I've been taking my Bad Dog (tm) Willow for off-leash walks for a little while now. She's got an e-collar that she respects, so I don't actually have to use it, and it gives her a chance to run around and sniff and maybe try to chase something. I thought it would be nice to have some company while trail riding, so I thought I'd give it a go with a short trail ride today.
As I said, it wasn't a total disaster, but it wasn't a relaxing ride, either! I just put on Mac's bareback pad and bitless bridle, since I was planning on a short loop that Willow already knows - it is maybe a 15-20 minute ride, easy-peasy. Usually when I go out there is no traffic on the road that goes by our house.
Of course today there were three cars that drove by. And Willow did not want to get close to Mac, but some sweet talking and some treats got her to me so I could hold her and hold Mac at the same time. We got in through the gate just fine and I was relieved.
I got on Mac and called Willow and off we went. It is a good thing that Mac is so good and nonplussed about things, because I really couldn't give him or my riding much attention. I was constantly calling to Willow to make sure she didn't wander too far, as she didn't want to get too close to us. Mac just marched right along and went with the flow, stopping if I asked him to so that I could look for Willow's long tail in the brush. He didn't really care that she came along with us, so at least that was good.
I don't think Willow really enjoyed it, and I found it anything but relaxing, so I don't know that I'll be doing that again! Perhaps, though, it took away some of her romantic notions of what it means to get out, because she is really happy to be home and in her bed right now!