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!
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.
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.
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.
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.