Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adventure on the trail!

Cowboy took a fall into the ravine... with Chrissy on his back! Ahhh! Nooo!

We went to Indian Creek, the girls, Chrissy, Kendall and me. We took our 3 horses - Rain, Cowboy and Zarah. I was excited about it - I love the trail and lately I spend so much time developing myself and horses on my property. It's great to get out and even greater to spend time with my daughter and sister with horses.

Anyway, Chrissy is developing her seat and trying to spend more time in the saddle. I was so glad when she said she wanted to go with Kendall and I. I was half thinking she'd bag out and spend some time developing more ground work with Cowboy. We got our act together pretty quickly, loaded horses and were on our way.

I coached Chrissy along the way in between singing trail songs. Things were going pretty well. Kendall was fine on Rain, she's ridden her on many trail rides. Chrissy was working on getting better communication going with Cowboy and just figuring out how to feel in charge. She actually did amazingly well!

He was only wearing boots on the front and we were on a pretty narrow and rocky trail that sometimes had a drop to a ravine on the side. Cowboy's feet really needed boots on the hinds, too. He was trying to avoid the rocks and walking along the side of the trail a lot of the time. Chrissy was trying to keep him on the trail, but he was pretty serious about avoiding the rocks. At one point, he either took a misstep or the soft ground gave way underneath him, and he and Chrissy slid down into the ravine! I hustled down to help her, trying to keep Cowboy down so he wouldn't go over her trying to get back up to the trail. She crawled up a fallen tree and made her way back the trail. Now, I had to keep him down long enough to remove some tack and get myself out of his way so he could scramble up to the trail. He wanted to come up and I had to keep him down or else he was going to scramble over me. I got his saddle loosened, but not off. I went for the bridle, but didn't have it all the way off when we decided to go up another way (not over ME!). I let him go - he knew what he could do and I was pretty sure he'd get out.

He did. He was back on the trail and gathering his thoughts. I was majorly impressed by both Chrissy and Cowboy. They both stayed calm and thought their way out. I was glad I was there to keep Cowboy down so Chrissy could climb out. I hope she takes some time to soak and think through what happened and decides to get back to it. She gutted through all 3-4 hours of our ride and she has the right stuff to become a great trail rider. She also has a good partner in Cowboy. I'll keep helping her undo Cowboy's braciness and gaining her confidence on the trail.

Z was awesome today. She led the trail out, always confident and calm. She was response to me and just couldn't have been a better horse for me. I was also very impressed with her!

A little more adventure than I had anticipated, but hopefully not so much that Chrissy doesn't want to do it again. Cowboy will be fine and he'll be ready to play with Chrissy again. I loved it and it really made me want to enter another endurance or CTR event. I love the adventure and covering trail miles!

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