Monday, March 12, 2018

Wholly and Completely

This past weekend I finally had time to head out on a trail ride again after a few weeks of exclusive flatwork at the barn. Lauren was out of town, so I quested after one of my Canaan girlfriends to join me for a fast and furious trek over hill and dale and was grateful when she eagerly accepted.

Amy grew up riding a lot, but with the advent of work and school hasn't been able to ride as often. The last time she was on a horse (a few months ago) was in Malawi where she's pursuing her PhD work. It sounds like she had a ride similar to the type we had on this day, but with the added bonus of elephants and hippos! Oh, the things I'd give to experience a ride like that!

Chatting away as we walk a bit

We went to the same trails as our last venture on just as beautiful a day. I was more interested in getting out and spending time moving over trail than racking up a specific mileage, average speed, or time on this day. We ended up completing a lovely 9¼ miles over 2 hours and climbed over 1,600 feet over the course of the ride.

Miles on miles of trails like this!

I put Amy up on Stan for our ride as I knew he'd give her the best ride possible. Since the last trail ride, he spent a couple days with the Army again, so his fitness is slowly building back from a winter vacation. He gave Amy a wonderful ride and she remarked often about how fun he was! And (!!) it sounds as if I've got a very game riding partner for the summer.

Amy and Stanley, crooked horizon brought to you by a dancing Q insistent on sprinting up the next hill lol

I, of course, took Q out! While I still don't have any hard plans for the little mare, I definitely want to get her back to her 50-mile-fitness levels. The more time I spend with her, the more I enjoy her. The voice in the back of my head that wanted to put an endurance ride on the calendar sooner than later gets quieter and quieter, surprisingly.

Listening ears, a new thing I'm loving

I've got nothing to prove to anyone but myself and this little horse right now. In a sense, I feel like I've returned to my roots getting out on trails as I did as a teenager giggling every step of the way due to the sheer joy of being aboard a willing partner who eats up the trail. I can't believe Q is that partner considering the issues we've had with our relationship, but I'm so happy to be coming into this place.

If you gallop behind a powerful QH butt on a wet day, you'll get mud tossed your way. I almost fell off laughing when this hit me square in the left eye! Totally obscured my vision in the most hilarious way.

At the beginning of the ride, I briefly updated Amy on my history with Q. I noted that I'd probably have her lead through portions as Q needed. As with my last trail ride on the mare, she made me a big, fat liar about needing a leader! A really big, fat liar. Shy of maybe a mile of trail (where she tried multiple times to take the lead), Q led the whole damn ride.

I think my feelings about Q and the day can be summed up in one photo

I fell wholly and completely back in love with riding this mare during this ride. From the first hand gallop to the umpteenth one where she confidently led the way up the trail. My smile never left my face.

Our journey together and time spent correcting a flawed relationship is far from over, but the good days have far outweighed the bad ones for a few months now. I feel safe saying this is our new norm and I love it. It took time, patience, a few tears, and a lot of persistence to get to this point, but it is the absolute best feeling to have arrived in this place - especially with this horse. I can't wait to have more adventures with her this summer.


  1. I saw your FB post with that last photo and I couldn't wait to read more about this ride! I am SO EXCITED for you that all your hard work on your relationship with Q is paying off in such a FUN way 😁 hooray!

  2. You need layers of goggles like a jockey, apparently! LOL

  3. SO happy for you!!! All your diligent taking steps backwards to move forward has paid off in dividends.

  4. It sounds like you had a great ride- I'm so glad your relationship with Q is in such a good place!

  5. So glad to see you "getting back to your roots" and enjoying the journey so much along the way!

  6. There is nothing better than finding joy in your horse again after enduring hardship with them. Sometimes journeys don't have to be about competition or ribbons, though those are fun and wonderful in their own ways, and getting back to your roots sounds like exactly what you needed!

  7. What a fantastic day! I am so jealous of such a fun outing, and I'm so glad Q is making you so happy!

  8. <3 i am so glad to be reading about just how much stinkin FUN you are having with this mare right now!!!! :D

  9. This post warmed my heart. Yay for perseistance

  10. Glad you are having so much fun with your mare :) That's what it's all about!!

  11. These trail rides sound like so much fun! So happy to hear Q is getting back to her awesome self.

  12. Ha! That mud! I've always felt my Mt. Bike/ downhill gear made great trail riding cross/over gear. Nice.

  13. glad you had a nice ride. it actually looks like nicer weather where you are than where i am right now!! GRHHHH :)

  14. Sounds like an epic ride! So glad you're able to enjoy her!

  15. <3 Love this, those rides that bring us back to the vary basis of why we ride are priceless