It’s been a weekend of hard work and riding!
First the work part… I took a 4 day weekend which was just wonderful! I spent part of it landscaping my friend Kelly’s yard (Dutch’s Mom). She ripped out some overgrown bushes last year and the yard was bare and needed some landscaping. With the help from her mom and dad we got it totally done!! We started just by digging up some weedy flowerbeds behind the house on Saturday night… then it evolved into.. hmm.. should we just do the whole thing this weekend?? So the plants and bushes were purchased and we plunked them all in on Monday morning, and finished it all off with mulch. It looks WONDERFUL!! It was so much fun, I love playing in the dirt. Now it’s raining a really nice soft rain, perfect for the newly planted grass.
Now on to the trail riding. After my interesting trail ride last week, I decided it would be wise to take a lesson with Shirl to tackle our recent spooky situations for both Charmer and I. It turned out to be SO much fun. Sofie and Grace trailered over and Toni was also taking a lesson that afternoon. Our ride turned in to practically a 3 hour ride! We went all through the woods and went down past Krohns Lake and looped around. We did this once in my lesson and another time with Toni’s lesson.
In between I tackled the outdoor arena with Charmer. I have a really hard time riding outside at more than a walk. I am so afraid that Charm is going to slip or trip and fall on me. She’s fallen several times while I’ve been riding her.. I’ve never got hurt, but the memory of my broken leg is very fresh in my mind when I’m riding in certain situations. Well I’ve gotten over a lot of stuff this weekend. I realized that I can ride her and stay on.. I am a good enough rider to keep my cool if something happens. She is very soft and I can bend her to a stop at any time.. even if she’s “running away on spooky adrenaline”.. she doesn’t get far. My reflexes are tuned in, I know what to do without thinking. We stomped all around that outdoor arena. I kept it all on a loose rein and if I started to feel out of control, we’d circle the nearest obstacle until she calmed down and then we’d go do something else. It’s a great remedy, she gets to move her feet and start thinking about me and I just patiently wait until she relaxes. Usually she’d offer to stop, which I thought was good in this situation. Soon we were quickly trotting all over that outdoor and I’ve felt the most in control I’ve felt in a long time. We even did some jumps and cantering!
Yesterday I rode her again. We rode in the outdoor for a while without any issues and then ventured in to the woods for a ride, just the 2 of us. We spend about an hour out there going in and out of the woods, meandering through the trails. It was really windy and at one point something cracked in the woods, she spooked and started to gallop up the trail. There was no place to bend her, so I had to wait until we hit the pasture at the top of the trail. We shot out of there and I bent her just fine.. waited a bit for her to relax and then continued on. She was pretty good after that. We even conquered “The Ridge” alone for the first time (our first time ever was on Friday with the group). The Ridge is by the gravel pit and is this ultra high narrow passage that loops around. At some parts it’s only about 12″ wide and plunges about 30+ feet on each side. There are trees and brush growing up around it, but it’s still kinda scary!
Things are getting better little by little. I’m renting Parelli’s Calm Ride, Ride Out and Safe Ride from the library. I’m hoping to get some ideas from those videos to help us along in this little adventure!