We went for a trail ride! We didn’t really go to Campbell Valley – we just rode around Highpoint. Wasn’t that interesting honestly due to lack of wilderness and speed…we only walked and it kind of felt like some sort of long cool out (less the inclines). The trails were wide and sandy and would be lovely to trot on (or even canter a bit) but didn’t trot (intentionally) or canter (duh). I think trotting a bit on the trails would have been more to my speed. The other horse was slooooow and she couldn’t get him going (I should have ridden him as I have experience with that species lol…) so we didn’t trot.

I can just see me and my regular ride (something  Dory-like or similarly sane) trotting along the trails (maybe with even a bit of canter) and walking over the gates, on inclines  and across the streets.  That’ll be fun. LOL. (Maybe I should be an endurance rider then…haha!). But seriously that trail would be an awesome cool out/do something different trail…just to have a break from ring figures and movements.

I rode a Appy (Appaloosa) that was on autopilot to follow the lead horse….which would be fine for that purpose, except I wanted to talk to Catherine and not the random guide! Surprisingly, I found him a bit strong in his desire to keep up with the other horse! He was fairly responsive though. They were also a bit spooky with the wind although mine only spooked once. My stirrups were also way too long….they were not resting on my foot…not really…my feet were just hovering IN them.

Even though I’ve been riding for now about 11 years (English) and will test for Rider 6 on Monday (so about intermediate I guess…I seem to have too many fear and/or horsepower issues to advance! Hence my 3 step plan of life…starting with get a job!! Which isn’t working right now…ha!), riding that western on that horse I felt like a beginner. Strange horse, strange steering! I had stop, go but no steering or anything else. (With English, I’m to a point that I have buttons for most parts of the horse) I wasn’t sure what I was doing either. My reins were apparently uneven (not normally an issue…I would be told if it was!) probably due to the loose rein (couldn’t feel) and other things…(think my riding mind said: walk break!!). Dude, indeed.

Honestly, I think I’ll stick with dressage. I think trails will be great to unwind and have fun after too many inaccurate circles etc but I’m not sure if I’ll just be happy trail cruising (at a walk at least). I do miss getting out of the ring/off property though (which we did in Southlands but not in Delta). I might have a different review if we got to trot a bit (not sure about canter…never cantered outside a ring).

I don’t remember the names of the horses, really (or how to spell them) lol. I know all horses I’ve ridden in lessons but this, not so much….think my mind turned off without needing to do anything finer! Think the grey is Zack and the Appy…uh starts with P? Pilgrim I think? He was a bit strong actually in his zest for keeping up with the lead horse…I started wondering if I should have worn gloves at some point!

The guide gave us a lecture on keeping your reins at a usable length. Ok. But even if they were longish, shouldn’t you be able to shorten them up quickly? (I’ve had my reins pretty loose before on a walk break yet get them fast enough to control the spooking horse). But maybe I have instincts that non-riders/beginners don’t. My tried to keep my reins about the length of English reins if I was holding them loosely (the guide really didn’t coach much at all other than to tell me that my reins uneven ha! And that Catherine needed to get control of her reins…and kick that horse’s butt.). Also, I my my reins got uneven a lot. I don’t seem to have that issue as much with English (I take lessons and I’m a flat/dressage rider, so I would have been told if that’s the case!). Maybe it’s due to the lack of contact and walking to me = walk break. Then my mind shuts off. Ha! I think I need western rainbow reins….

Another strange thing is the trailering. Now maybe it’s because he’s a cowboy and  we’re a bunch of horsewomen fussing over show horses but even though he’s hauling for a short distance, he uses no boots of any kind and is trailer has no ramp. I’m starting to wonder the distance in which the legs  need to be protected. When we went to Delta Riding Club, a short drive from Greystone, we still used boots on the front (Czar was just in open fronts). I do think that he has a very different relationship to horses then we do. He treats them as livestock, we treat them as pets. His horses ground tie (sort of…well they can be untied and that’s okay…) and even can be tied to the fence with no twine . I cringed at that a bit…yes it’s a quick release knot but there is no twine and there is a leverage bit with huge looking shanks (probably not huge but to me they are when my idea of bits are snaffles and kimberwicks…pelhams also don’t have massive shanks either) attached to the rein…what if the horse spooks and pulls back? Ugh…I guess the leather will snap but that bit!  I was trained to always tie with twine and never tie with the reins. It’s almost like we expect our horses to be more spooky and less patient! Spoiled ponies! Oh and one rider didn’t show up so the horse was left in the trailer, unintended. Assuming there was shavings (there wasn’t any in the main compartment), water and some hay, I think that’ll be okay as long as it’s not Czar. Czar would sooo lose his mind!

(Yes I wore what I wore because I hate jeans and I just figured half chaps wouldn’t hurt in case things rubbed the wrong way…and I always wear a helmet anyway)

Trail ride with an Appy