When we first started working with Gayle, she was brand new to this barn and only had three horses boarded there. Everyone else trailered in. Now, the stalls are all full and she is busy. It used to be that we trailered in, there were other trailers there as well. We haven't seen anyone else come in with a trailer in quite awhile. I suspect, like many of you, that the barn owner doesn't want to deal with trailering in kind of people since the barn is full.
And, besides, the garden looks beautiful right now so who wants to waste all that positive energy and beauty on barn drama worries.
This morning we trailered down to a big regional park in Irvine that borders the wilderness for a group trail ride. The ride is led by docents with the Irvine Conservancy and we get to ride in wilderness not open to the general public. Winston unloaded like he'd been there before and stood quietly at the trailer while we waited for everyone to arrive. Flash was his consistent mellow self, dozing in the sunshine.
|We started out with four docents and five guests.|
The trail was beautiful, but it was also straight up to the top of a ridge. About half way up, one of the guests who was riding a young Kiger mustang, had to turn around and go back. Her little mare took one look at the trail, climbing steeply and for as far as you could see over shale and hard packed dirt, and said "no way." Two of the docents went back with her. That left two remaining docents, Brett and I, and another couple. We made it to the top of the ridge and sat for awhile, letting the horses catch their breath, and enjoying the breeze. Then we started down a gradual decline that looped around and joined back with the steep trail. One of the riders yelled "Rattlesnake!" and there he was in all his huge angry glory, rattling his tail for all he was worth. He eventually slid into the bushes but he kept on buzzing. Winston and Flash walked past -- as far to the other side of the trail as possible -- without blinking an eye.
We got back to the staging area a bit after noon, hot and sweaty and tired. Winston nailed this ride. He was calm and relaxed the entire time, never refusing anything. He was happy to be in the front, the middle or the back. He would have preferred to trot down the hills but that was the only correction I had to make.
Back home, we let them roll and take a long deep drink from the trough (so much better than water offered from a bucket before we came home). Then we hosed them off and let them graze for about an hour. Brett sat in his blue chair and I sat in the grass under a tree. It was hot again today -- 88 degrees when we pulled in the gate at home. I'm a bit sunburned but happy. I have an awesome horse and an awesome husband. The trainer thing will work out one way or another.