On Sunday my friends at the barn and I loaded up the ponies to go trail riding. I decided to take Jellybean and have a learning experience! We started off ok tying in the wash pit and grooming. It was super hot out (about 100), and Jellybean came in from her paddock sweaty. I brushed her off and picked her feet out really well. She seems to have a small touch of thrush?
Anyways, then we loaded Starfire and Panda up onto the trailer and then it was Jellybean’s turn. She tried to make the step, but she wasn’t picking her foot up high enough. We encouraged her with the whip, but she still wasn’t making the step. We tried for about 15 minutes, and then tried something weird. Since the step was bothering her (she was even giving a slow motion rear to try to feel out the step), we picked her foot up and placed it in the trailer. Apparently that was all she needed to step up on her own. She went right up (Seriously, I couldn’t make this up if I tried). I gave her a snack and tied her up and we went on our way.
Well mostly. We got pulled over on our way, apparently the driver tail light was out. This is amusing, since it has been out since at least June, albeit sporadically. Jeannette got a warning while we tried not to giggle too much at the circumstances; then we were on our way. We rolled up to Indian Spirit Springs and signed our liabilities and chatted about the trails. We opted for the mid-range trail, in case we had difficulties or dark.
We tacked up and hopped on, and off we went! Jellybean was pretty eager to go somewhere, although we didn’t have a pace or plan. She walked in front through the open spots, and sucked back a little bit when we went into the trees. We had a nice rotation of leader, Panda/Starfire/Jellybean, none of the horses were too upset either way.
We walked past a large tractor (do you call them tractors when their bucket holds like 10 cubic yards?) and through some more grassy fields. Jellybean kept stealing snacks, but she was otherwise uninterested in much of anything.
|These weeds were taller then we were!|
|Down the trail we go|
After walking through some enormously tall weeds, we ended up walking through a wooded trail. Jellybean actually spooked just a little bit when a bush touched her butt unexpectedly. Oops. Then came the one obstacle on the trail: a “water” crossing! I was slightly concerned about this going out, since Jellybean has a history of disliking water, but I figured we would get through it somehow. Of course, maybe this wasn’t a good plan, because Jellybean doesn’t care so much about being with other horses.
|The dread water crossing!|
I guess it worked out then, that the water crossing had no water, just dried mud. Jellybean was not excited about going through it, but she did it while leading the pack (eventually)! Then when I was taking a picture she hopped back across. She didn’t actually jump, but she was very careful to only cross on the left side of the photo.
|Majestic and shit. The photo took with this fancy halo.|
After this obstacle it was definitely smooth sailing and we made it with no further incident! Once we got back to the trailer we had some daylight left, and decided to trot around the field. Jellybean scared a herd of deer without scaring herself, although she did look at them. Anyway, she was being so good I decided to ask for a bit of cantering, and she cantered around in the big field with no misbehavior at all!
At the end, we untacked and snacked on some grass while the other ponies hopped on the trailer. Then Jellybean loaded up with minimal fuss herself! I think once she knew she could get into the trailer she was feeling more confident. On the way home I proceeded to annoy my friends by being so pleased with Jellybean! I think our first outing was a solid confidence building experience 🙂