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“Im not brave, Im thorough” (W.S)

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Annual Trail Rides: 197/200 (Bareback 28/40) Topped the birthday weekend with some extra special solo rides where we went off exploring new trails and stayed confident despite the roar of a rogue dirt bike that was threatening my peace and sanity. Q, as usual, was unphased by everything except the big pile of rocks. Mucho speed was engaged and we refound our canter on the buckle. Today it was back on bareback where Q sent me into a big bouncy trot and I was giggling until … my phone fell out of my pocket. I jumped down. and then 🤷‍♀️ wondered how I would get back on! Thanks to our new forest management friends, we have some stumps turned into mounting blocks and so I decided to give it a go! I must give thanks to the time I spent teaching Q to sidepass to any object I desire and then stand stock still while I scramble back on bareback. Although I felt like Goldilocks, the first mounting block was too big … but the next one was just right. And so I learned that all that time doing grou

The turnaround specialist

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Annual Trail Rides 195/200 (Bareback 27/40) My birthday started with a foul mood. Exhausted from an excessive week of work and teaching, personal emotions bubbling hard and fast, I ran to the barn hoping I would not have to entertain anyone nor engage in any real conversation. Q ran to the gate to greet me, and despite his chill demeanour after my absence for a week and the chilliest day of the year yet … I pulled out the lunge line. Q was lazy, but I thought he was just hiding his fiery dragon. We did quick work of some lovely trot-canter-trot transitions on the lunge, did some groundwork with the trail obstacles, and then I tacked up. It took me 20 minutes of trotting and cantering to finally believe that Q was just trying to be a good horse on my special day. The next 40 minutes were pure delight as I stopped waiting for the weasel to pop out. There is just something about horses. They turn our frowns upside down, and are the perfect turnaround specialist. For me, on this day, Q gav

Less unsettled

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Annual Trail Rides: 194/200 (Bareback 27/40) These two weeks are busy with work and teaching so riding is taking a backseat in the form of showing up at the barn after several days of absence and then wrangling the fire breathing dragon for as safe a trail ride as I can make it. Somehow, though, and perhaps because of Qs advancing 8 years of age, his fiery reactions are now “less unsettling”. Last Sunday I showed up on a chilly but sunshiny day to find Q head butting me on the crossties, constantly pawing the ground. I tossed him in the ring for a run and he gave me some good bucks in the process. I thought all was clear, but his energy went straight up again once we were on the trail. I pushed into a trot mighty quick, dropping those reins and letting him stride out until he gave his first big blowing sign. I knew it would take 5-10 minutes. But he wouldn’t stride out, sucking back with his head up like a giraffe. I kept pushing for forward but he was stuck. And then he spooked and sp

What a view!

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Annual Trail Rides: 192/200 (Bareback 26/40) While the colours are not as vibrant this year, we are in that magic spot between summer and winter where we get many pretty views. As I rewind my blog posts of 2021, I realize there is another view I have created ... that of my many horseback experiences with Q on the trails. There is no doubt that mileage (or "wet saddle blankets") have made a tremendous difference in our combined confidence and comfort on the trail. The lope on the buckle is almost perfect, and I can almost guarantee he will pick up the right one 90% of the time. It was quite surprising for me to read some of my posts in the spring and early summer and recall what happened. It felt like a lifetime ago, but it was only 4-6 months. Wow, how we have improved. We have also gone on lots of solo explorations ... and often that is when I have my best rides. This horse has me giggling on every single ride. Those who ride with us often chuckle at my expression "don&

Taking Flight 1 9 0

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Annual Trail Rides: 190/200 (Bareback 25/40) While our colours are not quite as vibrant as years past, we are in the midst of a very pretty autumn display these days. Ive gotten plenty of riding in the last week, and Q is feeling like a very happy and forward camper (but the dragon is back to its slumber).  After my big ride yesterday where I took some newbies into the beautiful but dangerous Sector 5, I thought I would take the day easy and just go for a quick and short ride on my own. However, a lovely lady who borrows a horse at our barn was looking for a friend ... and I accepted. She rides a half-draft bulldozer type that has a hard time cantering with the QH's as the mare has a stride of a good 9-10 feet. Most of her riders are forced to trot behind me while I canter. Q does have a lovely QH-type lope when he wants to. But Q was feeling some sort of special today, so he pulled out his ROADGAIT in the first hour, and I could hear the lovely lady giggling behind me as she was c