Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jen's First Trail Ride!

It was one of those lovely days at the barn. Paul had an all day swimming event which meant- BARNTIME! I had a leisurely morning (gotta love falling back) and stopped at Peet's to pick up a coffee and blueberry muffin. I got out to the barn just in time to see the IEA jumping girls finish up and watched the flat girls take their turns. I wish there were IEA teams when I was growing up- what a great experience for these younger kids. 
The team had finished up and I had settled into a chair in the "lounge" with the new issue of Practical Horseman. I looked up to find my coworker Jen with a worried look on her face. Apparently she and Tara (another coworker) had made plans to go on the short loop today. Jen had never taken Pie on the trail but was full of courage after their successful show at Rancho Murieta and wanted to capitalize on it. Of course I wanted to go along for moral support- and because Polly is a great baby sitter. Pie is a gentle giant but I can understand the fear of trails. Not having ridden much outside of a ring it's certainly a different experience to ride without arena walls. 
Poor Amanda was a bit frazzled with Kelly at a show and was running behind after all of the IEA training groups so I offered to jump myself around while she was in the ring with some of the younger lesson students. Polly and I had a great ride (video to come) over VERY small fences. But I personally think that there's a great benefit in training over smaller fences- the distance is harder to see which makes the ride much more about rhythm, track, and balance AND it's a good opportunity to miss safely which always reminds me that if we get a bad distance the world is not coming to an end. 
By the end of the lesson both Pie and Triscuit were in the ring and hacking around. The Three Musketeers convened and without further adieu marched right up the trail!
Jen asked us to remind her to "breath." By the end of the ride she was like an old pro!
A little tense. But having fun!
Feeling much more relaxed!
Get it Gurl!
And down we go!
The Three Musketeers after our trail!

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