A friend of ours invited Olivia on a trail ride this past Saturday, out at his in-laws’ farm. Sounded nice. Just so happened that the guy who sold us Star had mentioned the week before that he had another horse to sell us, and he’d be happy to bring him over and let us try him out for a week or two. So I called him up and asked to borrow the horse for the trail ride.
We went and picked him up last week Thursday. That’s him in the picture up there. His name is “Duddy”. Half Arabian, half Quarter Horse, 6 year old gelding. A big boy! He’s quite a handsome gentleman, I think, and very affectionate to boot.
Now keep in mind that though I’ve always wanted to be good with horses, I’ve always been quite intimidated and maybe downright frightened of them. I’ve learned a lot watching Olivia take lessons and calmed down considerably around them. But still, I’m a “beginner beginner”.
Olivia’s last words as we started the trail ride were, “Mom, I won’t be surprised if you fall off today.”
Not 10 minutes into the trail ride, my saddle slid off. A kind older gentleman held Duddy while I put it back in place and tightened it up again. This held up the trail riders behind me and we got separated from the other half of the group. Not off to the best start.
Not 10 minutes later, it slid off again. A kind gal got off her horse and put my saddle back on for me. However Duddy was not happy, because Olivia & Star had gone on ahead with the rest of the riders. He would not stand still and kept swinging his head at me. He gave the poor gal (and me) quite a hard time. But bless her, she got it fixed and I didn’t have any problems with the saddle the rest of the ride.
But when we got back on the horses, Duddy decided he did not like that gal’s horse and was bucking and kicking his back legs at her. I let them go ahead of me, and once we got caught up to Olivia & Star and the rest of the riders he settled down a bit.
His owner had told me that Duddy was so mellow I’d have a hard time getting him to trot. Um, I guess Duddy didn’t get the memo because that’s all he wanted to do. My arms were quite sore the next day from trying to hold him back the entire ride!
The trail wound along the river and through the woods. We came to a very soft, sandy stretch and all of a sudden Duddy stopped. He looked down and I thought, “Oh, he has an itch on his leg and he’s going to scratch it.” And 2 seconds later I realized, “We’re going down!” I guess that sand just looked like a nice soft place to lay down to Duddy. I jumped off and wasn’t hurt or anything. I got right back on and we finished the trail ride.
So it might sound like with all of this “adventure” I didn’t have a good time. But I actually had a great time! I know horses are going to act up, especially when they aren’t used to you as a rider. And especially especially when said rider is a beginner beginner. There was only one time, when Duddy decided to take off at a run uphill, that I thought Olivia’s prediction might come true. And that a helmet would have been a good idea.
The experience was actually a confidence booster for me. Despite Olivia’s prediction, I didn’t fall off! I slid off twice, and jumped off once, but I didn’t fall off!
We’re taking Duddy back Wednesday night, and I will miss seeing him out there in the pasture with Star. As I said, he’s for sale. I didn’t mean to make him sound like a bad horse with my trail ride story – it’s more about me being an inexperienced rider! He has a very sweet personality. So I can hook you up if you’re interested. But I’m going to keep looking for the right horse for me.
Olivia & Star, who did awesome on the trailride
Clean up on aisle 7!