I spent my weekend enjoying my four-legged friends. Cali asked me if I wanted to go riding and I jumped at the chance. We took Babe and Jade to the rodeo arena last night, just for some practice before any serious riding. Jade hasn’t been ridden in years and was barely started in her training when she was being ridden. Cali spent our time at the rodeo arena doing ground work and helping Jade remember how everything works. Jade did great and obeyed directions without much protest. The only time she acted up at all was when she was asked to canter on the lunge line. She kicked up her heels a bit, but still didn’t truly buck or cause real trouble. By the end of our evening, Cali was able to get on her for a short ride.
While Jade was relearning the basics, Babe and I had fun riding around the arena and just relaxing. At first, Babe thought the announcers stand was going to bite her. It took some talking and slow approaches to get her to walk by it. By the end of our ride, she was perfectly happy to canter right by it, without slowing down or acting nervous.
Today, Cali and I headed off to check out a fun riding competition that a friend’s horses were in for a while before our ride. There were a lot of kids and teens riding and the events were mostly silly. They looked like they’d be tons of fun to ride! Next time there’s one in the area, Babe and I may go and try it out. We won’t win, but it would be fun. There were some really pretty horses riding out there, so it was even more fun to watch.
When we got back from watching part of the competition, we got Jade and Babe ready for a ride. Cali decided she wanted to use a different bridle than she’d used last night because it seemed stiff and a little fragile. She sure didn’t want to be on an untrained horse with no bridle! We’d promised Isaiah that we’d bring Babe by the house so he could ride her, so Cali just led Jade to my house and worked on changing the bit while Isaiah rode.
Isaiah was ready and waiting for us when we got to my house. He saw the horses coming and started to cheer and jump up and down. By the time we actually got to the house, he was more calm, but wanted up right now! My mom held him up so he could reach to pet Babe, then passed him to me. He was so excited to finally get to ride a horse! He grabbed the ends of the reins and announced he was in control, as he waved the ends around. At one point, he told me, “Mama, me a cowboy!” When it was time for him to get off, Isaiah was so sad! He started to cry. After being promised he could ride again sometime, he decided it was ok for Babe to leave. For now.
Cali and I took Babe and Jade outside of town for a nice long ride. Cali walked Jade for the first while, giving her a chance to decide that being out wasn’t going to kill her. Once she was calm, Cali mounted and we were off. We wandered along country roads for a while, with Jade slowly getting the hang of what she was doing. At first, she jumped and acted nervous about everything. By the end, she’d decided that the world was not, in fact, out to get her and that going riding could be pretty fun. When she got nervous, she’d just get really close to Babe for reassurance. My foot got a little squished a couple times, but we all got through the ride in one piece. And no one fell off. So, it was a success!