Monday, September 19, 2011

Sugar, 4 year old trail horse EXTRAORDINAIRE!!

I love my horse. I LOVE my horse. I LOVE MY HORSE!!!! Here they are pre-trail ride, representing their personalities, Rally waiting for something to eat him, Sugar dozing off. So, I was finally able to organize a trial ride with almost everyone at the barn going!!! It happened yesterday. There were four of us riding, and since one of the people was the barn owner's daughter who is only 13, her mom walked along with us. It was Sugar's first real trail ride (out of sight of the barn) and she was AWESOME!! Before you read this, please know as a barn, we are overly cautious riders...not the types to saddle up and ride out whereever and whenever we please.
I couldn't have asked for a better ride from Sugar. Other than the 13 year old's wonderful older mare, Sugar was the best horse out there. I was a little nervous at first (I'm more of a nervous rider than not a nervous rider) so BO (barn owner) suggested I ride in the round pen a little (I was the first one ready). Which I did, calmed down and got Sugar's attention.
So, we set off. BF (boyfriend) on his horse, Rally, a 13 year old, semi-spooky Arabian/Appaloosa cross, FB (Fellow Boarder) on her mare, Diamond, a 13ish year old Tennessee Walking mare, BOC (Barn Owner's Child) on her 21 year old AQHA mare, and me on 4 year old Sugar!! FB 's horse in the lead, BOC's mare in 2nd, Sugar & I in 3rd, and Rally in last. Rally needed to be last so Sugar and I could hold him back, he gets very excited and just wants to take off sometimes. However if Sugar is leading, he kind of just puts his nose right up her butt and walks along like that. Lucky for him, Sugar isn't bothered by it. Because this is our first jaunt away from the barn, we decided to pick our battles and that wasn't one of them. We agreed beforehand that we would be walking only, and that if one horse stops due to spooking or whatever, the next horse would continue on.
 FB's horse gets very spooky at a road bridge, and she actually stopped, BOC's horse did the same, so I gave Sugar a little squeeze and we took the lead. Rally was of course right behind us, and we climbed up the hill. Sugar is a slow horse, and once we got across the bridge, FB's horse was back in the lead. This trade off of lead horses happened a lot, with no real issues. Rally seriously prefers to be in the lead, but we did not allow him to be in the lead for most of the trip.
A car came up behind us (sugar hasn't really experienced this before) and she hardly noticed. A motorcycle would later go by us, and Sugar didn't care, an older loud Mustang went by us, and Sugar barely flicked her ear at it..GOOD MARE!!! We crossed several bridges, went by mailboxes, flags, trucks, farm machinery, etc....Sugar would look at it but that's it. She spooked twice...once at a loud noise in the woods right beside the road at one point, and once again when everyone else spooked. It only took that one time though for her to realize that she doesn't need to spook at everything they do.
FB used to gallop her horse and let her take off a little, so her horse was rarin' to go, which made her nervous. BO brought a lead and clipped it to said mare's tie-down, and they worked on that for a while.
It was a great experience, we are looking to repeat it in two weeks...hopefully Sugar's boots will be here by then. Sugar was so awesome, I am just in awe of how awesome that mare is.
PS- I got an Android cell phone...anyone have one? What are good apps? Any horse related apps?


  1. What a great ride!!! And what a great team you-all made together. I like how it was preplanned not to go faster than a walk and that the BO had a lead rope at the ready when a horse needed it . . . just well done all around!

  2. Thank you!!! It was so fun!!! It speaks to how nervous we all are! Luckily we have mostly rock solid horses ready and willing to reassure us. That was the main reason I decided Sugar was the horse for me when I bought her...She's a very confident horse!!

  3. Bridges? Cars? Motorcycles?? Mailboxes waiting to attack?? Sugar didn't care? AWESOME!!! I hear you about being nervous. I am much better than I used to be, but I still get butterflies in my stomach. Great that you worked out the ground rules ahead of time and great that you had people to ride with. Congratulations to both you and Sugar on a fantastic ride.

  4. Wow, Sugar did awesome! And so did you! You guys encountered so much but sounds like she was pretty much perfect! I think it's great that you guys planned out everything before hand, that really creates a secure and safe environment, especially since everyone already knew what to do beforehand if something happened.

  5. Thanks everyone!!! I am so excited that Sugar was soooo good. She was hardly sweaty and not tired either...I see longer distance rides in our future!!! HOORAY!!!