Monday, June 18, 2012

Horse Trial to Trail Horse

This 100% Thoroughbred can do it all!  He is just awesome like that.  We went to Brown County State park last weekend and camped.  There was a group of us 5 others plus me and my family.  We first met at HHP to school XC.  That was pretty laid back.  It was hot and I didn't care to ask for a bunch, considering he just rocked that course a week prior.  I just try a few new things.  On the list of new things that we tried a Trekaner, bank into water, bank out of water, double down bank and a big arse table.

I was having some running off, throwing his head in the air issue after jumps but I felt like if we were able to keep going like you would on course that would sort itself out.  It was the breaking of the rhythm that I felt he was struggling with.  I think I must though find a stronger XC bit option, ugh I don't know why I just don't like that idea and why I struggle with it so much.  But it is a good idea and one of these days I am going to have to just do it.

I never have seen him have such a hang up on any jump ever as he had with jumping off the bank into the water.  He just could not wrap his mind around it.  He launched, then he launched again, then he really hesitated, then launched again.  I have never seen him have so much trouble before.  I finally got a nice jump off once and let that be, phew Steady what is the deal?  Banks, no problem.  Water, no problem.  But bank into water?  Absolutely mind boggling.  It wasn't fear in him.  It was just simple confusion about what he was jumping into.

Trekaner was nothing to him.  Then we went out to the praire and my friend asked what I would like to do out there.  From a little bit of a distance I see this large table and say "I want to do that!".  She gave me some pointers on how to approach then pointed us to a jump we should do after and she said to do a training black hanging log.   So we picked up a canter and the closer I got to the jump the bigger and bigger it looked.  My thoughts in the last few strides were, "UHHHH, Amy what were you thinking?  Well I am commited at this point so grow a pair and ride it! " He of course cleared it fine and it was pretty damn awesome.  He had some issues coming back to meafterward and we were not as straight as we should have been and he was not paying attention enough to clear the next jump and he ran out to the right which I was kind of expecting, which is why he probably did it.  We rode that one jump once more and we were done I was beyond pleased with him.  He is such a cool horse!  I love that when I lack the confidence he makes up for it.  He makes this sport fun.

Then it was off to set up camp.  We set up came settled the horses in, enjoyed dinner with friends.  Saturday morning the plan was to ride to Story, IN which is this "town" (only has one resturant) for a bite to eat while the rest of the group would drive over to meet us.

Hitching posts in the background.

 It was my two friends, me and get this MY HUSBAND!  Yes I was as surprised as you to hear his answer when I asked if he wanted to ride out with us.  He said "sure".  Um OK.  But it wasn't  2 minutes in before I noticed a major problem.  Moonlight was extremely foot sore :(.  The plan had to quickly change because the trail to Story was a bit rough and rugged and Moonlight would not have been able to make the trip :(.  We ended up taking a shorter less rugged hour long trail instead.  Moonlight still struggled in areas but dang it all if I had my husband on a horse we were going to do something.  It was nice, relaxing and enjoyable.  My husband even enjoyed it!  I love that!  Though when I said, "see honey you don't hate horses.  You enjoyed that trail ride."  He followed that up with, "yeah I wouldn't mind renting them once a year for a nice trail ride, I still don't like paying 1000's of $'s a year for them."  Hey I call that progress!  All I heard was that he enjoyed the trail ride.  The rest was kind of a blur ;)

Saturday afternoon we went for a longer and bit more strenous ride but still shorter than I am used to.  I was kind of getting ansty to actually get out and trail ride.  I am used to a minimum of 3-4 rides at a time and that is with my 9 year old daughter.  The terrain was different than trails we had done before.  Alot more rocks, like large rocks to navigate through and a bit more steep hills but not excessivly hilly by any means.  Steady and I mostly stayed 3rd or so behind which was good for him because he is usually the leader.  He got quite comfortable being a follower and I am happy about that.  The only issue I had out of him all weeked is when we were navigating down the steepest and roughest hill we have ever done before.  He was insisting that he MUST trot down this hill, which was not a good idea.  So I was already dealing with that when my friend in front went around a bend and out of his sight.  He then though he MUST canter to catch up.  I then got into an arguement with him and he started to go sideways just as we were going over a runout ditch, a log and a decent drop off.  I possibly said a couple swear words that could be heard for a good distance.  Thankfully as soon as he could see the horse in front again he calmed down a bit and we made it down safe and sound.

Sunday we finally went out for a 'real' trail ride.  It was a couple hours long through varying terrain and beautiful veiws.  I LOVE those kind of rides.  Those that you just truck along moving with the horse underneath you breathing in the smells and taking in the views.  When your legs start to get tired and by the time you are done you and your horse are happily exhausted.  There are challanges along the way with crossing water, navigating terrain and dodging prickers but in between you can just sit back, relax and enjoy nature.  Nothing better in the world.

Me and my baby
It was a great trip!  We went creeking and the kids caught then later boiled and ate crawdads.   They went fishing with their Dad.  There were campfires, smores in hair and racoons eating all of my very expensive feed for Steady.   Great friends and good times and surely many memories made.

Creeking with Mama

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I typed this up as soon as we got back but our internet service has been crap lately and I have just been busy and quite frankly I have enjoyed falling off the radar for a bit.  But Steady has had a nice vacation and I am happily taking a training break too. But more on that another time.


  1. Sounds and looks like a fab weekend for the entire family! Enjoyed reading about it, Amy :) Memories to last a lifetime.

  2. So fun! Even your husband had a good time. :)

  3. so happy to hear things with your husband are starting to turn more positive! And i am very jealous your weekend sounded amazing! What a nice break from the norm.

  4. You guys sure know how to have fun!!!


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