Ah, spring is in the air!  Inhale

There’s only one way to properly herald in this wonderful season and that’s a trail ride! Come on, can you think of a better way to unwind, commune with nature and enjoy some scenic vistas? No arenas. No 20 meter torture circles. Just wide open spaces. Sigh. Heaven. So off I went to enjoy an uneventful trail ride on a nice old nag. Nose to tail riding here I come!

Hey, you didn’t really think I’d stay away for long, did you?

I decided it was in my best interests not to advertise that I kinda know how to ride. In this case, low expectations are good. With that in mind I selected old jeans, work boots and a fleece jacket. Definitely not English riding attire. I topped it off with my own riding gloves and helmet. No way was I wearing one of their helmets. Ew!

At this facility the trail guides select your mount based on size and an assumption of riding ability. My mount was Foxy. Hmm, not old and not a nag, kinda…foxy. I was then told to bring up the rear because, well, “Foxy was one of those.” Great. A mare that doesn’t want a nose on her tail.

I quickly discovered that Foxy had quite the marching walk. No poke here. (Are you sure she’s Western?) Also she had a complete disregard for personal space. During her constant attempts to overtake the other horses, we’d end up with her nose to their tail. Apparently it was okay for her to do it to others. So, we had a discussion about personal space as we circled. Then another discussion. It’s a good thing I’m so well versed in circles.

After a while we picked up a trot that I couldn’t sit. Excuse me, whatever happened to the Western jog? As we rounded a corner the first horse slipped in the mud and leaves. Rider #1 went tail over teakettle and landed trail side. A quick brushing off and Rider #1 remounted. Hmm, so much for an uneventful trail ride.

Horses 1, Riders 0

Foxy and I continued our, uh, discussions. Otherwise things were fairly uneventful.

That is until we hit the home stretch and a log conspired with a patch of ice to take out horse and Rider #2. I watched helplessly as the horse went down and the rider jumped clear. We immediately dismounted and grabbed horses while the guides ran to the horse. She wasn’t getting up.

I pointed out that her hips were still up on the log and probably preventing her from getting up. Rider #1 also suggested taking off the saddle. The guides were amazing and took each of our suggestions in stride. They tried shifting the log and quickly pulled the saddle off although a breastplate strap was sacrificed in the process.

When the calvary arrived we were asked to proceed back to the stable. As Rider #3, I was grateful when we all opted to lead the horses back. I can only imagine what was in store for me if we had ridden back.

Thankfully the horse trotted back to the stable wearing her saddle and a oh, that was nothing attitude.