Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Surprise trail ride!

On Sunday, I went out to the barn to meet a fellow boarder who was going to check Panama's saddle fit (more on that later). Afterward, I hung around and let him graze. I was planning to ride, but I had forgotten to eat anything before I left for the barn, so I was thinking about putting Panama away and heading home when one of my trail buddies arrived.

Now, it has been a long time — over a month — since I've ridden with my trail buddies. I just have been too busy to get out there when they are riding. I neglected my work more than I should have at the beginning of the summer, and now I'm paying the price by having to work extra-hard to get caught up.

Anyway, we chatted for a few minutes, and after a while we decided to hit the trail together. Usually I avoid the trail on weekends, especially holiday weekends, but on Sunday things were surprisingly quiet. We only passed a few cyclists on the trail, and there were only a few tents up in the campground near the barn. We also took the trail around the riding stables, since it looked like they were holding a roping practice class out in front, and I thought that was an accident waiting to happen. Other than that, though, the only sign of it being a holiday weekend was that the people driving on the road were somewhat rude — they weren't slowing down as they passed us, in those spots where the trail was right alongside the road through the park, but the horses handled it all right!

It was a long, lazy trail ride with lots of grazing — more than usual. Panama was extremely alert and "looky," and I was worried about him spooking, so I intentionally made it into a very relaxed ride. Maybe it was all the grazing, or maybe it was the fact that the boarder who looked at his saddle gave him a little massage (she used to do equine massage), but even though he was looking at everything, he stayed pretty relaxed. At least, he never hit the dangerous levels of tension — you know, the levels where you can practically feel the horse zing beneath you. It turned out to be a really nice ride for both of us!

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