Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mac, the trail guide

My friend K came up to visit me and Mac (ok, and Colin, too) with her cute pony, Bugz, last weekend. Bugz is a 4-year-old Connemara mare and I told Mac ahead of time that he was going to have a new girlfriend and fall in love.

I was right.

They got here on Friday night and Bugz got one of the pastures to herself. The boys could see her from their pasture across the driveway and of course they were both making googly eyes at her. I thought it best if we wanted to trailer the horses together for a trail ride on Saturday that we do a short ride together on Friday afternoon. So we tacked up the ponies - Mac looks like a big horse next to the pony! - and rode around the arena for a bit. Colin was nice enough to take our picture!

Mac was very distracted by Bugzy's cuteness, though, and didn't really want to work. K and I switched horses and I rode the pony, which was quite fun! I actually think it was my first time riding a real pony! She felt so small and narrow and made Mac feel like a big horse!

K is such a lovely rider and she gave Mac a bit of a lesson in doing his job.

Then we went for a little trail ride down the irrigation ditch and came back and gave the ponies baths.

On Saturday morning Colin cooked us a yummy breakfast then we headed off for our first trail ride together. The horses trailered together wonderfully and same for riding out on the trail together. Mac led the was, as he's been there before and he trail rides a lot so he's kind of a pro.

K and her pony followed behind and Bugz was such a good girl!

We stopped to take a break and get some more photos, but Mac was only interested in his girlfriend!

We trail rode for about an hour and a half in a national forest, mostly on single track surrounded by pine trees. We had some zig-zagging through the trees, some uphill, some downhill, and some long straigtaways. It was a great introduction to trail riding for little Bugz, and at the end of the ride they were tired and ready to go home.

On Sunday we went to a different location that would have more challenges for a horse new to trail riding - there are rocky areas to scramble over, a bridge to cross over a creek, the creek itself to walk through, hikers, bikers, joggers, people walking dogs, etc. The pony was very good with all of it and followed her trusty leader, Mac. On the way home she wanted to lead the way and did so with confidence - a great experience for her! She had to pose for a picture because she was such a good girl.

So that was Mac's adventure as a trail guide. He performed his job perfectly and gave the pony a great introduction to the trails and how to handle the sights and terrain. I was sad to see my friend go on Monday, but we'll do it again soon - next time in her neck of the woods!