I rode in my dressage saddle because I am not sure that Winston has ever had a western saddle on his back and also because I feel more secure in the dressage saddle. I can feel exactly what Winston is thinking and be proactive in working with him if he gets nervous. Our neighbor was out on his tractor grading the bridle path on his side of the street. I hopped on Winston and went into the arena to gauge his reaction to the tractor. He could have cared less, so we headed out to the trail.
Brett carried the camera because I knew I was going to have my hands full with Winston. Brett gets credit for all the trail pictures. Winston was nervous but brave and he never spooked. We rode on the bridle trails to get to the wilderness trail head and he was forward and a bit prancy but not naughty or scared. He's a long way from being able to go on the buckle on the trail, but I know he'll get there. Everytime he relaxed, I gave. Today, he didn't really want that -- he was looking for security from me and he found it in the contact. Having Flash with us was worth a million bucks. Flash just walked along, calmly, regardless of how much head tossing and hopping was occurring behind him.
|A group of guys in our community have done a great job of maintaining the trail|
|Getting Winston to hold still long enough for a picture was a challenge.|
|He did this lip curling, head bobbing thing most of the way back|
|We did have moments of relaxation|
|But, most of the time we looked like this|
|Winston was fine with trash cans, dogs and gardeners.|
All in all, I'm very pleased with our first trail ride. I think Winston will be a great trail horse once he gets some miles under his belt. He's brave and he's smart. Despite being a bit nervous, he was enjoying himself. Who knows, some day we may even do the entire ridge trail! Wouldn't that be an accomplishment!