I just realized I have a new follower!!!! YAY!!! Welcome Dreaming!!! That makes seven total. Sugar has seven fans...she is at attention hog and I can tell she loves to know that seven people read about her.
I've been busy yet again so my blog posts are intermittent. I did hose Sugar off last week and she appeared to appreciate it. She didn't dance or jig, but just kept grazing. She didn't really enjoy the water dripping down over her back legs, but tought ta-tas Sugar!!
What a weekend. It was beautiful, perfect riding weekend. We rode on Friday evening, got rained out on Saturday, and rode again on Sunday. Sugar has seriously limited trail experience, and she needs miles. To set the scene: the barn is fairly close to town, on a dead end road that is right off of a very busy, very loud road. So, there's a trail that goes around their pasture, which takes about ten-fifteen minutes to ride, and that's about all there is on the property. We have permission to ride through a neighbor's yard to a quieter road.
There's a perfect farm behind us, but the owner is worried about liability. I keep urging the boyfriend to go over and talk to him and tell him about the Equine Law in PA...if you post the two signs you are released from liability and the Equine Council will fight any legal battle that comes out of it.
Sugar has no on road experience, at all. She is fine around the farm's tractor, implements, four wheelers, etc. but they have never come up upon her in the manner that a car would on the road. Also, she spends little to no time walking on paved roads. Rally used to trail ride every day when I had Pride (Pride was a master of trails and any off farm experiences as long as it was me riding him) but Rally has become less immune to the sights/sounds/etc. involved in riding off farm.
So I think we will slowly expand our horizons until we are able to go anywhere. On friday we rode to the lower barn, and out on the dead end road the barn is on from the driveway of the barn to the driveway of the house (a whole 40 ft. :)As luck would have it, a car did come up behind us and slowed down and drove behind us for half of this little jaunt. The car was new and shiny, but very quiet. Sugar was unaffected and I assume Rally was as well because he didn't go flying by us. I did open a gate from her back as we rode around the farm, and she wasn't bothered by that. I also got down and back up at another gate and she didn't want to stand still for me to get off, but wasn't exactly bad either.
On Saturday, we went over to ride, but a thunderstorm happened while we were there, so we decided to brush Sugar & Rally. Bryan came up with the idea to braid their manes, in the Arabian type manner, I had never done it before, but I had the concept :) Excuse the blurry cell phone pic, but here are the results:
A little wavy, but she's so cute!! She's bothered because Rally was getting a treat where she's looking and all I want her to do is stand pretty!!
On Sunday, we went the whole way to the dead end and around the little cul-de-sac circle and back, and also the little trail around the pasture. Rally spooked once while we were on the pasture trail, but Bryan is so unflappable that he calmed right down.
All in all, our first "trail" riding weekend was a success. Sugar generally leads because she is so curious and Rally is much more timid. Sugar's curiousity really helps us because most times she is much too curious to be bothered with spooking. Rally is willing to lead when he is familiar with the territory.
The only trouble I really have is Sugar trying to trot off every so often instead of just walking along. I have tried jiggling the reins to get her attention back on me, but that didn't work. I thought maybe she's just nervous/excited and then just sat through it, but that didn't work. So then I squeeze back with both reins. I think I will try doing some circles when she gets like that. If anyone has any suggestions other than that, they would be much appreciated :)