So, at the crack of 9:30 a.m., my instructor calls and wakes me from my sunday slumber. In a matter of minutes, I am dressed and packed for a day of trail riding. (hence the crappy pics, I forgot my camera and had to use my phone)
We started the day by doing chores around the main barn and got Sugar ready to go. J (my insrtuctor, as I'm tired of tyiping out instructor) tried to load Sugar on to the trailer, but she refused. The last time she was in the trailer she went on an 8 hour ride to Missouri. So J had me hold her lead line standing in the trailer while he looked for a whip to coax her into it. While he was doing so, Sugar took a notion to just climb on in. And thus, I loaded my first horse.
Well, the next challenge for me was which horse to ride that day. We were going on a group trail ride, and I had the option of riding Lily or Maggie. The last time I rode Maggie on a group trail ride; she almost killed me between her love of kicking any horse that is close enough to her rear and my inexperience with bucking and kicking mounts.
In the end, I chose Maggie. I wanted a chance to redeem myself in the eyes of these great horsemen and women (as I started to cry at one point on this last ride). Also isn't there a saying, "To achieve greatly, you must risk greatly."? So, here goes nothing...
And I Kicked Booty!!! We rode for 6 hours, and Maggie never bucked and only tried to kick once. And thanks to my new knowledge and skill to handle the issue, she missed. The first problem I had with her was she walked right through a HUGE prickly bush to avoid a mud puddle. Of course after that point she was covered from the neck down in mud. The second major problem occoured on the way home. I had postioned Maggie at the back of the line (to discourage her from kicking). When we came up to the last creek crossing, she wanted to drink, so I let her get a decent amount of water. By the time she was finished, the others were dissapearing around a line of trees. Maggie walked up the other side of the creek and then proceed into a fast lope/almost gallop to catch up with the others. I made her stop then back all the way to the creek. Then we stood ther for a minute before proceeding on to catch up with the rest of the group.
I just thought in my head, "Who's the damsel in distress now?"
As just as every cake needs frosting, this just made my week. One of THE BEST trainers in the area (who I am hoping to intern under next summer), complemented ME on my riding.
He and J have been good friends, so just to give J a hard time, the trainer told me to come over to where all the adults were. He took one look at J and said, "That Bay mare you have isn't worth a sh*t unless she has a good rider on her; and this young lady is an excellent rider. So as of now J, you don't own that mare any more. We (including the other people on the trail ride) are giving her to this cowgirl."
The trainer was kidding about giving me the horse, but he complemented me. He has been riding for over 50 years and he complemented my riding. How freaking awesome is that!
Sorry about that novel, but I had to share. I also have to share pics of my faithful "steed" Maggie.I apologize for the pic quality. And the one of the landscape is supposed to be on the highest point in that area and it was gorgeous; but my phone camera doesn't show depth very well.