Today was the trail ride I was trying to get Cibolo ready for. Then we had that incident yesterday and I decided to give myself a break.
I rode Lily.
Lily has had some issues with the trailer, but she loaded right up. Then we went to pick up a friend and her Paso Fino/Arabian, Diego.
Diego does not like trailers.
I load Lily in the back section of the trailer, because she bolts out. (Remember when we went through all kinds of trailer issues?) Well, we're past them, but keeping her in the back works great since she can't work up any steam getting out. And she loads back there just fine.
When I arrived at my friend's to pick her and Diego, I unloaded Lily.
And Diego wouldn't go in.
After some *discussion* we decided he might feel better with Lily in there. So in she goes, demonstrating perfect self loading. I felt like she'd just sung a solo in the school choir.
It took some work, but Diego got in. And we were only an hour late (30 minutes my fault - I forgot my wallet at home and had to circle back).
But no one with horses should be in a hurry, right?
Interestingly at the end of the ride we realized that Diego needed, among other things, the visual of the door closing to jump in. It was as if that was his *real* cue...
So here are more pictures at the lake - just cell phone pictures, unfortunately. It was a beautiful fall day.
This is a mid point on the 3 mile trail along the lake shore. The white in the distance is a large set of time shares.
Anisha on Diego. Lily likes Diego.
A glance of the lake through the fields. Our lake is a Corp of Engineers Lake which means no one is allowed to build along the shore. Which means it stays beautiful.
Davy on Amigo, Kelly on Chico. The two most chilled out trail horses in north america. The don't spook at ANYTHING.
At the end of the trail you see this beautiful view of one of the favorite water skiing coves. Flat water, perfect for those rooster tails.
This sign shows you why this area has nothing built on it. That sign in the tree? It got there thanks to flood waters. Ironically the sign says "For Emergency Use Only."
Lily shines copper metallic in the sun, even though I didn't get to brush her out. Just her inner glow.
A few barns are along the trail, typical Texas hill country barns with flat roofs and stalls facing the lake. Yes, horses like a lake view.
Several streams are flowing these days. Lily decided not to drink, but started pawing immediately. She loves the water.
It was a wonderful ride. Three hours for the 6 mile loop. I was able to completely relax. No worries.
This is what I want.
I know Lily is an extraordinary horse. I picked her for my husband and daughter because she's perfectly reasonable. I won't let anyone ride her without understanding how to use their hands and not pull on her mouth. She trots like a dream.
And at the end I felt a connection with Lily I hadn't felt before. Can't explain it, but generally Lily has been stand offish with me. And at first on the ride if she'd do something I'd get uneasy. But over those six miles I felt better, began using my seat, neck reining, pushing her ever so slightly. We worked together.
The worst thing Lily does when she doesn't want to do something is turn around. By the end, I was able to turn her one more time and get her to relax. And me too. I gave her a scratch in the trailer and for the first time she didn't avoid it. She relaxed like Cibolo does under my touch.
She's my confidence builder.
So where does that leave me? I'm considering a couple things:
Keep Lily for myself, sell Cibolo and get a gaited horse for Adam. Adam has a bad back and really needs a smooth ride (which Lily has). The few times my daughter wants to ride, I can ride the gaited horse.
Ride Lily on trail rides in the near term and continue to work with Cibolo in certain settings with certain people I can rely on to help me train him. Bring in a trainer to work on his two issues (rides with lots of horses and things springing up from under his feet).
Maybe I'm not the rider Cibolo needs for the next few years. Maybe he needs someone who is more confident NOW. Maybe I'd be that person in 6 months.
I don't know. But I'm not going to decide right now. Right now I'm just happy to realize that I do like to go horseback riding.
It is fun.