Tuesdays are fast becoming my favorite night at the barn. There is usually a good crowd, so I have friends to
drink ride with. I'm thinking of calling it the Riverview Wine and Pony Club, we meet regularly every Tuesday. Monthly dues include a plastic cup and a corkscrew....
Last night we took Wally, Beejay, Goose, and Tucker for a trail ride around the hay fields as the sun was setting. It was a tad chilly but we were bundled up, which made for a pleasant ride. I got there just as everyone was finishing tacking up, so I tacked up quickly and met them in the outdoor ring. Probably for the best that I had no time to decide whether taking my horse on a trail ride when he hasn't left the indoor since November was a good idea. Because had I thought about it, I would have erred on the side of safety and stayed indoors. And I would have missed a lovely ride.
When I first got on in the outdoor ring Tucker could not remember how to outside. He drifted like a magnet to Goose for security ("I need an adult!"), Goose pinned his ears and told him to get a grip, and I could feel Tucker pout. His lips were twitchy, his eyeballs were huge, and he had that big uncomfortable hump in his back. (If you've felt this before, you know the queasy feeling it gives you).
When we headed out for the trail I was still wondering if this was going to be one of those times when I looked back and said, "Yeah... that probably wasn't a great idea." [On a side note, I think I just drafted my tombstone]. He was still tense and rooting the reins out of my hands (17h pony that he is) but I figured I'd keep him with his mini-herd and maybe he'd eventually settle.
The moment of truth came when two white tail deer jumped out of the brush and bounded across the hay field. I tried really hard not to brace myself for impending doom, and it must have worked, because he barely cocked an ear at them. I must have subconsciously decided that everything would be fine then, because right around the same time, he settled down and started enjoying himself. Not that he didn't give a few suspicious shadows the ol' hairy eyeball, but he was otherwise a perfect gentleman. We walked around a few hay fields, behind a development, past a reservoir, and through some trees. It was hard to tell who enjoyed the outing more, us or the horses. It was a little dark by the time we came home, but so nice to be outside on horseback again!
And you know, for all his irrational fears about falling houses and big orange things and aliens, he really is a wonderful trail horse.