I worked up my courage over the past few weeks riding other people horses on trail and schooling mine in the arena and yesterday I took the plunge and took him out on trail. We went out with his buddy who is a seasoned trail horse and another young horse who is working on his trail manners.
Phoenix was a little jumpy at first and did spook at a newly cut down tree but after he calmed down he was great, he eyeballed every cut tree though. Normally he gets anxious when the horse in front leaves him but yesterday his buddy walked much faster than he did and we got left way behind, he kept his slow ploddy walk and didn't even try to catch up. Such an achievement for him. He was good on the hills, walked up like a good boy. Then when we got home a cyclist passed us on the road and he moved away slightly but didn't spook or react badly, I think it helped that the cyclist slowed down and talked to us.
Overall, a great ride! I have a trainer coming out in June and then Phoenix is going to the trainers house for a 2 week vacation in August so the guy can ride him on his scary friday trail ride where they run and jump and go through all kinds of scary obstacles and hopefully get him over his instinct to use the buck as his go to move. He's never really been to a trainer so I figured it was time.
Here he is all ready to go yesterday, modelling his new breast collar, how long until it's not purple anymore and is covered in burrs?!
phoenix trail gear.jpg