Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Friday: Back out on the trail!

The crowning achievement last week wasn't our lead changes, but getting back out on the trail for the first time in just over two months — I hadn't been out since Panama and Spaghetti dumped my friend and me back in early May.  The delay wasn't all fear-induced — part of it was timing (our barn locked down for EHV-1 shortly afterward), and part of it was being too busy and sleeping in a lot from late nights spent working and reading.  Being nervous certainly didn't help, because I didn't have any burning desire to make it out when I knew my trail riding buddies were going, but it wasn't the only reason.

But on Friday I finally broke the ice and went on a trail ride!  It was just Zans and his owner with us, which made me happy — Zans is very laid-back, an excellent quiet trail riding buddy to help us calm down when Panama is nervous.  And he was a bit nervous — there was a lot going on in the park on Friday, more than usual for a Friday morning.  First, the yurt we pass early on was crawling with kids — several ran across our path.  Next came the archery range, which was also much busier than usual.  And then of course the riding stables, the place where he dumped me last time, two separate groups out on trail rides, and another group riding in the public arena.

My nervousness probably was contributing to his, but I led Zans lead as we passed the riding stables, and that helped.  Once we get past all those parts, though, the second half of our loop is usually very quiet, even though the trail goes along the road — we get passed by bicycles and the occasional car, but Panama doesn't mind any of that, so he usually relaxes and slows up during that stretch.  Or maybe he just knows we're halfway there, and doesn't want to go home — I don't know.

In any case, Panama calmed down once we passed all of the commotion, and we had a very nice, relaxed ride for the remainder.  It felt good to get out there again, and I'm going to start trying to go at least once or twice a week again.  Last summer we went on trail rides two and three times a week, and it was really starting to become old hat to Panama.  I'd like to get us to that point again!

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