This weekend was one of the best ones in a long time. We had fun last weekend camping, but this weekend was so relaxed and we got to spend it with our favorite 4 legged companions. Mark Noel has introduced the bit to Abby, and like all things, she took it in stride. He took her out in pastures to cut cows, and though she has NO cow sense, she didn't spook at them. That's perfect in my book. I don't want a cow horse. I want a great trail horse. And I think I've got her!
Mark is very soft with his hands, not pulling in her mouth, and she responds so well to his gentle training. She's very responsive and compliant. She has some fire in her belly, and that's good. I don't want a horse that's so laid back as they're boring. I can't wait to ride her. I could have on Sat, but I wasn't in the right attire (ahem--sundress and flip flops).
She picks up the lope and I could tell she was enjoying herself.
Look at that alert headset. Just waiting for Mark's next cue. That is the look of a happy horse!
After we visited Abby, we went to a yard sale down the road. I bought a nice Hereford Yoakum western saddle for Shannon for a steal and a hay bag for future horse trips.
Our next trip trail riding was Sunday. We met up with Kay and Joe (I did the endurance race with them 2 years ago) at Horse Heaven about 30 minutes from our little farm. Shannon decided he wanted to come along. He's never formally ridden on a ride, other than riding Anna bareback in the pasture with a halter and lead rope. Kay brought Hank the Wonder Horse for Shannon. They got along great. Although Shannon said he felt sorry for Hank during the ride, because he had to put up with Shannon shifting his saddle and learning to ride a trot and canter on him. I'm sure Hank didn't mind too badly.
Iney saw her buddies and wanted to be near them. She was very anxious to go, and I had to really hold her back the first hour or so.
Midway through the ride, I took the camera from Shannon and tried taking pics while riding. I'll apologize in advance for the blurry ones. Kay takes MUCH better pics, and you can see them and her post on the ride at their family blog: http://4rranch.blogspot.com/2012/06/first-ride.html
Shannon and Kay. We did some trotting (we are conditioning for an endurance ride in Aug!) and Shannon held his own. I was very proud of him and his willing attitude. At one point, he wasn't sure if Pyper and Raegan would have siblings, but then he recovered and enjoyed the rest of the 8 mile loop.