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MacabreMikolaj 09-14-2010 06:22 PM

First group trail ride! And questions...
Eeeeek, I am SO proud, both Jynx and Eve did fantastic! It was also Ashley's first ride, although her pony Justus has been on one (and didn't behave very well). She behaved much better this time!

I have been pretty involved in big group charity rides for several years now, kind of like endurance racing without the competition factor. Rides are anywhere from 5 to 15 miles, most of them fall into the 10 mile range. We have quite a few annually in the region, as many if not more then endurance rides, and it's a great way to train your horse as well as it's a massive hustle bustle of 50 - 200 riders getting ready, most of them with numerous teams of wagons.

This was a smaller one put on by the local Shriners group, under 10 miles as it only took us 2 hours and 15 minutes of almost only walking and a little bit of trot. Anyway, it was the first one for the 3 year olds and they behaved beyond expectation. Jynx couldn't have been happier tucked into a big group of horses, and I did the entire ride on a loose rein with zero issues. We had water to cross, and a miniature rocky "cliff edge" to traverse, along with several hundred feet of VERY rocky terrain - they both handled it like pros. The ride was in the park where we board, and was a 30 minute walk ride from where the stable is, so they had a lot of standing around to do and were completely unfazed by the other horses and people - a lot of nickering and perky ears but never moved a muscle and happy to graze.

QUESTION - we had one tiny issue, that unfortunately due to the circumstances involved someone else falling off. Eve was absolutely terrified of the strange horses behind her - to the point where she finally had a meltdown and without any warning, kicked out with both back feet. Luckily the horse behind her was far enough away that she didn't actually get him, but the motion of it spooked him and as his rider was quite heavy (pushing 300lbs), when she lost her balance she yanked down on the reins and almost flipped him backward and ended up falling off. She was fairly understanding about it, and I inserted Jynx behind Eve after that as she has ZERO problems with our crew sticking their noses right up her butt and she HATES Jynx, which is why we never suspected she would kick out at other horses.

How do you best go about handling something like that? There was no ear pinning, no "angry" signs, she just kept jigging and swinging her head from side to side to look behind her and finally her brain just fizzled and she lashed out. It was quite obvious it was a nervous action and not an "angry" action. We made extra sure nobody got behind her after that, Shay-la was very embarrased and we just hung to the back of the pack after that. Any advice would be great!

And some pictures!
Riding over to the meeting area
Ashley and Justus
Waiting for the ride to start
Our good ponies!
They couldn't have cared less!
Ashley bugging Jynx
Face scratch!
Shay-la and Eve
I want this one framed, hehehehe!
Notice Jynx's lime green bell boots? LMAO, I pick up my lime green saddle blanket tomorrow!
Out on the trail!
Jynx the trail pro!
Love these trails!

MacabreMikolaj 09-14-2010 06:25 PM
More trails
Through the marsh area
It was GORGEOUS out!
The woman on the left riding the bay TWH is the one who fell off >.<
More trail
Into the haunted woods!
Other riders
Ashley playing in the water!
Shay-la and Eve
I love this forest!

MacabreMikolaj 09-14-2010 06:30 PM


And I took Jynx for her first gallop! We tried once before but she just wasn't balanced enough and was getting upset so I kept her to a canter. This time I asked for a canter in the big field, sat back and just let her pick her speed and she took off like a rocket! I have never in my entire life been on a horse that galloped that smooth! She was no problem to stop either, we didn't go far but it was away from Eve and Justus so I was extra proud!


smrobs 09-14-2010 07:45 PM

Very cool about the gallop, gotta love those smooth travelling stock horses :D.

I love the pictures, they are gorgeous, you are lucky to have such a pretty area to ride in. I may start summering up there with you, I am assuming that it probably stays a bit cooler up there than it does down here :lol:.

MacabreMikolaj 09-14-2010 09:28 PM

Haha, by a long shot I'm sure! I can't stand it, I hate heat, and it can often go over 100 degrees with the humidex, but those are moreso on "occasion". It stays pretty steady around 68F - 86F most of the summer. I imagine our summers would be more like your winters.

Just be warned - we're built on a friggin marsh which means the heat may not kill you but the mosquitoes definitely will. Bug spray doesn't stop 'em when they're thick enough to be chewed!

I'll come winter with you. :lol: I like snow, but 25 years of -40 for five months gets pretty exhausting!

kitten_Val 09-14-2010 09:33 PM

MM, I thought you are already having winter down there! :lol:

Congrats on great ride!

MyBoyPuck 09-14-2010 10:06 PM

As for the kicking out, there's not much you can do other than observe the basic safety rule of riding a safe distance from the horse in front of you. You just can't go wrong that way. My horse is one of those "never does a bad thing ever" guys. Last year a horse got too close while we were cantering, and he nailed him with both back hooves. You just never know. If you're in a huge group as you were, just try shuffling the horses around a bit to see if one's more comfortable in front or back of a different horse. Glad you had fun. Congrats on the gallop. Sounds like you're hooked on speed already!

MacabreMikolaj 09-14-2010 10:32 PM


That is definitely the annoying part. People around here assume that if your horse doesn't have a red ribbon, there's no problem with sticking their horse's nose up your arse. I know a LOT of "non-kickers" that are going to retaliate to that.

I think to be safe, we're all just going to start riding with red ribbon in their tails. That way, people just stay away. We reached a point on the trail where a girl on a bay Arab came riding alongside and we warned her THREE times not to get to close, Eve was kicking that day, and she kept saying "Ok" and continued to ride within 5 feet of her hind end - like, are you stupid or just ignorant to the distance a horse can reach with those back legs?

MyBoyPuck 09-14-2010 10:35 PM

I agree. People can be incredibly thick when it comes to stuff like that. I really don't understand it either. I actually said to a woman once, "what part of don't get to close do you not understand" She called me a nice name and road away, but I didn't have to put up with her on my butt anymore!

smrobs 09-14-2010 10:59 PM

Oh, my, your summers sound heavenly. We have been having upper 90's and low 100's for most of the summer (sometimes getting above 110) :?. Though it can get cold down here in winter, it isn't nearly so cold as yours. We average low to mid 20's for most of the winter though we do have the occasional below zero day. The worst of the whole thing is the wind. Even on a day that is above freezing, a 40 mph wind makes it feel like antarctica LOL.

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