My friend has 40 acres that used to be a golf course. It’s big and flat and perfect for riding. The creek on the property is an added bonus!
We had a big barbecue out there on Mother’s Day, and I brought the horses up early so my trail riding buddy and I could get in a ride. I have no idea how far we rode because I forgot to turn on my app, but we rode for an hour and a half at a decent speed.
This little excursion was perfect practice for the ponies and they both behaved themselves. Baron, the horse I’ve had for 8 years, is almost always perfect, but Heidi is a toss up. You just never know with her. But even she pulled her life together and did well. But it’s horses, so shit went wrong.
First, we pulled them off the trailer and I thought they would start grazing as per usual. But nooooo, they looked around at 40 acres of flat grass and took off galloping across the field. They wanted to run! That’s very odd for Heidi. She is generally the laziest animal alive. Before long they started grazing and we caught them no problem, but I totally get the “loose horse” panic thing.
Then we tacked up at the trailer and started the ride. The ride actually went really well. Heidi had one little moment where she was a turd, but I was able to ride through it. Her thing she does is try to turn around and go back to wherever she decides is “home.” It gets increasingly hard to deal with her and she tosses her head and eventually she will rear if I try and force her. If I stay quiet with my energy and sit deep and don’t get too tuggy on her mouth, she calms down. It’s no fun at all, but what used to be a total meltdown temper tantrum hissy fit is now more of a moment of irritation and then back under control. Not perfect by any means, but better.
After the ride, we took the horses down to the creek to let them swim. Both horses love the water and both were hot and sweaty enough to dive right in.
But this is where it gets interesting. You can see from the pictures that there’s a big cliff. Heidi was playing in the water and I let go of the lead rope so I didn’t get any wetter than I already was. Heidi decided to mosey on over to the other side of the creek. Then she decided she didn’t like the ledge she had just climbed up and she didn’t want to go back down that way.
So my brilliant horse tried to CLIMB over the top of the ledge. I was sure she was going to flip over backward, roll down the hill and kill herself.
By that time, Baron had followed her up and I was sure she was going to take him out with her. Heidi was seriously trying to get her front legs over that ledge.
So we start yelling Nooooooooo!” and calling her back down toward us. Baron came first because he’s like a giant dog who trusts me to guide him to safety. Meanwhile, Heidi is still trying to climb the ledge.
Miraculously, Heidi listened when we called her! She came back down, I was able to grab the lead rope and help her back into the water, and that was that. Seriously though, talk about giving me a heart attack on Mother’s Day!
The horses did get some good experience though. They stood tied to the trailer eating hay during the picnic and didn’t make a fuss. There were kids going by on 4 wheelers and the horses didn’t care at all. Then we set up a target and shot off some pistols not terribly far away from the horses. On the first shot they did the mini spook where they sort of crouch for a second, but then they went back to eating. After that, they had no problem with it at all. They were more interested in the hay.
After the picnic, we loaded up and headed home. Both ponies rolled almost immediately! A good day was had by all!