When I arrived at the barn, I saw my mare going for a thorough roll in the mud- glad to see she’s making good use of that new rain sheet I got her! Shaking my head with a resigned sigh, I fetched her from pasture and grabbed the treed saddle with intentions of doing a groundpole/cavaletti session in the pasture-arena.
J and B arrived to do the morning feedings while I was grooming. I let Quest eat in peace while I fetched the rest of my tack and got a chance to chat with J. She updated me that Quest was finally putting on some nice weight.
|Me likey <3|
After Quest polished off her entire breakfast, I tacked up and we headed out into the pasture arena to set up ground poles while J dropped B off at a friend’s barn. There was a backhoe parked in the corner along the pasture fence line that I knew Quest was going to give the hairy eyeball and dragon snort. Sure enough, we spent the first 10 minutes talking about how the scary backhoe was not going to eat her and giving it a 50 foot passing berth was not necessary. Smart mareface soon figured it out and we settled into a nice working trot and got to business with the ground poles. Things were going well, so I asked for a canter and we chugged steadily along the fence in the arena doing several laps when suddenly Quest went down.
Next thing I realized I was flat on my back on the ground and poor Quest was standing next to me, trembling all over. I gave myself a moment before I stood up. I saw that her right shoulder, legs, and my saddle covered in mud. It was pretty obvious what had happened- Quest slipped, went down on her side and we ate mud. I immediately began checking to make sure she was okay and thankfully, she was. J had been in the paddock area tacking up Luke for a trail ride when she saw us go down. We walked back to the paddock where she met us and asked if I was okay and if I hit my head. Once prodded, I recalled landing on my back which took the brunt of the impact, that was confirmed by dirt on my back and lack thereof on my helmet.
I tied Quest back up in the paddock and J helped me clean her up. Poor mare was still trembling slightly, quite aware that something bad had happened but she relaxed when I patted her quietly, reassuring her it wasn’t her fault. If anything it was an error in judgment on my part.
We were just about done cleaning up when we saw two riders coming up the street. I was introduced to R, a lady who owns a barn down the street and has been asking B to help her put miles on a mare named Lucy who was a great jumper but not so great trail horse. R herself was riding a cute TB gelding named Finale. J and I mounted up and our little group of four set off for the trails. To my surprise, Quest immediately decided to take the lead so we led the first part of the ride. Mareface did SO well. She was still looky but kept her nose pointed forward and power trotted along, I actually had to half-halt to get her to ease back to a pace that Lucy and Finale could keep up with. Throughout the ride we switched around positions in the line so everyone that wanted to had a chance to lead and follow. Quest had no problems with all of that. R and I rode side by side for the most part to talk and get to know each other. She seemed genuinely impressed to hear that I had been riding for only two years and that mareface came from an auction. Yes, I know my horse awesome <3
We did lots of trotting and cantering in sections. No issues there though I can definitely see how Quest could get competitive in a neck-to-neck race. At one point, B and I had our horses cantering side-by-side on the trail and Quest seriously was like BRING IT ON. While heading up to the ridge, J asked if I wanted to race up the hill. I got into my two-point and off we charged! Quest left poor Luke in the dust ;) I slowed her when we crested the hilltop and J and Luke caught up with us. We were both laughing and grinning from ear to ear.
All in all and despite the tumble we took earlier, the morning went as well as I could have dreamed. Quest led bravely, followed politely, and did excellent with unfamiliar horses trotting and cantering next to, in front, and behind her. The best part was she barely broke a sweat, except under the saddle and pad, while the three other horses were lathered at the end of the ride.
When we got back to the barn and parted ways with B and R, J and I talked game plan for endurance rides next season. Let’s just say that after our conversation, I am giddy excited what the future holds for us!
|Oh, and a obligatory photo of our first satin. We ended up placing 5th in our first hunter pace last October :)|