Well, this past weekend, it was all about Summer. She got back to her roots as a safety horse for the R4 NATRC Benefit ride. Besides being in season, so a bit spooky on trail, she was awesome!
Friday evening, Ronald and I made plans that he would ride Open on Saturday and I would ride Novice/CP and then Sunday we would switch. Saturday I rode with Annette Thurlow and Kristen Fisher, and Ronald rode with Donna DeYoung. Donna is an endurance rider so rode Open on both days. On Sunday, Ronald rode Novice/CP with Patsy Davis.
So I guess what I am saying is, as Safety Chair for this ride, I had a real good and capable group of safety riders.
Right out of camp on Saturday, Summer and I went after a loose horse. Once the horse ran past us, off we went. No, we do not chase, simple watch where the horse goes then try to quietly go to it to catch it. The horse stopped shortly after passing us, Summer approached it and the horse let me unlatch one side of it's reins and pony it back to the rider. That was our only excitement for the weekend, so it was a good weekend.
After a mile or so out of camp, a rider was dismounted and asked if I would hold her stirrup so she could re-mount. I dismounted Summer and told her to stand. As I walked away, Summer lowered her head to take a bite of grass. I made my "no-no" noise and her head popped back up and she just stood there while I helped the rider mount her horse. Kristen told me later she and Annette were impressed with Summer's actions while I did this. I am so happy I taught her to ground tie.
Due to no one getting hurt or not having to go after a lost rider, it felt like a pleasure/conditioning ride. Summer had to do more moving out than usual on Sunday. Since I have taught her to trot under saddle, I bet we trotted almost 10 miles on Sunday. And stupid me forgot to raise my stirrups so she ended up with a sore left loin. I must raise those things one more notch.
Okay, now why did I teach my gaited horse to trot? Because it is good for strengthening the muscles in their backs, plus it makes me exercise my legs muscles while posting. Cause there is no way to sit a TWH's trot. It is like a jack hammer. But she does know the difference in what I am asking her. We did do some racking, running walk, step pacing and some cantering on Sunday. So she used just about every muscle she had as well.
Anyway, the trails were beautiful, the weather was gorgeous and getting to visit folks I haven't seen since the Christmas ride was awesome. That is why I love riding safety, I get to ride my horse and visit with friends, but there is no pressure of the competition.
What a great weekend!
TTFN and thanks for reading!