This was a another biggie for me—a threshold. Rebecca has been asking me if I wanted to go someplace off property to ride. Since I hesitated she added, "that is if Jeepers would load." Oh I told her the issue was not Jeepers getting on a trailer, she did that fine, the issue was my confidence in being able to handle the horse who got off the trailer. I told her I needed more time on the trails at the barn to build my confidence. And the Level 2 Clinic showed me how to do that.
So on the auspicious day of Friday July 13 I agreed to go to Rocky Woods the next day, just a 15 minute trailer ride away. I got to the barn at 7:30, after having agreed to meet Rebecca at 9:00. Wanted time to play with Jeeps before asking her to get on the trailer. It took just a few minutes of playing the 7 games before I got on. She was soft and listening and all I had to do was lift the reins and she stopped and stood. That's the important part I have learned, the standing still. I rode her up the path to the indoor and we grazed along the way.
By the time Rebecca shows up and gets the trailer hooked up and open we are ready to go. Two horses, two horse trailer and we're off. It was a quick ride to the parking lot. I had left Jeeps' saddle on, as that is how Rebecca does it with her horse Patrick. She now tells me that it is easiest to bridle the horses before unloading. I have decided I'll use the snaffle bridle with the rope reins as opposed to going out in the halter/hackamore. When Jeeps comes down the ramp she starts to really look around. No grass patch to convince her that this was a friendly place. She has her head up high, not a good place for a horse that usually assumes the Western Pleasure headset. So I unhook one side of the reins from the bit and ask her for Ss and disengaging hind end and almost immediately I have her back with me! What a boost for my confidence.
Before we leave the parking lot Rebecca gets a map of the trails. I know she had been over here before and assumed she knew the trails. Now I find out she had followed someone else LOL! She hands me the map saying, "Jeeps stands still when you stop so it will be easier for you to read the map." Hmmm how interesting.
Mount up and we have a great walk in new woods. Meet several dogs along the way, but the people were responsible and had their dogs in hand. Or arms as with the little black puppy. We come to an intersection and Rebecca asks me to check the map. So I unfold it and look. And look and squint and hold it close and away, "I don't have my reading glasses with me—can't see the numbers (marked intersections) or the trail names!" After staring at the map, I finally can figure out where we are and where we might want to go. Onward! I check the map occasionally and then I drop it—"Hey Rebecca do you think we still need the map?" YES! Okay I hop off Jeeps, pick it up and find a rock to mount back up. This place is very user friendly with lots of mounting rocks all along the trail.
I am relaxed as we ride. I keep a loose rein. This is awesome, wonderful, a new adventure without angst. Is this possible? The ride is over, load the horses back into the trailer and head for home. I'm already thinking about when can we do this again?