Today I picked up my Nancy :-) and we went to Hidden Mesa. We decided to head south and see just how far the trail went. Neither one of us had ever done that. It was actually quite a nice ride. The ground is still spongy and sometimes downright sloppy, but we still managed to get in some trotting and a little cantering.
I took Rain and Zarah and started off on Zarah. She still has quite an issue with bridges and I had to dismount and lead her across all the bridges going "out". On the way back, she crossed willingly while I was mounted. We need more bridge experience. She also has an issue with being overly "mare-ish" to the other horses. I discouraged it mildly, but I need to step it up and get the behavior gone.
We rode for about 3 hours in total and I switched to Rain at about the 2:15 mark. Rain felt great and energized! Zarah did quite will as my mount for the majority of the ride and her long trot stride could easily get us leading the endurance trail. She was all business as we trotted along and I tried to keep my cues soft and subtle. She was very interested in charging down the trail, but she still stayed in synch with me - slowing when I asked and generally listening well. Her canter felt great and very balanced.
She needs work also being the ponied horse. Her mar-ish behavior was a little much as she took her turn being the ponied horse. Rain was a perfect pony horse and great when she took her turn as my mount. She is a good horse to help me work with Zarah on her attitude with the trail horses around her. Rain is tolerant and easy-going.
I imagine we covered between 8-11 miles, but I wish I had my GPS so I'd know for sure. From now on, it goes with me every time.
Tomorrow, Gemini and Starlet hit the trail with me. Maybe I'll go back to the same place and try to find a home for this dog that followed us (and then managed to get a ride home to my house with me). Does the back of my shirt say "Sucker for Animals"?
She started following us in Franktown, so I've named her Frankie. And Frankie can't stay. ;-)