Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our first ride

My boy passed his vet check!  Yeah!  I guess he's really gonna be mine now!  I was hoping but yet, didn't really trust that he was gonna be that perfect fit people talk about.

I found that I haven't let my guard down emothionally with this homely, lovable horse.  I just keep waiting for him to be the "devil in disguise...."  After all, I had visions of a "gorgeous" horse.  Not one that is all marked up from horse bites all over him.  Not one who's coat is thin and not very shiny. And not one who even the vet said "He's just so cool! I find the homelier they are the better..."  "Whaaat????"

Today, I took a big step.  I took him out to an "organized" ride with several people from the stables that I'm boarding Durango in.
For me, that was a big step!  I didn't know any of them, except the owner of our stables.  I'm so used to riding only with my Pony Cousins and to do all this myself was a big thing for me.

We were leaving the stables at 8:00 a.m.  So I was up early, got all my stuff organized and loaded and took off about 7:00am.  Stopped for coffee and arrived at barn by 7:15am.

Rose was already loading up her LQ with 3 horse stall trailer with essentials.... I backed my car up to my trailer, hooked it up, loaded my "cowgirl courage" into her refrigerator and proceeded to take stock of my tack room.
Everything seemed accounted for!

I went in to get Durango out, tied him to the trailer and proceeded to groom, pick hooves etc.  He just stood so nicely and seemed happy to see me.
When it came time to load up, the other three horses were having a bit of issues, like horses backing up, refusing,  and   I noticed the one lady had to walk her horse WAY back, and  then RUN up into the trailer to get her mare to follow her.  Well,  whatever works!

I was just so proud of Durango, I just walked him up to the trailer, said "up up!"  And he jumped right in.  Big whew!  from me....
We drove about an hour up to the Seattle area to a place called Bridle-path park.  Durango backed "very slowly and carefully"  out of the trailer and tied quietly to the side.

This group event, had a nice breakfast laid out for us:  Wonderful fruit bowl, scones, muffins etc.  We grabbed a bite to eat and then we began to tack up.

I had bought a new cinch for Durango, (needed a smaller one than I'd borrowed from Desert Rose) I managed to tack it all up correctly, got him all saddled up, walked him over to a log and he just stood perfectly for me to mount.  (I'm still babying my mounting leg from a previous fracture.)  But, this horse is really tall and Im really short....I'm not sure I'll ever be able to mount him from the ground....Gonna keep working on it though. I'm just so proud that he doesn't step away, and stays quiet until I'm mounted and ready to go.

Now, keep in mind I'm riding with all Arabs on this ride.  I'd heard they can be quite high spirited I think. So my anxiety was definitely up.   And, I was wondering how Durango would do with the new snaffle bit I'm trying on him.

We take a beautiful, nicely groomed and shaded ride, this place, the trails at least, reminds me so much of Lt. Stubbs Stewart equestrian park.
I kept him third in line.  We did move around a bit as they feel it's good for them to not get too comfortable with "their spot."  During the ride, several horses spooked at one thing or another,  the lady in front of me had to spin her horse a couple times.....(Been there done that!) But, During all of this, Durango would just stop and wait for their drama to be over with and then we'd go on.  He never reacted off any of their spooks.  Again....I was so proud.

I did notice though, that when we'd pass another group of riders (going the opposite direction) he didn't like those who were carrying those riding crops?  (A stick that dressage riders use I think).  He did look hard at them and side stepped away from them.  Hmmmm? What's that all about?
But, that was the only "reaction" he did all during the ride.

We got back, and they had a nice lunch ready for us.  Teriyaki Chicken, Corn on the cob, Caesar salad and wonderful HOMEMADE pies.  We had to tie the horses up to our trailers and walk down a small trail to the picnic tables where lunch was.  It was worth every penny of our $15.00.  Also,  they had door prizes and I ended up with a nice pair of riding gloves for my grandkids.

We had just finished our lunch, when some ladies walk by and said "Do you know who has the trailer on the end with the 3 horses?  We said "Yea, that's ours."  They said "Well, the Palomino is just kicking the HELL out of that white horse!"  We all jumped up and ran.
I knew it couldn't be mine, because Durango was tied up at my trailer by himself.
But, when we got to them,  sure enough, it must'v been an ugly scene, because "Teddy" the other Palomino had a gash on his forehead, a gash in his leg and had cracked a hoof.  

(This is Durango, not Teddy.  They do look alot alike tho.)

Rose's horse "Rico"  had two gashes in his side, one large and one small,  his chest was all swollen and cut.  NOT GOOD!   This is one of  the gashes in Rico's side after it was all cleaned.

We all rushed around, getting them separated. We grabbed and filled buckets of water and began spongeing all the blood off them and checking wounds.  They cleaned and bandage wounds as best as they could and we decided to load up to come home.  It was a sad end to a beautiful ride.  We all chastised ourselves for not eating where we could see them... More lessons learned.   We believe they were either fighting over the food or the mare...not sure.

During all this, Durango remained calm and he again, loaded up really easy and we headed for home.

Back at the barn, once we got all unloaded Rose reminded me that we need to De-worm Durango.  I thought..."Oh great, this is where he'll show his true colors."   Well, she just put the syringe in his mouth and quickly squirted it in, and all he did was chew and make funny faces.  He didn't spit any of it out!

Ok, by now I'm just bursting with pride and saying to myself...."Maybe he isn't the devil in disguise.  Maybe, I really DID get the perfect fit!"  I know that some day he's probably really gonna make me mad over something, but so far I'm really happy with him.  And I'm finding myself letting that wall down.

Oh and by the way,  He did MUCH better in the snaffle bit.  He never threw his head.  But he did try that "pulling his head out forward some, and I think it was either because I was checking him to keep off other horses butts," or, my reins might be too short.  I had purchased some to "match" the halter and pad, I may have to exchange those....If nothing else, HE IS GONNA TEACH ME how to stay light in the mouth, he lets me know if I'm on him too much.

But all in all, it was a great day!
Now, I'm just waiting to hear when some of my cousins can get away to ride!....Darn jobs! :-)


  1. wow,i am really proud of you for going on that ride and sounds like Durango is going to be a good fit. Hay, You know how much you liked King and look what a pill he can be sometimes, and I think that Durango is beautiful and am emailing you the picture that I am talking about. Can you go to Stub Stewart in Sept with us.. love you cuz jeanette

  2. Thank you cousin! I would love to go, send me the dates?

  3. I am so excited for you!! I think you and Durango make a great pair, and wish we lived closer so we could ride!
    Sorry to hear about the horse that was hurt. That is unfortunate.

  4. Well I think until he messes up you will just wonder and wait for it.....that is typical when you buy a new horse- "what did I just buy??" going through your head. :) But I think you did good, and so far he is proving himself to be an awesome trail horse which is what you wanted!!

  5. I am so proud of you cousin. You have become a confident rider and a leader and Durango respects you. You have seen everyone one of our horses have some kind of issue whether it be big or small. They ALL have a monent!!! You will fall in love with your new man. I think he is a handsome felow. Just wait until u get him healthy. See u soon.hugs.

  6. Sounds like you had the best pony on the ride. I dont think that he is a homely pony, at all. He is a "typey" TW, and, by following the directions of a good TW vet, you should have him filled out, slick and shiny, in no time. You have a pic of him from this ride, where he is tied to the end of the trailer and his head is down, his ears out to the side, and his sweet eyes are watching you. That is a sure sign of a pony with a lot of personality, looking for a best friend.

  7. Hi Cousin! I was grinning from ear to ear reading your post. What a great first trail ride and both of you. I am so, so excited for you and your future adventures. I bet you can't wait to get him on some of those beautiful desert trails?! Have you decided to keep his name? I took some great pictures of you grooming Durango during the Stampede...has your daughter passed them along to you? I loaded them onto her computer.

  8. He sounds like a keeper! As I have learned from all the stories, even the best trail horse can have an off day and act naughty. I am happy you seem to have found yourself a horse of your own, you will have to change your name to "She who rides with one pony"!

  9. Sares: Ha! yea, I thought of that. Horse Dream: No, she didn't but, her computer crashed and I don't think she'll be online for a while. Maybe, if you have time you could send them to me?
    Saddle Mt. Rider: Thanks, I think he seems real happy here. Especially when it comes to his food. He no longer has to fight for it. He REALLY likes his food!

  10. Congrats Cousin B!!! I think you've found a wonderful, calm, thinking horse.... and, he will get shiny with better feed and maybe some veggie oil in his grain.. ask your vet... but, it seems to help with the coat and we always put about a tablespoon of ground flax seed into the grain once a day. That helps, keeps them from having sand in their tummies... Have a wonderful time with your new guy... I think, he looks adorable!!!



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