If this is a dream, please do not wake me. Sunday was hands down the best day I’ve had in months. Maybe a year.
The sun was shining. There wasn’t a cloud in sky. Temperatures rose to almost 70F and this happened:
I’m not even sure how this came about. One minute I was talking to Dusty while scooping horse poop out of the stalls and the next Wyatt is asking to go on a trail ride on Gem.
Um..I think it took me all of 15 seconds to hatch a plan to make that work. The next day we were loaded up and heading to my favorite trail system with my favorite bay mare and blonde boy.
For the first time in my life, I hauled the horses tacked up. It seemed the smartest thing to do rather than fuss with them at the trail head in opposite sides of the trailer. It worked out fine and we were unloaded and mounted up quickly.
Before I knew it we were both mounted and walking down the hill to enter the woods. I chose the grey trail, which isn’t one I typically use, because it is mostly a very wide gravel access road. This way Dusty could easily lead Gem without worry of being stepped on.
And everything just went…perfectly.
H’Appy generally likes to lead but he is still inexperienced on the trail and had two instances when he just said he couldn’t handle it: over the entry metal bridge and again at the hairy creek crossing. Both times Gem quietly took the lead and maneuvered through the obstacle with her head low and teeny tiny strides.
No better view than my sons back on my favorite mare out i
If it was possible, Gem made me lover her even more on this slow two mile ride. She was a saint. All her typical spooky behavior, her need to go always faster, he hatred of mud and water, it was all gone. She knew Wyatt was on her and was a newbie. She walked through ankle deep mud that, had I been on her back, she would have either forced me to bushwhack around or would have jumped over. Not for Wyatt. She was so amazing. I can’t even describe how it felt watching her take such good care of him.
H’Appy did pretty excellent himself. He led most of the way up the steep hill on the way out. He made me laugh as he would be walking forward all eager and then would look back at Gem like “Are you coming? Move it! There is so much to see!!”
You see, while Gem is a killer endurance machine and ate that 100 miler for breakfast, she walks at a whopping 1 mph pace. Honestly. No joke. I walk faster than she does. It made endurance tricky as I could never give her walk breaks. She either trotted or stopped to eat otherwise we wouldn’t make time. H’Appy has a solid 4 mph walk without trying and I can get him walking at 5 mph if I push. Gem had zero intentions of keeping up with that.
Once we made it up the hill, Wyatt declared that he wanted to turn around. We were one mike out and that’s about as far as I figured he would get. He is six, horses aren’t his go to and walking it boring. But he had a smile on his face the entire time and had fun and that was what was important.
My heart was so full
We turned around, much to the dismay of H’Appy who desperately wanted to see what was around the next corner, and made our way back down the hill towards the trailer.
We ended back at the trailer with three very happy people and two well behaved horses who never put a hoof wrong. My heart was about to burst with happiness.
I can’t imagine having more fun riding with anyone else no matter the pace, distance or location. Wyatt tackled two bridges, a creek crossing and deep sticky mud and smiled the entire time. He asked if he could do an endurance ride with me and while Dusty is more than up for jogging alongside for 25 miles, he would have to get comfortable trotting to make it work. Maybe in time. For now, I have no plans and no schemes. If he never rides again I’d still be happy to have had this one trail ride with all my loves involved.