Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

A walk in the park :)

Lesson yesterday was amazing. Nothing new or terribly exciting, just really good, with all the pieces coming together. Excellent start to a long weekend :)

Ok so continuing the grand tradtion of short stories...

Short version: Today Sienna and I went for a trail ride. It was entertaining. She's an awesome little horse. The end.

For those who might be interested in a *little* more detail, enjoy :)

So today I really wanted to go hacking. K had other commitments so I called around and asked a few other people -- all interested but for a variety of reasons unable to come play. So no worries, put Sienna on the trailer and off we go to the rail trail :)

Yeah so it might be the first hack of the year. And it might be the first time Sienna's been on a trail alone. And that combination might traditionally be a bad idea. But no problem :) So I take her off the trailer and other than being very concerned about the upsidedown swans and the geese making all kinds of noise on the nearby pond was pretty kewl with the whole idea.

We met our first new friends of the day while I was tacking up. Chatting with the hikers passing through the parking lot and amused by the older woman on her nature walk who waited so patiently so she could take a pic of Sienna.

Sienna actually stood while I got on her -- which made things not work out so well since I was definitely expecting her to shoot forwards. hahaha my balance was way off for her standing still! But that's ok. Waved goodbye to our new friends and headed off down the trail.

I figure on that first km we traveled about three, since almost every stride required a jump sideways while Sienna inspected something. A leaf. A shadow. A squirrel. The frogs were a particular issue cause she could hear them but not see them. Although the scariest item by far was the little patch of snow. hahaha I seem to remember that from last year though so all good :) The cyclists, and better yet the dobermans were, of course, absolutely no problem. Classic.

She was really looky but not bad -- no bucking/bolting/etc and only one instance of stand on hind legs and spin :) And even that was a rather half-hearted attempt. So we went out at walk and trot until she was reasonably settled in the walk (trot was still pretty high, but ok). Lots of sideways -- rarely more than three strides in any given direction. Anyways -- get to the point where she's starting to relax a little and then turn around.

And we instantly have a new horse. hahaha omg such a classic move. Now she's been on this trail before, but never has she turned around and gone back -- always I've gone with another rider and we've arranged it for a trailer at the other end of the trail so we don't have to go back. But despite that, she knew fully well that turning around meant going home. That or at least going somewhere less scary cause she'd already inspected everything on the path! All of a sudden we're cantering in place. Very impressive if I'd asked for it! After some discussion she agreed to walk. The biggest walk I've ever seen. And in a perfectly straight line -- no shying at anything. hahaha but that's all good -- now I know she's capable of it! Every once in a while she'd jig to see if the walk rule was still in place. It was. hahaha

The one thing that stopped her? The one thing too scary to power-walk by? Yeah, that'd be a log. Does not bode so well for her eventing career *g* Not too concerned, I suspect if I'd asked her to jump over it there would've been no problem :) Just made me laugh.

In the very last stretch of trail she finally chilled. Really relaxed and walked along happily. It was then that we met the kids. Coming up behind us on bikes -- Si's pretty kewl w/ bikes, but coming up behind her is still scary, so I turned her to face them. But then the lead kid stopped right beside her, "she's so big! Can I pet her?" (by this point the parents have caught up. I look @ Si and consider for a second, but she's still telling me she's chilled. Ummmmm "ok -- but you have to put your bikes way over there," I told him as he tried to ride right up to her. So he and his sister put their bikes over at the edge of the trail and came up to pat her. I told them to pat her shoulder first and then maybe she'd let them pat her face.

Well I'll tell ya, I've seen it before but it still surprises me every time, Sienna seems to love kids. Tilts her head right down to their level, ears forward, lets them pat her face and generally seems happy about the whole scenario. No dancing around or silliness. Once they stop patting her though, it's time to go. hahaha so I had to extract us and we went back away from the trailer a bit till the family got reorganized and off on their way.

I was amused in that our walk back took about the same amount of time as our trot out had been. Amazing what a difference a straight line and some forward momentum can make :)

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