First trail ride for Harley and I!
So I was FINALLY able to take a couple of hours off during the day and take Harley on his first trail ride with me. It was so much fun! But I'm glad I took him out for the first time rather than my daughter. I was told he hacks out fine when we bought him, but he was a little spooky today. It was a very foggy day and he was in unfamiliar territory so that certainly didn't help. He refused to cross a stream so I led him over it and he crossed it without hesitation on the way back. He spooked a little when some critter made a branch move along the trail, but I turned him right back around and made him walk past the spot. We rode onto my property which is where he'll be living next year (he is boarded at our neighbor's) and I walked him around the house and the property so he could start becoming familiar with it. All in all, we were gone about an hour.
He was definitely on high alert on the trails, and seemed especially wary around wooded trails. This is understandable - they are prey animals and all kinds of nasty monsters could be hiding in those trees! But by the end, he settled down and became quite relaxed, lowering his head and slowing down his fast walk a bit. So I'm very pleased with our little outing! I would like to trail ride with the BO at some point, but since her horses have not yet totally accepted Harley, I'm not sure it's a good idea. We may try a short jaunt along the edge of the property to see how they do.
So here are some pics! You can see a lot more tension in the first one, but the others show him becoming more relaxed. Afterwards, I untacked, cleaned him up a bit, then turned him out and he just followed me around the pasture for a bit like he didn't really want to leave me. He's such a sweetheart!