I took Olaf on his first off property ride last weekend. I got him 9 months ago, but for the first few months I didn’t ride him at all and let him work on gaining weight. This summer I started riding him on short little hacks around the barn property to let him start building back his fitness. When the equine dentist came out, he estimated that Olaf’s age is mid to late teens. I’ve been really careful putting him back into work since he’s a little older and I want him to stay sound for years to come.
A friend of mine has access to the beautiful trails at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, so Olaf and I trailered down to ride with her for the afternoon. It was the first day that it actually felt like fall. It was still warm enough for t-shirts, but there was a nice breeze and the temps were down in the 70’s. After a record setting summer of extreme heat, it was glorious.
Olaf did much better than I expected as far as his energy level. We ended up doing about 5 miles and at the end he was still perky and wanting to trot. We did one big hill that cris-crosses up the mountain. He trotted parts of it and seemed like he was having a good time charging it. He is definitely still out of shape because he trips sometimes and he doesn’t feel very balanced all the time. All of that will come with more time riding terrain.
I have no idea what Olaf did before he came to me, but he is turning out to be a wonderful trail horse. Even though he’s big and tends to be a little lazy, he seems to enjoy going for a walk in the woods, especially if we have a friend along. He startles easily, at silly things like a rabbit sitting at the edge of the trail, but he doesn’t do big, dramatic spooks and he goes right back to work afterward. Overall, I’m thrilled with him!