This past weekend we finally succeeded!
On Friday night Charles and I had gone out dancing with my Surgery peeps, which was probably an insane thing to do considering that I wanted to get up early on Saturday regardless...and we didn't get home until after 3:00 am! I still woke up at 8:30 am like clockwork, though I let Charles sleep in. We were both exhausted (we had both had rough, long weeks at our jobs on top of the lack of sleep + sore bodies from dancing for 4 hours nonstop) but I was determined to just take the trailer out. The worst thing you can do to a horse trailer is let it sit unused for extended periods of time.
We didn't get to the barn until 1:00 pm. We hitched up the trailer and found everything to be in working order after a thorough check-up. We got the girls from the field and I removed the caked-on mud from both of them while Charles loaded up our tack. The girls were happy and relaxed to find themselves tied to the trailer for the first time in 4 months. I had been expecting to need to review trailer loading with G-Mare but she hopped on willingly behind me and as soon as the partition was in place, Lily was already peering around the trailer door wanting to go in! Laughing, I unclipped her lead rope and she hopped on completely of her own accord then waited for me to tie her up.
It is in moments like this that I seriously adore that mare: I couldn't ask for a companion that loves her job more!
We chose Little Bennett as our destination because of its close proximity and quiet, varied trails. Both horses are familiar with the park and there is plenty of water access for drinking and cooling down. I wanted to trial them at a slower race pace over a longer distance (my goal was 10 miles) and was counting on that water access: they both still have full winter coats and Lily's is especially long.
It was chilly when we arrived at the park. The girls received mashes while we quickly tacked them up. Both mares were "up" upon our mounting up, but not in a nervous way, nooooo: they were all "LET'S DO THIS!!" The second we were on the trail, we let them move up into a trot.
|Gracie led in the beginning.|
And then Lily and I took the lead. We leap-frogged throughout this ride: when one mare seemed to start lagging in energy, the other would pass and go in front. It was a smooth and seamless process with them: Gracie used to hate letting others take turns leading but she did not mind it on this ride.
|First river crossing. Both mares drank!|
We let the horses hang out at the second water crossing as well.
|Lily played A LOT with the water!|
|Gracie decided to imitate her.|
Trotting down one of the gravel roads that connects the different trails.
|Charles had so much fun on this ride.|
Lily and I took the lead.
|It was an absolutely wonderful ride.|
|Not bad at all for our first off-property outing of the year!|
|Old pros at this, both of them.|
I was so impressed with them. They had not been ridden in nearly two weeks and hadn't hauled out in almost 4 months, but here we just randomly had them hop on the trailer and took them out for a spin and neither one of them batted an eyelash at anything.
This sport, guys. I love what this sport does for horses!!
|A spectacular sunset on the way home.|