It was our first time out on the trails this year. I asked my Dad if he wanted to come down and ride it with the girls and I and he did! He woke up about 5 am to fly his little cesna down here and by 11 we were on the trails. Elaina just turned 8 and her first time ever riding on trails was last summer and we rode it about 4 times and had the most amazing times. Most of her rides were on Moonlight. Macy is 6 and she has only been riding for about a month. I mean the girl has been on horses plenty but always being led and only a few times a year. I have waited with both of them until their kindergarten year to start teaching them to ride. Macy really seems a natural for riding. She has an amazing seat and you will get to witness that seat in part 2 video when Blaze snuck his tiny little butt past me at the top of a very large windy hill.
Over all it was a fantastic ride! The girls had a good time though they were obviously tired. At one point in one of the videos you can hear Elaina complaining about the bouncing and you hear her little voice bouncing away. It really jars the girls going any faster than a walk riding those mini's. Though a highlight for me is when my 6 year old rides up next to me and says "hey mom if I canter it is not as bouncy". I have never taught her to canter and I love that she has the guts to figure that out for herself. The whole thing was so great for her confidence. At the end of the 9 miles she was exhausted and on the brink of a meltdown but as we were pulling away I asked her if she wanted to do it again and with no hesitation said "YES". I love my girls!
I was happy with Steady though he had a few spooky moments that were just silly and a few moments that he just stopped and wouldn't move but once someone went ahead he followed behind. One spook was the worst he has ever had. I was in front with everyone else right behind me he stops and everyone was waiting behind us and he did a try to flee in the other direction spook. The other horses turned and started to go to but everyone very quickly pulled all of them back and we continued on. All that because he heard some kids screaming in the woods off in a distance. Who knows?? He also would throw a complete tantrum if Moonlight led the way. It can be hard to keep a steady pace with two mini's with short legs and then there is long legged Steady. My Dad and Moonlight would get out front and I would try to stay back to stay close to Macy but Steady was having none of that. He would dance and prance and do some gorgeous high stepping side passing all the way down the trail. I just felt at any second he was going to flip his lid. I kept telling my Dad that I had to lead but he would sneak in front sometimes. I love Steady and I am proud of the progress he has made on the trails but sometimes I feel like he can be too high maintanence. Then I start to feel like I am enabling him by allowing him to be that way but on the other hand I don't know that they are really things that I can change about him. I just don't know that he is the reliable trail horse or that he ever will be. We have a great time on the trails and will continue to do them but I would never let anyone else on him in a trail.
I think I completely wore out my Dad but I think he liked it. Maybe he will like it more when he is not so sore. I had a distinct advantage because I ride all the time but my Dad is not really a rider though he loves horses and has owned them for over 30 years.
The videos are up on youtube and you are more than welcome to check them out. One thing I found out with the gopro is that you cannot edit it with the normal editing programs and have to use special software to do so. So all the video is raw. I will tell you the times to skip to on each video if you don't want to watch 25 minutes of solid trail riding video...lol.
Video #1 most of the action is found from the beginning to minute 3 and minute 9 to the end. The beginning is us crossing one of the 6 different large streams on the trail. Elaina and I usually walk a good way down it but the mini's feet looked like they were sinking so we opted not to continue. At one spot you can see the two girls standing on a little island and it is too cute then them leading the two big people out of the water was too cute. At minute 9 is just me getting off of Steady to tighten Macy's girth and giving her a little pep talk to keep her going. The last frame when the video stops you can see Macy's enthusiasm after about 7 miles on the trail and loosing her stirrup When you hear me saying I will you cut you off that is because Blaze would try and sneak past me. I felt like I was playing pony ping pong, dodging those little guys back and forth. Please forgive my obnixious talking. It is really annoying to hear yourself talk on video. I hope I don't annoy you as much as I annoy myself. But you can always turn the sound down.