Fall trail rides (like beach walks) are my favorite! I get to wear my favorite clothes (flannel shirts and boots), the temps are cooler and the woods are beautiful in fall. We ride through the Buxton Woods Coastal Preserve, which is a maritime forest with mostly evergreen trees. What few trees we have that change color are beautiful!
Today I took the two homeschool girls who ride with me out on a ride. We did a 4 mile loop, and since King is sound again, I rode him. I didn’t want to overdo it, so I rode half and walked half to give him a break. We will see how he feels in the next couple days. Hopefully I didn’t ask too much, too soon.
King has not been ridden before, so this is all new to him. On our first ride, I had no steering and very little brakes. On our second ride today, his steering was already improving. At one point, one of the girls had to get off and do a tack adjustment and we needed to stop and wait. King isn’t into standing around. He plods forward steady as can be, doesn’t get excited about anything, and eats up the trail with his huge stride. Stopping, however, is not in his repertoire. He’s not into turning either. It’s all forward, forward, forward in straight lines! He was antsy but I was able to stop him and ask him to wait on the trail for everyone to get going again. He pawed, but I can deal with that. That’s not dangerous.
We got to do some more waiting when I got ahead of the girls and had to wait for them to catch up. I was able to turn him around and get him to stand quietly while we waited. He didn’t paw that time. He’s catching on that he’s in a group and not solo with a buggy anymore.
Today was a perfect training opportunity. I am so impressed with his brain and his work ethic. He’s traffic safe from his buggy pulling days, and I felt completely safe riding him in a halter and reins on the road. He’s happy to leave the others and forge on ahead, and he doesn’t get upset if they ride away from him. That’s huge for a herd animal! That kind of confidence is priceless.