did it! And Apache stood like a rock while Sully kept poking him (gently; she’s sweet).

We smoked a lot.

After that we just had fun going across mud, up and down hills, over logs, and beside the newly dug tanks. At one point both Apache and Aragorn indicated that they would prefer to be heading to the gate. But we got them to meander back.

Apache even kindly stopped so I could get a picture of this hickory tree I didn’t realize we had.

I did great when Apache tried his sideways stuff. Ha! And once we headed back, he didn’t speed up after I told him not to. We calmly walked back, then, in a fit (feat?) of skill, we managed to open the inner gate then the gate out of the pasture! I had to come back to shut it after dismounting, but that was progress!

This is my selfie on Apache hoping the young cows stay where they are!

We ended the ride happy and calm. He was in no hurry to go in his pen, and seemed pleased to walk to his halter and listen to me telling him he’s good.

There! We are doing everything we want to do and are learning more skills. It’s a lot of fun to ride with friends, so it will be great to be able to have folks join us once Drew is back.

A Little Trail Ride

This was a nice ending to a long day! Apache has been doing so well this week with his schooling and such that I said, “Yes,” when Kathleen asked if I wanted to go for a ride with her and Dusty. Apache hadn’t been out on a trail ride across the ranch in a long time, since before I started trying to ride him solo.

Look at me, I’m in the cow pasture.

I’d had the brilliant insight last week that a lot of his insecurities were because of both of us not being used to going out without another horse and rider. One thing my lessons have done is build confidence in us both. It’s still a work in progress, with one extra-annoying habit to break, but all that round pen work, circling, and walking the property has made a big difference.

I’m also losing weight, thanks to the dead grass and hay. See those ribs??

So, off we went. Dusty doesn’t enjoy leaving his man friend Remington, so he had to be walked a bit. But, once we got going, a good time was had by all, with Apache like his old self, confidently walking around and paying attention to my cues.

I didn’t get to go, so I brayed my ass off. Oh wait, I’m an actual ass. At least Suna refilled my water bucket.

There were a lot more grass eating episodes than I’d like, and once or twice he was reluctant to do what I asked. But mostly we had fun and got to forget about our stresses, challenges, and negativity.

I’m glad I took the chance. I see a glimpse of my enjoyable future riding with friends and family, and maybe even doing some Working Equitation with him. Hey, he can already walk in a circle, so he’d not score a zero.

Thinking of all of us today, the day so many of us got deep trauma. I’m so glad I got to see my kids again after being stuck in Schaumburg, Illinois!

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