In celebration of Canada Day (and also just because I wanted to), Hope and I went on a trail ride. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Canada Day than to ride through some of trails that this beautiful country has to offer.
I went to the local equestrian park that I am very fortunate to be boarding right next to, literally. The park is directly across the street from the barn I am at, and one of the side entrances is just a minute road ride away, and since it is a very quiet street, with courteous and horse knowledgeable drivers, it isn’t a problem. As I’ve only been at this barn for a short period of time, I’ve only been to the park once before, and only for a quick 20 minute cool down. This time, I went for just over an hour to have an actual ride, and to be able to appreciate the park more and to see a greater extent of it.
For the most part, Hope was really good. She seemed to enjoy the change of scenery, and employed her time with looking at everything that she could. Apparently flowers are scary, as are downhill gradients. After we had been gone for about half an hour, she started to get a little anxious. Hope is a bit of a homebody (okay, a lot). It’s not that she’s herd bound, she just likes all of the comforts of home. She is very much so an urban loving horse, and very much so enjoys and appreciates all of the aspects of “modern” living. I am sure that she thinks forests and trail rides are simply too “uncivilized” for her. She is a princess, and much prefers the paved alleyways in and between barns to the more rustic trails (even though these trails are gorgeous, and wonderfully maintained).
Hope didn’t do anything stupid on our ride, but she wasn’t getting any more fond of it as time went on. Eventually I started working on our lateral work down the trails, just to give her something else to think about. She immediately gave a big sigh and began to settle down again. I think she was relieved to have something to do that was familiar to her, because, you know… those downhill slopes are very scary and foreign, and must be snorted at.
In true dressage fashion, we did half pass zigzags, shoulder-in, travers, and renvers as we continued on our ride.
I immensely enjoyed myself, and look forward to going again. I have no doubt that Hope will begin to get used to trail riding, although, I’m sure that she’ll always prefer her pristine arena, and manicured showgrounds to the trails.