I rode Laz casually in the pasture on Friday and cooled him out on the road.
I had plans to have my friend E meet us on Saturday for a trail ride, the weather was to be a perfect warm, sunny Fall day.
Life happens and E couldn't make it anymore...I couldn't find anyone to trail ride with. I was so disappointed on possibly missing out on a treasure of a day. I decided to text Juliette for riding support. She rides her 3 OTTBs all the time, out on trails and in large pasture areas, often all alone. (I've been told my whole life; it's too dangerous. What if this (bad), what if that (terrible)...what if NOTHING bad happened and I miss out on a great day? I mean, I ride in the pasture alone, I ride down the road alone...why not the trails?) I felt angry and turned to someone who was experienced with it and would hopefully give me the positive support I needed. Indeed she did. She told me basically DO IT. If I felt unsafe, dismount and walk and enjoy that. And also... to trust my horse.
Funny how I just didn't do that automatically...trust him.
Why wouldn't I?
So, I woke up Saturday determined. I had a back up safety net of dismounting if things went challenging. I pulled on my big girl equine panties and left for the barn with a positive attitude.
I told Laz of my plan as we tacked up.
We hit the road and rode right up to the neighbors property. Laz had one moment of "Uhhhhh.....alone?"
But I felt safe and connected and I just legged him on and LOOKED where I wanted to be.
The thicket area can be a bit of a challenge to Laz, it's high with plants and FULL of smells, so he questioned me a few times but then responded very well with my request of forward/forward/forward. I knew once I got him through the thicket into the wooded area, he would be game for the trail.
And he was...
Entering from the thicket to the trail head
(cue the angels singing voices---ahhhhhhhhhh!)
We enjoyed a lovely trail ride-all alone. We walked mostly, but I got great trotting and even a few canters from him. All controlled but energetic and forward which was fantastic.
I had him out for about 45 minutes and he was eager but nervous and was sweating a bit more than normal. A few times I felt his heart bounding through my legs, so we would stop and I would give him a huge Olympic neck pat and shove a few cookies into his mouth.
He would sigh and snort. GOOD boy.
We rode in both directions and past the trail exit (he stopped and said "UH, dis is where we gets out") and then I called it quits because he gave me EVERYTHING I asked for. I wanted it to be a shorter positive experience for our first outing.
We headed out of the trail and back into the carved thicket area...
I used grassy areas and apple trees for rewards and resting all along our ride
We're the kings of the world...er trails
Heading back home, Pito in sight!
A bit sweaty. I dismounted and loosened his girth and allowed him to graze outside of his pasture for several minutes
Being it was around 70, I decided to hose him off which he really enjoyed.
Wet chunker waiting for his cookie
Rolling as I drove by...oh sweet boy! Job very well done
Here are some videos for your pleasure ;)
By the way, I had the date wrong...it was Sat 10/12
And this video was after our trail ride, in the thicket heading back towards to road on the neighbors property that she allows us to ride on to get to the trails
I was over the moon with Laz. He is just my dreamboat of a horse.
I love how smart and willing he is. He never 'really' knows my agenda but he usually is game for it.
What a fantastic partner he is.
I look forward to more rides like this, just he and I.